Every year, Tangled Kids Fest! invites classes from across Toronto and the GTA to participate in a day of activities featuring star performers from the disability community. The event includes a two-hour performance, a pizza lunch, original crafts and a dance party with the performers. This integrated and fully accessible program welcomes 400-600 kids with and without disabilities each year.
Past performers have included musicians Justin Hines, Sidiki Conde, and Jason Dennis; actor/performers Andre Arruda, Krystal Nusbaum, Max Fomitchev and Christopher Welsh; dance companies including ASL Waves and Propeller Dance; among others. Festival favourite Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli puts on a new and exciting show each year featuring local guest artists from companies including Unity and Stomp!
Children of all ages and abilities need opportunities to participate in the arts and engage with artists. In the interest of cultivating a more inclusive society, it is important for arts and entertainment to reflect the diversity of the culture we live in. For children with and without disabilities, celebrating diversity and difference through the arts fosters an investment in inclusion at an early age. Most significantly, children with disabilities have the rare opportunity to see themselves reflected in the performers they have come to admire, realizing their potential to become artists themselves and nurturing the future of disability arts.
This year’s featured artists:
Host and Puppet Master
Adam Lloyd Wilkinson is a graduate of Humber College: School of Comedy, where he was nominated for the Mike Myers Award for excellent achievement in comedic studies.
Adam Lloyd Wilkinson has performed in a number of sketch groups and toured for seven years with Mad Science Productions. He is co-creator of Durham’s only Mixed Abilities improv team, teaches performance at the Abilities Centre in Whitby, and runs his own company, Accessible Arts, which helps to bring the performing arts to people of any ability.
Writer, Director and Performer
Alex has written, directed and performed across Canada and the UK. She is the writer of two award-winning short films; writer of the stage play SMUDGE – which earned two Best New Play nominations in Canada, and was Time Out’s Critics Choice during its UK premiere; writer of the AMI award-winning adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame for BBC Radio 4; co-writer of the BAFTA award-winning Channel 4 series Cast Offs, and was recently named as one of the most influential disabled artists in the UK. Alex has written for The Royal Court, London 2012 Olympics, Graeae, CBC, The Canadian Theatre Review, and is currently writing for the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester and Graeae in London. Alex is a fellow with The Winston Churchill Foundation, is Artistic Director of Invisible Flash Theatre, and was co-curator of the recent NAC commissioned Republic of Inclusion.
a.k.a. The Mighty Rhino
You’ve never heard a rapper—or seen a live performer—anything like The Mighty Rhino. Since bursting onto the scene in 2007 as the breakout star of the “Toronto institution” known as Hip Hop Karaoke, he’s been wrecking mics and destroying stages with his live-wire energy and irrepressible zest for life. His explosive debut album, He Whom The Beat Sets Free, arrived to stellar reviews in 2011, and since then it’s become clear that the sky is the limit.
Rhino’s dynamism truly has to be seen to be believed. He’s been called “electric” by Maclean’s magazine, “a legend in the making” by Torontoist, and “one of the best things to happen to hip-hop” by Billy Danze of the legendary M.O.P. His razor-sharp rhymes and blistering “Brother Ali meets Busta Rhymes” delivery have made fans out of a host of hip-hop royalty, including Juno Award winner and newly minted CBC Radio host Shad, old-school East Coast king Masta Ace, Canadian rap icon Maestro Fresh Wes, rising Southern superstar Rittz, and more.
His signature song, the captivating Company Policy, earned him nominations for the Toronto Independent Music Awards and the International Songwriting Competition in 2012. And through it all, his infectious optimism and unstoppable stage presence have won him the hearts of legions of fans, one blown mind at a time. With the impending Summer 2015 release of his thrilling sophomore set, Good Evening My Name Is The Mighty Rhino, his legacy of devastating greatness is certain to only continue. Rhino SALUTE!
Luca ‘Lazylegz’ Patuelli is the founder and creator of the ILL-Abilities™ Crew, an international b-boy crew comprised of the world’s best “Ill-abled” dancers and co-founder of Projet RAD, Canada’s first inclusive urban dance program offering programming out of accessible dance studios across Québec. Patuelli was born with a birth defect that required him to use crutches from an early age. His signature style incorporates crutches and upper-body strength and has garnered him international recognition. Among his many achievements was headlining and co-directing the Paralympic Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver. Luca is also known for his appearance on So You Think You Can Dance Canada Season 3 as the only dancer with a disability on any of the SYTYCD franchises to make it into Finals Week.
Self-taught since 1996, Joe Danny Aurélien (Bboy Dingo) developed his eye for movement and excellent comprehension of the human body through his deep interest in the art of Breakdance. Founding member of the Bboy crew Red Mask in 1999, Joe Danny has won multiple breakdance battles such as War is War in 2003, 2004 and 2005. He was invited to battle in the Red Bull competition King of the Ring in 2005 and 2006 (a solo Bboy battle inviting the top 32 Bboys in North America).
In recent years, Joe Danny’s focus has shifted from competing in battles to working in community-based outreach programs, such as Unity Charity, Blue Print for Life and Projet Rad. These organizations work closely with the youth in helping their individual growth through the positive elements of Hip Hop.