Skip to main content

Abilities Arts Festival 2012: September 20 - October 11 in Toronto

From a media release:

Abilities Arts Festival
Celebrating a decade of showcasing Disability Arts and Culture
September 20-October 11, 2012

Toronto -
Abilities Arts Festival Executive Director Rina Fraticelli has announced the dates and programming for the festival's 10th anniversary. Showcasing works by and about artists with disabilities working within the visual and performing arts, film and integrated art forms, Abilities Arts Festival runs September 20- October 11, 2012 in various locations across the city.

"For a decade, Abilities Arts Festival has championed a dazzling array of talent and creativity, showcasing outstanding local performers and dynamic artists from across Canada and internationally," says Fraticelli. "Ten consecutive years of sustaining and growing a small not-for-profit arts organization is no mean feat; and it was made possible by the growing appetite for the art and artists we have been able to present, such as Luca "lazylegs Patuelle, Martin Dechamps, Sidiki Conde, Luis Orbegso - brilliant talents whose reputations and audiences continue to flourish. That's why we are thrilled to be able to launch our second decade with Canada's (and perhaps the world's) first Artistic Residency for an artist from the disability community."

The spectrum of events ranges from the ARTrageous! 10th Anniversary Gala to the Toronto: Street Level photo exhibit and book launch to MIX, a three day film festival, as well as the multi-media extravaganza A Queen Street Cartography as part of Nuit Blanche and The Listening Post, "pod-cast plays" told through mp3 players as the audience heads into the streets and alleys of Queen Street West. (Photo: Spring Shower by Natalia Isak & Mike Monize)

The details:

10th Anniversary Gala - September 20 from 6:30pm-9:30pm - Toronto City Archives, 255 Spadina Road

This year, the festival kicks off with the 10th Anniversary Gala Launch - ARTrageous! - on September 20 and features live performances by Julie McNamara and David Roche as well as a sneak preview of the Toronto: Street Level photography exhibit, silent auction and delicious delicacies. Two major new programs will be announced to launch the second decade: Canada's first-ever artistic residency for an artist with a disability; and Abilities Arts Tour, a weekend version of the annual festival that will travel to communities across Ontario. Tickets are $25.

Toronto: Street Level
Photography exhibit and book launch - September 21-October 11 from noon to 9pm daily - Carlton Cinema Gallery, 20 Carlton St.,

Toronto: Street Level looks at our city from a unique photographic perspective. The photography exhibition and book are the culmination of an 8-month master class with Vincenzo Pietropaolo, and feature the work of 10 talented Ontario artists: Mark Brose, Allan Cullen, Nicole Flynn, Steve Kean, Mike Monize & Natalia Isak, Jeff Nolan, Peter Owasu-Ansah, Dylan Smith, Kathy Toth. The vernissage and book launch is Friday, September 21 from 5:30pm-7:30pm. Free.

Media festival - September 21-23 - Carlton Cinema, 20 Carlton St.

Desire. War. Court Fools. Speed Dating. All in a weekend of disability media! MIX is a 3-day media festival featuring film shorts and features, panels, intensive workshops and visiting artists. Guest curators Julie McNamara and Caglar Kimyoncu from the U.K., founders of the London Disability Film Festival, will be joined by B.C. performers and media artists Jan Derbyshire and David Roche for a series of three workshops on creativity, visual storytelling and media production.

Screenings: All screenings are $8/Attendants are free. All films are open captioned. (Image from : All Day, Director: Nadia Nadarajah)
o Liaisons - Friday September 21, 7pm - Short animations and live action give a glimpse of the rich tapestry of our relations.
o DesirAbility (18 Plus) - Saturday, September 22, 7pm - The persistence of passion and the power of physical longing. Followed by panel discussion: Desiring & Desirability
o Art & Life, Life as Art - Sunday, September 23, 7pm - Exquisite, quirky, inventive films that translate daily life into art.

Workshops: Workshops, panels and discussions are free but workshop enrollment is extremely limited and pre-registration is required to ensure a place and/or support. (Photo : a scene from Shadi in the Beautiful Well, Directed by Mahdi Fleife)
o Story Power - Friday, September 21, 11:30am-3:30pm - A practical workshop for writers who want to re-connect with their muse with master storytellers Julie McNamara and David Roche.
o Whose Team is It Anyway? - Saturday, September 22, 2pm-4pm - Define the roles in your team and achieve your aims without compromising on access or artistry. A conversation with U.K. digital artist Caglar Kimyoncu.
o Desiring & Desirability - Saturday, September 22, 8pm (Following 7pm  screening) - A conversation with filmmakers and curators addressing notions of identity, power and desire in relation to representation of PWD on screen.
o Making it Happen: From the Sketch to the Screen - Sunday, September 23, 1pm-5pm - Practical strategies and techniques for turning the challenges of media production into opportunities for invention. Caglar Kimyoncu with Jan Derbyshire, Julie McNamara, David Roche.

