ReJoyce! Toronto Bloomsday 2017
Ireland Park Foundation reJoyced last Friday at the Toronto Bloomsday festivities along the Toronto Beaches. For fans of James Joyce, June 16 is a literary holyday that takes place on the same date that Joyce’s epic novel, Ulysses, takes place in 1904. The celebratory day originated in 1924 as a pilgrimage along the route of the novel’s plot in Dublin, and Joyceans now celebrate the day worldwide.
In Toronto, Anna Livia Productions has been bringing actors and Joyceans together for over three decades to perform episodes of Ulysses and to re-create the atmosphere of Dublin in the early 1900s. Mary Durkan directed the festival for many years, until the role was taken over by Richard Harte last year.
Toronto hosts the longest-running Bloomsday festival in Canada, with this year being their 32nd celebration at the Beaches. The festivities begin around 9:00 a.m., and go into the afternoon, with a break for lunch at Whitlock’s on Queen Street East. Irish music (featuring a fiddle, bodhrán, and accordion), singalongs, and, of course, recitations from Ulysses, performed by the costumed Anna Livia actors occur throughout the day, as the cast and audience wander down to the beach and walk along the boardwalk.
We’re thankful to have such a great cast of performers involved, most of whom have participated in the festival for many years, and do so with great enthusiasm and engagement. We look forward to reJoycing at the Toronto Bloomsday again next year on June 16!