This evolving art installation, our 8th annual show at Cedar Ridge, was a collaboration between artists of the Community Arts Guild and community members from East Scarborough, as well as people from Toronto and beyond.
The theme of this project was learning about lesser-known histories of East Scarborough and Toronto, with an intention to animate the outdoors and inside of Cedar Ridge Creative Centre with art making sparked by the stories that we learned.
Outside In was also about getting to know the grounds and seeing how the site inspires and informs the artwork that we create. Our activities were part of research and development for a large-scale community-engaged theatre performance on the grounds at Cedar Ridge, which we aim to present in the fall of 2018.
The focus of the show is local history and stories. We are guided by the desire and necessity to put Cedar Ridge and the immediate neighbourhood in context/perspective with histories of the area, including First Nations history and tradition, and stories of migration and different cultural narratives that residents and artists carry with them to this place. A relevant narrative thread is the numerous transformations this area has undergone: from indigenous to settler, rural to suburban, white European immigrants to immigrants from diverse cultural backgrounds, suburb to megacity. Questions of rootedness vs. transience, safety, home, and imagining our collective hopes and dreams for this neighbourhood are important themes.