A Queen Street Cartography

Nuit Blanche multi-media extravaganza - September 29 from 7pm-midnight - Open Gallery (49 McCaul St.) and Queen Street storefronts, Queen Streetcar and environs. (Photo by Peter Owusu-Anasa)

The art spills over into the streets, shop windows, along laneways and green spaces and onto the Queen Streetcar for this immersive mixed-media event featuring photography, storytelling, theatre and live performance at the newly-launched Open Gallery. Part of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. Free.

The Listening Post
Intimate mobile city stories told through "pod-cast plays" - September 30 from 1pm-4pm - Leaving from Open Gallery, 49 McCaul St. and heading into neighbouring streets and alleys.

The Listening Post is a new kind of immersive theatre event featuring four newly-commissioned "podplays" set in and around Queen Street West. Audience members step into intimate tales of life in the city as they walk the Queen Street corridor, guided by the voices and personal tales of life in the city by a remarkable quartet of artists: Jan Derbyshire, Catherine Frazee, Janna Gorham and Izzy Mackenzie Lay. Each audience of one "attends" each short play, by listening to it on an MP3 player while walking through the setting of the story. Free.

Abilities Arts Festival is a charitable organization dedicated to developing and showcasing the work of artists with disabilities. For ten years, Abilities Arts Festival has been a leader and catalyst bringing together artists with disabilities and a diverse public through a wide range of performance, media and visual arts events. Abilities Arts Festival uses the power of art as a transforming medium to enhance the understanding and acceptance that people with disabilities can and do make significant contributions to all aspects of society, in particular the arts and an evolving cultural sector.

Abilities Arts Festival
Celebrating a decade of showcasing Disability Arts and Culture
September 20-October 11, 2012
Tickets and Info: Call 416-593-9475 or email


What Else Is Hot This Week?

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Polina Semionova to Appear as Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre

From a media release:


New York - Polina Semionova, a principal dancer with Berlin State Opera Ballet, will debut as a Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre for the 2011 Metropolitan Opera House season, it was announced January 14, 2011 by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. With ABT, Semionova will perform Kitri in Don Quixote at the matinee on Saturday, May 21, opposite David Hallberg as Basilio, and the dual role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake on Saturday evening, July 2, opposite Hallberg as Prince Siegfried.

Born in Moscow, Semionova studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School before joining the Berlin State Opera Ballet as the company’s youngest principal dancer. Her repertoire with Berlin State Opera Ballet includes Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Marie in The Nutcracker, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanilda in Coppélia, Kitri in Don Quixo…

So You Can't Go: Six Ways To Travel Virtually

So You Can't Go:
Six Ways To Travel VirtuallyTravel is limited for most of us in the world these days. For Canadians, it depends on the province you live in, but with the border to the US still closed, and other options limited at best, virtual travel from the couch can provide at least a view with a difference at a time when you may well need it most. Google Cardboard – VR On A BudgetYou don't need a lot of cash to get into travel via virtual reality. Google Cardboard is a line of VR viewers that are, well, made of cardboard, and are priced starting at $12CAD.If you check out this link, you'll find out how to download the software to your smartphone.At this link, you can get yourself an actual Google Cardboard for a hands-free VR experience. Google Cardboard apps offer a variety of ways to experience our beautiful planet, including Google Earth itself, which can take you anywhere, along with apps to view museums and cultural artifacts, and more.Ascape VRAscape has a huge l…

Harlem Stage Digital Event: A Drop Of Midnight October 13 & 15 2020

From a release:Harlem Stage Digital Event:
A Drop Of Midnight
October 13 & 15 2020A two-part conversation with Jason ‘Timbuktu’ Diakité and his creative team around the developmental process of creating his autobiographical theater project, A Drop of Midnight. In this conversation Jason will take us on his journey to becoming one of Sweden’s chart-topping hip-hop artists and a best-selling author. He’ll also share the story of how a mixtape from Brooklyn traveled across the waters to the tiny village of Lund, Sweden and altered the course of his life forever. We will examine the impact of hip hop music and culture on the globe. How has hip-hop united communities of color globally?  How do you translate a personal story into a universal truth? How do you build a creative team? How has the current climate of social justice informed your artistic practice? Jason will read excerpts from the play and share some of the music. October 13—Part IIn this conversation A Drop of Midnight author…

Music Organizations Across Southern Ontario Celebrate Successful Virtual Concert Partnership

From a media release:Music Organizations Across Southern Ontario
Celebrate Successful Virtual Concert PartnershipWorld-renowned Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki performs a virtually broadcasted program of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Chopin followed by a live on-stage interview from The Royal Conservatory’s Koerner HallProduced in association with Ottawa Chamberfest, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Festival of the Sound, and Stratford Summer Music, Toronto’s Koerner Hall hosted Canadian world-renowned pianist Jan Lisiecki in concert and conversation through a virtually broadcasted performance on Tuesday, July 28. The private event successfully welcomed more than 2,000 viewers online and was presented in place of five concerts that were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.The evening’s program featured works by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Chopin. Following the broadcasted performance, Jan Lisiecki was joined by Executive Director of Performing Arts at The Royal Conservatory, Mervon Mehta, for …