Made by Torontonians for Torontonians, Ring of Fire was a 300-person strong street procession that took place along University Avenue from Queen’s Park to City Hall on August 9, 2015. Commissioned by the Art Gallery of York University and produced in partnership with YorkU’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, Art Starts, and Sketch, and staged at the Parapan American Games, Ring of Fire was a collaboration between Trinidadian artist Marlon Griffith and Disability dancers from Picasso Pro and Equal Grounds, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Capoeira Angola practitioners, and young spoken word poets from Toronto’s Jane-Finch, Malvern, and Regent Park neighbourhoods.

Constituted over a two-year process through 100s of workshops in integrated dance, capoeira, spoken word, mask-making and music, Ring of Fire forged new solidarities amongst collaborators whilst also bringing into relation an equally diverse group of producers and contributors (SKETCH, Art Starts, Toronto Community Living, the Malvern SPOT, Success Beyond Limits, the Collective of Black Artists (COBA)) as well as hard-core administrative bodies: Toronto Police Services, City Hall, the Legislative Assembly,…etc

Truth Orator Zeinab Aidid and Adow (performing) Adow (performing) at Art Starts, 2014.

Humility Entourage member and Capoeira Mestre Marcio Mendes.

Opposite top: Members of Alternative Routes from New Credit explore possible soundscapes for the Seven Grandfather Teachings at the sketch recording studio, 2015.

Respect Entourage member Beverly Smith and Love Entourage member Alexis Pastuch practice capoeira in the dance studios atsketch, 2015.

Maskmaking workshop with Art Starts “Sew What?!” program at Marlon’s first mas’ camp, located at the Drake Hotel, Toronto, 2014.

Maskmaking workshop with Art Starts “Sew What?!” program at Marlon’s first mas’ camp, located at the Drake Hotel, Toronto, 2014.

Wings being made for Love Sentinel during the month-long mas’ camp Marlon led with upper year sculpture students as part of the Louis Odette Sculptor- in-Residence Program, School of arts media and performance and design York University, 2015.

Arrows for Respect Sentinel costume at sculpture studio, York University.

Members of Alternative Routes from New Credit explore possible soundscapes for the Seven Grandfather Teachings at the sketch recording studio, 2015.

Capoeira workshop at sketch, 2015

Art Starts’ “Sew What?!” program participants and spoken word poets learn about the Seven Grandfather Teachings with Elder Duke Redbird, 2014.

Wheelchair dance party at sketch, 2014.

The beginning of the Grand Entry

Drummers from Alternative Routes enter Nathan Phillips Square to begin Grand Entry

Wisdom Sentinel Duke Redbird performs his poem “The Dance” as a public address at Nathan Phillips Square 

Moon Orator Kareem Bennett and ASL Singer Hope Rehman perform at the end of the round dance at Nathan Phillips Square that marks the end of the Ring of Fire Procession