Between October 25 and November 4, 2007, Toronto will be transformed as Abilities Arts Festival: A Celebration of Disability Arts and Culture will take centre stage to showcase an array of stunning works in the visual and performing arts and film by artists with disabilities.

Abilities Arts Festival is a 10-day celebration of art and creativity that includes dynamic and provocative visual and performing arts, a four-day international disability film festival, innovative and stimulating workshops, seminars and networking events, as well as an exceptional program of performances for children and youth with disabilities.

For a full schedule of activities, please visit www.abilitiesartsfestival.org.

HIGHLIGHTS OF ABILITIES ARTS FESTIVAL 2007 INCLUDE:

Performance

Spectacular and innovative performances featuring a lineup of acclaimed Canadian and international artists with disabilities will grace the stages of the Glenn Gould Studio. ìOn Stage at the Studioî is an enlightening, entertaining and extraordinary evening of music, dance and the premiere of award-winning Canadian playwright Wendy Lill’s short play "Brothers." (Oct. 26, Glenn Gould Studio)

Matinee and other performances at the Columbus Centre include: Toronto "On Stage," featuring "Fall from Grace" with Wanda Fitzgerald and "One Man’s Comedy" with Andre Arruda. (Oct. 27); "Clothing Optional," a hilarious play by Tekki Lomnicki, one of America’s funniest writer-comedians, performed as part of "Women: Disability and the Art of Disclosure." (Oct. 28); and the "Rendezvous Cafe," an informal and exciting festival happening that includes a mesmerizing performance of singing, drumming and dance by Sidiki Conde and Tokounou (Oct. 27).

Visual Arts

Breathtaking and sometimes provocative images illustrate the power of photography. CONNECTIONS 3: "Exposed" contains rich and diverse imagery from 50 photographers from around the world that will excite, amuse and amaze. "Body Language," is an artfully presented photographic exhibit depicting themes of sensuality, sexuality and disability. It is comprised of selected photographs from three major international shows. (Oct. 25 – Nov. 11, Joseph D. Carrier Gallery)

A third exhibit, "Out From Under: Disability, History and Things to Remember," is an activist exhibition of Canadian Disability History produced by Ryerson University’s School of Disability Studies. This exhibit chronicles stories of shame, neglect and disenfranchisement while also illuminating a history of resistance and survival. It pays tribute to the resilience, creativity, and civic and cultural contributions of Canadians with disabilities. (Oct. 25 – Oct. 31, Columbus Centre)

Film

From Nov. 1-4, PROJECTIONS 2: An International Disability Film Festival takes the limelight. It provides a forum for the examination of ideas, myths, fears and attitudes as portrayed by people with disabilities. PROJECTIONS 2 provides an opportunity to engage, stimulate discussion, challenge perceptions and expand awareness and/or simply to entertain.

A diverse range of 39 films, documentaries, shorts, animations and experimental films written, produced, directed and/or starring performances by filmmakers, media artists and actors with disabilities have been selected for screening.

In addition to film screenings, PROJECTIONS 2 will include post-screening discussions with outstanding film-makers Paul Nadler, Sharon Snyder and David Mitchell.

Participate and Explore

Workshops, and networking events that entertain, engage, and foster conversation and opportunities include: Taoist Tai Chi: The Art and the Experience; A Zany "Zein" Workshop; Improv 101: With the Impatient Theatre Company; a panel discussion on "Disability Arts in the Public Eye"; as well as two outstanding professional development seminars designed for professionals, emerging professionals and those who want to be in the know. PLUS "Women, Disability and the Art of Disclosure," a riveting day of film, discussion and performance. Join in the Celebration of Disability Arts and Culture!