Alvis Choi & Althea Balmes at Mayworks

On now through May 15, the Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts celebrates its 29th season at venues throughout the city.

Alvis Choi and Althea Balmes both served on Reel Asian’s programming committee in 2013 and they have separate shows as part of Mayworks this year.

For her show Before And After, Choi led a three-session workshop with Chinese immigrants on self-representation and expression. The participants created photographic and paper-cut images that tell stories of migrant workers in Toronto. The works are presented alongside Choi’s own research on the topic of Chinese labour in the context of Toronto’s downtown Chinatown.  The exhibition is open to the public Wednesday thru Saturday afternoons (1pm to 5pm) at Unpack Studio (11 Willison Square, behind Gold Stone) until May 23.

Between 2pm & 5pm next Sunday, on Mother’s Day, Balmes’ illustrations will be featured as part of Labour + LOVE: A Celebration of Caregivers, a launch event celebrating the publication of community comic book Kwentong Bayan, a joint venture between Balmes and Jo SiMalaya Alcampo, in collaboration with caregivers & supporters, about the real life stories of Filipina migrant workers. There will be live storytelling, illustration & soundscapes at Beit Zatoun (612 Markham St, across from Honest Ed’s)

Both events are free, but donations to the artists (and to Mayworks) will be gratefully accepted.