Join us at On Common Ground!

30 August

The Bentway is thrilled to be co-presenting a series of events and activities at On Common Ground, taking place at Fort York from September 15–17. An engaging mix of art, food, activities, and performances, this year's festival will bring together some of Canada's incredible talent and artisans to celebrate culture, connection, and collaboration in Canada's 150th year. 

The Bentway will be offering exciting and dynamic experiences, on and adjacent to the project's site. We're looking forward to celebrating with you!

Live Performance

Festival-goers can experience the the world premiere of Miigis, a captivating live music and dance piece by Red Sky Performance, co-commissioned by the Bentway Conservancy, Fort York National Historic Site, and the City of Toronto, with the support of Canadian Heritage. 

Watch Bent 53 come to life as The Bentway unveils a new large-scale mural by Montreal artist Olivier Bonnard, produced in collaboration with Friends of the Pan Am Path and Love Letters to the Great Lakes. The mural's imagery is grand, nodding to the majesty of Lake Ontario, while also pointing to the vulnerability of underwater life within it. 

Art Spin is presenting a film screening of the Shore Up series, followed by a curatorial talk after the Saturday screening. The films focus on the site of Fort York. Fort York was first built to seize control of Lake Ontario, the site falls along the “original shoreline” of Toronto, but what is “original” and who decides? The shoreline is a shifting boundary, both natural and human-made, it is a line that is always in flux. This series of short films about our relationship to water explores the lake’s autonomy, some responding to this year’s record high water levels, or a future reclamation of land that might see the lake decolonize what the Europeans settled, while other works consider the boundaries between land, water, and sky, and the undeniable transitory and ephemeral nature of water as a medium. The program includes: Shoreline by Simone Jones, unsettled waters by Gwen MacGregor and lwrds duniam, Carrying Place by Driftnote, Francesca Chudnoff and Aria Evans, Water Drawings: Barcode by Blue Republic. *order of films subject to change

Additional performances include a live DJ set by DJ General Electric, Swamperella, and Baque de Bamba.

Get Moving

Born to Sweat and Friends of the PanAm Path are hosting a free workout class on Garrison Commons. The class will consist of body weight exercises: 60 minutes of high intensity, functional training, and fat burning exercises, all done in the great outdoors!

Afterwards, each participant will participate in a short scavenger hunt for beautiful hand-painted pieces of art. The hand painted works are commissioned from diverse artists selected by Devan Patel of East End Arts, on the backs of metal punched plates.

Participants can also enjoy walking tours of The Bentway led by some of the project's key stakeholders. The walking tour will cover how this project came about, provide an overview of the of the construction underway, explore how the project is being realized through a unique form of partnership, and the emerging network of connecting links it is augmenting and enhancing.

Make Change

The Bentway is hosting a community build activity that invites passersby to create LEGO versions of the Bentway next to the actual site. Facilitators will aid participants of all ages to build these bents, and ask the public to help imagine the type of events and activities that the “bents” can support going forward.

Explore biodiversity and the ecology of Lake Ontario and local watersheds through the traditional art of origami. Learn how to fold a variety of creatures found in our urban wilderness, such as fish, turtles, snails, and swans.  Visitors also have the opportunity to take part in an art installation to be exhibited at the Gardiner Museum by contributing an origami creation made during the festival. This drop-in workshop is led by Daniel Ranger, a Great Lakes Trust junior ambassador, and his mother, artist Vivian Wong; together, they have animated public spaces with origami for Nuit Blanche Toronto, Gladstone Grow Op, and the Ontario Science Centre.

Festival participants are invited to a hands-on workshop where they will create a sculpture that uses mud as a mediumin order to explore the life within it and your connection to it. Each participant will collect mud from Lake Ontario and place it into clear tubes along with nutrients that support microbial growth. When exposed to light, the microbial life within the sculptures will begin to grow, and with time, form vibrant marbling across the surface. Nicole Clouston will also discuss the relationship between humans, our broader ecology, and microbial life.