BIG: Bloor Improvement Group advances the economic, physical, cultural, environmental and social life of the targeted local Bloor Street by creating opportunities and events that improve and celebrate the area.
BIG not for profit organization, founded in 2006 and made possibly by volunteers. BIG is a dynamic coalition defined by a geographic area and a common goal: to make Bloor Street from Dundas West to Christie a better place by building a healthy community. BIG is a community action project to mobilize local participation by initiating creative strategies for community development. BIG represents local stakeholders: resident associations, BIAs, cultural producers, community activists, social service agencies and institutions, schools, places of faith, gardeners and individuals.
Bloorcourt and Bloordale BIAs are BIG Members.
The above map of Bloor Street, Bloordale is the site of recent BIG on Bloor Festivals.
BIG formed in 2006 to increase the capacity of the community to address a number of complex social issues. Community leaders from an area spanning two City wards on Bloor Street came together to form The BIG coalition, an umbrella organization that defines a new locality. The strategy by unifying the smaller regions to make one BIG Bloor is that small steps make big change.
BIG Invites Participation: Opportunities to make a Better Bloor: The BIG Festival, participate, plan an event, improve storefronts and businesses, donate materials or funding, volunteer, play, have fun, learn, create, meet your neighbours, make new friends.
BIG encourages and appreciates everyones help to plan cross-community events that will help contribute to a vital Bloor Street.
Mandate and Goals
BIG works to advance the environmental, economic, physical, cultural and social life of Bloor Street by creating opportunities and events that improve and celebrate the area.
Arts and Culture / Health and Environment / Small Business and the BIG Community: Sharing Bloor Street
BIG intentions include:
- A renewed commitment to environmental sustainability.
In 2007 our founding goals included:
- Provide an opportunity for diverse groups to get to know each other and become friends by working on common goals that will build a stronger community.
- Green and improve street appearance.
- Support local business by improving storefronts and street appearance.
- Introduce cultural events and opportunities that enrich the area visually and culturally via art projects.
- Encourage shopping on Bloor with a Buy-on-Bloor campaign.
- Incubate new business to fill empty stores.
- Improve the businesses that we have.
- Create Bloor Street destinations that encourage walking via window-shopping, good stores and cultural projects.
- Reduce crime: by putting more people on the street to notice and respond to problems, by creating a street appearance that announces that this is a cared-for area and develop strategy to address the social issues facing at risk individuals.
- BIG recognizes that many of the BIG founding goals have been achieved and look forward to fostering ideas, events and projects that continue to further advance our mandate. BIG works to create vital, life-long neighbourhoods, grounded in social and environmental sustainability and animated by cultural activity.
BIG is proud to support our member initiatives:
- Metrolinx Meeting, March
- Community Spring Clean-Up
- BIG on Bloor Festival, July
- Community Spring Clean-Up – April 19 – Councillor Bailão | Bloordale BIA | Bloordale CIA
- Community Garden Planting – April 19 – Bloordale BIA
- Bloordale Safety Walk – April 30 – Councillor Bailão | Bloordale BIA
- MAY PLAYDAY – May 2 – Bloordale BIA | NineA
- Jane’s WALK HERE Bloordale – May 2 – Bloordale BIA
- 100in1Day: Bloordale – June 6 – Artist Dyan Marie | Bloordale BIA
- Bloordale Community Garage Sale – June 13 – Bloordale CIA
- BIG on Bloor Festival 2015 – August 22/23 – BIG
- Bloordale Laneway Crawl – September 27 – The Laneway Project | Bloordale BIA | Bloordale CIA
- JR Bloordale Project – September 27 – TSA | Bloordale BIA | NineA
- Bloordale Nuit Blanche – Bloordale Index – October 3 – TSA with Dyan Marie | Bloordale BIA
- Ice Garden – Dyan, Marjolein, Dougal and Sid
- Spot Talks
BIG: The Bloor Initiative Group presented: The BIG on Bloor Festival Seven
Saturday, July 19, 1 pm – 9 pm, Sunday, July 20, noon to 6 pm,
car-free Dufferin to Lansdowne
BAAF: BIG Alternative Art Fair
Completion of renewed streetscape
BIG presented: The BIG on Bloor Festival Six
Saturday, July 20, 1 pm – 9 pm, Sunday, July 21, noon to 6 pm,
car-free Dufferin to Lansdowne
BIG presented: The BIG on Bloor Festival 2012
BIG celebrated the area with BIG on Bloor Festival 2011
The Responding Festival
Bloordale Poetry Festival with 100TPC
BIG and the Bloordale BIA celebrated the area with New Bloor Festival
Light Art Food Festival
BIG, Bloordale BIA and Bloorcourt BIA joined again for BIG on Bloor Festival 2009
BIG, Bloordale BIA and Bloorcourt BIA’s first year with BIG on Bloor Festival 2008
The Slash Party
Inconvenient Stores – store window projects
No Broken Tiles
Founding of BIG
BIG is registered not for profit organization, with a Board of Directors and a coalition of members, volunteers and stakeholders.
