Naomi Hernandez & Paul Daniel Torres
Inspired by Kensington
For over 150 years, Kensington Market has been home to generations of immigrants, each enriching the cultural fabric of the community. But today, young people growing up in the Market are unaware of the diverse history. At least until they had a chance to watch Kensington 150.
Kensington 150 is a documentary created by Naomi Hernandez and Paul Daniel Torres in our Youth Arcade Studio. Their goal was to document the vital role that immigrants have played in the Market, and their contributions to the vibrancy of the community. For Naomi and Daniel, it wasn’t just how the Market changed, it was how the history of the Market changed them.
“Kensington 150 gave me the opportunity to learn and understand where the people of the Market began and how far we’ve come. As a Colombian immigrant myself, it was beautiful to see the diversity that has flowed through these streets. I had the irreplaceable chance to speak with people who have become staples of this market, like Mr. Gwartzman who has been serving artists in the area for decades, or Tom who has been providing affordable suits for new migrants just as his father had.” – Naomi Hernandez
“Making Kensington 150 was an amazing experience on every level, professionally, artistically and personally. I’m a spoken word artist, actor and filmmaker and “Kenzie 150” allowed me to develop in each of those areas. As an artist of colour it was amazing to make art that preserved the history of Kensington and in turn Canada’s history of multiculturalism. The experience propelled me to heights as an artist I never thought possible. It was life-changing opportunity!” - Paul Daniel Torres
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