Under The Bridge

Today was the second day of the Subtext Multi-Arts Festival, a weekend celebration of arts & culture produced by the Scarborough Arts Council.

The SAC was an important community partner for Reel Asian last year on our commissioned programme, Suite Suite Chinatown, so I wanted to go out and support their event. (And, of course, bring some postcards for the festival!) It was good to reconnect with the SAC’s executive director, Tim Whalley, who remains a strong booster of Reel Asian in Toronto’s eastern reaches.

Held under the Lawrence Avenue East Bridge in Scarborough, the event takes place in a neighbourhood at the far eastern edge of Toronto that is home to a diverse population with lots of Black and South Asian Canadians. Today’s overcast weather may have meant a smaller turnout than yesterday’s crowds, but I still saw plenty of smiling faces at this family-friendly event. Lots of locals just hanging out and enjoying the breakdancing demos/workshops. The murals, thrown up on the bridge’s supporting pillars, were incredibly intricate works of art, and it was especially touching to see the late Jack Layton memorialized as a “Pillar of the Community”.

Congratulations to Tim and the Scarborough Arts Council for putting this ambitious event on in a unique location.  Events like Subtext give the more loosely-knit arts & culture groups in Scarborough an opportunity to come together and share their work, make connections, and show that culture DOES exist outside of the downtown core!