When I was thirteen, I had a season pass to Ontario Place and for that summer I visited the site almost every single day. From mini golf to water park to log ride and everything in between, I can still remember all its details vividly. Since 2011, the space has been left idle and because city officials have yet to commit to a plan for its future, mother nature reigns over the site and the gates remain locked.
Like other Torontonians, I was anxious and worried that I won’t be able to set foot on the grounds again. Luckily, artists and curators Rui Pimenta and Layne Hinton was inspired by the site’s rough around the edges un-manicured state and they envisioned a transformative art experience to be held at Ontario Place. Along with a team of artists, musicians, organizers, and partners, Rui and Layne brought in/future to life. The ten day festival runs until September 25th and is worth a visit or ten. Get ready for mesmerizing art installations, captivating musical performances and fun food trucks when you visit.
We were lucky to have experienced it last weekend and did not want to leave, here are some photos to showcase in/future's essence.
Cinesphere, a bit weathered but just as eye catching as ever.
Crossroads between installations at The Silos and the in/fo centre and Small World Stage located at Pavilion Village.
Small World Stage where musicians performed.
Thanks to Air France Canada, we received an upgrade experience to in/future and we got to enjoy this French picnic as well.
The best part of the VIP upgrade was having Rui Pimenta (the gentleman in plaid) one of the creators of in/future also led us around the grounds and shared stories behind some installations.
Apart of Max Dean's installations within the Log Ride, he took old mannequins which were apart of the ride and placed them into new senarios in the underbelly of the ride.
Dual perspectives and second chances.
Gareth Lichty used hiker's tape and created this installation running from the floor all the way up to the ceiling called Warp.
Warp, reaching for the skies.
Rui also told us that there used to be a hornet's nest on this lap post but sadly it was destroyed by some trespassers.
This intimate installation using yarn and fabrics was able to pay ode to the hornet's nest.
Installation and nature, intertwined into one.
Yarn mushrooms peaking out the manmade mountain.
Iconic red canoes jutting out of The Silos.
Michael M Simon's installation, equally iconically Canadian displayed across the red canoes.
Inside The Silos, Bobby stands next to Ed Pien's piece made out of mylar transparencies.
Within the transparencies these bricks and houses lived.
Apart of the nature, peaking out and saying hi.
The backdrop of the site is more beautiful then before now that nature is allowed to be on displayed and overgrown.
Across the way and cityscape's shadows.
Rui, next to the installation by Ben Watt-Meyer called Rubble Pile that leveraged displaced bricks and building materials.
From the tour, I can tell Rui cares about every little detail about in/future. He is constantly making sure electrical wires are tucked, installations are displayed correctly and saying hi to visitors. I asked if he and his team is thinking of doing this festival again, he mentioned that he definitely wants to but this festival has been all consuming and he's not sure if he has the energy to even think of the next one.
Leveraging all parts of the site, this installation makes a splash.
Getting the perfect angle.
Dock here. Safety's near.
Cinesphere, weathered and standing tall.
Double date swans and visitors.
One of the deepest installations, artist Mitchell Akiyama's grandmother was present during the inaugural ceremony when the Japanese-Canadians in 1977 given the bell to Ontario Place. He altered her voice recordings and placed speakers within the bell for visitors to stand under and listen to her distorted voice.
Bobby just casually modelling Air France merchandise and listening to the installation.
Crowd at Small World Stage, waiting for Kinnie Starr to come on.
Kinnie Starr, one of my long time musical faves, on stage. Her career and her constant awareness of our collective community make appreciate her and her sound even more.
Caroline Dohetry's installation, As Above, So Below.
Ding Dong Wall by Hazel Meyer.
Daniel Griffin Hunt's installation framing Bobby.
White, white on white.
Map of all the installations and amazingness of in/future.
Wild Flowers by John Dickson backdropped by the lake.
Sunsets and beach walks.
Out there, in/future.
Childhood movie dreams, relived.
Don't go, stay for a while.
Wild flowers as the night slips into reality.
I felt an even deeper appreciation the space during in/future and couldn't quite verbalize why. But Bobby have summarized it perfectly when he mentioned that the overgrown trees and other vegetation has made Ontario Place, just that much more Ontario and allowed Canada's natural beauty got to shine through. In/future is a must visit and a must experience.
Here's hoping Rui and Layne will think about organizing in/future once again next year.