Toronto History Museums’ Awakenings program features public art installations The TRUTH, All Power to All People and Dis/Mantle – City of Toronto


Press release

September 28, 2022

On September 30, as part of the Awakenings program, the Toronto History Museums presents a public art installation, The TRUTH by KWEST, Young Elder Philip Cote, Tyrone Edwards, Que Rock and Noah “40” Shebib; All Power to All People by Hank Willis Thomas with a soundscape by Mustafa and Dis/Mantle by Gordon Shadrach and guests.

Created in 2016 and reborn in 2020, The TRUTH opposes injustice and the erasure of Black, Indigenous, and communities of color and advocates self-reflection to honor the truths therein. The monumental three-dimensional graffiti-style sculpture is a statement that pays homage and respect to the fact that we live on Indigenous lands taken over by colonial treaties. The TRUTH also reinforces that Black lives matter in all areas of Canadian society.

TRUTH is a physical and social movement. It presents opportunities for individuals to reflect on their truth and the injustices on the planet. Mounted on a 55-foot flatbed truck, this traveling installation will visit more than 20 locations in the GTA from September 30 to October 12. Programming may include, but is not limited to, sharing your truths, smudges, performances, talks, and thoughts.

TRUTH is a collaboration of culture and process of shared experiential learning and knowledge passed down from one generation and nation to nation.

More information about The TRUTH is available online. Visitors to the exhibition can contribute to the social movement on social media by posting photos and using the following hashtags: #TheTRUTH #Awakenings #TelltheFullStory.

Opening ceremony
A public dedication ceremony for The TRUTH will be held Friday, September 30 at 7 p.m. at Garrison Common, Fort York National Historic Site, 100 Garrison Rd, Toronto. Everyone is welcome.

The City of Toronto is grateful to its community partner, the Toronto Raptors, and media partner 106.5 ELMNT FM for their support of the Awakenings program.

Toronto History Museums Additional Programming:

sleepless night at Toronto History Museums
Nuit Blanche, Toronto’s nocturnal celebration of contemporary art, returns for its 16th edition on Saturday, October 1.

The Toronto History Museums will have three major works of art participating in Nuit Blanche:

  • Dis/Mantle with Gordon Shadrach and his guests, Spadina Museum: contemporary artists reinvent the Spadina Museum from a narrative of Afrofuturism
  • The TRUTH, Fort York: a mobile public art project
  • All Power to All People by Hank Willis Thomas, Operation Prefrontal Cortex with an original soundscape with Mustafa and Simon Hessman, Fort York: a public art intervention, an enlarged afro choice sculpture with a powerful fist cast that deals with the racial identity and representation.

Independent Nuit Blanche projects Step Into My Space will also be on site at the Spadina Museum and Writing on the Wall at Mackenzie House.

More information about Nuit Blanche can be found online.

To disassemble the art exhibition continues
Through December 31, Dis/Mantle, an art exhibit inspired by the efforts of black abolitionists, reimagines the Spadina Museum through an Afrofuturist narrative. The group exhibition includes soundscapes, ceramics and visual arts by Canadian artists from the Afro-Caribbean diaspora. Visitors can view the art exhibit by taking a free guided tour of the museum and learn more online.

Watch: A Portrait in Red and Acknowledgments
Revisit We Were Always Here, a film series part of the Awakenings program that features the short films of 10 black, Indigenous and color filmmakers from Toronto. The short films aim to disrupt, uncover and display colonial narratives. Each filmmaker focuses on one of Toronto’s 10 history museums to shed light on untold stories. For the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, the films A Portrait in Red and Recognition will be of great interest.

A portrait in red, seen on Youtube, deals with themes such as ongoing colonial violence against Indigenous women and the environment and intergenerational trauma. Acknowledgment of receipt, consulted on Youtubehighlights how the life and history of Indigenous peoples shaped Toronto’s origins.

The Toronto History Museums Awakenings Program received the 2021 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Community Leadership and recently the 2022 Award of Excellence at the American Association for State and Local’s Annual Conference History for Awakenings. Awakenings was the only Canadian show to receive the prestigious award this year.

Admission to Toronto’s 10 history museums is now permanently free for all. Further information is available on the Plan your visit to the museum web page.

The Toronto History Museums are a group of 10 City of Toronto owned and operated museums that bring Toronto’s history to life for residents and visitors. They include Colborne Lodge, Fort York National Historic Site, Gibson House Museum, Mackenzie House, Market Gallery, Montgomery’s Inn, Scarborough Museum, Spadina Museum, Todmorden Mills, and Zion School. More information is available online, or follow Toronto’s History Museums at Twitteron instagram, Facebook and Youtube.

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s main economic engine and one of the most diverse and livable cities in the world. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a world leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and ranks consistently at the top of international rankings thanks to investments supported by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City website or follow us on Twitter, instagram Where Facebook.


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