Magic in the Park for All to Enjoy

Spotlight on Arts in the Parks

The arts make me feel...
“Alive, energetic, happy, connected to myself and to others.”
Jennifer, Arts in the Parks audience member, Etobicoke

CORPUS Dance Projects performing Divine Interventions at an Arts in the Parks event

On a hazy Saturday afternoon in Bell Manor Park, Etobicoke, a crowd of about 35 people gathered at the park’s center in anticipation. Something was about to happen; majestic sounds could be heard in the distance. Harmonized singing and bike bells grew louder and more distinct, and then, five goddesses appeared on a large tandem bike. They approached the audience, gracefully got off their bike and began an ethereal, dramatic and beautiful dance-performance through the park. A year and a half into the pandemic, the audience watched on with smiles on their faces.

A CORPUS production, Divine Interventions was created for these “chaotic” times, intended to “offer a sense of magic, beauty, and the reignited hope that perhaps we are indeed being cared for by something divine.” Through our Arts in the Parks initiative, the show was presented for free on four dates in 2021 in two public parks.

“I believe in making art accessible to all ... Demystifying the experience of going to the theatre is desperately needed, at a time when inflation is high and few people can afford the price of a ticket,” said David Danzon, Artistic Director of CORPUS. By offering free access to hundreds of arts events such as Divine Interventions, Arts in the Parks is giving residents across the city an opportunity to experience the arts in their own neighbourhood.

As the pandemic continues, Arts in the Parks is providing opportunities for artists to create, and audiences to gather safely in an outdoor community setting. “With outdoor performances, many of the fears associated with COVID go away and the experience of theatre/dance can be offered as it was intended to be. It was clear during our Divine Interventions performances that audiences craved real, in person engagement with artists,” said David.

Thanks to the support of our donors and sponsors, our Arts in the Parks initiative continues to inspire audiences with timely and engaging arts events, presented in parks, for free.

This story appears in the 2021 Toronto Arts Foundation Annual Report