Last week’s block party on Weston Road made a splash—and made it to CityNews. I’m bummed I couldn’t make it—it looks like it was a great time.
A new and unique event has been announced for our community – ‘Weston Youth POPS!’ on Saturday, Aug 14th, 11 am to 4 pm (FREE).
What is a ‘POPS’?
It’s a privately owned public space configured for the community to create, celebrate, and play. And Weston now has two of them, located just south of Lawrence Ave at The Pink Alley (1804 Weston Rd) and the old Frontlines location (1844 Weston Rd). Weston Youth POPS is an event that introduces these locations to the community and celebrates what Weston is all about.
There are over a dozen food, artists, stage, and interactive activities within the two locations. Including games and programming for kids 6-12 yrs, a DJ for teens, a ‘Cook-Off’ and inspiring art installations.
This event is brought to us by Frontlines in partnership with a host of community organizations and Castlepoint Numa (the developer partner of the Weston Park Baptist project planned for Weston and Lawrence).
Highlights of the day include Frontlines’ new social enterprise catering facility, Culinary Creations, serving up FREE Caribbean/Jerk-inspired chicken skewers, beef patties, chicken tacos and samosas. They’ll host a ‘Cook-Off’ among Frontburners Youth Kitchen students to be judged by award-winning writer and Food Editor from the Toronto Sun, Rita DeMontis, Toronto Police Services Interim Chief of Police James Ramer, and Celebrity Chef and Frontlines Ambassador Roger Mooking.
The event entrance is at 1804 Weston (Pink Alley), which continues its transformation with a mural by acclaimed Jamaican-born and Weston resident artist Krystal Ball. Krystal will also be on hand as she works on the alley’s participatory mural called ‘Weston Now’ (working title). Ultimately, it will be a giant photo mural consisting of portraits of Westonians. Have your photo taken; it will be sorted/selected and screened onto canvas and configured into a huge photo mural on site later in the month. Partners in realizing Krystal’s vision are UrbanArts and Community Place Hub.
The other POPS location is at 1844 Weston and will feature Shakespeare in Action performers on stage with bite-size spotlight performances all afternoon. UrbanArts will also be at 1844 with an interactive painting workshop with another Weston artist, Star Nahwegahbo, a multi-media artist and a skilled art facilitator. You can paint and take your creation home. The walls of the former Frontlines building will be an outdoor gallery of Weston area murals and art panels, including the first time revealing art created for West Park Health Center.
See you at the POPS!
Frontlines will be hosting an in-erson summer camp this year for kids 6–12. It’s affordable, too—only $20 a week. This being Frontlines, the kids will be well fed of course, too, with provided meals.
If you can support the camp, Frontlines is accepting donations.
Do you want to give parents a break this summer!!!!?For just a small gift of $4, you can send one at-risk child to Summer Camp for a day, with THREE healthy meals and a SAFE space to have fun because every child deserves an opportunity to “just be a child.”YOU can make this POSSIBLE. Thank you for keeping our kids safe!
The final issue of the York–City Centre Neighbourhood Voice featured two local articles by Megan Delaire. The first is about Torontonians who are struggling to get by on disability benefits, and features the experiences of Michael Bogart and Bob Murphy.
The second is about the good people at Frontlines, and their struggle to serve community members through the COVID epidemic.
The Voice, formerly known as the York Guardian, cut staff and went online only this month.
The good people at Frontlines made it on TV last week for their cookbook, written by youth there. I can’t embed the video, but it’s worth a look.
York West executive director Suzanne Texiera brought the program together to bridge the cultural and generational gap that kept Frontlines and York West worlds apart, even though they were neighbours.
“It was important to have these two populations meet and dance to break down any stereotypes that they may have of each other and to build a friendship that extends beyond the dance floor,” she says.