“Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.”
-Henry David Thoreau
The leaves are falling, crisp autumn sun is shining, and CYCLOPS is retiring our trusty blue two-wheeled steeds for the winter. Having closed the season with the most dreadful Night of Dread in Clay & Paper Theatre history, the Puppet Squad is reflecting on the past six months’ hard work and creativity. We did a lot, beginning with the Group Commute and the launch of Bike Month back in May, through to the Herstories Cafe in August, September Pedestrian Sunday in Kensington Market and the frigid mid-October Tweed Ride, with Buskerfest and a little thing called The Pedaler’s Wager in between… what a ride it has been! We hope you saw and enjoyed our work or spotted us on the street. Drop us a line if you wish to support this project in future – stay tuned for 2012!
Tips for the many of us who continue to ride the streets of Toronto during the winter months from Bicycle.net: Winterizing Your Bike!
We’d like to extend our sincerest gratitude to The Trillium Foundation and the many many supporters and volunteers who have worked with us this year. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Here’s a fantastic video of the highlight of the Night of Dread 2011:
September is whistling past and preparations for this year’s Night of Dread are underway! We have some exciting plans in place for this year’s event and we need your help to bring it all together. This will be the 12th annual yearly festival of facing our fears, to be held on October 29th 2011. We are holding open workshops through September and October, and you’re invited: build a mask, puppet, or shrine, or help us build the effigy of the Year’s Great Fear! OR if you are interested in helping us on the Night itself, WE WANT YOU! Please read below for a variety of volunteer roles we are looking to fill.
Email email@example.com to get involved!
Workshop Schedule: (at the Field House and/or Rink House)
Saturday, September 24th —-12 – 4PM
Thursday, September 29th—–5 – 9PM
Friday, September 30th———5 – 9PM
Monday, October 3rd———–5 – 9PM
Tuesday, October 4th————5 – 9PM
October 5th – 28th:
Wednesday – Friday 5 – 9PM
Saturday and Sunday 11AM – 7PM
Wednesday & Thursday September 26 & 27: Volunteer Orientation 6:30pm, Dufferin Grove Park
SATURDAY OCTOBER 29th – NIGHT of DREAD!
- Technical assistants for sound, lighting, set and stage management
- Masked Paraders
- Parade marshals
- Money Catchers (truly important for Clay & Paper Theatre)
- Bread Givers
- Clean Up Crew (everyone’s favorite people)
Join us for the twelfth annual Night of Dread, Clay & Paper Theatre’s invitation to the community to parade our private and collective fears through the darkened streets of Toronto. The hour-long procession returns to Dufferin Grove Park for an evening of ceremonial festivities that compel us to call on, mock and banish the fears that unite and divide us in these tumultuous times.
Night of Dread is an unforgettable evening of pageantry, music and masquerade incorporating towering puppets, stilt dancers, fire-spinners and fearful masks in a daring exploration of dread.This much-beloved community celebration incorporates international folk and theatrical traditions, drawing inspiration from festivals of death and remembrance around the world. Come dance in the streets with our city’s finest musicians, puppeteers, dancers and stilt walkers; together we’ll laugh at our fears, waltz with death, eat the bread of the dead, and remember those who have gone from our midst.
Clay & Paper has many costumes and puppets available for the public to wear in the parade; come early to the Dufferin Rink House to avoid disappointment!
4 PM: Parade begins assembling at Dufferin Grove
6 PM: Parade departs
Dress Code: Black & white and dreadful all over
Pay-What-You-Can/ $10 Suggested Donation
On Friday, August 26th CYCLOPS attended the Dufferin Grove ‘Sleep-In’, a peaceful overnight gathering that protested recent and proposed changes to recreational, food and arts programming in Dufferin Grove Park. Since early June, the municipal department of Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PFR) has been attempting to strictly regulate ‘the anomalies of Dufferin Grove Park’, because the current programming leaves the city ‘vulnerable and open to major risk factors’. As park-goers may know, Dufferin Grove is an unusually vibrant outdoor commons, largely because of the strong village atmosphere that the many ‘anomalies’ help to cultivate: Pizza ovens, community gardens, artist workshops, farmers’ market, outdoor theatre, Friday night supper, yoga in the park…the list goes on. The full story of how these programs came to be, and how the proposed changes will stifle them, is available at:
City-imposed modifications to Dufferin Park programming affect Clay and Paper Theatre directly and indirectly. For the first time in twelve years, the city has asked artistic director David Anderson to apply for a permit for the annual ‘Night of Dread’ celebration that takes place a week before Halloween. This is an example of where increased municipal regulation of community-run activities in public space can discourage users. Indirectly, the changes affect Clay and Paper because our volunteer, donor and audience populations are drawn from people who attend the park on a regular basis, and who participate in other kinds of park activity. CYCLOPS felt that it was important to attend and perform at the sleep-in as a way of showing solidarity with the Dufferin Grove community.
