Joy Lapps brings steelband to community

As an Artist in the Library, Joy Lapps is offering steel pan at the Downsview branch.
As an Artist in the Library, Joy Lapps is offering steel pan at the Downsview branch.

Toronto-based musician, composer and arts educator Joy Lapps recently clipped one of the five spots given by the Toronto Arts Council for the Artist in the Library residency program and those who want to enjoy steel pan will benefit.

The council and Toronto Public Library partnership awarded four artists and one arts organization programming grants to serve in five library branches throughout the city from September to December.

The 2014 Toronto Artist in the Library recipients are: Fixt Point Theater, Mimico Library; D’bi Young Anitafrika, Oakwood Village Library and Arts Centre; Dwayne Morgan, Cedarbrae Branch; Rukhsana Khan, Fairview Branch and Joy Lapps, Downsview Branch.

Residencies range from spoken word and drama to storytelling and music. Lapps’ residency focuses on engaging the community through free weekly steel pan lessons, workshops and a mini concert series.

Lapps is no stranger to Toronto’s arts community. She has taught steel pan for several years in various schools as a workshop facilitator, weekly instructor and artist in residence. Clients include the Harbourfront Center and various school boards throughout the GTA. She also serves as an artist and board member at Drum Artz Canada.

She has shared her art form throughout the city performing primarily with her trio and larger musical project and she looks forward to bringing her love of music to the Downsview community over the next few months.

Lapps hopes this residency will help to connect participants to Toronto’s existing steel pan community and that they might consider joining a local steelband or attending annual steel pan events in future.

The mini concert series kicks off on Saturday, Oct. 4, at 2 p.m. with a small ensemble performance featuring Toronto musicians Andrew Stewart, Jeremy Ledbetter, Elmer Ferrer and Larnell Lewis. Subsequent concerts take place Saturday, Nov. 1 and Dec. 6.

Group steelband programs begin this Saturday with programming for children, family, adults and youth. The classes culminate with a group recital on Saturday, Dec.13. Programming details are:


Children’s Steelband Program: 10 – 13 years. Time: 10 – 11 a.m.

Family Steelband Program: Parents with children 6 – 13 years. Time: 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Please note: Parents or guardians are expected to attend and participate with their children.


Jr. High Steelband Program: 11 – 14years (Grades 6 – 8). Time: 3:30 – 4:45 p.m.

Youth Steelband Program: 14 – 25 years. Time: 4:45 – 6 p.m.


Adult Steelband Program: 18 years and up. Time: 7 – 8 p.m.

There are still a few spots available in each program and interested patrons should call the library 416-395-5720 to register or send an email to Individuals interested in attending the concert series are also asked to RSVP through email or phone.

All programming related to the artist residency are free thanks to the support of the Toronto Arts Council and the Toronto Public Library.

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