Fine film isn't the only art you'll see at Water Docs Film Festival

Film, storytelling and the arts have long held a unique power to bridge an understanding of facts with motivation to take action. They enable us to connect with difficult realities without pushing us away, providing a foundation to build pathways for meaningful change.

Discover how Water Docs Film Festival has become a platform for audiences to engage with the arts in Toronto. Here are a few of the encounters people have had with the arts at Water Docs Film Festival:

 

A Wave Forged in Fire: Water Warrior Award

 Aurora Darwin firing the glass for the awards at the Harbourfront Glass Studio.

Aurora Darwin firing the glass for the awards at the Harbourfront Glass Studio.

This year we launched the inaugural Water Docs Water Warrior Awardwhich will be presented annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to protecting and raising awareness about threats and issues faced by water. We wanted to ensure that the physical award itself was a meaningful reflection of how art and activism together inspire change. We immediately thought of Aurora Darwin, a local Toronto glass artist who had been involved with our festival in 2017 where she shared her art with our audience, inspired by the journey to the Yukon in The Peel Project.

We commissioned her to create a stunning glass wave, forged in fire, to present to our annual Water Warrior Award recipients. The video below shares a glimpse into the process behind how she created this gorgeous work of art.

Learn more ...

 

Aqua Circulus Sound Installation

The images below are from an interactive experience called Aqua Circulus by a group of artists called 1:1 Collaborative. Listeners are invited to engage with this audio representation of Toronto's hidden river systems through the states of Flow, Downpour and Stasis. They come from the Greater Toronto cityscape that is built on top of hidden rivers, historic shorelines, buried creeks and ravine systems that cut through the urban grid. Even Lake Ontario is predominantly hidden behind towering buildings and transportation infrastructure. Through the themes of Downpour, Flow and Stasis, Aqua Circulus creates an inventory of the sounds of water. Both familiar and unfamiliar from their context, the sounds invite the participants to reflect on the history, cycle and impact of the often invisible flows on our cityscape.

The artists in the 1:1 Collaborative include four landscape and urban designers: Astrid Greaves, Carla Lipkin, Lisa Gregory and Sarry Klein. The images are from an installation at Evergreen Brick Works, but you'll hear the same sounds at Water Docs!

  Stasis  and  Downpour , two of the pieces from    Aqua Circulus    Sound Installation.

Stasis and Downpour, two of the pieces from Aqua Circulus Sound Installation.

 A visitor engages with    Aqua Circulus    at the 2018 Water Docs Film Festival. 

A visitor engages with Aqua Circulus at the 2018 Water Docs Film Festival. 

 

Water Advisory! Textile Art Exhibit

Water Docs Film Festival has partnered with Wellington Water Watchers to bring their powerful Water Advisory! exhibit to patrons of our festival. Combining artistic practices with social activism, the artworks gain cultural significance and meaning to become more than aesthetic objects, but additionally objects of protest and awareness. The exhibition, while beautiful in nature, is equally a call to action for audiences to help support initiatives that protect local watersheds.

The exhibit is created by Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists illustrating the current disconnection between society and water. It calls us with urgency to re-establish right relationship with water. 

 A Water Docs patron engages with several pieces from    Water Advisory!   , on display at the 2018 Water Docs Film Festival.

A Water Docs patron engages with several pieces from Water Advisory!, on display at the 2018 Water Docs Film Festival.

 Four tapestries from    Water Advisory!   , showcased at Water Docs Film Festival.

Four tapestries from Water Advisory!, showcased at Water Docs Film Festival.

 

The Big Blue Marble Project, from Blue Mind

The blue marble project is a global, participatory art piece that designed to inspire mindfulness in our relationship to water. A neuroscience-based initiative from marine biologist Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, blue marbles are given to people around the world in celebration of our beautiful, fragile planet, carrying the simple and clear message that #WaterIsLife. Blue Mind has set out to pass a blue marble through every (yes, every) person's hand on earth, with a simple message of gratitude along with it.

At Water Docs Film Festival, we place a bowl of blue marbles at the box office and patrons are encouraged throughout the festival to take a marble, to keep it with them as a reminder of the powerful encounters they have had with water and art at the festival.

 A handful of the unique blue marbles we were offering to audiences during the 2018 Water Docs Film Festival.

A handful of the unique blue marbles we were offering to audiences during the 2018 Water Docs Film Festival.

It’s a low-tech slow-motion global art project and a clear reminder that everything we do on this water planet matters.
— Blue Mind Project

 

Art, Performance & Film: The Peel Project

The documentary film The Peel Project had its Toronto premiere at the 2017 Water Docs Film Festival. During the premiere, the artists involved in the journey down the Peel River Watershed in the Yukon displayed some of their artwork that had been inspired by the process. Anthony Wallace and his band performed original pieces of music for our audience that he had written while on the journey down the Peel River. 

Water Docs 2017 opening night was thus an evening full of documentary film, classical music, painting and sculpture!

 Artworks by the artists who were inspired by their journey down the Peel River Watershed in    The Peel Project      were put on display for audiences to engage with after seeing the film.

Artworks by the artists who were inspired by their journey down the Peel River Watershed in The Peel Project were put on display for audiences to engage with after seeing the film.

 Musicians playing pieces composed by Anthony William Wallace while in the Yukon as a participant in    The Peel Project  ,  a film shown on Opening Night in the 2017 Water Docs Film Festival.

Musicians playing pieces composed by Anthony William Wallace while in the Yukon as a participant in The Peel Project, a film shown on Opening Night in the 2017 Water Docs Film Festival.

 A Water Docs patron engages with works of art created by the artists in    The Peel Project   .

A Water Docs patron engages with works of art created by the artists in The Peel Project.

 

2016 Performances and Exhibits

 Water Docs held the first public exhibit of Dave Sandford's magnificent photos of Lake Erie.

Water Docs held the first public exhibit of Dave Sandford's magnificent photos of Lake Erie.

 The Toronto's Common Thread Community Chorus sang a program of water songs from many cultures, under the direction of Isabel Bernaus.

The Toronto's Common Thread Community Chorus sang a program of water songs from many cultures, under the direction of Isabel Bernaus.

 Singer Sonia Colleymore

Singer Sonia Colleymore

WD 2016 - Exhibits-The Water Shed.jpg

The Water Shed, an installation created by Montreal theatre group Porte Parole, offered people a surprise opportunity to engage with the miraculous and mysterious presence of Water, both around us and inside of us. From one participant:

It was powerful, it sort of wakes you up in a way, I can’t really explain what happened. You should experience it yourself, but it was empowering, refreshing. At the end of the day, to know something, to be informed of something, is always a good thing. It makes you more open to making better decisions.

 

Have you been moved by a film, art or performance to take #ActionForWater? Tell us how the arts move you on social media: