Category Archives: Peace Camp 2013 @ CPT

Stories of migration in “Passage: A Moving Experience

Watch a clip from “Passage: A Moving Experience” that documents one common experience of those coming to Canada as refugees. It is a “Taxi” scene, performed by amazing CPT youth and staff, that elaborates on some of the common and normalized tragedies that are part of the daily life of those caught up in (im)migration machinery. Click on the picture below (forgive the shakiness) and enjoy the scene!

Taxi scene


What does it mean to be “Other” in Canada?

What does it mean to be “other”? in this society? Check out a scene “in progress” from the  2013 CPT Peace Camp. The polished/finished version of this scene was included in the final production of “Passage: A Moving Experience”, and we will post clips of the play as soon as is possible. In the mean time, click on the picture link below and enjoy and mull over this clip that follows!

Brainstorming "Other"

The Art of “Passage(s)”

Aside from brainstorming ideas through theatre and music, visual art was also a key part of the making of “Passages: A Moving Experience.”  Click on the picture link below and walk with Melis, the co-visual art director at this year’s Peace Camp, as she describes some of the art that was part of this production.







Last day(s) of Peace Camp & Rehearsals for P(erformance) Day!

Friendship, sharing, prop-making, compassion, posing, hard work and much more went into the rehearsals for the final performance(s) of  “Passage: A Moving Experience“. Check out the photos from these process(es) below!

Check out the Toronto Star’s write up on Peace Camp!

Toronto summer camp theatre explores the journey of young migrants

The struggles and hopes of being a young immigrant unfold at Toronto Children’s Peace Theatre.
Sirak Tesfu, 19, from Eritrea, and Rosa Solorzano, 18, from El Salvador, both participate in the Children's Peace Theatre's gala production, Passage: A Moving Experience.


Sirak Tesfu, 19, from Eritrea, and Rosa Solorzano, 18, from El Salvador, both participate in the Children’s Peace Theatre’s gala production, Passage: A Moving Experience. Article accessed from here

By: Immigration reporter, Published on Tue Jul 23 2013.


A teenage boy from Eritrea recalls the awkwardness of reuniting with his father, whom he had not seen for 13 years.

A young woman from Antigua remembers the cold reception she got when she returned to Canada, the birthplace she was scooped away from as a toddler.

A refugee girl from El Salvador is afraid of bonding with others because of the experience of losing friends when she moves again.

All three are members of the Toronto Children’s Peace Theatre summer camp this year, and their stories, along with others, will be part of the group’s performance, Passage: A Moving Experience, which debuts Thursday at the Dawes Rd. theatre.

Through art installations, such as a bed-spring sculpture about “home,” to song compositions with lyrics about migration and storytelling, the youth and their professional artist mentors will explore the young migrants’ journeys, struggles, challenges, hopes and dreams.

“It feels good to get these stories out there so people know what we have gone through to be here,” said Sirak Tesfu, 19, who, along with his mother and little sister, was separated from his father, a refugee, as a kid before joining him here two years ago. They came from Eritrea via Sudan.

“I only knew my father by phone. It was strange to see him.”

Now in its 13th year, the theatre’s summer camp chose to produce a show about youth migrants after one of its artists had his refugee claim rejected and was deported to Mexico last fall.

“Born in Canada, I grew up at a time when we were making strides in humanitarian causes, but our immigration and refugee system has drastically changed in recent years. Canadians can’t be proud of what’s happening,” said the theatre’s artistic director, Karen Emerson.

“These stories need to be told. These voices need to be heard.”

In the past, the theatre and its campers have tackled various social justice themes, with shows about food security (“Eat It Up”) and child soldier/labour (“Up In Arms”).

Unlike Tesfu, who spoke Tigrinya and must learn English from scratch, Amber Williams-King faces no language barrier. Born in Toronto, she was taken to Antigua at age 2 but returned alone four years ago.

“I was a citizen, but people saw me as a foreigner. English is my first language, but I had to change my accent so people could understand me,” said the 23-year-old.

“We need to create a sense of understanding of the different people who make up Canada, accepting and appreciating the differences. Canadians have the responsibility to live up to its name as a multicultural mosaic.”

Rosa Solorzano and her family fled El Salvador for the U.S. before arriving in Toronto two years ago. She said she always isolated herself from others because she hated the experience of leaving her friends behind. But the summer camp has brought out her inner self.

“It sucks when you can’t bond with people. You just don’t know when you have to move again,” said Solorzano, 18, who graduated from high school but cannot go on to higher education because her family is still waiting for a refugee hearing.

“I’m surprised how much I’m enjoying this. I am learning something new and the kids just have so much energy and so many great ideas.

What are your thoughts on this article? Feel free to share them below!

Music soundscapes from “Passage: A Moving Experience”

Taken from a music class that the campers had on July 22nd 2013, here is a glimpse of some of the music that will be featured in this year’s peace camp final performance. Watch also as jazz maestro Brownman Ali collaborates with the students and also pushes them to explore the intricacies of music. In addition, please listen to the important lyrics that depict many of the struggles that are often part of the migration experience; experiences which will be expressed quite magically by the youth in “Passage: A Moving Experience.”

Below are details of the upcoming performances of “Passage: A Moving Experience.”

Saturday, July 27th 2013
5pm followed by a reception
$25 Adults $15 Students & Seniors $10 Children 13 and under

Thursday, July 25th & Friday, July 26th

Performed at the beautiful amphitheatre in the woods at the Children’s Peace Theatre 305 Dawes Road (or at Harmony Hall at 2 Gower Street if weather does not permit an outdoor show).

For tickets call 416 752 1550. Or email

For more information, go to

Check out some of the images from week 2 & 3 of Peace Camp!

Much work has gone in to the final weeks of peace camp. Much art, music and theatre and, above all, much sharing, collaboration and co-creation. Check out some of the images from week 2 and early week 3  of Peace Camp. Enjoy!

What does a day @ Peace Camp look like?

This years focus on migration allows that discussions that inquire into  ” Where am I from?”, “Who belongs in Canada”? and “What does it mean to be Canadian/an immigrant?” abound. Informed by diverse experiences from places such as Tajikistan and Eritrea which contribute to these processes, these interrogations are expressed and explored through music, theatre, brainstorming, storytelling and even meditation!

Check out below what a day @ peace camp looks like!

Music with Brownman Ali



Important discussions on (im)migration — forced and otherwise

Brainstorming why people leave

Brainstorming why people leave

Guest Speakers! Check out storytelling & Music with Rosary Spence – July 10/2013

And the customary breath of peace (bop) at the end of the day!

Don’t you want to be part of peace camp next year?