In 2014, the Organizing Committee for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games began working with 14 Aboriginal organizations within the host region to promote Indigenous culture to the tens of thousands athletes and visitors who would travel to Toronto to attend the Games.
The combined effort resulted in the Aboriginal Pavilion, a 19-day extravaganza of Indigenous art and culture that took place July 10-26 and August 7-9, 2015 at 3 Toronto locations: Fort York’s Garrison Commons, the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto and Harbourfront.
We had the distinct, and at times, challenging, honour of branding the Pavilion and creating all related materials: from TTC banner ads and outdoor billboards to t-shirts and letterhead. Events of this magnitude come with their own, unique hurdles but I don’t think any of us would change anything about the opportunity; it truly was an amazing experience!
The Pavilion marked the first time that Indigenous art and culture was featured, so prominently, at the Games. We met and worked with numerous artists, singers, dancers, and entrepreneurs – not to mention athletes – from far and wide to celebrate and share – with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members in the heart of the City. We don’t remember anything else quite like it.
We hope the 2019 Games in Lima are a tremendous success and that the organizers build on the momentum created by the 2015 Pavilion and actively celebrate the culture and contributions of South America’s Indigenous People. It’s a tremendous opportunity to stand together and be proud.