Art in the Park…And SCANDAL!!!

Trinity College grounds looking south towards gates at Queen Street West and Strachan Avenue. Toronto, Ontario, October 9, 1913.

I attended Art in the Park this weekend at Trinity-Bellwoods Park. Our local super-park and one-time home of Trinity College (1851-1925), was overrun by artists and art-lover’s in this annual exhibition and sale.

Trinity College gates, Queen Street West at Strachan Avenue. Toronto, Ontario, Canada c1916.

The sun was shining, children were laughing, lover’s were canoodling (that’s right, canoodling!), I had a bowl of dumplings and it seemed that everything was right with the world. But looking past the veneer of paradise, past the squirrels, black and white, gathering nuts in unity, there was subversion afoot! Not since 2001, when Mel Lastman shook hands with members of the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club in an unfortunate photo-opt, has something so scandalous taken place in Toronto politics. Mel Lastman claimed to not know who was shaking his hand, and when told he was shocked to discover that there was a chance that the friendly hand-shaking bikers might be mixed up in illegal shenanigans (that’s right shenanigans – don’t judge me!) like drug-trafficking!

Mel Lastman shakes hand with member of the Hell’s Angel in January of 2001.

But here in Trinity-Bellwoods Park where I once saw a cat leap from the top of a tree, over the head of a reaching fire-fighter on a ladder-truck, something more shocking and unbelievable had taken place and was now on display.

Kids, cover your eyes…

While you can’t actually see the cat in the picture, believe you me, when that cat hit the ground it was well enough to run.

Allegedly, Rob Ford (Toronto’s temporary mayor) had been seen standing next to Sasquatch on the shores of Toronto Island. Artist Mike Riley had captured the event and was now displaying it for everyone to see.

“Look, isn’t that the CN Tower” by Mike Riley

Rob Ford has been known to be staunchly opposed to Gravy Trains, weekly weigh-ins and so horrified by Gay Pride that he doesn’t even want to be in the city in case he might catch homosexuality, but when graffiti artists began depicting him in an unsavoury light, Big Rob went after them.

Graffiti by Ivus

Is it possible that now that his impromptu appearance next to Sasquatch Dave is out there for the whole city to ridicule that Rob Ford may go after art in general?

Rob Ford targets art! First it was Gravy Trains, then it was weigh-ins, next it was safely operating a motor vehicle. Now he’s adding eyebrows!

Sasquatch Eddie, who was visiting from the Fraser Valley in B.C. has been facing ridicule amongst his fellow-Sasquatch at home. In a front-page story in the local Sasquatch Valley Recorder, the Sasquatch community is in an uproar about Sasquatch Dave posing alongside Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, claiming it was poor judgement on his part. In an interview with Canadian Culture Thing, Sasquatch Dave claims he was simply making a silly pose for a photo for long-time girlfriend Sasquatch Velma and he “was just as shocked as everyone else that the Toronto Mayor jumped into the frame.”

Sasquatch Dave added that he has been having trouble sleeping ever since and has been having a recurring dream, “I’m in a large pot of boiling water and there a Rob Fords dancing around it and chanting that I have to “volunteer” for his Toronto football team or I can kiss my job goodbye! It’s horrible…just horrible.”

Let me tell you, you haven’t seen sad until you’ve seen a Sasquatch cry.

Toronto-based artist Olenka Kleban’s butter sculpture depicting the mayor driving a car while reading a Margaret Atwood novel was a real crowd-pleaser at the CNE this year. Rob never wanted to lick himself so badly.
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