Toronto water treatment plant to be transformed for art installation

Nov 6 2020, 1:42 pm

Toronto’s RC Harris Water Treatment Plant is being transformed into a colourful light show as part of BigArtTO this weekend.

The installation, called “Dia de los Muertos,” was created by Emma Lopez and Pedro Narvaez of AVA Animation and Visual Arts, along with several OCAD artists and alumni.

The animated piece was created “in honour of the Indigenous, pre-Hispanic/Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead,” according to a release.

“‘Dia de los Muertos,’ or the ‘Day of the Dead,’ is a celebration meant to honour our ancestors… its purpose is to help us find our place in the world by honouring those that have already left, and to thank them for the love and the lessons they left behind,” said Lopez.

“It is a way to use art to transform grief, by thinking of death not as a dark, dreaded and painful event but as a part of life itself that should also be celebrated. And we do so, with flowers, incense, food, colour and joy.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory tweeted his support of the project, telling the city to make a stop at the vibrant display this weekend.

Running Wednesdays to Sundays until December 5, BigArtTO is a celebration of public art across Toronto.

Each week the series features temporary projections of art onto local buildings and landmarks. With free access to over 200 hours of public art, BigArtTO says it offers “a safer, healthy outdoor activity for you to enjoy with the people you live with.”

Dia de los Muertos will be up from 6:30 to 9:30pm on Friday and Saturday.
According to the event’s website, the experience is completely contactless, making it a COVID-19-friendly alternative to sitting on Santa’s knee.

Dia de los Muertos at BigArtTO

When:​ 6:30 to 9:30 pm, November 6 and 7, 2020

Where:​ R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, 2701 Queen Street E

Tickets: ​Free

Note: While local parks, shops, and events are reopened, Toronto Public Health is reminding individuals to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. If you decide to go out, maintain the six-feet physical distancing guidelines.

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