The Chair is a neutral party to remain independent from BIG and any of its Members. The Chair prepares the agenda, organizes and ensures all meetings are constructive, time efficient and civil.
In the absence of the Chair, the Vice Chair has the powers and performs the duties of the Chair
The Secretary is responsible for distributing notices, keeping records of all meetings, and ensuring that corporate records are maintained.
The Treasurer shall maintain full and accurate financial records, and be responsible for both making deposits and disbursing funds in accordance with the instructions of the BIG Board of Directors.
The Executive Director manages the affairs of BIG under the general direction of the Board, and responsible for the organization of the work of BIG and the engagement, supervision, direction and discharge of all employed personnel.
Several Committees made up of Directors and general Big Members report to the Board. The following are examples of just some of the Committees:
Represents the organization to the community; enhances the organization’s image, including communications with the press.
Community Safety Committee
Addresses both social and physical safety issues for all members of our community
Festival Organizing Committee
Acts as a management sounding board to execute the BIG on Bloor Street Festival
Develops and oversees the implementation of the Fundraising Plan, in addition to identifying and soliciting funds from external sources of support.
Develops and runs BIG events outside the context of the BIG Festival
When appropriate and possible:
BIG meetings will encourage a round-table approach with everyone’s contributions appreciated. Individuals and groups that offer specific ideas will be encouraged take responsibility for developing them with BIG support. Groups and individuals can act independently to help Bloor and be affiliated under a helpful BIG. umbrella.
BIG Executive 2016
Jason Campbell, Chair
Renee Castonguay, Secretary
Jeremy Fink, Treasurer
BIG on Bloor Festival
Dougal Bichan, Director
Sid Bruyn, Producer
Marjolein Winterink, Volunteer Director
BIG on Bloor Festival and Feature Projects
Dyan Marie, Artist in residence
Carla Garnet, Curator, Jouez
Civic Studies, Joy Projects
Michelle Senayah, Senayah Design, Card-Yard
Rotem Yaniv, PULP: Reclaimed Materials Art and Design, Card-Yard
BIG Coalition Members
- Ana Bailão, Toronto City Councillor, Ward 18
- Andrea Dawber, Green Here
- Antonia Yee, Chair, Bloorcourt BIA
- Arc Da Silva, Minister, Dovercourt Baptist Church
- Bruce Gavin Ward, DIG IN
- Cristina Martins, MPP for Davenport
- Ghazaleh Etezal, Vacantful
- Jason Raabe, Bloordale BIA, Treasurer
- Judy Land, Bloordale CIA
- Julie Dzerowicz, MP for Davenport
- Ian Anderson, New Horizons Tower
- Kristen Fahrig, Botanicus Art Ensemble
- Lisa Lukashevsky, Bloordale BIA, Chair
- Melanie Ribau, Bloor-Gladstone Public Library
- Elizabeth D’Agostino, Managing Director, Toronto School of Art
- Renée Castonguay, Student and Events Coordinator, Toronto School of Art
- Richard Mongiat, Artist, Community Out Reach and others
Founding Co-Chairs: Dyan Marie with Adam Giambrone.
Founding members: Sheila Pin, Lynne Daley, Dyan Marie, Ann Homan with others.