Saturday, May 4th
Approaches designed to transform communities like RegentParktend to focus on outside interventions such as funding, planning processes, policing and the delivery of social services. But what about the incredible capacity, creativity and resilience of residents who contribute to their communities? Not Your Typical Regent Park Walk will not replicate past tours, which place an over emphasis on fancy new tenants or the community’s challenges with poverty and violence. Instead, the tour will introduce walk participants to unsung local heroes who Jane Jacobs, if she were with us, would describe as “people capable of understanding and acting upon their own self-interest”.
In addition to shining a light on the capacity of local residents and reframing Toronto’s negative “public housing” narrative; this walk is unique because it isn’t narrowly focused on interesting historical buildings, urban planning or the natural environment. The Not Your Typical Regent Park Walk also takes social issues, the capacity of everyday people and the on-going and messy process of community-building into account. By breaking out of the conventional “walk leader” paradigm and creating space for a diverse range of voices, embracing creativity and asking critical questions about collective community building, the Not Your Typical Regent Park Walk gets to the heart of healthy neighbourhoods while facilitating the “challenging conversations” that Jane Jacobs, a true urban activist, dared to ignite.
Join us at 11:00a.m. sharp in front of Tim Hortons located at Parliament andDundas.
Jay Pitter is a senior communications specialist, writer and narratologist. From the onset of her career Jay was not only interested in developing stories; she was passionate about gaining deep knowledge of narrative as a communicative mode, data, art form, economy, social phenomenon and discourse. This passion led Jay down a gratifying career path working in leadership roles such as Arts Curriculum Writer with the Toronto District School Board, Provincial Grants Officer with the Ontario Arts Council, Director of Communications with DIALOG a premier national architectural firm and a Contributing Columnist with CBC RadioCanada. As a mature student, Jay returned to university to complete graduate research in Narrative Theory and Methodology and now seizes opportunities to contribute to academic and community discourse on narratology and narrative inquiry. She has been a guest lecturer at OISIE, the University of York University, CentennialCollege, Seneca College and other educational institutions. Her writing credits include the Walrus, Toronto Star, Fireweed, Climate Change; Who’s Carrying the Burden and Spacing Magazine. Having grown up in a public housing community, Jay is particularly passionate about shining a light on the incredible capacity of individuals living in TCHC communities likeRegentParkand working with community members to share new stories which exemplify local innovation, kindness and hope.
Formed in 1998 by the dynamic duo of poet, lyricist, activist, singer and Bengali-rooted tough-guy Rosina Kazi and her life partner, producer, sound designer, philosopher, aphorismist and Barbados-born king of chill, Nicholas Murray, LAL has always proved hard to describe. Their musical experience is wide with Murr having been a member of the seminal hip hop collective, da Grass Roots and designed sound for theatre and film and Rosina , a cultural worker who fuses art and social justice. They’re a band, but not only a band - they're a music making magical mushroom, the visible flowering part of a much larger organism, connected with very fine but infinitely resilient roots.
We can talk about LAL’s music using words that eventually abandon us: electronica, trip-hop (remember that?), electronic soul, jazz, pop, protest music, justice jams, downtempo beats, lounge, funk, world, multcult, etc etc. Or we can talk about HOW they make music, How they live their lives, how they run their music-making firm and how the line we draw around. LAL takes the long view, they’re in it for the long haul, obsessed with making music but more obsessed with using the making of music as a way to materialize ways of being together, fostering a sharing of resources, ideas and, at bottom, maintaining a tenacious hope that persists despite the frightening world we live in.