When I began to think of the curatorial theme for this year’s Ontario Place Winter Festival it didn’t make any sense to me. What does cocoon have anything to do with light, or winter? Then I realized that light had everything to do with cocoon. Light is energy. It generates life and as a form of energy it embodies a cocoon that nourishes growth and transformation.  So I designed an installation with light as the central medium. In GENESIS, the beams of light are all directed to the centre of sculpture, and even though the beams will have visible trajectory, light will still pass through the centre. It will only be when someone stands within the sculpture to capture the beams of light that the true form of the sculpture takes shape. Standing at the centre of GENESIS people are given a moment to experience being saturated in light. Every movement they make will be deflected by the beams creating a dynamism between the person(s) and the light of the piece. The focus of light to a single point has many cultural, scientific and religious references. What they all have in common is the notion that the concentration of light creates a focus of thought, a form of incubation, a point of transformation, a genesis. So I welcome everyone to pose within GENESIS to become the focal point of light and energy.


  • Tonya Hart
    Tonya Hart

    Tonya Hart was born in Grand Falls Newfoundland in 1973 and grew up in rural Ontario before moving to Toronto in 1992. She studied at York University and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts, Visual Arts degree in 1998. Her artwork draws inspiration from nature, science and light. Notable solo exhibitions include the Venice Biennale of Architecture (2018); Canadian Sculpture Centre (2009); and group shows at the Portal Art Fair (2017) in SoHo, NYC and two previous exhibitions with the Ontario Place Winter Light Festival. In 2011, Tonya entered the public art realm with INFRA commissioned by the city of Toronto for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, becoming the first of three exhibitions for Nuit Blanche. She has since worked with cities across Canada including three commissions for the National Capital Commission in Ottawa.

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COVID-19 Update

With the park open for use, all visitors are asked to respect the following guidelines when you are on our site to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • If you are sick or if you have been in contact with someone that is sick, please do not enter the Ontario Place grounds.
  • Keep a healthy space of 2 metres between you and other park visitors.
  • Please wear a mask if you are unable to keep a physical distance of 2 metres.
  • Groups must not exceed 10 people.
  • Dogs must be on leash and dog owners should be careful to maintain a distance of the recommended 2 metres from other dogs and persons.
  • Use garbage receptacles provided to protect workers and to help keep the park clean.