by Lucy Allen
Many Torontonians are lining up to get their TIFF tickets this weekend, but tucked away in High Park and Dundas Street West is another festival. It’s the Junction Arts Festival which kicked off last night to an enthusiastic crowd and although it may be smaller than TIFF, it still certainly has a lot to offer.
The festival celebrates local Toronto talent and is great for any lover of the arts or even those who like street festivals in general. Spanning a small chunk of Dundas West, the festival includes various locations to enjoy the entertainment. There’s a little bit of everything to enjoy, including music, spoken-word poetry, visual art displays and various other kinds of performance.
After starting off the night in the main stage area listening to the jazzy tunes of Klezfactor, my show partner Gill and I began to wander around the festival area to take in the sites. We wandered past some spoken word poetry down the street that invited almost anyone to come to the stage to try their hand at it (we didn’t join in the parade although it was fun to watch). Then we found a shop that was displaying some art contributed to the festival which was clearly Gill’s favourite part of the night. The night for us ended with a fashion show showcasing local designs followed by some more poetry readings.
As you can probably tell, it’s almost impossible to rate the night on any one event. There was a lot we wanted to check out that we didn’t end up getting around to and a few events that only happen during the day. What the Junction Arts Festival provides is an enjoyable evening of entertainment. If there’s something that’s not really to your taste, there’s always about four other events that will easily take its place.
If anything, I would have preferred to have a little more information about the artists and acts involved. Often times we would stare at the schedule wondering what to check out next and having no idea what exactly we were wandering to see. But it seems like the best bet is simply to wander around rather than try to schedule any sort of day so it wasn’t too distracting.
There’s two more days of the Junction Arts Festival, which I personally want to check out. The best part about the festival of course is that it’s free so if you’re strapped for cash this is the perfect way to enjoy your day and take in the local culture!
–Junction Arts Festival runs until Sep 12 around 3057 Dundas Street West.
-Entry is free or PWYC to certain events