Newsletter February 2017

Message from the Assistant Artistic Director

It is my absolute pleasure to be starting out another year with MABELLEarts, alongside MABELLEartists and Etobicoke residents who have been deeply inspiring me throughout my three years with our organization. I'm especially honoured to be stepping into a new role as Assistant Artistic Director this year, thanks to generous support from The Metcalf Foundation. 

This last year has been an incredible whirlwind of meeting people, sharing meals, digging holes, planting, swinging, singing, exploring and building together in two Central Etobicoke neighbourhoods. This February, we start off our 2017/18 season by welcoming back the Sewing Room and, as the weather gets a little warmer, getting ready to launch a series of Community Meals/Meetups for Mabelle and West Mall residents. 

This coming year is our second adventure working in two parks at the same time, with projects under-way at both Mabelle and Broadacres Park. Last summer, we were lucky enough to work with over 700 people from both neighbourhoods - and we are excited to welcome many of those families back, as well as make new connections to new residents in the coming months. 

In order for our little organization to continue to grow and offer free outdoor programming to these two neighbourhoods and a growing number of people, we need your support! Please consider giving to MABELLEarts as we launch the start of our Spring/Summer season and begin to build and imagine beautiful things for Etobicoke Public Spaces. We can't do it without you! 

Become a MABELLEmember and your monthly gift will help keep arts accessible in central Etobicoke.

We are looking for leaders just like you to help us keep arts accessible in central Etobicoke.  Your automatic monthly gift will provide Etobicoke residents access to high-calibre art and culture in the heart of where they live.  Your gift will also allow residents to play an increased leadership roles in determining programming in their parks. MABELLEarts also ensures that relevant cultural traditions and forms are celebrated and shared in the Mabelle Park and Broadacres Park.

Your monthly gift is the best way to give to MABELLEarts:

  • It is an easy and convenient for you to give.  Your gift will be made through your bank or credit card.

  • It is cost-effective for MABELLEarts because we can reduce the volume of the mail we send- helping to keep administrative costs to a minimum. 

  • It is easy to start, change or suspend your gift at anytime.

  • It is a stable and reliable source of funding for MABELLEarts, allowing us to plan into the future.

Join our monthly giving program.

Join us by making a monthly commitment to MABELLEarts.  You can It's easy to give with our safe and secure online form,  by mail using our mail-in enrolment form, or by sending us post-dated cheques.  For more information, please contact our Development Manager, Daven, at 416-239-4900 or

Mark Your Calendars! 

Sewing Room
with Marianne Alas and Faten Toubasi
Every Tuesday in February 10 AM - 3 PM
MABELLEarts Studio 5005 Dundas Street West (buzz 357)

Giver Get Together: Spring Edition
Thursday March 30, 2017
6:30 PM- 8:30 PM Location TBD

MABELLE Iftar Nights n are supported by the Inspirit Foundation. eid al Fitr in Mabelle Park is made possible thanks tothe Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between The Toronto Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.

MABELLE Iftar Nights n are supported by the Inspirit Foundation. eid al Fitr in Mabelle Park is made possible thanks tothe Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between The Toronto Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.

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Holiday Greetings from Leah & MABELLEarts

Once again, the sun has made the long trip around the earth.  As the days grow short and the night envelops us, we have the chance to slow down and reflect on the year as it passes.  2016 has been marked by so much violence and fear.  In Aleppo, the bombs continue to fall.  Buildings burn and whole histories, systems of knowledge and ways of life are ground to dust.  Here in Kathmandu, the sun is shining on the third most polluted city in the world.  At the NexUs Café in Kathmandu (where I write this) artists are reimagining the role of art in their city and cultural context. I am so proud that MABELLEarts is playing a small role in this exploration.  In 2016, it was the power of creative collaboration – across belief systems, abilities, ages and (in this case) geography, that gives me hope and keeps me going.
It was this year at MABELLEarts in particular that has shown the power of creative collaboration.  Year one of our new residency in Broadacres Park brought together diverse artists with over 200 Syrian refugees to make art and through that process, reimagine the role of parks in Toronto.  Meanwhile, back in the Mabelle Park, artists and community members made our yearly Iftar celebrations, installed new public art, tended the wild garden and played in the hot (hot!) sun.  
As part of our Broadacres Park Residency, Mabelle youth who have been working and playing with MABELLEarts since they were young children are sharing what they’ve learned over the years with a new community in The West Mall.  This summer, MABELLE Youth Leaders acted as assistant facilitators and translators.  Our work in The West Mall would not have been possible without their commitment.  Watching their growth and leadership is one of the greatest experiences of my life.
This year we welcomed Daven Seebarran to MABELLEarts to provide leadership and support on number of organizational endeavors.  His knowledge and expertise are enriching our work in countless ways. I’m also pleased to report that Shifra Cooper has moved into a new position as Assistant Artistic Director at MABELLEarts.  Shifra’s ongoing commitment to MABELLEarts, the neighbourhood and the practice of community arts has made such a profound impact on our work and I’m so glad she’ll be taking more leadership.
There’s never been a better time to support MABELLEarts.  An incredible investment from the W. Garfield Weston Foundation means that each dollar you donate will be matched up to $5000.  Talk about an exciting creative collaboration!  I hope you’ll consider being a part of it.
As the sun makes its slow return, and the days get brighter, hold your loved ones close. From our hearts and from the heart of our community, it’s my pleasure to wish you a warm and glowing solstice.
With love from,

Show Us A Shiny Thing: Year One in Broadacres Park/The West Mall

Show Us A Shiny Thing

This summer we celebrated the culmination of the first of our three-year residency in Broadacres Park. Our aim this year was to meet as many people living in The West Mall neighbourhood as possible, of all ages and from diverse backgrounds, in order to build community ownership for Broadacres Park and investment in future projects. From June to September, we strove to bring people into all steps of our process by creating a low-stakes environment to create, play and get to know the park and each other. In doing so, we hoped to build and nurture new relationships, become familiar with the neighbourhood landscape, and grow participation in our future projects. Read more here