After a hot and tiring day of performing at Buskerfest and later attending a special critical mass event in honour of Jack Layton’s passing, CYCLOPS was feeling exhausted and ready to go home to eat and sleep. Arriving in Dufferin Grove Park, we considered forgoing our plan to perform at the sleep-in, but our moods changed as soon as we trudged over to the by-donation community supper. The picnic benches by the gardens were teaming with families and couples and single people of all ages, and the evening air was glowing with collective purpose. Across the tiny ravine from the eating area, people had already established a miniature tent city, and children ran around screaming and laughing in hoards.
It was heartening to see an abundance of familiar faces. While I recognized famers’ market vendors and groups of twenty-somethings, the high family attendance seemed particularly demonstrative of the politically active community that surrounds Dufferin Grove. After eating, we retrieved our puppets and our accordion and established ourselves in front of a picnic bench just south of the fire pit. Ellen enthusiastically began to call out for attention, explaining how happy we were to see so many faces that we recognized from our days and evenings preparing, building and performing in the park. We then struck up the chords for a new song written specifically for the occasion of saving Dufferin Grove Park, in all of its non-regulated beauty:
Once there was a city, of which we sing this ditty
The city was pretty, cause it’s full of parks!
Tell me about this city, where is it pretty?
Tell me about the city, and which parks to see!
Of all the places in T-Ohhh
Duffering Grove’s the place to go!
Built by community,
It’s a safe space for you and me.
In this park of plenty,
You can gather ten or twenty,
People by the fire, on any night.
Friday night’s for cookin’,
there’s acrojam and hoopin’
To keep this park a-groovin’ is worth the fight!
Our Big Backyard
Is being threatened by beaurocracy.
Too much red tape
Is tying the hands of community -
Can we keep our park wild & free?
The city’s getting bossy,
Pushing its own posse,
Trying to make it glossy, but we can see!
If the city wants compliance,
We’re gonna show defiance,
Cause we’re keen on self-reliance
Hey, Ana Bailao!
We need you to listen and take a stand.
Listen up, Parks & Rec
Saving Dufferin Grove Park is the plan!
Saving Dufferin Grove Park: Yes we CAN!
Campers listened and smiled, and cheers were particularly welcome after our day of performing to a more distracted crowd at Buskerfest. Afterwards, a woman approached and said, ‘Ana Bailao is listening and taking a stand. I’m Ana Bailao’. The city councillor of our ward continued to state that she is quickly realizing the importance of being the community’s voice in city council, and not the city council’s voice in the community.
The Dufferin Grove sleep-in seems a potent example of where gentle but firm insistence on community values over municipal law raises hearts and destroys apathy. With joy, humour and steadfastness, park-goers enacted the slogan printed on their ‘Dufferin Grove Sleep-In’ t-shirts: ‘Let a Good Thing Be’.
Councillor Ana Bailao says she wants to hear your opinion about the Dufferin Grove changes.
E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her office at 416 392-7012.
Friends, Neighbors, Countrymen! Lend us your company for another fabulous ride along the Don Valley Trails. Please meet us at Sherbourne and Queen’s Quay between 6:30 and 7:00pm for a 7 o’clock departure. Weather permitting of course; if it’s actually raining, we won’t be there. Please follow us on Twitter to get the latest info! We’ll stop somewhere nice up on the creek for a snack and short rest, and then back along the path. Join us for a beautiful ride and even more beautiful company. And don’t forget your lights because it’ll get dusk around 8 or 8:30!
Now that the Pedaler’s have cycled off into the sunset – leaving CYCLOPS spinning in their wake – we’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who came together to make our summer show The Pedaler’s Wager such big a hit. Special thanks to all of our many volunteers and supporters. We couldn’t have done it without you!
With a moment to catch our collective breath, CYCLOPS’ fearless four will spring back into action with a feast of fantastic activities lined-up for the next month. Here’s an overview of our plans.
We’re mobile. We’re decorated. We’re bringing the puppetry to the people!
