We are honoured to participate in the inaugural Artists in Exile / Tibetans of Toronto Arts & Cultural Festival from September 17-24. Artists in Exile: Tibetans Of Toronto is a weeklong arts festival featuring local Tibetan-born artists Chuchi Dhondup Robatsong, Khydup Gyatso, Lobsang Tenpa, Lungtok Gyatso, and Tsultrim Nyampo.
Having fled their homeland, where their culture has been suppressed by Chinese occupation since the 1950's, these artists have found refuge here in Toronto, home to one of the largest Tibetan exile communities outside of Nepal and India. This festival is a unique opportunity to hear their stories of life in exile and experience artworks steeped in a distinct cultural and spiritual heritage as presented by contemporary Tibetan-born artists.
As part of the Artscape Youngplace open studio event "Recess", we will be kicking off the week's festivities with an Opening Celebration including live performances and traditional Tibetan foods. The week's program will feature a standing art exhibition, butter sculpture workshop, Wild Yaks storytelling event, a meditation session led by a Tibetan Lama, and a Jayu Speaks panel discussion that includes the exhibiting artists and guests.
This festival is produced by the Bureau Of Power And Light art collective, and Andrea Paras, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Guelph.
Here's an updated schedule for the week! Please note that we have added an event on Monday night: "An Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism" with Khenpo Tsultrim Namdak Rinpoche!
Thursday Sept. 17
5:30 pm- 7:00 pm
Come join us under the big tree in front of Artscape Youngplace as we honour the land with a First Nations ceremony led by Kevin Nadjiwon (Anishinabe, Three Fires- Potawatami ,Ojibway, Odawa -Turtle Clan, Member of Batchewana First Nation Band of Ojibways). The tree, representing Tibet, the artists’ homeland, will be adorned with colourful ‘Journey Flags’ that will extend around the building and into the studio window, representing the artists’ treacherous journey through the Himalayas into Nepal, to India and eventually to Toronto.
We will then be led by Lama Tenzin, Sungjang Rinpoche and other local Tibetan Buddhist monks in a procession with the featured artists and Cheri Dinovo (MPP for Parkdale-High Park) into the building with a portrait of His Holiness The Dalai Lama and on into Flex Studio 107. Here, we will be treated to a Tibetan ceremony, a message from Cheri Dinovo and live performances by Dorjee Tsering
(http://smallworldmusic.com/shows/dorjee-tsering/), Phuntsok Rabten (traditional nomad songs), Sonam C. Rito, Tsetan, and friends.
Thank you so much to Kevin Nadjiwon, Sungjang Rinpoche, Cheri DiNovo and all of the performers for joining us in this opening celebration! We are so honoured and grateful!
Join us for the Community Dinner (food provided by Shangrila Cuisine www.facebook.com/yourshangrila) in the Urban Lounge as part of Artscape Youngplace’s “Recess” event, an open-studio extravaganza where you can check out all the different organizations that call Artscape Youngplace home.
Head on back to Flex Studio 107 for a festive evening and more live performances by Dorjee Tsering (http://smallworldmusic.com/shows/dorjee-tsering/), Phuntsok Rabten (traditional nomad songs), Sonam C. Rito, Tsetan, and friends. Music! Circle Dancing and more! Not to be missed!
Saturday Sept 19
Butter Sculpture Workshop
Led by Lobsang Tenpa
Sunday Sept 20
Wild Yaks Storytelling
Khydup Gyatso and friends
Bring the whole family for this exciting storytelling event as Khydup Gyatso and friends bring Tibetan children stories to life! A fun afternoon indeed!
Check out www.wildyaks.com for more of Khydup’s incredible creations and tireless efforts to promote and foster the Tibetan language amongst Tibetan youth.
Monday Sept 21
Introduction To Tibetan Buddhism And Meditation
Led by Khenpo Tsultrim Namdak Rinpoche
Tuesday Sept 22
Jayu Speaks Panel Discussion
Jayu is hosting a panel discussion about traditional and contemporary Tibetan art in exile and the state of traditional art practice within Tibet. This discussion will feature Urgyen Badheytsang(Tibetan activist), Dorjee Tsering(Tibetan musician and performer), Khydup Gyatso(featured artist), Lungtok Gyatso(featured artist) and Andrea Paras(Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University Of Guelph).