Tag Archives: toronto

Dancing Bears and Downward Dogs

4 Feb

Yoga promotional banner
Many of the visitors who have taken advantage of our docent-run museum tours, may have witnessed an impressive physical feat captured in stone.  The Dancing Bears we have on display in our collection are excellent examples of Pauta Saila’s artistic talent because these large, heavy bears balance themselves ON ONE FOOT!

I don’t know if you have ever tried to stand on one leg for any length of time, but personally I can easily tip over from the faintest breeze. And anytime I take a school tour past these sculptures I try to strengthen whatever muscles I have and beat my balance time (my record is 40 seconds and the kids always beat it FYI).

This little activity has spawned a few other games and fun facts, like our SCVNGR challenge where you take a picture of your best dancing bear pose for some online points, or “Did you know” polar bear trivia about how they walk with their toes pointed outwards and slightly to the side.

As of this past Sunday, we took it one step further and actually introduced a brand new public program in partnership with Moksha Yoga Danforth. Under the instruction of Megan Hoskins, MIA staff and volunteers piloted a yoga class inside the museum and right next to the famous dancing bears. Being surrounded by art, seeing the sun rise over the water outside our windows, and gently moving into the different stances was so incredibly relaxing I started to wonder why I hadn’t gone to yoga classes earlier.

While I won’t go so far as to call myself a yogi quite yet, that quite meditation time and learning more about muscles I’ve left unnoticed is something I am definitely interested in continuing. And with the successful pilot, the museum is going to repeat this invigorating experience!

For the remainder of February, Instructor Elenanor Berenson will lead an addition session from 8:30-9:30am in the MIA Pedestal Gallery. Admission is $10, or $8 for students and members.

Anyone who is interesting in participating can register here and is reminded to bring their own mat (and blocks if you prefer to use them for certain poses).

I’m confident that Megan’s helpful hints have already helped my balance issue, but just to be safe, I won’t be offended if we’re not mat buddies haha!

– Posted by Brittany Holliss, MIA’s Visitor Services Officer

Moksha yoga instructor in front of the contemporary inuit art case.


Construction Heads Up Part 8: Cutting Curbs

21 Oct

For the past few months we’ve been updating you all about some of dramatic changes that will be taking place around the Waterfront area. Lately there has been a lot more activity and the construction has become much more noticeable.

Here’s a quick over view of what you can expect to see happening this week, and what will be taking place in the future.

  • crews will start cutting concrete curbs, beginning at 350 Queens Quay and working east to York Street
  • construction noise will be audible but will fall within the City’s Construction Noise Bylaw
  • two-way traffic will continue on Queens Quay but localized lane restrictions should be expected in the work zone
  • Short stretches (30m) of a single east bound and west bound lane, adjacent to the TTC corridor, will be closed to traffic but will be restored for both east and westbound traffic at the end of each day
  • Fast fence has been erected along the length of sidewalk adjacent to the Westin Hotel
  • for pedestrians, there will be minimal route disruptions as crews will be predominately working from the curbside eastbound traffic
  • Between Bay St. and York St., crews will start placing well points in preparation of dewatering
  • traffic barrels and security cones will be used and paid duty police officers will be on-site (as necessary) to direct traffic

Throughout all the road work, MIA will remain open for visitors and continue to host regular hours (daily from 10-6pm) and in an effort to bypass some of the more disruptive traffic changes, we’ve created a pedestrian friendly map and the new TTC streetcar routes in order to help plan your visit.

You can see the original construction notice here, or visit the website for more information.

– Posted by: Brittany Holliss, MIA’s Visitor Services Officer

Photo-shoots and Puppy Poses

5 Sep

Summer might be winding down, but the Harbourfront is still busy, busy, busy.
The latest event to hit the Queen’s Quay Terminal is Haute Dog -a three day event filled with puppies and free stuff!

This event is a new one for the area. Geared towards families and their dogs, Haute Dog will be hosting different activities and shows from September 7-9th. You’ll be able to ask Dr. Slav Debski, D.V.M about for tips and advice relating to your puppy’s health and wellness, get caricatures of you and your pet, and participate in a pet photo-op for FREE!

