ArtBridges Annual Recognition Awards / Les prix honorifiques annuels de ToileDesArts

We are pleased to announce the award winners for
ArtBridges Third Annual Recognition Awards!


The awards showcase remarkable work in community-engaged arts in Canada in three categories: Innovation!, Resiliency! and Creativity!

The award process: In late 2016 we did a call for community-engaged arts initiatives, community partners and ArtBridges Member initiatives to participate in award nominations. All of the entrees were compelling and demonstrated amazing work. The awards jury was comprised of three active leaders in community arts in Canada from Dawson, Winnipeg and Toronto. The recipients will each receive a certificate and an award of $250. We will be calling for nominations for our Fourth Annual Recognition Awards this Winter.

Nous avons le plaisir de vous présenter les lauréats des troisièmes
Prix honorifiques annuels d’ArtBridges/ToileDesArts!


Ces prix soulignent un travail remarquable dans le domaine de l’art communautaire au Canada. Il y a trois catégories : Innovation, Résilience et Créativité.

Processus d’attribution des prix : Ă  la fin de 2016, nous avons invitĂ© les organismes et les membres de ToileDesArts qui rĂ©alisent des projets d’art en milieu communautaire Ă  soumettre des candidatures pour nos Prix honorifiques annuels. Tous les projets soumis Ă©taient convaincants et dĂ©montraient un travail extraordinaire. Le jury Ă©tait composĂ© de trois personnes qui se sont illustrĂ©es par leur leadership dans le milieu de l’art communautaire; elles venaient de Dawson, de Winnipeg et de Toronto. Chaque rĂ©cipiendaire recevra un certificat et un prix de 250$. Nous lancerons cet hiver un appel Ă  candidature pour la quatrième Ă©dition des Prix honorifiques annuels de ToileDesArts.

Congratulations to / Félicitations aux lauréats! :

The Remarkable Innovation! Award to / Le prix soulignant une innovation remarquable est remis Ă  : Open Field Collective (Toronto)

Open Field Collective, Erika James

“For the past two and a half years the Open Field Collective has been dedicated to bringing artwork into neighbourhood settings in Toronto and Guelph. We do this by installing miniature galleries in residents’ front yards that can be viewed from the sidewalk. Community-members-at-large who have seen our “Street Projects” on the street, simply email us requesting a free art gallery for their yard. From these, The Open Field Collective selects community-based locations and installs a gallery. We program our 16 locations by curating artists’ work or by selecting artwork from our open call submissions. We change the exhibits every 6 weeks, offering the public an extensive range of free exhibitions on an ongoing basis. Community members and visitors have come to love their resident neighbourhood gallery so much that we’ve been invited to bring our projects to Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Peterborough, London, just to name a few. After being propositioned by community members in Guelph, we agreed to expand out to other cities and now have 4 galleries in Guelph that are up and running successfully with the volunteer help of residents in Guelph.

We are always amazed and thrilled when people come up to us to say they walk down a particular street just to see what’s new in the gallery! Last summer, Street Projects caught the eye of Waterfront Toronto’s summer festival, “Animating Our Waterfront”. We were invited to install 5 galleries along the marsh woodlands area of Corktown Common public park, which saw a changing roster of artwork all summer long. This spring, Scouts Canada has sponsored a gallery, where we program youth guest curators and youth artists who aspire to become professional artists. We’re so happy that we’ve been able to bring exciting artwork into places that don’t normally have a presence of street art!

The Open Field Collective consists of two members, Scott McDermid and Erika James who volunteer their time and effort to make our streets a better place to be. ”

The Mandel Surprise-Me Award for Innovation is sponsored by the Ruth Mandel – WHO GIVES Fund.

The Remarkable Creativity! Award to / Le prix soulignant une créativité remarquable est remis à : Sarasvàti Productions Community Mental Health Project (Winnipeg)

SarasvĂ ti Productions, Angie St. Mars

“After two years of research and input from almost 400 community members with different perspectives on mental health, SarasvĂ ti Productions is proud to bring important stories about mental health to the stage. The brand new play titled Breaking Through follows the stories of five Winnipeggers living with and affected by different mental health issues. Grounded in real experiences, this bold new play puts the spotlight on mental health like never before.

Breaking Through is the final product of the larger Mental Health Project, a project lead by SarasvĂ ti Productions that included research, outreach, community story-sharing, workshop readings, the creation of a play for youth: Shattered, the high school tour of Shattered and finally the world premiere of a play for general audiences: Breaking Through.

In accordance with our mandate, Sarasvàti Productions strove to make this project accessible at every stage. Sarasvàti artists went out into the community and facilitated story-sharing theatre workshops with a number of community groups whose stories aren’t often explored on Canadian stages. We worked with patients at Selkirk Mental Health Centre and Red Threads Playback Theatre, with newcomer women at Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM) and newcomer men at Aurora Family Therapy Centre, with LGBTQ youth at Rainbow Resource Centre, and more. Although many community members were eager to participate, we found that youth we worked with were especially compelled to share experiences. As a response, we developed an interactive piece of forum theatre centred completely around youth. Set in a high school, Shattered follows 5 youth who are experiences or affected by mental health issues in different ways. With Shattered, teens didn’t just see a play, they had a chance to become completely emerged in the story and work together to explore solutions to the mental health challenges the characters face. We toured Shattered to 60 high schools with a diverse all-youth cast. Over 6,000 people saw the 60 performances over 9 weeks. In the talk-backs that followed the performances, we were honoured to have so many youth share their stories with us as a result of seeing the play.