August 18: Herstories Cafe
An outdoor “history” salon themed “Women and Bicycles” *Free*
Where: Trinity Bellwoods Park – Southwest corner
What: A history of women and bicycles; “Woman and Cycling in Toronto – Fighting for inclusion since 1869″ with speakers Steve Brearton and Evalyn Parry. See the website for more information. This is a special outdoor event and is free for all to attend. We will meet beside the Trinity Bellwoods Recreation center (which is at 155 Crawford Street.) There is a lovely grove of trees, behind Fresh – off of the Crawford entrance. Please meet us there and bring blankets, drinks and food. They will provide some refreshments as well. Weather permitting.
August 20: Leslie Street Spit Group Ride
Join us for an afternoon cycling trip to the Leslie Street Spit.
Where: Meet at Coronation Park
When: Meet at 3:00pm, ride leaves at 3:30pm
What: Bring a buddy, a blanket, and a smile, and remember to wear a helmet and sunscreen. We’ll have a rest and picnic when we get there, and maybe even a little performance treat from the Squad.
Weather permitting: Follow us on Twitter to catch the latest updates.
August 25: Artspin
A multi-disciplinary art crawl style bicycle tour of galleries (commercial, artist run & public), art performances and visits to artist’s studios throughout various downtown Toronto neighbourhoods. *Free*
Where: Starts in Trinity-Bellwoods Park, CYCLOPS location To Be Determined
What: “Each Art Spin tour will feature a new itinerary featuring some of the city’s most exciting artists. Much of our programing includes interactive events that directly involve our audiences, calling upon their creative participation. Art Spin works closely with different community partners to help capture and share the pulse of this city’s vibrant art scene.
The meeting point is the gate to Trinity Bellwoods Park at Queen St. & Strachan, between 6:30 – 7 pm and ending around 9 pm. Art Spin is a free event, and anyone regardless of age or cycling ability is welcome.”
This will be the last Artspin of 2011, congratulations to the organizers for creating such a sucessful series!
August 25 – 28: Scotiabank Toronto Buskerfest
Toronto’s biggest gathering of street performers all in support of Epilepsy Toronto.
Where: Buskerplay Area next to St. Lawrence Market North. Map Link Here
When: Parade at 2:15pm, Show at 2:30pm
What: St. Lawrence Market area shuts down for this incredible gathering of entertainers, artists, dare-devils, and more for four days. It’s one of the best festivals Toronto offers and it’s CYCLOPS first time there! We’ll be presenting a range of songs, puppetry, pageantry and ruckus-raising!
All gate donations go to Epilepsy Toronto: donations to performers, go to performers. Support both if you can!
September 15: Brampton Indie Arts Festival
Artistic Director Friendly Rich Marsella has rounded up the best-of-the-best in underground and experimental musicians, filmmakers, dancers, poets and visual artists for two nights of celebrations. *Free*
Where: Brampton Downtown, of course! Rose Theatre Brampton: Studio Two, Main Stage (Audience and Acts), Lobby and the Fountain Stage in Garden Square. Weather Permitting.
When: Roaming performances from 7 – 9pm
September 16: Scenic Ride #4: Don River Valley
Join us for a scenic evening ride on the river valley trails.
Where: Meet at Sherbourne & Queen’s Quay
When: Meet at 6:30pm, ride leaves at 7pm
What: Join us on this warm summer evening for a casual group excursion to one of Toronto’s most beautiful scenic locations, seen from the most beautiful mode of transportation we know: the bicycle.
Hope to see you out there!
September 17: The Walk & Roll Caravan
A walking, strolling and cycling event to show the viability and vibrancy of active (muscle-powered) transport in Toronto neighbourhoods. The event passes through two neighbourhood street parties and ends at Dufferin Grove Park.
Where: North End of Dufferin Grove Park.
When: 2:oopm September 17
What: The parade will make its way through the Delaware and Havelock St. festivals and back to the park. Why 3km? The average car is used for 2,000 trips each year that are 3 km or less. It’s just as easy to walk, cycle, rollerblade or skateboard those distances! Imagine how much cleaner, safer, and healthier our community would be if we left our cars at home.
September 18: The Bicycle Musical Festival
“Toronto’s second annual pedal-powered, mobile music festival featuring Jeremy Fisher, The Strumbellas, Lenni Jabour, Abigail Lapell, Amélie & Les Singes Blues and more! This is a roaming event that involves a series of outdoor, pedal-powered concerts in three west-end parks on Sunday, September 18th. It all starts at the south end of Trinity Bellwoods Park, where we make a special appearance as part of the Queen West Art Crawl. Audience members will be powering our portable PA system by mounting generator bikes and pedaling away! We then load all our gear and instruments onto bikes and ride as a group to our other two beautiful stops.”
