Today, the City of Toronto announced The Burn, an interactive installation that provides a place for transformation, healing and letting go. The project is part of Stronger TOgether, which provides meaningful ways for Toronto residents to reflect on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. From January 19 to March 12, in an effort to collectively find healing and reflect, residents can set healing intentions on wooden cedar spheres into The Burn’s travelling vessels as they tour the city.
Inspired by the universally sacred elements of fire and water, the vessels will make more than 20 stops at various locations throughout the city.
On March 11, the third anniversary of the declaration of the pandemic, the cedar spheres from the touring vessels will be brought to Nathan Phillips Square to be burned in a display of fire, water, and immersive waves of sound, over a 24-hour period. A commemorative event in memory of lives lost during the COVID-19 pandemic will take place after The Burn. Ashes from The Burn will be harvested, mixed into soil and spread across city gardens to honour the spirit of collective healing.
The Burn was created by multi-talented, award-winning artist Roger Mooking, in collaboration with interdisciplinary artist and designer Javid JAH and multi-disciplinary artist and Wyandot Elder Catherine Tammaro.
Further information on The Burn, including schedule and vessel locations throughout the city, is available on the City’s The Burn webpage.
Stronger TOgether is a free and accessible program that will provide opportunities for people across the city to reflect on the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on recognizing disproportionately affected communities and those who continue to live with the effects of the pandemic. Stronger TOgether is funded in part by the Government of Canada.
Additional Stronger TOgether details will be announced in February 2023 and updated on the City’s Stronger TOgether webpage.
Team Toronto has administered more than 7.7 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine since the start of the vaccination campaign. Updated COVID-19 vaccine data is available on the Toronto Public Health Vaccine Dashboard.
“I’m so pleased that the City, in partnership with the Government of Canada, has created Stronger TOgether for residents to reflect on their individual and collective experiences in the pandemic. The Burn will demonstrate the hope and resilience of our residents. I invite Torontonians to reflect on their experiences and the experiences of their communities, and how far we’ve come.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Our culture unites us, entertains us, moves us, and brings us together in good times and bad times. The Reopening Fund was created to honour the people and organizations that made a difference during the pandemic and to support the resurgence our cultural sector. Our government is proud to support the City of Toronto’s The Burn, part of the Stronger TOgether program. I’m so happy to see our arts, culture, and heritage events resuming in communities across the country. I’m sure there will be a great turnout!”
– The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage
“Communities across Toronto are still feeling the impacts of the pandemic. The Burn is a great opportunity for residents to connect and find healing together as we move into 2023. I encourage you to explore the installation as it travels across the city and share your personal reflections with neighbours, friends, and loved ones.”
– Councillor Shelley Carroll (Don Valley North), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee
“As a commemoration to the lives lost and all affected by the pandemic, The Burn is a collective healing moment fuelled by the power of the people. Love only beyond this point.”
– Roger Mooking
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.