The Dark Knight
In The News...
Heddington Halloween !
Pirates of the Caribbean
Harry Potter 2
Harry Potter 1
The Amazing Spiderman, Scooby Doo, Peter Pan
Barb's displays through the years...
Along with her endeavours with family, friends, her law practice and jazz; every year in the Fall Barb allows her inner artist escape to create a Halloween display. This activity has evolved, and she now paints life sized posters of beloved pop icons which are mounted outside for Halloween along with pumpkins and other display items. The Halloween event has morphed into an epic undertaking because Barb realized it would be fun to display all of the themes every year. Now Barb and a veritable army of friends and neighbours decorate around 30 homes along Heddington Avenue. We would love to see you at the display but in the meantime please enjoy the Halloween Gallery.
A few years ago Barb realized that this event might help generate donations for a worthy cause. In 2013, what is now “the Annual Heddington Halloween Display “became an official community fundraiser for SickKids Foundation (Hospital for Sick Children). Last year was a tremendous success because of the support received from the Heddington Community and Halloween visitors. Donations to SickKids can be made on site at the Annual Heddington Halloween Display or, if you wish, please visit BARB'S PERSONAL SICKKIDS FOUNDATION PAGE.
All DONATIONS make a profound impact on the future of children’s health. An electronic tax receipt for online donations will be provided by SickKids Foundation. For any online donation related questions, please contact Emily.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Walking Dead
In 2015 Heddington Halloween was covered far and wide in the media. It was featured on CTV News, City News, CP24 Toronto's Breaking News, Village Living, Inside Toronto and an interview with CBC's Makda Ghebreslassie. Check out the links below:
2017 proved to be the biggest event yet with lots on news coverage. Check out the Heddington Halloween bits on local media such as CBC News, City News, Ici Toronto, Inside Toronto's City Centre Mirror, and 680 News.
2012 - Pirates of the Caribbean
And then there was Johnny Depp. I have to admit that this is my favourite portrait to date. As well, I created out of paper mache a formidable sculpted head of “Hammerhead”, the pirate. I went online to buy a Davey Jones mask, added a 100 lb skull and crossbones pumpkin; and we had quite a display. This was the year of Hurricane Sandy. At first I thought I’d let the displays weather the storm but I took it all down when I realized that if a board got loose and hit a bystander; someone could get hurt. It takes three days to get the display up, but I remounted it in one day with the help of all my neighbours after the storm passed; just in time for Halloween. The Star wrote about this misadventure - but it resulted in our having easily 600 kids visit - in the pouring rain.
2013 - The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight is one of the most iconic of characters. I think I spent half of the year deciding which of the versions of the Batman to paint. Value Village was invaluable in supplying costuming for the villains and Brooksie created the best Bat Signal ever. This year I decided to solicit donations for Sick Kids Foundation. What a great decision! They are absolutely wonderful to work with. As a result, we had more media coverage than ever. Of note, on this Halloween eve, the story broke about our dear Mayor Ford.
2011 - Harry Potter 2
Harry Potter 2 was a real labour of love for not only me, but for what had become my wonderful army of helpers - Max, Mireille, Brooksie and Sam. The kids not only helped with the dummies, but created a life size electronic Hedwig, the owl in Potter.
2010 - Thriller, Up
This was our biggest production to date. In this year, not only did I do two themes (Thriller and Up), but posters from former years were mounted on neighbour’s lawns up and down Heddington, and I decided to create a dance troupe of twelve “dummies” to dance with Michael Jackson in Thriller. We also mounted 300 hand crafted twinkly stars up and down the street. We ran the video of Thriller on the driveway, and tons of kids who had never seen it stood transfixed as they watched Jackson’s brilliant performance for the first time.
2009 - Star Trek
I grew up with Kirk, Spock and the Tribbles; they are a part of the fabric of all boomers’ childhoods. I undertook to paint the crew “then and now”. I have a friend who is a real Trek aficionado, who lent me an original Shatner costume for the night (worn on the original set !), a phaser and a really large to scale model of the Enterprise. That was the BEST !
2008 - Indiana Jones
For Indiana Jones, I got it into my head that the character needed to be chased by a huge boulder. The concept seemed like an easy one - but, well, that boulder was the most difficult thing we’ve tried to create so far. And it didn’t work out. It looked more like a rolling ball of black plastic. Indy ran away from it anyways…but I learned to be much better prepared when creating display items.
2007- The Simpsons
This was the year of the first big Halloween extravaganza. Five posters and about 8 pumpkins formed the display, along with music and sparkly curtains. My son painted some of the pumpkins himself - a chip off the old block if I do say….
1998 - 101 Dalmatians
My son was coming up on 2 years old when I got it into my head to do a painting for Halloween. My son loved the Dalmatians film and books. I still get an ear worm for “We’ll have a Dalmatian Plantation” whenever I freshen up the posters of the dogs and Cruella.
1999 - Star Wars
For Halloween 1999, I decided to get “painterly” and tried for a portrait of C3PO and R2D2. I added music to this display. We didn’t have a lot of “business” for Halloween on the street where we lived at this time - and so my sister in law, then a phys. Ed. teacher, ran up and down the street directing trick or treaters to the house.
2000 - Spongebob Squarepants
In this year, I decided to get fancy and create sculptures of the Spongebob Squarepants group out of cardboard and other stuff. I leant this theme to my son’s daycare. When they renovated a few years later, they forgot to call me and threw it out….still very, very sad about that.
2001 - Tarzan 1
I don’t have a photo of this first effort at Tarzan. Unfortunately, this board was also lost in the daycare renovation.
2002 - Harry Potter 1
I realized with this painting of young Harry Potter that I love doing portraiture. I completed a picture of Snape as well. This was the first time I got “press” for my Halloween display. CITY TV came by and did a complete feature. These posters were also lost to the daycare renovation.
