UrbanNOISE Heats Up Toronto's Northwest
Last year's UrbanNOISE festival was a resounding success: not only did it showcase the talent of this city's youth, but it was a weekend of fun and excitement that left everyone wanting more.
This year's UrbanNOISE festivities kick off tomorrow, and if you haven't already made plans to leave town for the long weekend, I highly recommend making the trip to the northwest of the city to check out one of Toronto's premier celebrations of urban music and culture.
Young people from Rexdale and Jamestown have been participating in arts workshops â ranging from dance to song to photography â over the past two months, and will be showcasing their results in a two-day celebration at the North Kipling Community Centre in Etobicoke.
Designed to make 'noise' against violence in the community, the event will also feature local urban music celebrities such as Drake, Michie Mee, Kenny Robinson, Subliminal, Blessed, Deesha, Humble, Lal, Theology 3, and one of my personal favorites, the Street Dance Academy All-Stars. A few of the things you can expect at UrbanNOISE include reggae, dub, latin, rap, soul, bhangra, graffiti art, Somali rhythms, Ghanaian hi-life artists, street theatre, airbrushing, beatboxing, henna art, and a whole lot more.
I had the opportunity to speak to Puja Amin, who is leading the bhangra workshops for UrbanNOISE this year, and she reiterated the fact that the event was a "great way for the youth to focus their energy on positive projects." Having worked with Soulpepper for years, this is Puja's first year working on UrbanNOISE and she has been impressed by seeing the "productivity of the kids and how much fun they all have together." And what can we expect for this weekend? "I'm hoping, a dhamaka!"
The UrbanNOISE festivities kick off at the North Kipling Community Centre tomorrow, June 29, at 3pm and run until Saturday at 8pm. The photos in this post were taken at the various UrbanNOISE workshops that have been taking place across Rexdale and Jamestown over the past six weeks.
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