Where: Trinity Bellwoods Park, Fred Hamilton Park, & Dufferin Grove Park. Hey those are the same parks we did The Pedaler’s Wager in!
When: 2:00 – 7:30pm September 18th
What: See the map on their Schedule page for more details. CYCLOPS will be doing 2 short pieces during the afternoon.
August 20th Saturday Group ride to the Leslie Street Spit:
Since the Leslie Street Spit (also Tommy Thompson Park) is closed on weekdays, we have changed the date & time of our next group ride. We’ll still be meeting at Coronation Park, but at 3:00pm on August 20th instead of 6:30 August 19th. We’ll ride together out on the spit, have a little rest, picnic, kite-flying, cavorting, and then a leisurely return inland. We might just present a little performance treat for you to enjoy with us in the park. Everybody cross your fingers for good weather!
Here’s a link to the Friends of the Spit website:
And our route map:
We would like to apologize to the fine folks who came out to our cancelled ride on July 8th. We are very sorry for our absence. Unexpected circumstances in creating The Pedaler’s Wager interfered with the ride. Please let us know if you are joining us on this ride and if you have any suggestions for next time!
The Pedaler’s Wager, Clay & Paper Theatre’s brand new show for 2011, is now playing in Dufferin Grove Park, and more! This show features the CYCLOPS troupe with a host of supporting pedalers and cycling-oriented puppets, props, and sets. This is our second week of performances and the show is only getting better; it plays until August 14, so get yourself to the park for 7pm on a Wednesday through Sunday, or 2pm on a Friday. Now here is an exciting bit; bring your bike on Saturday & Sunday afternoons for the Mobile Matinees. Starting at 2, audience members will see Part 1 in Dufferin Grove Park, then bike to Fred Hamilton Park with the cast for Part 3, and finally to Trinity-Bellwoods Park for Part 3.
Additionally this year in the last two weeks of the run we’ll be integrating accessibility tools for those with low vision or hearing or blindness/deafness. Please join us for this unique and fun use of our public parks! All shows are Pay What You Can. We strive to be accessible to all; and we need your support.
Our summer show, “The Pedaler’s Wager”, is a few weeks away from opening and so we’re sending out the word to our friends and neighbours. It’s going to be an exciting four week run and we’d like to invite you to be a part of it by helping us make it a success.
We’ve got volunteer opportunities coming up during the run of the show at Dufferin Grove Park. We’re presently looking for the ever important FOH volunteers as well as parade coordinators to help guide our audience members between acts during our mobile matinees.
If you have two hours to spare, we’d love to have you spend it with us!
- Audience Relations & Publicity Assistants: July 20 – August 14: Wednesday – Sunday at 7pm - and – Friday – Sunday at 2pm. Volunteers who generally act as front of house – welcoming and inviting passersby and audience members. You’ll learn about the show and the theatre company and be at our FOH table. Other responsibilities include set-up and take down of FOH table, handing out programs, collecting donations, etc…
- Parade Co-ordination Animators: July 23 – August 14: Mobile Matinees on Saturdays & Sundays at 2pm. Volunteers during our mobile matinees who act as Parade Co-ordination Animators will help guide our audience members between acts. The show will begin in Dufferin Grove Park and then travel to Fred Hamilton Park and finally finishing at Trinity Bellwood’s. It’s a great opportunity to bring your bike!
Rehearsals as well as our performances happen at Dufferin Grove Park near the Field house, that’s the small brick building adjacent to the soccer fieldCONTACT INFO: Marek Wojcik Community Outreach Coordinator
Hear ye Hear ye! In a few short weeks we will be presenting our new feature-length summer show, The Pedaler’s Wager. We’ve been working with the intensity of a one-eyed puppeteering monster, creating the puppets and ingenious bicycle-based theatrical elements this show calls for.
Amira here. I’m excited to share with you these photos from our development process. Right now we are in the midst of implementing the action, music and imagery into a narrative, the story David Anderson (Artistic Director) and I have been developing since February. Our amazing Cyclops troupe joined on May 2, and our team of five fantastic students joined us Mid-June. It is highly visual, with a lot of unique puppetry, and it’s going to be really fun. Please enjoy and come to the show if you can!
July 20 – August 14 in Dufferin Grove Park & More
Weds – Sun 7pm & Friday 2pm
Weekend Mobile Matinees, 2pm:
Part 1 Dufferin Grove Park
Part 2 Fred Hamilton Park
Part 3 Trinity-Bellwoods Park
PWYC Suggested $10