Live Art (right now!) at Summerworks Festival !

First of all, I am sorry it has been such a long time since I wrote anything! I have been busier this summer than I have EVER been…in my lifetime! I have been working two jobs (soon to be three once the Toronto International Film Festival begins again), including working like crazy at one of the Panamania venues. I have also been volunteering at both the Toronto Fringe (theatre festival) and at the Summerworks Performance Festival (theatre, dance, live art, music, etc).

Additionally, I have also been trying to watch as many Panamania concerts that I can! I managed to see badbadnotgood, Death From Above 1979, Tanya Tagaq (my favourite performer), The Roots, The Glorious Sons, Austra, and A Tribe Called Red within the last month. I also visited the Aboriginal Pavillion at Fort York, went to the Planet Indigenus festival at Harbourfront Centre, the FIGMENT event on Toronto Island (see a future blog post for more on that), the Gatsby Garden Party at Spadina House, and managed to squeeze in a few days of beach-going, kayaking, and (of course) visiting friends!

So….on to today’s blog!


In case you didn’t read last year’s post on the topic (see ), I will tell you that Summerworks is a low-cost performance festival taking place right now – August 6 to 16th this year. Performances are $15 and there is something for everyone.

Tonight I saw a very unique show. It was called “A Wake For Lost Time.” It was not a play, but rather “live art.” What does that mean? In this case, it meant that the actors performed a series of scenes based around the themes of memory and time. It contained songs, monologues, dance, music, and even a (frequently hilarious) demonstration at the end (using found objects and small toys) of the history of time as we know it.

Ok….so…? What’s so special about it….??

In addition to the talented performers and the wonderful ideas coming through in the piece, the show is TWENTY FOUR HOURS in duration.

No, it is not a 24 hour show performed once. It is the SAME show repeated over and over again in two and a half hour increments. I watched the first show of the night, which started at sundown – 8:23pm, and continued until 10:53pm. The actors then started the show all over again at 10:54pm. This will continue until 8:23pm (sundown) TOMORROW night (Saturday).

Why are they performing it for 24 hours? The show write-up describes it as “a chance to explore and meditate on not only the loss of time, but [on] how we know time. The performance loop, when viewed in isolation, tells one story, but when witnessed in its recurrence begins to speak to itself, evolving (or eroding) alongside the performers for the duration of the piece.

When the performance loop can be looped no longer, the wake for lost time begins…but what the wake is…well, in all sincerity, we won’t know until we get there.”


The audience is invited to arrive, leave, and re-enter at any time.

What I saw required a bit of patience at first, but I was soon drawn into something resonant and beautiful.

If you are free for any two hour period (or longer) between now and 8:23pm tomorrow night, head to 14 Markham Street (“The Hub” – off Queen, west of Bathurst) to see a truly unique performance.

If you can’t get there, the company is live streaming the performance. Of course seeing it in person is the hands-down best way to experience it, but if you can’t get there, you can watch it here:

Stay with it for a while. It takes a few minutes to warm up to it, but it’s totally worth it.

If you do happen to be in town this weekend, check out one of the many other performances at Summerworks!

P.S. They are also having a FREE 25th anniversary block party tomorrow night at Dovercourt and Queen. Actually, it’s called the 25th Anniversary Birthday Outdoor Concert Extravaganza. It starts at 4pm and goes ’till 11pm. Hope to see you there!

Stay tuned!


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