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Towers, Trees & Creativity

Jul 30, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 25, 2012

The Bridging Festival returns for a third year to the Kingston-Galloway/Orton Park (KGO) neighborhood, presenting free family-friendly arts and environmental activities. Presented by Scarborough Arts, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA), Park People, Live Green Toronto, East Scarborough Storefront, City of Toronto and in partnership with the recently launched Tower Neighbourhood Renewal project, this annual festival in Kingston-Galloway/Orton Park is a celebration of arts, environment and community.

The festival kicks off on the evening of Friday, August 24 at The East Scarborough Storefront, 4040 Lawrence Ave East, with an outdoor film screening, free baked goods and communal decoration of the site. The festival continues on Saturday, August 25 with seven hours of family friendly fun. In the parking lot of The Storefront and neighboring residential towers, attendees will be treated to a community BBQ, entertained with performances of dance, music and poetry, and invited to join in participatory arts activities organized by Scarborough Arts.

"Art is a great connector that can transcend all sorts of barriers - cultural, language, age, even physical. We have been thrilled to see the variety of individuals and groups that came together at the first two Bridging events, and can't wait to see what happens in 2012". Tim Whalley, Executive Director, Scarborough Arts

Meanwhile, in the green space above and below the bridge, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) will be leading enviro-themed activities including an eco-scavenger hunt, making wildflower seed balls, and showcasing Highland Watershed Neighbourhood Greening Plans recently developed for three pilot project areas with community members.

"The local ravine, accessible through Morningside Park, is a perfect classroom for environmental education. This festival creates a fun opportunity for raising awareness of local biodiversity and actions we can each take to help improve the health of the Highland Creek and our local neighbourhoods." - Keri McMahon, Project Manager, Toronto and Region Conservation

Inaugurated in 2010, The Bridging Festival is a community arts and culture festival which aims to bring communities together in this culturally vibrant neighbourhood while celebrating local leadership, creativity and diversity. Legacies from the first two events are still evident in the colorful murals painted on the pillars supporting underneath, and on the long concrete walls along the walkway on top of the Lawrence Avenue Bridge. Photos and videos of the past events can be found here: http://scarborougharts.com/subtext-festival-2011-2010/

For the 2012 event, The Bridging Festival draws on a number of local resources: the growing network of local residents involved in neighborhood revitalization through the Tower Neighborhood Renewal project, the vast green space of Morningside Park in the Highland Creek valley and the deeply rooted community networks of participating partners. Capitalizing on the universal appeal of music, art, food and nature, the festival aims to improve community spirit and engagement, create new local networks, support local artists and community members and improve the liveability of the area.

"The Bridging Festival is a great way to engage local community members, which is what the Tower Renewal project is all about - bringing residents out of their high-rise apartments onto the street, where they can meet each other and get involved

" - Jaime Elliott-Ngugi, Coordinator, Special Projects, East Scarborough Storefront

The Bridging Festival is generously supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage, City of Toronto, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and Intact Financial Group. TRCA's Highland Creek Neighbourhood Greening Project has been made possible through funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The Tower Neighborhood Renewal project is funded through the United Way.

For more information, call 416-698-7322, email festivals@scarborougharts.com or visit www.scarborougharts.com.

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Media contacts:

Benedict Lopes, Program Director, Scarborough Arts 416-698-7322 | programs@scarborougharts.com

Jaime Elliott-Ngugi, Coordinator, Special Projects, East Scarborough Storefront 416-208-9889 | specialprojects@thestorefront.org

Rowena Calpito, Supervisor, Media Management, Toronto and Region Conservation 416-661-6600 ext 5632| Mobile 416-358-3446 | rcalpito@trca.on.ca

The Bridging FestivalFriday August 24, 7 pm - 9 pm

Saturday August 25, 10 am - 5 pmEast Scarborough Storefront, 4040 Lawrence Avenue East, Toronto  www.scarborougharts.com

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Media contact:

Elizabeth Oakley
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5856
media@trca.on.ca

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