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Orphan Burn 2010: “Art Attack!” Sept 18th, Toronto Islands

8 July 2010 5 Comments
Orphan Burn 2009: photo by Erich Boyer

Orphan Burn 2009: photo by Erich Boyer

Orphan Burn 2010: Art Attack!

Saturday, September 18, 2010
4:00pm – 2:00am
Gibralter Point Beach, Toronto Islands

Come out to the island for the 4th Annual Orphan Burn!


MOVED TO RAIN DATE OF SEPT 18th! Also PLEASE NOTE: Ferries are now on Fall schedule — please take a moment to check them when making your plans for arrival to and departure from the Islands!

Location on google maps! (Muchas gracias to Lukard for the idea to make a google map.) Put it in satellite mode and you`ll see the path leading from the main road to the beach (across from the water treatment plant entrance and to the east of the school).


[See also detailed directions below from the ferries.]

This year we’re taking our inspiration from Toronto’s BEEEG FIRE art project “The Heart Machine”. The Heart Machine is an ambitious playa-bound art piece which requires participants to make a human chain to create a circuit which then sparks a huge flame effect. At its center is an anatomical heart, the literal and figurative “heart” of the piece. Our Orphan Burn effigy this year will echo the Heart Machine in both form and somewhat in function.

Drawing from all this awesome art, we have decided that the overall event theme will be “Art Attack!” — we are inviting everyone to make art, bring it to (or create it on) the beach, burn it, gift it, share it, BE IT! So, ponder art and what it means to you, create a costume (become your favorite painting, embody your favorite artist, make wearable art!), and then come on down on Sept 4th and embody it!

What To Bring: ART!, food (bring something to share! great way to meet awesome new people!), water/drinks, fireplace logs, camp saw/axe to help cut fire wood for the bonfire, playa gifts, your fine self in your playa-style finery, LED/glow stuff for nighttime fun, fire tools (incl. safety gear and *fuel*) if you spin fire, blankets/mats, layers and jacket (it gets chilly at night!), sunscreen for day, bug spray for night, lighting (lanterns, tiki torches, solar, flashlights, headlamps etc.), garbage bags and, if you are a smoker, butt tins (LEAVE NO TRACE!).

Final Ferry Departures:
Centre Island (closest, by a bit, and better for those on foot): 11:45pm
Hanlan’s Ferry leaves at 9:30pm now that they are on the Fall Schedule!

We often do *not* make the final ferries home and instead take water taxis back to the mainland. These cost usually about $8 or so a person & run until quite late at night. A few people have opted in the past to sleep on the beach — or were forced to when they found themselves still out there when the final water taxis stopped running. (It is technically illegal to do so, though; so, beware of that, if you decide you wish to go that route. Bring a tent if you think you might get stuck.)

UPDATED Ferry Schedules:http://www.toronto.ca/parks/island/ferry-schedule.htm

Water Taxi Services:

Note: be prepared to get yourself to and from the event. We will not call the water taxis in advance for you. If you do not want to sleep on the beach, then don’t get stuck on the island. Radical Self-Reliance!

Directions to Gibralter Point:

- from Centre Islands Ferry (best for those walking): from the ferry, head towards the pier on the far side of the island. When you reach the pier, hang a right and follow the path until you see the City of Toronto works site on your right and a small boardwalk leading through a woven, wicker-look gate going to a beach. That beach is where you want to be. (If you reach Artscape Gibralter Point, you have gone a wee bit too far.)
- from Hanlan’s Ferry (best for bikers): from ferry, follow main path towards lighthouse and Artscape Gibralter Point. When you reach turn-off for Lighthouse, stay on main path. Pass Artscape and look for a small boardwalk and woven, wicker-look gate on your right, leading to a beach. This is where you want to be. (City of Toronto works site entrance will be close by on your left.)

This event is, as always, free to all. To help cover the costs involved, we will accept donations on the beach — or contact one of the organizers if you wish to volunteer or make a donation to the cause!


  • Glenn Coles said:

    Here is a map of the Toronto Islands; Gibraltar Point Centre for the Arts is number 24 on the map.

  • karen dahle said:

    This event is irresponsible. Since when did burning garbage or your art become a celebrated event. What effect do you think burning has on our air. Educate yourself, this event is a sad joke.

  • Idealien said:

    “When did burning your art become a celebrated event?”
    That tradition is far older than the beginnings of Burning Man which started in the mid 80′s. Inspiration for it – and similar regional events that incorporate the immediate art experience – can be traced back to a time when humanity still lived a tribal lifestyle and bonfire gatherings around the changing of the seasons were the norm.

    Educate yourself Karen! The event is about so much more than the singular act of burning of a few pieces of art. I doubt any are suggesting that burning of art has a positive effect on air quality, but it is a small transgression compared to the impact that majority of people in todays consumer-driven culture have in which they drive everywhere, buys heaps of products which are designed to fail and wrapped in disposable packaging made through unsustainable means. The positive impact felt by most individuals who attend an event such as Burning Man and the trickle-down effect it has on the way they live their lives far outweigh the few scraps of wood that go up in smoke at such an event.

  • Vicki Morell said:

    Every tradition that has an impact on the air we breathe and global warming needs to be reconsidered. If everyone keeps doing what they used to do then we will never change global warming or protect the only air that we have to breathe.

    Can you imagine if everyone burned their art as a tradition? Just because you have done it for years and years doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do. Please rethink all burning for the sake of our health and well being.

  • Idealien said:

    If everyone put as much thought, love and energy into life as those who I have encountered that build & burn their art, the world would have so many less problems. Tackling gigantic / vague problems like global warming would be a piece of cake as we’d be living in a world of peace with a dash of punk rock :P