Sarasvàti’s innovative project engaged the community in conversation about mental health. The artists were able to weave these true experiences into stories that have the power to connect with audiences, to combat the stigma around mental health, to encourage individuals to speak up and remind each of us that we are not alone.

Highlight video from Shattered:

Video from Breaking Through:

Some feedback from youth and teachers in response to Shattered:

I just wanted to thank you all so much for coming to my school (John Taylor Collegiate) today. For informing people about the current issue with STIGMA against mental illnesses/disorders. I was trying to hold it together so many times during the play, and when we were told to sit down if we had someone to support us through the overwhelming times and I was the only one standing, I lost it. The message was so powerful and I relate so much to these stories. It hurts to know that they’re true, but I’m glad for what you wonderful people are doing by spreading the message. I wanted to come up at the end and thank you all personally, but I have some ‘issues’ as well and I was too afraid, so I guess this is the next best thing. Thank you so much. I know that even after watching “Shattered” a lot of the students will still go back to the way they were, and throwing around the word “crazy”, but those moments still made a difference. I wanted to let you know how much *I* appreciated this, I can’t even put into words how this made me felt and how amazing it was. Sorry that this was very Long-winded. Thank you once again, and if you read this, thank you for your time. – Sincerely, a struggling teenage girl, John Taylor Collegiate

Shattered was very powerful. It helped my students understand the different mental health issues, anxiety, depression, bipolar and eating disorders. It talked about the stigma and I felt it helped students and staff understand how important it is to be able to talk about mental health. The interactive part of the play was wonderful, our students had a chance to look at the situation, join in and find a different way to look at or cope with the mental health issue. When I went to debrief with our students class by class they were very positive about the play and really enjoyed the opportunity to participate. Students that have the opportunity to see it and participate in finding different ways to cope will definitely have a better understanding of mental health. Terri Mowchun—Teacher, St. Norbert High School

“Things aren’t what they seem and we should never assume things about people. I learned a lot and I could tell my fellow audience members also learned something new. I realized a lot more people in our school had experience with mental illness than I thought.” -Fauziya, student at Fort Richmond Collegiate

I discussed the play with both my theatre classes and the overall consensus was that it was fantastic. I even had a colleague stop me in the hall to tell me how moved she was by the performance and the interaction with the kids. This was, bar none, the absolute most engaging piece I have witnessed at our school. Our students really became involved with the piece and I think it resonated powerfully with them all, particularly the message that they are not alone. Kim Dudek—Teacher, Murdoch McKay “

The Remarkable Resiliency! Award to / Le prix soulignant une résilience remarquable est remis à : Blueprint Pathways (Stittsville, ON)

Blueprint Pathways, Bob Vereula

Blueprint 4 Life has demonstrated a key role in building and nurturing resiliency in many communities. In 2012, Stephen Buddha Leafloor had partnered with Pauktuuit (The National Women’s Inuit Association) and designed the Intergenerational Healing Around Residential Schools Program: A Community Story. The Program was then delivered in the community of Kugaaruk, Nunavut. Parents, Elders and Youth were all brought together for Cultural activities, dance, music, art, and mental & emotional healing exercises. I was selected to join the Blueprint team to deliver the program, and it was my first Blueprint project. To see Buddha and the other senior artists work with the youth left me in awe. The kids were engaging in dance styles and music that appealed to them, and the furthermore the Hip Hop Facilitators helped the young people break of their shell. The themes and discussions of the one-week intensive was a whirlwind of emotions, creating a sense of hope and happiness in the community.

A documentary is being created on this amazing week and the report and evaluation being developed is hope to serve as inspiration and a possible model for other communities both Inuit and First Nation. This is one of the first inter-generational healing program around the effects of residential schools, with the arts and Hip Hop Culture. I truly believe that Blueprint is one of the leading youth organizations providing arts engagement in these communities. To learn more, follow the video link:

ArtBridges/ToileDesArts Logo

We will be calling for nominations for our Fourth Annual Recognition Awards this Winter.

Please sign up yourself or your community arts initiative as a Member!

Membership fees help to support the work of ArtBridges all year! As a Member or Member Organization, you will be a vital partner in ArtBridges’ important work by helping us to raise awareness, connect people to community-engaged art initiatives, gather and share resources, and highlight what’s going on in the practice and field.

Please contact us toll-free: 1-877-278-3002 or, if you have any questions and to learn more.

Tiffany Nyklickova, Membership Developer,


Nous lancerons cet hiver un appel de candidatures pour la quatrième édition des Prix honorifiques annuels.

Devenez membre de ToileDesArts Ă  titre personnel ou en tant qu’organisme ou projet d’art communautaire !

La cotisation des membres soutient le travail d’ArtBridges toute l’année! Devenir membre d’ArtBridges/ToileDesArts, c’est participer à faire connaître l’art communautaire, au réseautage des organismes et personnes actives dans le milieu, à la mise en commun des ressources et à la diffusion des nouvelles et des activités pertinentes.

Pour en savoir plus ou si vous avez des questions, communiquez avec nous : (sans frais) 1-877-278-3002,

Tiffany Nyklickova, responsable de la campagne d’adhésion,

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