The Red Embers installation is now on display in Ashbridges Bay Park. Photos by Nicolas Dietrich.
The official opening ceremony for the Red Embers facility will take place at Ashbridges Bay Park on Sunday, November 21 at 2 p.m. ET.
Citylab organizers Lisa Rochon and Toronto Native Women’s Resource Center Executive Director Pamela Hart invite everyone to join them at the Meditation Trail site for the ceremony.
“Red Embers is imagined and designed by an all-female team of Indigenous designers and artists as a work of civic beautification. It is also a sacred memorial to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, trans, two-spirited, ”a press release read.
Mighty cedar gates sit between land and water, framing the trail as banners float above. There are 13 gates to symbolize the 13 teachings of Grandmother Moon and the lunar system.
“The charred cedar poles represent the strength and resilience of Indigenous women, honoring a brotherhood that remains strong even after attempts at healing and damage have been endless,” the statement said.
The streamers attached to these poles will float above the path, “offering healing through the sound of their jingles and the movement of the web in the wind.”
During the ceremony, Elder Jacquie Lavalley will offer the blessing, and drummers and jingle dancers will be present to offer healing.
The reassembly of Red Embers was made possible through the collaboration of the Native Women’s Resource Center of Toronto and its female members with Indigenous artists from across Turtle Island to create this installation in partnership with Rochon.
The installation in Ashbridges Bay Park, part of ArtworxTO, has received generous support from the City of Toronto’s Office of Indigenous Affairs, Cultural Partnerships, and Parks, Forests and Recreation.
“We are grateful for the genius of the participating artists and the dedication of the ANEX public art installation team,” the press release read.
The press release also thanks the women of the Regent Park Sewing Collective who sewed the banners and helped finish the details.
The commissioned artists are Rosalie Favell, Rolande Souliere, Hannah Claus, Eladia Smoke and Larissa Roque, Kristy Auger and Adrienne Greyeyes, Louise Solomon, Hillary Clermont, Janelle Wawia, Lido Pimienta, Annie Beach, Sarah Biscarra Dilley, Tash Naveau, Lindsey Lickers and community members and staff at the Native Women’s Resource Center in Toronto.
Red Embers was originally installed at Allan Gardens in 2019, but has been carefully stowed away during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first installation was made possible by a team of designers, including Indigenous designers Tiffany Creyke and Larissa Roque, who won a grant from the Park People public space competition.
“This location on the beaches was chosen for its serenity and its balance between Lake Ontario and the city. The slight crescendo of the path and the wave of its direction mimic the emotions that the banners will instill, ”the press release read.
“By listening and learning, feeling and recognizing, we can honor those who are lost and stolen. “
All are welcome and can attend the ceremony on the Martin Goodman Trail in Ashbridges Bay Park, just past the Beach Community Edible Garden and the public washrooms.