Rogue Wave History

ROGUE WAVE was founded by four Toronto Island residents in the spring of 1998: Brad Harley, Michael Davey, Julie Stone and Glenn McArthur. Prior to this, ‘rogue’ art installations had appeared randomly on the Island, only to be removed by Parks department staff. The Toronto Islands are home to a large and passionate group of visual artists, many of whom wanted to install works outdoors on the Island. The Rogue Wave organization was formed to create a more official exhibition of sculpture and installation art on the Toronto Islands in partnership with Parks, Recreation and Forestry staff.

There's a lot to celebrate with Rogue Wave, but one of the most important is the cooperative relationship established with Parks, Recreation and Forestry. Park Supervisor Warren Hoselton and his staff take an active and supportive role in the realization of the project as well as ongoing safety and maintenance issues. In 2007 Warren participated in the exhibition with his Tour de Trees installation and it was his love of the Toronto Islands that led to resurgence of Rogue Wave in 2018.

Rogue Wave exhibitions have included an enormous range of works in a diverse array of different media. Everything from yarn and lace to natural elements such as rock and driftwood have been used to make thought-provoking visual statements. In addition, the exhibition has often featured musical events, such as Rogue Rave and specially commissioned musical pieces by artists such as Anne Bourne and Jacquey Malcolm. Rogue Wave has involved local Island artists and activists but it also attracts participating artists from across Toronto and some from beyond the borders of the GTA.

Local community support has always been the foundation of Rogue Wave. In addition to participating artists, Toronto Island residents are involved with administration, website creation and maintenance, poster design, map illustration, and photography. Everyone helps to keep an eye on the safety of the art pieces.

There has been a total of eight Rogue Wave exhibitions over the years and now Rogue Wave 2022 is bringing the tenth version to life. Rogue Wave has inspired the creation of a number of other arts-based projects on the Island, both in the visual and performing arts, and has led to additional artistic opportunities for participating artists.

Installation by Gera Dillon, photo by Baye Hunter 

Installation by Luisa Milan, photo by Baye Hunter 

Migration, by Tanya Golden

Installation by Luisa Milan, photo by Baye Hunter 

Jerry, photo by Baye Hunter

Installation by Gera Dillon, photo by Baye Hunter 

Installation by Marci Crist, photo by Baye Hunter 

Nature’s Sandbox by Thelia Sanders-Shelton. Photo by Sean Tamblyn 


Check back here for details about Rogue Wave 2024!