The latest installment of the Big on Bloor Festival promises to be bigger, better and much more fun, according to its director Dougal Bichan, perhaps a little tongue in cheek.
“And, it’s not going to rain,” he quipped to The Villager.
While the eighth year won’t be drastically different than last, the festival boasts more art projects and interactive activities, Bichan pointed out.
Declared one of the city’s top 20 festivals by BlogTO, Big on Bloor is billed as a two-day, car-free summer street celebration of arts, culture and small business. As many as 80,000 people attend the festival, which takes place in Bloordale Village, along Bloor Street West between Dufferin Street and Lansdowne Avenue.
“It’s wonderful, you go down there on the Saturday afternoon, which is probably the busiest and Bloor Street is side-to-side people. It’s full, but not uncomfortably so,” Bichan said.
This year, the event takes place Saturday, August 22 from 1 p.m. until 10 p.m. and on Sunday, August 23, from noon until 6 p.m.
Festival founder, Dyan Marie, is designing new street banners for the festival that’s divided into two sections, ‘Joy’ and ‘Jouez’ meaning play in French. Joy includes such activities and projects as a “Traffic Tapestry.” Participants can help create large scale paintings using stamps of car, bike parts and shoes; Share Bloordale – festival-goers are encouraged to colour a ‘Walk, Ride and Drive’ safety backpack and it is theirs to keep for free; and a “Zoossemobile,” which is a music-orchestra-bicycle-joy-machine and play station for participants to create music with.
Meanwhile, Jouez, includes a cameraless workshop – suitable for the entire family (ages four and up). Materials like film, markers, projector and artists are provided while festival goers are invited to create under giant tents their own unique drawings and film loops.
In addition to all the activities, there are “a number of musical groups,” like New Civilization, a reggae cover band, and Pantayo, an all-women gong ensemble based in Toronto.
Big on Bloor will provide the opportunity to showcase Bloordale’s recent streetscape improvements.
“It wasn’t all finished last year. This year, it’ll be nice to have it all done,” Bichan said.
The festival, he stressed, is fun for the whole family.
“There are all kinds of activities people can get involved in,” Bichan said.
To find out more, visit www.bigonbloorfestival.com