Aboriginal Pavilion

Aboriginal Pavilion in Toronto in 2015

Aboriginal Pavilion in Toronto in 2015

Every four years, in the year just ahead of the Summer Olympics and Paralympic Summer Games, the Pan Am and the Parapan Am Games are held. For the first time ever, the Games will be held in Toronto. 41 nations in the Americas and the Caribbean will send their best athletes – 7,000 are expected – all tested and tried, and eager to triumph in a larger arena. In the realm of international multi-sport competition, only the Olympics and the Asian games are bigger.

The organizing committee for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games is working with 14 Aboriginal organizations from the Games host region hereinafter known as Aboriginal Leadership Partners. Their role, according to the announcement made at the time, will be to drive economic development, volunteer recruitment, arts and culture, and youth engagement. In short, they will provide leadership in the endeavour.

Communities large and small share one physical characteristic that enhances civic life. They all have a central place to gather.   The town square is everywhere. So it is that the Aboriginal Leadership Partners want to create a place to gather, a place for people from across the Americas to show and share their cultures, traditions and talents.

What better place is there for this grand vision than Fort York’s Garrison Common? The green goes on and on. It’s a welcoming space in the heart of the city, really, with room for everyone and with a rich history of its own. Some events will be held at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto and at Harbourfront in concert with Planet IndigenUS. So, the gathering place has a home and a couple of special resting places. It has a name: Aboriginal Pavilion. And it has a time to shine: July 10 – 26 and August 7 – 9.

The Aboriginal Pavilion has momentous plans for a 19-day extravaganza of Indigenous art and culture from all over the hemisphere. It will all unfold when the Games are on. The orchestrators are lining up an eclectic array of gifted artists to entertain and enlighten visitors, who are sure to be dazzled by the breadth and the scope of cultural expression. This is what is envisioned.

It’s ambitious. What we call, big thinking. And, why not? We can do it if we work together. We need to sign on to the project wholeheartedly. To let ourselves be excited about it and to share that excitement. To talk about it – a lot. Ad nauseum doesn’t count here. And, we need to volunteer, by the hundreds, literally. I don’t think it’s too high-minded to say, we have a chance to show the world who we are, as individuals, and, as a people.

Let’s stand tall, together, and, be proud.

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