Miss Canadiana is expanding our notion of Canadian history by leading a series of walking tours making hidden histories visible across the country. Most people are familiar with the rich Jewish history of the Grange/Kensington area and its transformation into a vibrant Chinese community but few know about the thriving Black businesses, families, artists and institutions that have contributed to this city since its the genesis in the early 18th century.
James Mink, a Black millionaire, owner of Mansion House Inn and Livery on Adelaide had several livery stables in Toronto and an estate in Richmond Hill. He paid a white man $10,000 to marry his daughter Minnie. On pretense of taking her on a honeymoon, her new husband sold his young bride into slavery. It took Mink 7 years to get back his beloved daughter.
For the Out of Site exhibition during Nuit Blanche Miss Canadiana will present an intimate evening recounting this and other stories from the history of the area.
Camille Turner has presented exhibitions, talks and workshops at numerous educational institutions, conferences and community events. Like many Canadians, her cultural identity has been defined through the guise of "multiculturalism", as a fetishized display of "diversity" rather than an integral part of the fabric of Canadian culture. In response, she has transformed herself into Miss Canadiana, an icon that challenges assumptions about Canadian identity and normative beauty. The public becomes a part of this project that blurs the line between "reality" and fiction. Another hybrid media/performance work, The Final Frontier, features astronauts who are descendants of the Dogon people of West Africa, returning to earth after 10,000 years to save the planet. Camille is the founder of Outerregion, a performance art company that produces her work including Miss Canadiana and the Final Frontier. Miss Canadiana has traveled across Canada from Victoria to Halifax and she has represented Canada in Germany, UK, Australia, Senegal, Mexico and Cuba.
Beaver Hall Gallery 29 McCaul Street (just north of Queen)
October 2, 2010, from 9pm – 2am
The artist would like to acknowledge her collaborators:
Afua Cooper, Historian/Researcher
Darren O'Donnell, Dramaturge
Supported by Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and Queen West BIA
This event is a part of the Out of Site exhibition curated by Earl Miller of the Queen West BIA
Many thanks to Erica Simmons.