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Tibetans of toronto

SEPTEMBER 17 - 24, 2015

Flex Studio 107 | Artscape Youngplace Toronto, CAN

artists in exile, tibetans of toronto

Tibetans Of Toronto is a weeklong arts festival produced by the Bureau Of Power And Light art collective and Andrea Paras featuring local Tibetan-born artists Chuchi Dhondup Robatsong, Khydup Gyatso, Lobsang Tenpa, Lungtok Gyamtso, and Tsultrim Nyampo. Having fled their homeland, where their culture has been suppressed by Chinese occupation since the 1950's, these artists have found refuge here in Toronto, home to one of the largest Tibetan exile communities outside of Nepal and India. This exhibition will directly connect the artists with the Toronto arts community and engage that community with the artist's work and the circumstances of their exile life.


Opening with an evening of live performances, traditional Tibetan foods and interactive circle dancing, the week will feature an art exhibition, workshops, demonstrations, storytelling, music and dance. This is a unique opportunity to experience artworks steeped in a distinct cultural and spiritual heritage as presented by contemporary Tibetan-born artists living in Toronto

A HUGE THANK YOU to our partners Artscape Youngplace, Jayu: Human Rights Film Festival, Coffee Public and the Centre For Social Innovation. We could not have done it without your support!


(click photo for bio)




Thursday Sept. 17

Opening Ceremony

5:30 pm- 7:00 pm

Join us under the big tree in front of Artscape Youngplace as we honour the land with a First Nations ceremony led by Kevin Nadjiwon (Anishinabe, Three Fires- PotawatamiOjibway, Odawa -Turtle Clan, Member of Batchewana First Nation Band of Ojibways).

The tree, representing Tibet, the artists’ homeland, will be adorned with colourful ‘Journey Flags’ that will extend around the building and into the studio window, representing the artists’ treacherous journey through the Himalayas into Nepal, to India and eventually to Toronto.


We will then be led by Sungjang Rinpoche and other local Tibetan Buddhist monks in a procession with the featured artists and Cheri Dinovo (MPP for Parkdale-High Park) into the building with a portrait of His Holiness The Dalai Lama and on into Flex Studio 107. Here, we will be treated to a Tibetan ceremony, a message from Cheri Dinovo and live performances by Dorjee Tsering, Phuntsok Rabten (traditional nomad songs), Sonam Chokey, Tsetan, and friends.

Thank you so much to Kevin Nadjiwon, Sungjang Rinpoche, Cheri DiNovo and all of the performers for joining us in this opening celebration! We are so honoured and grateful!


7:00 pm

Join us for the Community Dinner (food provided by Shangrila Cuisine) in the Urban Lounge as part of Artscape Youngplace’s “Recess” event, an open-studio extravaganza where you can check out all the different organizations that call Artscape Youngplace home.

7:30 pm

Opening Celebrations

Head on back to Flex Studio 107 for a festive evening and more live performances 


The journey flags were designed collaboratively with the featured artists to symbolize the artists' journey from Tibet, over the Himalayan Mountains, into India and eventually to Toronto. The design is based on Tibetan Prayer Flags (lungta). The artists' journey to India took at least a month to complete and they each faced many hardships along the way and suffered the loss of fellow escapees. 

After gathering bolts of red, white, blue, yellow and green fabric, over 400' of red string and creating a stencil sheet with the help of resident Scenic Artist Bob Lomow, the producers, artists, family and friends got together at McWood Studios. With the help of a paint booth and a few sewing machines, hand-crafted 400' of Journey Flags. Back at Artcsape, we then wrapped these flags around a big tree (representing Tibet) and extended them all the way around to the back of the building where they entered the artists studio and were fastened to the wall inside.