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Raccoon Reimagined


The furry creature that Torontonians "love to hate" make their debut at the CNE this year. Twelve (12) three-dimensional large fiberglass raccoons decorated by persons from various abilities will greet CNE guests by the Princess Margaret Fountain. 

Each recipient was challenged to transform the fiberglass figure into a unique piece of art celebrating "the raccoon". 

Participating organizations to decorate the raccoons include:

 Abilities Centre, Whitby 

ACE is painted by AC’s Budding Artists and Thrive Adult Day Programs.

Abilities Centre enhances the quality of life and citizenship for people of all ages and abilities by providing inclusive programs and services of the highest quality and value. We give people the power to achieve their goals through sports, arts, life-skills programs, and research and provide a welcoming, positive, energized environment in a state-of-the-art facility.

 Currant Development Group, Out of the Box Project 

 ReX the Raccoon is painted by Out of the Box Artists.

Out of the Box is a Constructio Social Enterprise that teaches personal development and trade skills to youth with historically marginalized backgrounds. Our team and hired youth provide construction and maintenance services for Government and City Institutions. The artists are all youth from inner city neighborhoods, where Raccoons often reside. Racoon ReX has been resilient and survived in the urban jungle of Toronto to make the journey to the Ex.

 Jake's House 

Jake is painted in collaboration with Immaculate Conception Catholic School Toronto.

Jake’s House is a charity that supports families affected by autism and offers mentoring and workshops to give youth on the spectrum opportunities to socialize and learn new skills. At this art workshop, the artists collaborated to illustrate their Toronto pride on the raccoon, not only by featuring a Raptors logo on its back, but also by painting it so colourfully to reflect our city’s diversity and vibrancy.

 John Maurer, Ontario Society of Artists 

Painting under the Influence is painted by John Maurer.

The theme Painting under the Influence illustrates how much we are influenced and inspired by what we see around us and how it effects our own interpretations of the subject. Raccoons have been fighting traffic for years and many were not successful in navigating the roadways. Whole families were destroyed. I am asking all drivers to have compassion and “GIVE US A BRAKE”. Be more observant on the roads and avoid deadly collisions with these creatures both day and night.

 LIFEspan at Rumsey Centre 

REBEL – the Rehab Champion is painted by James Okore (lead artist and designer), Marko Markovic and Klara with assistance from the staff artists Elizabeth Cambridge, Margot Catizzone, Andrea Lauzon and Amy Spear.

He fell out of a tree while trying to break into one of the new city of Toronto garbage cans and sustained a serious brain injury.  When he woke up from a coma he could not climb, forage for food, or find his way around the city ravines.  With the help of his loved ones and the therapists, nurses, doctors, and staff at Toronto Rehab he is now back in the community living his best life in YOUR backyard.

 Niam Jain during the Mosaic South Asian Festival in early August

Free is painted by Niam Jain.

Niam Jain specializes in Gestural Abstract Art and Abstract Expressionism. Jain is only 16 but composes works beyond his years that inspire and intrigue. Jain paints in layers, with each layer expressing a thought or emotion with the entire painting telling a story. Although Jain has autism and lacks fluent speech, he reminds us a canvas is a medium of ultimate expression.

 Toronto Catholic District School Board 

  •  St. Oscar Romero Secondary School 

ABLE OSCAR is painted by 3 Special Education Classes

Our classes focus mainly on the development of life skills and supporting the students to live as independently as possible, embracing their individual gifts and strengths.  We wanted to highlight the "abilities" of peoples with exceptionalities rather than the "disabilities" that people often see instead. ABLE is a superhero for Autism Awareness and each student had an opportunity to showcase their superpowers and unique works of art. Special thanks to all of the volunteers and to Monarch Paints for their generous donation.  

  •  St. Sebastian Elementary Catholic School

Foxy, the Reading Warrior is painted by Team 218.

Team 218 is a Language Impairment Intensive Support Programing (LI-ISP) class consisting of 10 students, ranging from Grade 2 to Grade 6.  We call ourselves a team because we support each other, stand up for each other in the school yard, as well as work out problems and plan and set goals for ourselves. We focus on Reading, Writing and Math as we believe that if you can read, you can do anything! We believe all kids can learn and make a difference!

 Toronto District School Board

  • Eastdale Collegiate Institute 

Galaxy Raccoon is painted by Kaslo Blake, Mahir Daiyan, Cavera Downey and Taryn Riffin.

Our Eastdale CI art program focuses on accommodating complex individual learning needs through experiential learning. All of the students loved the experience of spraying vibrant chalk colours and they were stunned by how beautifully colours blend together. One student said, "It's an art! Anything can be embraced in art. We should name this sculpture Galaxy Raccoon because we've created another universe of its own."

  •  Westview Centennial Secondary School

Sade Raccoon is painted by Sade Johnson.

Sade Johnson is a grade 10 student at Westview Centennial Secondary School.  Sade likes drawing and sports such as football, basketball, swimming, soccer and boxing. Her favourite subject is music and she plays the guitar and piano. Sade is proud of her achievements including 2 medals in basketball, a certificate for ‘Most Creative’ in Art Design. Her favourite part of this project was that she got to design and paint the racoon on her own.

 Toronto Rehab Foundation 

Adapt and Thrive is painted by Mary Chung-Sparrow, Rowena Digo, Godfrey Li, Aaron Rubin and Totaram Samlall led by Occupational Therapist Carrie Mizzoni.

This raccoon was created by a group of amateur artists with varying levels of ability and mobility. Together with teamwork and creative problem solving they accomplished this amazing project. The dark colours at the bottom represent obstacles and challenges and the fade to lighter blues show the progression to success. The grey areas remain throughout, as challenges do. Our raccoon has adapted and is thriving just as our participants are learning to adapt to their spinal cord injury and working towards thriving.

 Valerie Ashton and Heidi Burkhardt, Ontario Society of Artists

Rosie Racoon is painted by Valerie Ashton and Heidi Burkhardt.

With her tiara of garbage and the garbage she has collected on her travels, Rosie is an environmental hero. Rosie also believes in inclusivity and has included Braille and a tactile maple leaf, cape and mask. Valerie's art has won numerous awards and is in the permanent collection of the Ontario Government, the Town of Markham and Sir Sandford Fleming College. Heidi Burkhardt is a Canadian plein air painter.

All Programming Subject to Change

Dates & Times:
View Times
August 16 - September 2
All Day
Princess Margaret Fountain

All Programming Subject to Change

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