Founded by Andy Moro and Gabriella Caruso in 2002, Red Pepper Spectacle Arts is a storefront at 160 Baldwin Street in busy Kensington Market. Red Pepper has worked with community members to provide resource-sharing and collaboration opportunities in diverse media. Red Pepper’s Kensington Market Winter Solstice, which attracts over 10, 000 people annually, is entering its 21st year.
Both Andy and Gabriella have backgrounds in production design and have worked as professional artists, especially with children and youth. They initially worked with Ida Carnevali at the Kensington Carnival before inheriting it fifteen years ago. Red Pepper has programming partnerships with Tumivut Youth Shelter,the Native Men’s Residence, First Nations School, and many other community-engaged organizations, due to Andy and Gabriella wanting to put the tools of creative activity back into people’s hands.
Andy says, “Ironically, the festival is successful because we are not trying to make it so. It is a community event with social activism and people taking charge.”
Ironically, the festival is successful because we are not trying to make it so. It is a community event with social activism and people taking charge.
Some of Red Pepper’s community-level partners will be participating at the festival, such as the Gaa Dibaatjimat Ngashi , in which a youth group will perform a scenario. Andpva will also be performing at the festival with shadow puppets.
“Many cultures mark the time of the solstice each year by having a gathering or a meal. The solstice event is connected to all of us,” says Andy.
Many cultures mark the time of the solstice each year by having a gathering or a meal. The solstice event is connected to all of us.
This year the Kensington Market Winter Solstice will be taking place on December 21, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. at Oxford and Augusta, and the procession will continue towards Alexandra Park. The lunar eclipse will take place 10 minutes after the start of the parade. Everyone is invited to wear costumes, bang drums, and carry puppets and lanterns!
Make your own candle-lit lantern to carry at Red Pepper’s Kensington Market Winter Solstice! Join Red Pepper on December 12 between 11-6 p.m. in the Steelworkers Hall at 25 Cecil St. to learn the how-to’s of lantern-making. Children must be accompanied. This is a pay-what-you-can event.
Aasana Sri is the Fall/Winter 2010 Communications Intern at the Toronto Arts Foundation.