2003 - Spiderman 1
Spiderman was a real toughie to paint. The web design on his suit was really intricate. Another painting - lost to the daycare renovation.
2004 - Little Mermaid
I loved completing these paintings. Another serious ear worm for this poster, “Such wonderful things surround you, What more is you lookin' for?”
2005 - Fantasia
When our son was almost 9, we decided that if we took him to Disney World he’d be old enough to remember the experience. He and I took our first (and last to date) roller coaster ride on Expedition Everest after which he exclaimed, “If I were any younger mom, I’d be crying right now”. That was one of his most memorable childhood lines. In any event, I was so inspired by the Fantasia displays at Disneyworld that Mickey and the brooms became the Halloween event of the year. I had a visitor who is a carpenter; he became as obsessed as I can be and built a full set of stairs which Mickey descended for Halloween.
2006 - Tarzan 2
After having such fun repainting the Little Mermaid, I decided to replicate some of the other earlier, lost themes. Thus Tarzan 2 came into being.
2014 - The Amazing Spiderman, Scooby Doo, Peter Pan
As this website is being launched, work is underway to mount three new themes. Two neighbours asked if I might do drawings for their families to paint. Thus I had lots of helpers painting some of Scooby Doo and Peter Pan (which are now ready for mounting in the display). For Spidey, I knew a year ago what I had in mind and the day before the ice storm of 2013, I went to Canadian Tire to buy Christmas light strings to make Spidey’s web. As others were carrying out generators for the storm, yours truly walked up to the cash with an armload of 25 boxes of lights. They took pity on me and gave me a discount ☺. Following up on the comments above, Spidey came together beautifully in time for Hallows. We rigged the web of sparkling lights which really looked great (and there may have been a bump in my hydro bill). Many, many trick or treaters braved the freezing cold and the deluge of rain during Halloween but regardless, we all had a great time.
2015 - The Walking Dead
From year to year the question I most often get about my theme is, “why don’t you do something scary for Halloween?”. My response has always been that Halloween is about small kids as well as big ones, and that I try to think of and create themes that will make for a wonderful visit for everyone, every year. This year, though, I’ve let out my inner “scary person” by dedicating the theme to the fabulous AMC television drama, The Walking Dead. For those who don’t know the show, it is a brilliant post-apocalyptic ‘family’ drama: with Zombies. Many, many Zombies. I’ve loved the show from day one; the characters are like family. And the Zombies (aka ‘Walkers’) they did come to Heddington on Halloween. In droves. We had excellent professional face painters come for the afternoon and many friends, family and neighbours partook. Thus on the rain free (finally !) Halloween eve, we had both my herd of five ‘dead’ Walkers (one of whom was pulling itself out of a 200lb pumpkin) and an unrivaled herd of ‘live’ Walkers scaring the wits out of the 800+ trick or treaters braving Heddington on Halloween. We raised $1,850 (as of November 2) this year for SickKids Foundation (online and donations at the event). The television networks and print press came as well: morning, noon and night (literally). For those of you who know me well, this will be shocking – I was up at 5:30 a.m. to prepare for a two hour morning shoot with the fabulous Jamie Gutfreund of CP24. The vibe on the street was awesome – we all concur that this was the best Halloween ever. We’re on the hunt now for a great scary theme for 2016…..all suggestions appreciated ! Til next year……
2016 - Finding Dory
Things were quite scary around 44 Heddington on Halloween 2015 and so this year, the new more small tykes friendly theme will be ‘Finding Dory’. My front lawn is in the process of being transformed into a veritable ocean full of creatures with the painting of Dory and Nemo underway ! Hank, the Octopus, will appear in pumpkin and paper mache form (long story…) and what Dory display would be complete without a life size Gerald the Sea Lion? I’m having a ton of fun going through the newspaper and flour/glue to create Hank and Gerald – hopefully it will all be dry in time for Halloween ! We’ll have fabulous face painters again on the afternoon before Hallows Eve and yours truly will hopefully ultimately resemble a lovely blue tang fish, just like Dory. Last year we topped $2,000 in donations for SickKids – here’s hoping we do as well this year.
2017 - Guardians of the Galaxy
Wow, how Heddington Halloween has grown! This year Heddington Halloween (HH) spread northward all the way to the end of the street with 30 homes participating (last year 16 homes were involved). The fantastic business owners of the Eglinton Way Business Association partnered with me to create professional posters and SickKids donation boxes; as well as HH T-shirts and a bulk candy purchase to help my swamped neighbours. For the kids’ safety, the Eglinton Way arranged to barricade one of our two blocks and the result was fantastic. There was quite the party environment on Heddington with 1000 kids, their parents and the press; all having a great time. Thanks again to the Eglinton Way for organizing the necessary permits and free parking for my neighbours during the street blockage. Between my SickKids foundation website and cash handed to me at the door, I received over $4,000 (!) in donations for SickKids. The Eglinton Way received even more using their beautiful donation boxes. We are closing in on $10,000 for SickKids raised during Heddington Halloween from 2013 to the present. As for my 2017 display, this year I revisited outer space with the Guardians of the Galaxy. I completed a 7 x 4 foot portrait of Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star Lord; and paper mâché renditions of Groot, Baby Groot, Rocket and Yondu; all of whom appeared on our front lawn. Many, many guests dressed to theme – there were all manner of Groots; and I got myself green as Gamora. That’s this year’s story. As for next year – there will be a few ‘cartoon’ characters painted to meet requests for posters; but I’m torn between Wonder Woman and Game of Thrones for my own theme…hmmmm. We shall see. Please consider donating to SickKids using the ‘Halloween vs Impossible’ icon above, linking you to my HH SickKids Foundation donation page. Cheers and see you next year!