This autumn, Abundance GTA and Kaeja d'Dance will lead our audience through improvisational movement that is a guided sensory experience of aspects of the Pickering Lands. Our goal is to engage through the arts with pastures, woodlands, and riverbed, creating a feeling of connection and a sense of possibilities.
Kaeja d'Dance has pioneered new and innovative approaches to how people participate in arts experiences, where arts professionals serve as mediators and guides of those experiences. They are a thought leader on the topic and are an ongoing resource for helping communities to develop and maintain their initiatives.
Abundance GTA is excited to partner with Kaeja d'Dance for the Harvest event.
Maureen Scott Harris
A Toronto poet and essayist, Maureen Scott Harris has published three poetry collections. Drowning Lessons (Pedlar Press, 2004) was awarded the 2005 Trillium Book Award for Poetry; Slow Curve Out (Pedlar Press, 2012), was shortlisted for the League of Canadian Poets’ Pat Lowther Award.
Additionally, Harris’s essays have won the Prairie Fire Creative Nonfiction Prize, and the WildCare Tasmania Nature Writing Prize, which included a residency at Lake St. Clair, Tasmania. In 2012-2013 she was Artist-in-Residence at the Koffler Scientific Reserve at Jokers Hill, north of Toronto.
Since 2012 she has worked with Helen Mills of Lost Rivers Toronto, designing poetry walks that follow the city’s (sometimes buried) rivers and streams.
Toronto resident Maureen Hynes’ first book, Letters From China, was a memoir about her 1980 teaching experiences in China. Rough Skin (Wolsak and Wynn), won the League of Canadian Poets’ national award for best first book of poetry. Her second collection, Harm’s Way, was published by Brick Books; her third, Marrow, Willow, and her most recent, The Poison Colour, are from Pedlar Press.
Maureen is a winner of the Petra Kenney Poetry Prize (London, England), and her poems have been included and longlisted for Best Canadian Poems 2010 and 2011. She has also co-edited poetry anthologies. Maureen has been Writer-in-Residence at the University of Prince Edward Island and a judge for several national poetry contests and awards.
Maureen has also taught Personal Narrative courses at the University of Toronto’s Creative Writing program in the School of Continuing Studies, and has led poetry workshops in several cities. With colleagues, Maureen leads labour history walking tours of Toronto, and has recently become involved in River Poetry Walks, focusing on Toronto’s rivers and buried creeks. She is poetry editor for Our Times magazine.
Toronto resident Nicholas Power is a founding member of the Meet the Presses literary collective, and has performed with the storytelling duo The Wordweavers and the sound poetry ensemble Alexander’s Dark Band. His poetry was part of Singing River – a celebration of the PanAm Path (July 2015).
He has been published by Teksteditions (Melancholy Scientist), Underwhich Editions (wells), The Writing Space (a modest device), and Battered Press (No Poems). He has been editing and publishing with his own Gesture Press for 30 years.
Cynthia (Cindy) White, Kawanennoron
We are so pleased that Cynthia (Cindy) White, Kawennanoron, will be leading and closing the ceremonies at Harvest. Her leadership will ground the audience with the wisdom of Indigenous, honouring the interconnectedness of all relationships within the web of life.
Cindy was born into the Mohawk community of Akwesasne. Her lineage is Onondaga Snipe Clan. The Mohawk name given to her at birth is Kawennanoron. The translation is "Precious Words." She currently lives at the Six Nations Grand River Territory in Southern Ontario, Canada, where she is a Spiritual and Ceremonial Leader and has been involved in spiritual training since 1994. She attended the State University of New York at Plattsburgh where she studied nursing and received a Bachelor of Science degree. According to Kawennanoron, Spiritual Training requires that one is engaged in one's own healing. It is this journey of healing that has led her to understand that prayer is a humble cry from the heart. She believes that a soul can be purified from pain and torment, thus producing change in a human being. Through her own process of change, Kawenannoron shares what she has learned with others as a means of giving back what she has received from the Creator.
Helen Mills is the founder of Lost Rivers, a project of the Toronto Green Community. When she first settled in Toronto, she noticed the sunken park near her house. Years later she learned that it was a remnant ravine and home to lost Mud Creek. Mesmerized, she wanted to paint blue lines on the street and over buildings, to name the creeks and bring them back to the surface of our awareness. Then the Lost River Walks began through the alchemy of the very first public meeting of the Toronto Green Community (1994). More than 33,000 people have walked on a Lost River since then. Lost Rivers is a small group of citizen geographers, researching and mapping the long-buried creeks. Newer related projects are Rivers Rising and RAINscapeTO, both social enterprises that connect people to neighbourhood greening projects and eco-gardening job opportunities. Grounded in historical connections of the place to Indigenous, settler, and immigrant communities, Lost Rivers/Rivers Rising travels through time to envision a future for the city that connects us all.