Tag Archives: Toronto
The Ontario College of Art and Design will be hosting their annual grad show this weekend, showcasing the work of its 2011 graduating students, from both the Faculty of Art and the Faculty of Design. Why not bring your kids and help inspire the next generation of creative thinkers. With work from over 500 students, there’s bound to be something to please everyone. For more information about “The Show Off”, check out the website.
Create a magical sea world with a textured watercolour background, some fish, a few bones and plenty of imagination. About the bones…it’s not that I have a particular fondness for bones, but this is my second project using them, and my daughter is beginning to find it a bit odd. She’s probably wondering where I’m heading with this since I’ve now covered chicken and fish. Quite simply, I’ve always wanted to incorporate fish bits in a project. I may have been inspired by the unique art which graces the walls of Joso’s restaurant and actually includes the odd piece of fish skin, along with a liberal dose of boobs and bottoms. But since they quite possibly make the best fish in Toronto, who am I to say what they should do with the leftovers.
This creepy little garden was inspired by Tim Burton, whose wonderful characters and swirly landscapes have always been part of a Halloweenesque world. A terrific exhibition just wrapped up at MoMA and will be coming to the Tiff Bell Lightbox in Toronto in November, offering a selection of paintings, drawings, shortfilms and so on, spanning his career. While it won’t be on time for Halloween, it’s still a great idea to take your kids so they can enjoy his work, and the many activities that will be offered.
The glorious days of summer are almost upon us, but let’s keep our enthusiasm in check shall we? Keep in mind the multitude of ailments the sun’s harsh rays are responsible for, leaving us to reap its benefits from pills in a bottle rather than a stroll in the noonday sun. And don’t forget those cottage visits, where hopes of a little R & R are dashed by a variety of blood-sucking insects that make the three hour trek not worth ANY amount of engaging conversation or wine. When we finally nod off, we are plagued by memories of garbage strikes, liquefied rubbish and fruit fly infestations. Back to the urban jungle and we’re forced to cross paths with humans unschooled in the fine art of deodorant use. We are worn out by relentless sweating, and subjected to olfactory distress caused by the ongoing stench. Goodness, that’s starting to sound a bit harsh. Shall we begin again? The glorious days of summer are almost upon us. Heavenly scented lilacs have just finished blooming, followed by a magnificent display of rhododendrons. Spring showers have greened the landscape and provided the perfect backdrop for the abundance of colourful flowers whose petals flutter in the breeze and provide delicate landing pads for those busy little bees collecting pollen, like the little bugger who stung me on the leg yesterday while I was sweeping… Let’s just make the fan which will enable us to cope with the heat in style.
Enter OCAD is the Ontario College of Art and Design’s annual graduate exhibition, taking place May 6-9, 2010 in Toronto. It’s a great place to offer kids a comprehensive look at what art can be, while visiting one of the funkiest buildings in the city. On display is the thesis work of this year’s graduating class, covering everything from drawing and printmaking, to industrial and graphic design. The environment is child friendly, and you’ll find it’s a fabulous opportunity to create a dialogue with kids and talk to them about what they like, what they don’t like, and why. It’s also a chance for you to support up and coming artists who are still under the radar, and possibly pick up some great art at reasonable prices.
A fond memory I have is of my daughter and her friend who were fascinated by a student drawing in his sketchbook. He took an impressive amount of time to talk to them about his work, and clearly inspired them. They were only eight years old but loved every minute of their visit, and were exposed to some unusual and surprising manifestations of art. We shall return…
I’m not going to help you hide, but to cope. Entertaining children during March Break may appear to be a daunting task, but you really can come out of it unscathed. And if you’re not escaping to the sun, you can seek solace in the fact that this will not last forever. As soon as kids hit their teens, they’re quite happy to fend for themselves and would rather you not interfere with their chill time anyway.
First of all, weekends don’t count so you’re really only faced with five days to fill, unless of course your children are in private school, in which case I wish you much luck and plenty of wine. I’m down to one child in need of entertainment, and I can’t stress enough the importance of friends. It’s more fun for your kids, and everything they do lasts a bit longer when they’re together.
Unless you’re going on a big outing like skiing, mornings should be long and lazy; that’s half your day already. Let the kids indulge in some cartoons, or throw them outside to play in the snow. Forget the snowman, challenge them to make a snowwoman which will have them in fits of laughter; give them squirt bottles filled with coloured water for a little Pollock on ice; have them shovel the driveway. There could be incentive in this, if you know what I mean. After all, we are also interested in preserving your sanity. Little stolen moments to read the paper and have a cup of tea are golden.
Lunch. At this point, you better have a plan for the afternoon like a friend coming over. Give them lots of opportunity to fend for themselves. Set them up with an arts and crafts activity, karaoke, a dress up theme like Alice, board games, computer games, a treasure hunt, etc. Maybe you’d like to bake something with them that could end up being their snack, and the beginning of a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. You could play ‘beat the clock’ and have them clean up the kitchen before the timer goes off and the muffins are ready. Before you know it, your kitchen’s clean, the kids are proudly enjoying a snack they made, and evening is around the corner.
I’m a firm believer in not having to go out to the same, overpriced, crowded places, year after year. The wonderful thing about Toronto, and many other North American cities is how multicultural they are, giving you an opportunity to play tourist. You can actually go to neighbourhoods like Little India, Little Italy, Greektown, and Chinatown, and feel momentarily immersed in that culture. The people, colours, sounds, smells, food, street signs all help to transport you. Why not propose a day trip to China with your children and their friends? Walk through your local Chinatown, visit the shops, eat some local food for lunch, and don’t forget to buy a little souvenir. Make sure the kids bring a notepad to record their thoughts or make sketches of things they enjoyed seeing. They can also take photographs, and save any receipts and business cards, so when they come home they can create a wonderful collage of their outing.
If you live in Toronto, I do have a few suggestions. First would be the Textile Museum, where they have special activities for the occasion. Since it’s off the beaten path, it’s calmer than the big museums and a beautiful space to visit. The Paper Place is having a collage competition and providing materials free of charge. You just have to pick up the package, take it home, and bring back the collage once finished. It’s an inspiring shop to take your kids to. Another plan is to hang out at a bookshop, followed by a hot chocolate. Indigo/Chapters and Mabel’s Fables are really great about letting you hang out for as long as you want. And while I’m hoping to stay far from the madding crowd most of the time, I might brave one visit to the AGO, or the ROM which has a new bat cave to visit. And this time, make the gift shop your friend; it’s good for at least half an hour. Bonne chance!