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Um of Water

Commissioned by Luminato Festival Toronto.
Um of Water image by Clara Peltier.

Um of Water

Date & Time

June 9 June 19 EDT



1695 Queen St E
Toronto, ON M4L1G7 Canada
+ Google Map


Radio LUMI
Visual Story
Venue Guide

Click on the Visual Story above for details on Access and Advisories.

Um of Water is an invitation to sit, listen, and be with Water. 

Museum of Water began in the UK as a collection of public offerings of personal connections to water, intended to deepen our relationships with water. In this new collaboration, a purpose-formed Indigenous artist collective comprised of Elwood Jimmy, Leslie McCue, and Sara Roque reimagines this project with UK artist Amy Sharrocks as Museum of Water.  

Um of Water responds to and evolves with the Indigenous context of the land we are on, and the Water we live with and rely upon for our collective survival. 

The work begins with a series of conversations and invitations – to recalibrate our relationship to Water, to move towards collectively centering Water instead of the human, and to strengthen our capacities in support of Water, water access, and precious water knowledges. 

The Um of Water culminates during Luminato 2022, activating locations across Toronto by the Water, for the Water, and on the Water. Guided by the flow of the Water and the watershed we are on, local artists lead participants in experiences of resurfacing knowledges, communal gathering, and deep listening. Activities include activations along the Humber River, a Sonic Boat Journey on Lake Ontario, a hydrophone installation at Luminato Live at Yonge-Dundas Square, a virtual interactive Un-Mapping Platform, and more.

Please consider donating to the Keepers of Water to help keep our waters clean and safe: https://www.keepersofthewater.ca/donate

About Um of Water (web app)

This work is a sonic sharing of water wavelengths by people in relationship with water and land.

we open as a work in progress, with the intention that we can grow this together and learn from each other over time and with water. For the moment this is a desktop experience only, the mobile version is coming soon. umofwater.com

the collective is inviting Indigenous peoples and allies to sit with water and to spend time in a practice of deep listening. as the Um of Water grows, audio recordings of this experience will be able to be uploaded and heard when visitors scroll over the digital map. this collective action of deep listening and sharing is intended to create a sonic cartographic experience that centers the voice and sounds of water – amplifying and asserting our accountabilities and responsibilities to water and to each other.

words and fonts are monuments to meaning, they simplify and they standardize, they consume and limit possibilities: written place names have been used to prop up systems of abuse.

resisting the desire to pin down and reduce oral languages, refusing these assumed wayfinders of previous maps, instead, we offer the disorientation of searching, finding your way by other means, feeling your way through sound and topography, using your senses, dissolving written words to focus on the water itself.

Creative Team

The Collective
Elwood Jimmy
Leslie McCue
Sara Roque
Amy Sharrocks

Clara Peltier

Tone Davies

Site Developers
From Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre:
Brendan Billingsley
Amos Hayes
Rebekah Ingram
Matthew King
Peter Pulsifer

Additional Sound Contributors
Ko’khó:wa Horn-Kirby, Matthew King, Thohahènte

Production Assistant (UK)
Alisa Oleva

Mary Osborn, Artsadmin UK
Alison Wong, Luminato

Design de Plume, Drawing Change, Alex Rand, Murray Richardson

Um of Water is commissioned and presented by Luminato in partnership with the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre (Carleton University), and Artsadmin UK

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