Calypso Mural Ideas Are Thrown At The Wall

Best Ideas Are Being Thrown At The Wall

Big Rig comes in at night on Bloor Street to work on new Mirvish complex
photo Herman Silochan

By Stephen Weir While you are mixing some outdoor paint, turn on the Calypso music real loud and then throw it against a blank wall. If luck is with you, you might have created Toronto’s next downtown mural, which will make Itah Sadu very very happy.

The Caribbean Camera has been following how her Blackhurst Cultural Centre, formally named A Different Booklist Cultural Centre to lead a project which will create a large outdoor mural devoted to calypso in the City of Toronto.  The proposed outdoor wall mural will be in the new Mirvish Village currently under construction where the iconic Ed’s Warehouse once stood at Bloor and Bathurst St.  Sadu’s bookstore and culture centre is directly across the street from where the mural will be installed.

Earlier this week reporter Stephen Weir brought along some photographs of both Toronto and Bogota, Columbia murals to a steering committee meeting at the Blackhurst Cultural Centre. Bogota is considered the epi-center of urban art of South America and has become a mural destination for outdoor art tourists!

Sadu has put together a small think tank team of experts with both art and Calypso experts. Recording artist Roger Gibb, singer Tara Gonzalez, musician and composer Ozzie Gurley and urban art photographer Herman Silochan mulled over a growing list of famous Toronto Calypsonians that should be featured in the wall art. The Honourable David Rudder, Pan Man Pat, Macromere Fee, Suzanne G, Elsworth James, the late Dick Lochan and Drew Gonsalves are just a few people whose face might make it onto the wall. 

Calypso music of the Eastern Caribbean has made a significant contribution to Torontos entertainment scene since the late 1950s. Its spin-off Soca is the driving sound of the internationally renowned Toronto Caribbean Carnival.

There are several murals in Toronto that feature Caribbean performers ranging from Bob Marley to Salome Bay. However, there are no murals that feature Calypsonians … yet. 

Artist Adrian Hayes' Reggae Wall in Little Jamaica

“Blackhurst Cultural Centre and our collaborators seek to create what will become an iconic feature in the revitalized Bathurst and Bloor area and make a lasting statement in recognition of the contributions of the citys Black and Caribbean community,” explained bookstore owner Itah Sadu. “We will be moving into one of the 24 heritage buildings in the new Mirvish Village. The expansion of will provide a permanent gathering place for learning, sharing, and celebrating the stories of African and Caribbean Canadians.

Calypso Wall meeting photo Herman Silochan

In other Blackhurst Cultural Centre news, the BCC’s community search for a logo for the new building is nearly completed. As of yesterday, they are down to the top 3 finalists in the logo project. They have opened up for community voting on the BCC website at The selection contest ends at noon on November 1st



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