Beaches Jazz gets even more colourful this summer
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Jul 09, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

Beaches Jazz gets even more colourful this summer

Trillium grant allows local festival to establish four new multi-arts programs


The 27th annual Beaches International Jazz Festival kicked off Wednesday, July 8 with the Pan Am Welcome Series for the Games and its athletes/officials at Billy Bishop Airport. Musical groups will entertaining guests with jazzy tunes at the island airport until Friday, July 10; the opening day of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.
Beach Mirror

A new fine arts component is making its debut at this year’s Beaches International Jazz Festival (BIJF).

As a result of a two-year, $96,400 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Beaches jazz is offering four new free and accessible multi-art programs for children, teens and adults.

They include: the Youth Arts Exhibition, the Youth Mural Program, the BIJF Community Mural Workshops and the Youth Curatorial Program.

The non-juried Youth Arts Exhibition, which features works of art by 64 high school students age 14 to 18 from across the GTA on the theme ‘How does music inspire you?’, will be held at Above Ground Art Supplies’ Beach location at 1842 Queen St. E. as well as at its downtown Toronto store at 74 McCaul St. until Monday, July 20.

An opening reception is set for tonight (Thursday, July 9) from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Beach.

The Youth Mural Program, which kicked off last September and wrapped up at the end of June, involved students from Adam Beck Junior Public School, Balmy Beach Community School, Beaches Alternative Public School, Bowmore Road Junior and Senior Public School, Crescent Town Elementary School, Earl Haig Public School, George Webster Elementary School, Gledhill Junior Public School, Kew Beach Junior Public School, Kimberley Junior Public School, Norway Junior Public School, Secord Elementary School and William J. McCordic School creating murals on the themes of diversity, community and music with the assistance of professional artist/instructor, Nicole DiNardo.

The works of art were painted on both school walls as well as on panels installed at the 13 east-end schools.

They were also replicated as 24” by 36” pieces, which will be displayed at 33 businesses in the Beach as well as at the Beaches Library from Friday, July 10 to Thursday, July 30.  

“I really enjoyed working with the schools,” said Joanna Katchutas, curator of the BIJF’s multi-arts and photography programs. “It was a really great experience working with the students, the teachers and the principals. Everybody was really welcoming to us and there was lots of learning for everyone.”

During a recent interview, Katchutas said all of the students involved in the program are “super excited” to have their colourful creations on display during the upcoming jazz festival.

After BIJF, the artwork will head to Scarborough General Hospital where it will be displayed in ‘The Artist Walkway’ at the hospital’s main campus at 3050 Lawrence Ave. E. from Sunday, Aug. 23 until Thursday, Oct. 8. Afterward, the pieces will be permanently hung throughout the hospital.

The third program, the BIJF Community Mural Workshops for adults and children, will be taking place the weekends of July 11 and 12 and July 18 and 19 from noon to 6 p.m. daily at Woodbine Park.

De Anne Lamirande will be serving as the leader of adult mural workshops, which will be held at the Pan Am Celebration Indie Stage July 11 and 12 as well as at the Party Island Stage July 18 and 19.  

The children’s workshop leader is Nicole D’Amario. She’ll be offering mural workshops for kids near the main stage area all four days.

“We really want the community to come and paint live to the music with our qualified instructors,” Katchutas said. “It’s going to be lots of fun and everyone should come and try it.”

Once the festival is over, the murals will be donated to Toronto East General Hospital Foundation for permanent installation at the local hospital.

The final initiative – the Youth Curatorial Program – is an opportunity for high school students ages 14 to 18 to earn their mandatory 40 community service hours by volunteering during Beaches jazz. Volunteers are still needed to help curate the Youth
Mural Program as well as assist with the Community Mural Workshops at Woodbine Park.

“It’s a really fun way to volunteer,” she said.

For more information or to help out, email

This year’s BIJF will also include the return of the sixth annual Jazz in Motion Photography Exhibition.

This juried photography display, which will feature images that best define the essence of jazz music, jazz musicians and the audience that supports them, will be held at Above Ground Art Supplies’ Beach location from Thursday, July 23 to Monday, Aug. 10. The exhibition‘s grand opening is set for Thursday, July 23 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The application deadline is Friday, July 10 at 11:59 p.m. Email to apply.

Visit for more details about the BIJF Community-Based Multi-Arts Initiatives for 2015.

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