Abilities Arts Festival has played a pivotal role in raising the profile and building audiences for gifted artists from across the disability and deaf communities.
Our visual arts exhibits, live performances, film series, and family days celebrate and showcase the vision and imagination of artists with disabilities.
Each month-long festival provides an all-too-rare opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to experience the rich diversity of talent from the disability community.
Abilities Festival 2011 ran from October 1-30, drawing over 2000 people to our opening as part of the Scotiabank Nuit Blanche interactive photography event. After weeks of exhibits, days of performances for school children and a weekend showcase of films, the festival wrapped with our gala event.
The Neat Strange Music of Ahmed Hassan brought together a stellar gathering of Canada’s most respected dancers, choreographers, musicians and media artists for a retrospective of Hassan’s lifetime of work. Peggy Baker, Serge Bennathan, Robert Desrosiers and The School of Toronto Dance Theatre packed the Betty Oliphant Theatre to capacity, earning our highest box office revenues and most memorable acclaim to date.
In Celebration of our Children and Youth
Every year, our massively over-subscribed kidsfest engages a capacity audience of 600 children with disabilities from across the GTA to push the limits of their own creative potential; and to discover—first-hand, and up close—the exhilarating magic of professional entertainers from their own disability communities.
Full days of performances feature an unparalleled line-up of local, national and internationally recognized performers with disabilities—actors, comedians, dancers, storytellers, mimes and musicians from a rich diversity of cultures and traditions. Introducing young audiences to such stellar performers as break-dancing legend Luca Lazylegz Patuelli, the African rhythms of Sidiki Conde, singer/songwriter Justin Hines, latin percussionist Luis Orbegoso, the innovative dance of ASL Waves and Quebecois rocker Martin Deschamps, our kidsfest days are part education and all fun.
With the support of dedicated sponsors, we’re committed to expanding this programme so that we no longer have to turn away kids in the hundreds.