And thanks to Sobeys, when you buy a hot dog and drink, $1 of every purchase will be donated to the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides.

You can see the full schedule here.

We’re really excited to see everyone and their pets come by the Waterfront, and you’ll be able to enter to win your own MIA colouring book for free as part of the event. Just a gentle reminder, though: even though we love dogs, animals (with the exception of all service animals) will not be able to come into the museum for a visit.

-Posted by: Brittany Holliss, MIA’s Visitor ServicesOfficer

Construction Heads Up Part 7: Rain, Rain, Go Away…

12 Aug

Sheltered view of our rainy Queens Quay Terminal.

For those brave enough to risk a day out during this temperamental weather we’ve got you covered with another construction update.

Continuing from last week, all transit priority signals have been deactivated along Queens Quay. This includes the signal at the York/Queens Quay intersection which was repaired last week.

TTC crews also will continue to work within the Harbourfront portal where they have been removing overhead wiring on the portal’s exit/entry ramp located just west of Bay St. Once again, trucks and crews will occupy the track right-of-way and ramp area during this work. This means that there will be NO DISRUPTIONS to pedestrian or vehicle access along Queens Quay. That being said, streetcars continue to be out of service and have been replaced by shuttle buses.

Now if only we could get the weather to cooperate…

You can see the original construction notice here, or visit the website for more information.

– Posted by: Brittany Holliss, MIA’s Visitor Services Officer

Meet Master Artist Jaco Ishulutaq!

9 Aug

Ever wanted to see exactly how sculptures are made? Want to know what working within the co-operative system is like? Are you a fan of Jaco Ishulutaq’s work? Well, now’s your chance! Jaco is coming to the museum and will be here from August 15 – 19 as part of our programming for Planet IndigenUS.

Jaco Ishulutaq working in the Arctic

Jaco Ishulutaq working in the Arctic. Courtesy of RJ Ramrattan/Canadian Arctic Producers

You may remember Jaco from earlier this year when I was able to chat with him via Skype as part of our Conversation Series. He is a technically skilled master sculptor from Panniqtuuq (Pangnirtung) whose work tells important stories about his community and his life. There are lots of opportunities to meet him, speak with him and see how he works next week, so mark your calendars!

Wednesday August 15:
2 PM – 3 PM: Complimentary Public Talk, “Art Making in Canada’s North”

Jaco  and I will discuss the challenges and rewards of making art in the Arctic. Visitors will have a chance to ask him their own questions and talk with him about his career. Register in advance at Eventbrite or on Facebook!

Thursday August 16

2 PM – 3 PM: Complimentary Opening of “Working Together: The Cooperative Influence” Special Exhibition

I will give an introduction to and brief tour of the museum’s latest special exhibition, “Working Together: The Cooperative Influence” which examines the important role Inuit owned and operated cooperatives have played in the development of art made by Inuit.  Jaco will discuss his experiences working within the cooperative system in Panniqtuuq before opening the floor to questions. Visitors will then have the opportunity to meet the artist. Register in advance on Eventbrite or on Facebook!

Friday August 17

2 PM – 3 PM: Complimentary Public Talk, “Making Art Within the Cooperative System”

Jaco and I will give an overview of the museum’s latest special exhibition “Working Together: The Cooperative Influence” before discussing art made specifically in Panniqtuuq. Panniqtuuq is home to an internationally acclaimed weaving studio, print studio and many sculptors. Visitors will then have the opportunity to ask Ishulutaq their questions and meet the artist. Register in advance on Eventbrite or on Facebook!

7 PM – 9 PM MIA Gallery Collectors’ Night

The MIA Gallery will host its weekly collectors’ night, introducing participants to art made by Inuit and the Inuit art market. MIA’s Director of Education Alysa Procida will begin with a brief tour of the museum, followed by a brief talk by MIA’s Gallery Director Christine Platt about the important features of the Inuit art market. Then, artist Jaco Ishulutaq will discuss his experiences making art and his works on display in the gallery. Participants will then have the ability to browse the gallery and speak with Ishulutaq directly. Tickets are $10 and can be reserved in advance at http://miagallerycollectorsnight.eventbrite.com/.

