The Bentway proudly launches its inaugural Community Incubation Program to animate The Bentway’s grounds, strengthen community ties, and to increase visibility to community organizations and interests. A variety of community organizations, artists, designers, urbanists, and environmentalists were invited to submit proposals for accessible, participatory, and responsive programming to engage local residents and visitors alike.
The Bentway’s Community Incubation Program was designed to assist emerging individuals and organizations to incubate, innovative, and engage community programs. The Bentway’s personality will be co-created with these surrounding communities and organizations. The Community Incubation Program is overseen by The Bentway’s Community Advisory Committee, whose role it is to ensure that The Bentway remains relevant, inclusive, connected, and responsive to its local community.
The first four projects selected by the Community Advisory Committee jury honour The Bentway’s’ Fall curatorial theme, “If, But, What If?” and include:
I/O Movement – This is Our Place
Caterwaul Theatre – Bent Shadows
Central Events – Central Talks
Michelle Creates and Manic Media – The Bentway Variety Show
I/O Movement is a contemporary dance project specializing in site-specific performance. This is Our Place is a public dance residency and a call for artists to activate an urban core. Exploring the importance of civic art, five emerging dance artists will be assigned a portion of The Bentway, and over five rehearsal days will create a site-responsive performance. The culminating performance of
This is Our Place will be an immersive participatory event.
Caterwaul Theatre produces innovative and immersive storytelling in puppetry, analog projection and stop-motion film. Bent Shadows is a shadow puppet narrative that responds to the history of Fort York and The Bentway through digital “bent vignettes” depicting the evolution of Toronto and the relationship of its natural history to Toronto’s man-made industry.
Central is Toronto’s urban issues conference series. Central will be presenting a series of talks at The Bentway delving into past, present, and future urban issues. Topics are meant to be evocative, exploring alternate histories, potential futures, and fanciful ideas like “what if Toronto continued affordable housing trends from the 1970s?””
The Bentway Variety Show, presented by Michelle Creates and Manic Media, asks the question, “what if we lived in a city where we could talk freely about our mental health?” Through stand-up comedy, improv, sketch, buskers, and musical performances, The Bentway Variety Show will tackle the stigma surrounding mental health and wellness issues, and encourage conversation and performances from the audience as well.
Each of the successful applicants has received financial and in-kind support from The Bentway, as well as capacity building workshops, supplementary marketing and promotion, and invaluable community connections.
The Community Incubation Program begins with Central Talks on Tuesday, September 18, Tuesday, September 25 and Tuesday, October 2.
For more information and a full performance schedule, please visit TheBentway.ca
The Bentway is supported by the City of Toronto and the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund (an agency of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport).
About The Bentway
The Bentway is a unique and innovative public space that transforms 1.75km underneath Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway into a new gathering place for our city’s growing population.
The Bentway knits together seven local neighbourhoods with over 70,000 residents, becoming a gateway to the waterfront, while providing access to important attractions and destinations – from Fort York National Historic Site, Ontario Place and Exhibition Place to Harbourfront Centre and the CN Tower. The Bentway offers year-round activities and events, including gardens, a skate trail, recreational amenities, public markets, public art, special exhibitions, festivals, theatre and musical performances, and more. The initial phase of The Bentway is open to the public. Stretching from Strachan Avenue in the west to just east of Bathurst Street underneath the Gardiner Expressway, this section of The Bentway is located on the lands of Fort York National Historic Site, recognized by the Government of Canada as a site of national significance.
The Bentway is maintained, operated, and programmed by The Bentway Conservancy. The project was made possible through the collaboration of a range of city-builders and experts, including the City of Toronto, Waterfront Toronto, Judy and Wilmot Matthews, Ken Greenberg Consultants, PUBLIC WORK, Fort York National Historic Site, and Artscape. The Bentway is a proud member of the High Line Network, an international network of projects that transform underutilized infrastructure into new urban landscapes.
The Bentway Skate Trail, the first part of Phase 1 of The Bentway construction, officially launched on Saturday, January 6, 2018. The completion of Phase 1, featuring the opening of the grand Strachan Gate, will take place on Saturday, August 25, 2018.
About Fort York National Historic Site
Fort York National Historic Site is one of 10 Toronto History Museums operated by the City of Toronto. Since 1793, Fort York has been an important military location and is where Toronto was founded as an urban place. Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, this 43-acre heritage conservation district is home to Canada’s largest collection of original War of 1812 buildings. Fort York offers permanent exhibits and immersive multimedia displays at the Visitor Centre, ongoing programming and events, site tours, military displays, historic cooking demonstrations, and the annual Indigenous Arts Festival. Fort York National Historic Site is also home to the first phase of The Bentway. For more information, visit http://www.toronto.ca/fortyork.