I have been following the Small Arms story for many years.
The story – featuring a successful, community-driven project to preserve and repurpose a Second World War heritage building – is highlighted at a recent post entitled:
As I’ve noted at an earlier post, regarding the first In Situ event, which took place on Oct. 29, 2016, the Small Arms Inspection Building was dramatically saved – through the efforts of local residents working in collaboration with City of Mississauga officials – from demolition several years ago.
Eventually, rather than being bulldozed, it was designated as a heritage building under the Ontario Heritage Act.
What we observed at In Situ on Oct. 29, 2016 – in particular, the bringing together of so many resources, artists, performers, and such a great audience – has convinced me that the Small Arms Society is off to a great start to its well-planned, collaborative repurposing project on behalf of the Small Arms Inspection Building.
Message from Small Arms Society website, regarding In Situ event in November 2018
Following texts are from the Smalls Arms Society website:
In 2016, we held Mississauga’s first multi arts festival, In Situ.
It was a hugely successful event that was hosted at the Creative Hub 1352. At the time, 1352 Lakeshore Road E, was in a dilapidated and forgotten state. In Situ 2016 drew more than 2000 community members, students and adults, into this captivating space, just ahead of the City of Mississauga taking over the property and embarking on the first phase of redevelopment. Two years later, Small Arms Society remains committed to the process as community-based stewards of this beloved building, a role recognized with municipal operating funds.
1352 Lakeshore Road East
Mississauga, ON L5E 1E9
When: November 8, 9, & 10, 2018
7pm to 11pm
Beginning November 8th saxophone and spoken word will echo from the vaults, video projections glitter along the windows, live drawing, painting and graffiti will energize our corridors. Spontaneous, immersive dance, music, and theatre performances will surprise, delight and pique your curiosity.
Join some of the GTA’s most innovative artists as you explore this unique space. Be part of the adventure and place the SAIB on the cultural map.
[End of text from Small Arms Society website]
Long Branch Army Camp
At a series of previous posts, I’ve written about postwar emergency housing in the Greater Toronto Area and elsewhere.
The final photo, at the post you are now reading, was taken during a recent tour of the grounds outside the Small Arms Inspection Building.
During and prior to our tour, on Aug. 5, 2018, I interviewed Ted Long and Garry Burke, who as children had lived in the emergency housing that had been in place in the area for some years after the end of the Second World War.
Our tour of the site brought back many memories for Garry and Ted. At future posts, I will share videos and transcripts of the interviews that I recorded with them in August 2018.
A recent post about the Army Camp is entitled:
Jim Tovey played key role in community-driven initiative to preserve and repurpose Small Arms Inspection Building
An overview of Jim Tovey’s legacy is featured at several posts including:
Jim Tovey, in the course of his remarkably productive life, had enduring and mutually rewarding friendships with many, many people, me among them. Getting to know Jim Tovey, and observing the awesome and inspiring things he was able to accomplish, on behalf of his own constituents and on behalf of the wider Great Lakes community (among other communities where the outcomes of his visionary projects will remain evident, as the years go by), is beyond question among the most enriching experiences I have encountered, in the course of all of my life, and all of my experiences.
A Feb. 7, 2019 Unwritten Histories article is entitled: “Guest Post: Rosie the Riveter and Ronnie the Bren Gun Girl: Exploring the Historical Roots of a Gendered Visual Symbol.”