New Kids on the Block

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distillery show

Local Torontonians are probably familiar with the cities Distillery District, a national Historic Site where
the Gooderham and Worts Distillery once operated and where you can find the largest and best preserved
collection of Victorian Industrial Architecture in North America.

This part of town drew a different kind of crowd last weekend when Street Art Showcase took over for their inaugural Urban Art Festival. The entire day was dedicated to graffiti artists, painters, stencilled and of course YARN BOMBING!

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Bissell volunteers wrapping up the street lamps with some crochet cozies.

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All set and waiting for the show to start!

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Our first group of visitors adding their mark to the street with chalk drawings.

The group had been approached a few months ago to think up some ideas for the space. The culturally preserved buildings and cobbled streets make the area such a beautiful place to stroll, not to mention the cute cafes and unique shops around every corner. The group was absolutely thrilled to be a part of the event, especially since it gave us the much needed kick in the pants to really get out there and display something outdoors. earlier in our groups career we had been a bit hesitant to really get out on the streets since the summer had already experienced some pretty big weather mood swings (and our worries were before #stormTO had happened! Eep!) Members dedicate a lot of time and love into producing pieces, and a teeny-tiny selfish part of us want the works to stay clean and colourful for as long as possible. Bleached, and soaked through yarn tends to look a little drab, the opposite of how we want people to feel when they stumble across the yarn bombs.

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Although the morning was a bit cloudy, it was incredible to hear and see the reactions from those passing by.
Once we had all the lamp posts, barrels and even the clock covered with our crochet interventions,
it was time to pop on stage for a little demo.

Throughout the festival, artists working in different mediums were invited to show off their skills and produce a
brand new piece in front of a live audience. Since the Bissell Bombers are all about community and collaboration we
decided to get the audience to help us make even more yarn bombs to decorate the district. Armed with a much yarn in
as many colour imaginable, visitors of all ages got on stage with our Bissell leader and learned how they could make
some fuzzy Pom Poms. Even the event’s MC got in on the action and found himself with a
pure crochet flower festooning his hat!

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The live stage demo was so amazing to run, and seeing families and couples wanting to learn a new craft and ask
questions about yarn bombing was really inspiring. All the Bissell members and installation volunteers could really
feel all the love that went into planning the first ever urban art feat for the district, and were so honoured to have
been able to share what we do. It was such a great day and we owe a lot of thanks to those who organized
the festival and those came out to celebrate local arts and crafts!

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