Saturday August 18

12:30 PM -5 PM: Sculpture Making Demonstration – Complimentary

Master carver Jaco Ishulutaq will demonstrate his art making techniques by completing a sculpture just outside the Museum of Inuit Art at Queen’s Quay Terminal. From 12:30 PM to 5 PM, visitors are welcome to visit Ishulutaq while working and discuss his art and techniques with him. The carving demonstration will take place outside MIA’s south entrance on the southwest corner of Queen’s Quay Terminal facing Lake Ontario. Register in advance on Eventbrite or on Facebook!

We hope to see you there!

Posted by: Alysa Procida, MIA’s Director of Education, Operations and Outreach

Support for these events has been generously provided by Canadian Arctic Producers and the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association.

Construction Heads Up Part 6: Civic Holiday and Cable Installation

5 Aug

So how many people took the wrong bus to the Harbourfront at least once this week?
Be honest…
*Raises hand* (In my defense, not all of us are “Morning People”)

Hopefully everyone is getting used to the new shuttle bus system that has replaced the 509 and 510 street cars that run from Union Station to York Street. If you need a little refresher, check out our previous posting that includes a short video produced by the TTC and shows some of the traffic changes taking place.

As for this long weekend …
No road work on Monday! Yipee!!

But once this civic holiday has passed, it’s back to business.

For the week  of August 7-10th you’ll still catch a glimpse of workers removing the overhead wiring from the portal to just East of Spadina Avenue. The crew and their trucks will be occupying the track right-of-way but there should be no pedestrian disruption. Vehicle traffic will experience short “holds” when crews cut the span wires  that extend to curbside poles but this delay should only last about five minutes.

Another vehicle disruption will take place on both August 9th and 10th when Bell crews begin to install new copper and fibre cables. To facilitate this construction, a localized single-lane closure will take place on the North side of the street (in the Westbound curb lane) just East of Lower Simcoe from 9am-4pm. Both temporary barriers and duty officers will be in the area to direct traffic.

And, as always, you can read the official construction update here.
Might I suggest reading it in a well air conditioned place with plenty of  icy water.

Hope you (and those construction workers) find a way to keep cool and have a great long weekend!

– Posted by: Brittany Holliss, MIA’s Visitor Services Officer

Planet IndigenUS: Celebration of Nations . . . We Are All From Somewhere

29 Jul

The Harbourfront is a pretty busy place during the summer, and this August another major event will be taking place: Planet IndigenUS!

For the past month, visitors to the Harbourfront will have seen a lot of these posters advertising for the third installment of Planet IndigenUS – the largest multidisciplinary, contemporary, international Indigenous arts festival in the world. The title of this years festival, “Celebration of Nations . . . we are all from somewhere . . .” was chosen in the hopes that everyone who attends the events would find their “Indigenous” place within themselves and relate to the idea that we are all “from somewhere”.

Taking place between August 11-19th, this festival is a 10-day celebration featuring countless contemporary cultural leaders in visual arts, crafts, film, dance, theatre, music, storytelling, and much more in order to share a vision for a future filled with power and renewal. The idea is to challenge perceptions about what it means to be Indigenous in the modern world, show the important roles contemporary Indigenous artists play in our society, and create a dialogue via the sights and sounds of the featured artists and performers.

To get things started, the opening evening will be hosted by hip hop artist and CBC radio producer/host Wab Kinew and actress Sarah Podemski with featured performances by Plex, Pacific Curls, George Leach and Hanggai.

And there is plenty more where that came from!
The MIA has partnered up with the festival and is offering complimentary guided tours throughout the 10-day celebration.
You can also view the full festival schedule by clicking here where all the free events are listed. And don’t forget that you can follow Planet IndigenUS on their Twitter, Facebook Page, or blog.

Should be some great times! Everyone where is certainly looking forward to checking it out – after work of course 😉

– posted by Brittany Holliss, MIA Visitor Services Officer