The Don River Valley Park Art Program is a curated series of temporary public artworks taking place along the Don River. Local, national and international artists are invited to create site-specific projects that speak to the many histories and present-day realities of the Don Valley and its surrounding communities – looking at the land from ecological, cultural, industrial and Indigenous perspectives and more.
The Art Program offers many points of engagement, with projects taking shape as sculptural installations, murals, billboards and performance, including dance and sound, as well as an active public program of talks, walks and research workshops lead by artists. Each project will have its own timeline, with some lasting many years and others for just one day.
The Art Program is set to become a new hub for art in Toronto, where visitors can return time and again to find new commissions and events unfolding where art meets the natural environment. The commissioned projects will foreground education and access; link art, place and audience; and foster awareness and stewardship for the Valley.
Curator: Kari Cwynar
Advisory Committee: Michelle Koerner (chair), Rui Amaral, Rebecca Carbin, Catherine Dean, An Te Liu, Barbara Macdonald, Marianne McKenna, Alissa North, Elisa Nuyten, Frances Price, Laura Rapp, Kitty Scott, Brenda Webster, Robin Young
“When considering bringing art into our natural spaces we should remember that the life and landscape of Toronto's wilds have inspired the imaginations of such renowned artists as Doris McCarthy, Margaret Atwood, Atom Egoyan, Larry Richards, and Ernest Hemingway.”
Current & Upcoming Projects
Duane Linklater: Monsters for Beauty, Permanence and Individuality
Artist Duane Linklater initiated the Don River Valley Park Art Program with a striking installation of cast concrete gargoyles on the Lower Don Trail. The sculptures are cast replicas of gargoyles adorning prominent buildings in downtown Toronto.
Life of a Craphead: King Edward VII Equestrian Statue Floating Down the Don
In Oct–Nov 2017, performance artists Life of a Craphead gave a series of performances in which they dropped a life-size replica statue of King Edward VII into the Lower Don River.
Maria Hassabi: STAGING (2017) - undressed
On July 7 and 8, 2017, the Don River Valley Park Art Program presented STAGING - undressed, a new live installation work by acclaimed New York-based artist Maria Hassabi.