Founded in 2003, Toronto’s Zombie Walk has drawn the attention of thousands throughout the years to participate in one of the most elaborate cosplays ever. This year, however, the organizers face a challenge. Unless a generous benefactor makes an appearance, a financial shortfall may shut the doors to future events permanently.
Since I live an hour north of the city, I thought I’d highlight Toronto’s annual walk for my Monday Mayhem series in hopes of encouraging local readers to support this awesome event.
According to news sources, rising costs to shut down streets, insurance and policing has left organizers scrambling for donors. As of this writing, a fundraising campaign has yielded less than half of the $7,000 needed to keep the project going. Should organizers not meet target amounts, they will need to dip into next year’s reserves in order not to cancel the event.
Another obstacle organizers face is the popularity of zombies in mainstream culture that has grown exponentially for a number of years. Founders of the walk, Thea Faulds and her husband Adam Pearson, first hosted the event to a small group at Trinity Bellwoods Park. Recently, though, the crowds have grown to a massive 12,000+ attendees featuring people in full zombie garb stomping the city streets to invade Nathan Phillips Square.
Although the party is free to the public as a pre-Halloween bash, cleanup is not. With thousands of people dragging their way to the downtown core, logistics behind garbage collection efforts is astronomical.
On the positive side, the event attracts the attention of zombie fans all over the world, making Toronto a delightful tourist destination during the October offseason. Organizer, Stefania Zanini says to The Toronto Star, “It’s a family, free, inclusive event that accepts everyone. All you have to do is come in costume.”
One of those supporters is Igor Baranov, avid photographer and one of my longtime friends. Not only does he have an eye for the perfect photo, but he’s also captured the essence of the event through his wonderful imagery. Much of his work oftentimes demands him to interact with his subjects who are more than willing to pose for the camera.
Here is as sampling of his work and what the Toronto Zombie Walk is all about:
If you find yourself in the Toronto Area next month (October 25, 2014), you may want to check out the walk to see firsthand what the zombie craze looks like in action. Perfect timing as well, since The Walking Dead will have also returned to AMC. What better way is there to celebrate the show than to dress up and have fun with a horde of undead?
[Thank you Igor Baranov for granting JackFlacco.com the use of your 2013 Toronto Zombie Walk photography for this post.]
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Have you participated in a zombie walk/run/event? What did you like about it the most?