Arts Etobicoke celebrates 50 years

Jun 20, 2023 | Life

Arts Etobicoke, a local non-profit arts organization, celebrated its 50th anniversary on Saturday.

The event showcased activities such as art exhibitions, live music performances, food and festivities.

On its website Arts Etobicoke is described as promoting inclusivity and creativity in West Toronto. It provides a platform for people from all backgrounds to express themselves through art and culture.

Reflecting on the organization’s 50th anniversary Wendy Rading, Executive Director of Arts Etobicoke said, “As we reflect on the past 50 years, we can’t overlook the transformation that has taken place among the residents of Toronto.”

Rading also emphasized the importance of fostering youth’s creativity, as well as connecting them with peers and providing them with spaces to explore their artistic potential.

“We take immense pride in knowing that we have positively impacted lives through the power of art,” said Rading. “It’s crucial to express gratitude for living in a city that values and supports the arts.”

The event featured a Gelli printing workshop led by Atiya Hasan, and face painters Virginia Franquiz and Carlina Franquiz.

The event also featured live music performances, including Indigenous artist Jared Big Canoe, the Big Smoke Brass band, Afro-Caribbean drumming and dance by Coco Collective, and soulful Latin jazz music by the Luis Anselmi Quartet.

One exhibition called “The Cover Story” showcased 50 original sketchbook covers created by 50 artists.

Bareket Kezwer, a multidisciplinary artist, was one of the 50 artists who designed original Sketchbook cover designs.

“My artwork serves as a playful invitation into the realm of creativity, emphasizing the importance of exploration, experimentation, and the joy of artistic expression”, she said.

Attendees had the chance to bid on unique pieces of art.

Etobicoke Centre MP Yvan Baker and Coun. Stephen Holyday were in attendance.

“In our community, the significance of art cannot be understated, and Art Etobicoke plays a vital role in fostering its importance,” Baker said.

Accessibility to art is crucial, as it has a profound impact on the quality of life, particularly at a local level, he said.

The event also included food trucks such as Venezuelan arepas and What a Jerk!

Akshara Kulkarni, an attendee of the event, called the event an opportunity to share, learn and celebrate.

“Arts Etobicoke creates a space for artistic expression and fostered a sense of unity, highlighting the positive impact it has on individuals and the community as a whole,” she said.