A Tribute to Toronto, 2022 is a performative artwork approved and supported by the City of Toronto marking the conclusion of the second edition of the Toronto Biennial of Art (TBA). Judy Chicago is considered one of the most influential artists of our time, with an expansive practice investigating a range of mediums. Since the 1960s, she has been involved in creating Land Art that involves the dispersing of colourful plumes of smoke and her Atmosphere and Smoke Sculpture™ projects are an important contribution to contemporary art. She has created this one-time performance as a specific response to Lake Ontario and offers our community the opportunity to witness art history in the making. A Tribute to Toronto is curated by Candice Hopkins, Senior Curator at the Toronto Biennial of Art and citizen of Carcross/Tagish First Nation.

A Tribute to Toronto is a Smoke Sculpture™ created with non-toxic smoke and LED lights that will create ever-mixing colour in the air over approximately a 12 minute period before dissipating. The performance will be staged on a barge 100 feet out in the water next to the Water’s Edge Promenade at Sugar Beach on the evening of June 4, 2022 (rain date is June 5, 2022). The location is adjacent to the Redpath Sugar refinery and most of the commercial, retail and residential developments in the area are located well away from the performance site on the water.

The pigments and smoke used in the performance are non-toxic and meet environmental safety standards. The electronic ignition that sets off the smoke emits little or no sound. Unlike a fireworks display, there are no explosions or loud bangs in the performance.

Chicago works with an internationally recognized pyrotechnic firm Pyro Spectaculars by De Souza who have staged many of her Smoke Sculpture™ performances in recent years. The firm has secured all the licenses and permits for the project based on local safety precautions and only uses materials that are safe and approved by the Toronto Fire Department. 

For any questions about A Tribute to Toronto please contact: info@torontobiennial.org.

For more information about A Tribute to Toronto and Judy Chicago click here.

Image of works by Judy Chicago
Judy Chicago in collaboration with Pyro Spectaculars by Souza, Purple Poem for Miami, 2019. Fireworks performance. Commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami in conjunction with the exhibition, "Judy Chicago: A Reckoning", Miami, FL. © Judy Chicago/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo ©Donald Woodman/ARS, NY