Our Stories: A Living Library Project

In the spring of 2017, the Koffler partnered with Toronto’s Hearts & Minds Living Library Collective to create it’s third collaborative educational program, Our Stories: A Living Library Project. Grade 5 and 6 students from Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School and Rose Avenue Public School engaged with themes of diversity and cultural identity, as human ‘books’ and ‘readers’ of one another’s stories.

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Lazaro’s Dream: An Audio Walk

Walk begins: Northeast corner of the Bloor Street Viaduct
Download the audio:

Taking its inspiration from Michael Ondaatje’s In The Skin Of a Lion, Lazaro’s Dream is an audio walk like no other. History and fiction are artfully assembled into a surreal dreamscape that carries the listener along from the east side of the Bloor Street Viaduct through part of the Danforth neighbourhood and down to Riverdale Park. The piece unfolds slowly like a wandering hallucination. Memories of Toronto are fused together with original fiction and archival reimaginings, leaving the listener casually drifting through a hundred years of regional history. Scattered throughout the walk fragments of Ondaaje’s iconic text seem to float up to the surface of perception guiding the listener along through the murky world of Lazaro’s Dream.

Lazaro’s Dream was launched with a public walk in October of 2016. These photos were taken at the walk, and feature the surprise poster art of archival photos that the artists distributed throughout the route.

Passing Through: An Audio Walk

Walk begins: Union Station (Grand Hall, VIA Arrival/Departure board)
Walk ends: St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood
Download the audio: Koffler.Digital/PassingThrough

Toronto’s streets are a living thing. They change and evolve over time, and each one tells a story of where we’ve been, and where we are going. Passing Through is an audio walk that takes you on a journey of Toronto’s streets, discovering the legacy of their history and innovations for their future. You will walk from Union Station to St. Lawrence Market, gently guided by an artful, imaginative narration that is both beautiful and exciting.

Passing Through is presented in partnership by The City of Toronto’s stART Program, and the Koffler Centre of the Arts. It is produced by Accounts and Records.

Image designed by Braden Labonte.

Self-Loving Jew by Jonathan Rotsztain

Self-Loving Jew by Jonathan Rotsztain – exclusively on Koffler.Digital – is a series of autobiographical comics claiming a secular, cultural Jewish identity. Guilt-free, Self-Loving Jew addresses the shift away from established Jewish institutions amongst younger Jewish people. The work is an attempt to articulate some of the ambivalence Jewish millennials may feel about religious Judaism, identity and assimilation. It embraces forging personal beliefs and practices that honour the Jewish legacy, adapting them alongside other value considerations.

Click here for Self-Loving Jew on Koffler.Digital

How to Build a Fire: Radio Play


How to Build a Fire is an original radio play by Kat Sandler, with new episodes released on Koffler.Digital weekly. Listen wherever, whenever, on any device. Episodes will be published beginning January 28, 2016. Visit Koffler.Digital/HowToBuildAFire to download episodes and find out more.

The Koffler Centre of the Arts presents
How to Build a Fire
A Brouhaha Production

By Kat Sandler
Created by Kat Sandler, Tom McGee and Daniel Pagett

With original music by Peter Chapman

Featuring: Tim Walker, Caitlin Driscoll, Tony Nappo, Maggie Buttefield, Maria Ricossa, Daniel Pagett, and Colin Munch
Editing and sound effects by the Brothers Depaul
Dramaturged by Tom McGee and Daniel Pagett

Produced by Nathaniel Bryan

In the small fracking town of Winnisk, Alberta, it’s always been better to blend in. But there’s always been something off about the Goodhand twins, Maisey and Sirus. On their sixteenth birthday, a mysterious blaze destroys half the town and Sirus is shot and killed. The sheriff claimed Sirus was running at her. She said he was on fire. She said he was smiling.

Paranoia begins to grip the town as a mysterious stranger employed by the fracking corporation, Pembrooke Oil, arrives and begins asking deep and probing questions that stir up old secrets. When a series of seemingly accidental fires begin to flare in Maisey’s wake, hysteria takes hold…how far will the people of Winnisk go to stop history from repeating itself?


The Slow Now: Audio Walk

Produced in partnership with Project Bookmark Canada (with the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation) and the Koffler Centre of the Arts, The Slow Now is a free, downloadable audio tour of Little Italy that uses Anne Michael’s iconic novel Fugitive Pieces as its foundation. Download the MP3 to your smartphone, get thee to Little Italy, and simply press play. Produced by Angela Shackel of Lipstick Studios, the audio will guide you through a narrative, lyrical, and imaginative experience of the neighbourhood. The rich history of Little Italy, the rich tapestry of the novel, and a new original narration by Mark Mann will be voiced by local figures and Anne Michaels herself. The experience may or may not include some surprises and a hidden gem or two.

Experience The Slow Now on Koffler.Digital

Project Bookmark Canada is an organization that places text from stories and poems in the exact Canadian locations where literary scenes take place. The Bookmark for Anne Michaels’ internationally award-winning novel Fugitive Pieces was installed in 2010. It’s one of three Bookmarks in Toronto, and 15 Bookmarks across the country. Visit Project Bookmark Canada [link to our site, please] to discover other Bookmarks and to learn how you can help build Canada’s literary trail.

Live at the Koffler: A Rigorous Method

On February 22, 2015, artists Kristiina Lahde and Howard Podeswa were joined by Dr. John Mighton (mathematician, author, playwright and founder of Jump Math) for a lively discussion on the precise methods involved in their creative process and the role mathematics play in their artistic production as a tool for distilling the physical into art. Koffler Gallery Director/Curator Mona Filip moderated.

Share with #KofflerArts and please enjoy! And thank to our audience members for taking photos and sharing on Twitter @KofflerArts /

Presented in association with Kristiina Lahde: ULTRA-PARALLEL.



Jonathan Rotsztain is a graphic designer, comic book artist, and the mind behind What the %$^@: The Spiegelman Influence and

5X WORDS TO DESCRIBE JONATHAN: {1} fresh {2} current {3} graphic {4} cheeky {5} thoughtful

{1} What is your “work ritual”?

I like to rise and get at it as early as possible. Thought I can work in disconnected chunks, I often get oppressed with a project and want to carry that momentum as far as possible.

{2}  What is your favourite simple pleasure?

A long, hot shower.

{3} Where do good ideas come from?

Usually from off-hand jokes that contain some seed of an interesting idea or angle. Not always but almost always my first idea—the initial thought that pops into my head—is the best idea. Over thinking things can kill creativity.

{4} What is your favourite thing about words?

I love that the English language has so many synonyms. With help from a good dictionary or thesaurus, in English there is the capacity to express oneself quite specifically.

{5} What is your favourite thing about pictures?

As a graphic designer, I’m captivated by the power of basic symbols. As words are just strings of characters we ascribe sound and meaning to, images are collections of lines that can communicate on such a basic and powerful level. A favourite example is + which can represent addition, healthcare or Christianity, to name a few, and when slightly angled as an x comes to mean multiplication, vice, death, etc. It’s amazing how much we put into and get out of these simple marks.