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2019 Community Incubation Projects
September 10, 2019 @ 8:00 am - October 14, 2019 @ 5:00 pmFree
The Bentway’s Community Incubation Projram supports the development of the next generation of public space programmers. In 2019 we were pleased to support three projects; a vertical garden; a series of billboard installations by women BIPOC artists; as well as a group of workshops highlighting Indigenous approaches to nature.
Vertical Intersections, by IDITA
Vertical Intersections is a series of vertical gardens surrounding the columns of the Gardiner Expressway at The Bentway. It invites local condo dwellers out of their units and into shared public space to grow plants, share stories, and create community.
The vertical gardens are representative of local populations living in high-rise buildings. The gardens consist of a series of pockets — each planted with its own native or foreign species — symbolizing the individual urban dweller in their unit. Collectively they represent our vision of growing together as a diverse community, coexisting in symbiosis and supporting each other.
Vertical Intersections nourishes opportunities for interaction and new friendships; grows awareness of local ecosystems and the importance of their protection and integration into urban landscapes; and educates the community to reclaim and create more green urban spaces.
Informed by The Bentway’s Fall 2019 theme “Second Nature,” this installation aims to bring us closer to both “environmental nature” and our “social nature” through the exchanges of urban gardening.
Additional programming included:
Tuesday, September 10th, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
To celebrate the launch of Vertical Intersections, multidisciplinary designer Diana Guzmán Valencia of IDITA invites local residents to help co-create their own vertical community gardens. Diana encourages participants to discover the different plant species growing wild at The Bentway using apps for plant identification, and to forage plants for inclusion in the community gardens. Participants can become a part of the Vertical Intersections community by “adopting” a plant and crafting a personalized plant pocket, while Diana explains the Vertical Intersections design concept and process.
Every Sunday beginning September 15th, 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Community members are invited to gather once a week at The Bentway for social gardening through the Vertical Intersections installation. Participants can help co-create this vertical community garden, discover the different plant species growing wild at The Bentway, forage plants for inclusion in the community gardens, and become a part of the Vertical Intersections community by “adopting” a plant and crafting a personalized plant pocket.
This is an ongoing opportunity to water the garden plants, share gardening resources, meet neighbours and make new friends, all while enjoying herbal teas, Colombian coffee and nature inspired music.
Bring your own mug. Participants are encouraged to donate plants and swap seeds and clippings.
IDITA is a design studio run by Diana Guzmán Valencia a multidisciplinary designer and creative.
Guzman has been always interested in creating urban spaces that encourages, interaction, sensitization, integration, culture, education and nature conservation.
Guzman runs her own design studio IDITA offering services within her field of studies, among them: industrial, architectural, urban, UX and graphic design. This wide design knowledge allows her to have a holistic approach in order to provide sustainable and integral solutions.
Vertical Intersections will allow her to put in practice her skills set and passion as well as connecting her with the community and the land, the same as the project’s purpose to people!
Undercurrents, curated by Courtney Miller and Valérie Frappier
Undercurrents is a trio of billboard installations and public presentations curated by Courtney Miller and Valérie Frappier that align with September’s lunar cycle. Drawing influence from nearby Niigaani-gichigami/Lake Ontario as lifebody, Tkaronto’s/Toronto’s lakefront is a confluence of rivers, a meeting place for Indigenous societies for over 11,000 years. While settler histories of this area are well documented, Indigenous and Black perspectives are often submerged.
Calling attention to themes of water, memory, and history, the project centres Black and Indigenous embodied knowledges and attempts to re-map current-day understandings of Toronto. Undercurrents works with local artists to bring their viewpoint and perspectives to the forefront. The programming will occur in coordination with the new moon, half moon, and full moon phases, which encourages the audience to consider the past, present, and future in cyclical time. By contemplating the ebb and flow of water with the moon as muse, Undercurrents uncovers a more expansive history of Tkaronto/Toronto.
About the curators
Toronto-based Courtney Miller and Valérie Frappier are two emerging curators as well as cultural workers and writers. Our collective interests include land-based art practices approached from an anti-colonial feminist perspective. As a curatorial duo of both a recent newcomer to Toronto and someone who grew up in its suburbs, we cultivated a shared interest in uncovering histories of the land on which we now live and work. Citing re-mapping strategies as a collaborative practice, our curatorial work aims to challenge colonial narratives while centering embodied knowledges and realigning with natural cycles.
Blue Guerilla with Toronto Green Community
Blue Guerrilla is a series of hands-on training and urban exploration walks to understand, reclaim and celebrate nature in our city by learning about water.
September 26, 6:30pm
Building medicine gardens: Facilitated by Alexandra Langford-Pezzo, owner of L.P Design. This training will introduce you to Traditional and Neo-Traditional medicine wheel gardens and their healing properties, starting by plants that you can find at the Bentway. RSVP >>
October 3, 6:30pm
Lost Rivers and Found Stories – A Lost Rivers and Rivers Rising walk: Join us to learn about the multiple creeks that once flowed throughout the Bentway neighbourhoods and the told and untold stories about these creeks and the people who lived near them. RSVP >>
October 10, 6:30pm
Building Earth-friendly landscapes: Facilitated by RAINscapeTO. This workshop will present you with easy steps that you can implement at home – whether you live in a house or in a condo- to reconnect with the land, protect the lake, attract pollinators and even grow food. RSVP >>
About Toronto Green Community
Toronto Green Community (TGC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire, facilitate and support diverse communities in developing an environmentally sustainable city through education, engagement and joint neighbourhood initiatives. TGC operates as an umbrella organization for a wide range of initiatives, including established programs such as Lost Rivers and emerging social enterprises like RAINscapeTO and Rivers Rising. TGC keeps renewing its commitment with environmental, economic and social justice through the nurturement of new businesses led by young entrepreneurs from diverse communities, such as L.P. Design, a firm specialized in creating indigenous gardens with healing properties.