32 Dia de los Muertos celebration

Neruda Arts recreates a pre-Columbian ritual in honour of dead loved ones.

The Day of the Dead – aka All Saints Day or Dia de los Muertos – is a ritual tradition that dates back thousands of years, an annual event held in the 9th month of the Aztec calendar and celebrated throughout Latin America, the US, Europe, the Philippines and Canada. Neruda Arts has assembled an all-star cast of characters to recreate the ritual and capture the beauty of the afterlife in an empty downtown Kitchener storefront.


David Hernandez & Mexico De Noche – the Day of the Dead Mariachis

Hernandez comes from a long line of mariachis who have been playing in and around Mexico City’s Plaza Garibaldi for generations. He formed Mexico de Noche in Toronto in 2000, a band that draws on tradition, experience and passion to create a fiesta atmosphere with two violins, two trumpets, a vihuela (Mexican guitar) and a guitarron (Mexican bass).

Tanya Williams & the Day of the Dead Dancers

Williams has been facilitating and performing contact improvisation for 15 years. She is the leading force behind this evolving troupe of dancers, actors and artists who investigate and improvise with sound and movement to create cultural conditions for co-intelligence, collaboration and the flow within human relations.

Memento Mori photo exhibit by Mark Essner

Essner’s graveyard images come from cemeteries in Bermuda, New Orleans, Louisiana and the Mexican border ghost town of Terlingua, Texas. Whether practicing Christianity or Voodoo, people have entered these graveyards to pay their respects to deceased family members or friends for hundreds of years.

Essner is a self-taught photographer who aims to capture the mood, feeling or tension of his subjects, doing little post-production work and instead using camera settings to reproduce an aesthetic of lived experience.

Day of the Dead face-painting

Scary but beautiful calaveras , or skull makeup, combines the decorative, flowery and colourful motifs of the Day of the Dead style with the underlying bone structure of the face to create hauntingly beautiful masks. Night\Shift is your chance to try one on.

PLUS: Skull-umptious treats and a shrine-making event – stay tuned for details about how to contribute your own.


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157 King St. W. (formerly Taya, right beside Budds)
9pm to 1am + procession at 11pm
No touching!
Live Music