Youth Arts Initiative

Haku, Giant Puppet

The Youth Arts Initiative have completed their first large scale puppet as part of their plans for going to Anime North. They chose Haku from the Studio Ghibli production of Spirited Away.

The YAI troop brought Haku to the Big Medicine Studio for a surprise visit to some of the youth participating in an Aanmitaagzi dance class facilitated by Penny Couchie. The Youth Arts Initiative preparing Haku for their demo at Big Medicine Studio. The YAI members gained important experience manipulating this 20 foot dragon as they will have to navigate the streets of Toronto later this month. YAI is scheduled to create several more puppets this summer as part of the White Water Gallery and we look forward to their future creations.

Planking & Owling

YAI will be conducting a series of performance arts events throughout the downtown core all drawing attention to passive protest art forms. Planking and Owling are two different ways that passive protest can occur. Anyone can participate.

Participants are invited to get involved with their friends and take photos of their planking. An online blog will be created to showcase these photos and awards will be given to participants. This event will take place during the entire festival with an award party on October 1st at 7pm.

Planking (or the Lying Down Game) is an activity consisting of lying face down in an unusual or incongruous location. Both hands must touch the sides of the body and having a photograph of the participant taken and posted on the Internet is an integral part of the game. Players compete to find the most unusual and original location in which to play. The term planking refers to mimicking a wooden plank. Rigidity of the body must be maintained to constitute good planking.

Since early 2011, many participants in planking have photographed the activity on unusual locations such as atop poles, roofs and vehicles. Planking can include lying flat on a flat surface, or holding the body flat while it’s supported in only some regions, with other parts of the body suspended. Canadian comedian Tom Green claims to have invented “planking” as early as 1994.

This activity has been registered on Culture Days as part of their 2012 Canada-wide event. Check it out: