Markham Public Art and York Region Arts Council are thrilled to announce artist Zoe Kwan as the recipient of the inaugural Our Park Grant. Created to incubate local community arts initiatives, Our Park is a new funding program conceived of, and funded by, Markham Public Art, and managed jointly with York Region Arts Council. Kwan’s project, Carnival of the Arts, will be presented in Ada Mackenzie Park, in Markham, on Saturday, June 24 with two performances at Noon and 6 PM. Sunday, June 25 at 1 PM is the alternative rain date.
“This project shows how innovative Markham’s Public Art Master Plan is and the many avenues it provides for animating public space,” says Markham Mayor, Frank Scarpitti. “Zoe Kwan’s unique vision will bring a very welcome addition to the Markham cultural landscape”
Kwan’s Carnival of the Arts is a site-specific dance festival that aims to immerse individuals into an afternoon of arts. The festival will open with a music workshop followed by the exciting premiere performance of four original works that have been created specifically for this project. Kwan has been working in collaboration with Melissa Bettio (choreographer), Sheldon De Souza (workshop/pre-show performance), Alex Purcell (musician), and Norman Than (Qi Gong expert) to realize her vision.
A dancer and choreographer, Kwan has previously created original works for EnChoreo, Theatre Oculus’ Digital Creation Residency, and Collections Dance. Most recently, Kwan toured Ontario and Quebec with Dusk Dances as a dancer in Michael Caldwell’s work, The Horologium
The panelists had a hard decision to make, choosing one winner,” says Monica del Rio Pain, Director of Programming and Operations for the York Region Arts Council. “But Zoe’s project delivers on the objective of Our Park – to create and produce a new body of work to be presented in a public space in collaboration with the community it will be created for. Zoe is an exciting choreographer and with Carnival of the Arts, she will attain her goal of creating something powerful and emotionally gratifying for both dancers and audience members to enjoy.”
“We are very excited about Zoe’s contemporary vision, and her dancer’s sensitivity, through which she will engage the site and community. Her inclusive and incredibly creative approach brings together the traditional and the new. We think this will be an amazing project delivering a dynamic cultural experience to the audience,” says Yan Wu, City of Markham’s Public Art Curator.