Pan Am Games gets an artistic touch

Music and dance kicked off the recent launch of the Pan Am Path Art Relay. CityNews photo.
Music and dance kicked off the recent launch of the Pan Am Path Art Relay. CityNews photo.

An art relay, part of the Pam Am Path, that started last Saturday and runs until Aug. 15 to celebrate the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games aims to engage community groups to celebrate some of the city’s greatest assets: diversity, nature and arts.

The series of events will take place along the different zones of the path and will feature public art installations, music, performances and family-friendly festivals.

Pan Am Path partner Freedom Fridayz will celebrate five years this Saturday at Pine Point Park in Toronto with performers, musicians, DJs, dancers, visual artists and activities for the whole family. This street festival will be the second stop of the Pan Am Path Art Relay.

Freedom Fridayz was created by a group of youth in the Jane and Finch community. It was their alternative to poorly planned or non-engaging activities available for youth in that area.

The goal was to give youth the opportunity to share their artistic talents and create a welcoming and positive space in their community. The group planned monthly drop-in sessions that have grown into anticipated events attended by hundreds of community members.

An early attendant of the drop-in sessions was a young teenager named Clairmont the Second. He watched his brother perform at an open-mic and decided right then and there he wanted to be a rapper.

His first live performance was at a Freedom Fridayz open mic alongside his brother and then, as he polished his skills, he also had his first solo performance at Freedom Fridayz.

Friends of the Pan Am Path has also launched the Pan Am Path App, a mobile app that matches your geographic location on the Path to music rooted in the communities you are travelling through via four local music-streaming stations.

Other features will include: a full map of the path, directions to nearby local businesses, accessible routes and a calendar of Pan Am Path Art Relay programming.

More information is available at http://panampath.org.