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Profile Highlight: Made in BC – Dance on Tour

As ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory grows, we realize that it’s a bit overwhelming to read through all of the profiles. We’re hoping that by occasionally highlighting some profiles on our blog, you may learn about an initiative that you may not have initially seen in the directory. Also, if you know of a Canadian community-engaged arts for social change initiative that isn’t in our directory, but should be, please let us know! We love and need your input/feedback in building this resource! -Lisa, Content Coordinator at ArtBridges.


“Since 2006, Made in BC has organized over 250 community dance activities in underserved regions, reaching over 50,000 people. Originally conceived as a way to build audience appreciation for touring shows, Made in BC’s dance outreach activities have had such a huge impact on people in the communities that we partner with we’ve focused on expanding this aspect of our programming.

Every Body Dance BC:
Organized by Made in BC in partnership with the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, Every Body Dance BC is a gathering of current community-engaged dance projects open for new participants by Vancouver independent artists or companies.

“Community Dance on Tour”
is a selection of Community Engaged Dance Propositions from BC based artists, collectives or companies for presenters or other organizations interested in brining these type of projects in their communities.

The “Community Engagement Facilitator Program”
Also called our Dance Champions program is a group of artists and community organizers that have their ears to the ground in each of the MiBC communities, ensuring the development of locally relevant community dance projects programming across the province.”

To read more about Made in BC, please see their profile in ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Toolbox Initiative: program designed to encourage and build healthy relationships between girls, gender nonconforming youth, and boys and to challenge gender stereotypes (Toronto)

About the Toolbox Initiative

“Toolbox is a program designed to encourage and build healthy relationships between girls, gender nonconforming youth, and boys and to challenge gender stereotypes. Our aim is to support the development of self sufficiency and confidence: experiences that we, as members of Toolbox, had when we first learned to work with our hands. The program will be led by the women identifying members of Toolbox who have backgrounds in woodworking and experience in training youths in these skills. Currently Toolbox aims to service the youth of the Kingston Galloway/ Orton Park neighbourhood. The members have, in some capacity, a connection to the KGO; having worked, gone to school or participated in community programming in the area.”

-from SKETCH
Read SKETCH’s profile in ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Talking Treaties Spectacle & Under the Concrete (Touching Ground Festival)

Talking Treaties is a participatory multi-arts project, with the goal of artfully sharing local Indigenous knowledge and awareness. Talking Treaties engaged over 300 participants in its research and development, generating symbols, poetry, and expressive maps, which have influenced and are now featured as content in the production. This project strives to expand meaning, knowledge, and personal relationships to encompass the historical and contemporary responsibilities we share as treaty people.

Talking Treaties Spectacle
A large-scale immersive performance and installation, bringing together professional and community performers.

Under the Concrete
A choral reflection on our themes of history, questioning, learning and acknowledging for all of who now live on this land.

Friday, June 23, 6:30 pm
Saturday, June 24, 12-6 pm (installation only)
Sunday, June 25, 5 pm”

For more information about the Touching Ground Festival including the full festival schedule, please visit

-submitted by Jumblies Theatre
Read Jumblies’ Profile on ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory & Map

GeriActors 2nd Annual Summer School (Edmonton)

“​GeriActors 2nd Annual Summer School starts June 29

Introduction to storytelling, acting and improv

Perfect for anyone wanting to learn more about our acting company, the GeriActors & Friends, or wanting to try something brand new.

GeriActors has been turning stories into plays for the last sixteen years. Join us this summer and learn how to turn your own stories into moments of theatre to share with others.


No experience necessary and all abilities welcome.

Date & Time:
June 29 – July 27
Thursdays from 1 – 3pm

The SAGE Seniors Association
15 Sir Winston Churchill Square

Cost: $20

Register in person at SAGE or call 780-423-5510.”

Profile Highlight: NISA/Northern Initiative for Social Action (Sudbury)

As ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory grows, we realize that it’s a bit overwhelming to read through all of the profiles. We’re hoping that by occasionally highlighting some profiles on our blog, you may learn about an initiative that you may not have initially seen in the directory. Also, if you know of a Canadian community-engaged arts for social change initiative that isn’t in our directory, but should be, please let us know! We love and need your input/feedback in building this resource! -Lisa, Content Coordinator at ArtBridges.


Northern Initiative for Social Action is a “community of peers with lived experience of mental health challenges in Sudbury, Ontario. NISA’s original members came together in 1997 to create a space where people with lived experience could rediscover their skills and talents while participating meaningfully in the greater community. NISA’s mission is Building mental health together. Our motto is Being, Belonging, Becoming and we aim to meet our members’ in each of these three areas by: encouraging self-discovery and a sense of personhood; providing a place to gather no matter your standing elsewhere; and offering skill development and ways to contribute to the community at large. Our creative expression programs have been an important part of NISA’s history, and through them we have been able to participate in the community with annual art exhibitions, book publishing and public readings, and quilting for the homeless.

The Artists’ Loft provides the opportunity for artists to participate in the fine arts, develop skills and to exhibit their work within the community. Like The Writers’ Circle, The Artists’ Loft encourages the expression of the experience of living with a mental illness and aims to educate society through the exhibition of these expressions in socially-connected community settings. Our artists — beginners and professionals — explore the many types of media, from acrylics and oils, to sculpture and wood-burning. Stop in at NISA to see our permanent exhibition of artwork created here in The Artist’s Loft. You’re certain to find a piece that moves you.”

To read more about Northern Initiative for Social Action, please see their profile in ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map.

Resilient Hearts Project: Explore the 7 Grandfather Teachings through zine & mobile creation (Thunder Bay, ON)


“Join artist Betty Carpick at the Evergreen A United Neighbourhood house (139 Heron Street) from 4-6pm this Thursday for a free workshop for youth! Betty will be exploring the seven grandfather teachings through zine and mobile creation! Part of CAHEP’s Resilient Hearts Project, funded through Ontario Arts Council’s Creative Engagement Fund to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment.”

About Resilient Hearts:
“Resilient Hearts is a community-driven art project fueled by the strengths and stories of people in Thunder Bay.

Through inclusive arts programming, participants in under-represented neighbourhoods of Thunder Bay will explore and self-define topics related to sexual violence including: Resilience/Strength, Healthy Relationships, Boundaries, and Self-care.

These definitions will become the roots of artist-run community workshops with each neighbourhood. Art workshops will include (but are not limited to): visual art, spoken/written word, illustration, poetry, photography, DIY culture (zine-making), and storytelling.

Creations will be compiled into the Resilient Hearts Book, to be published in March 2017.

Community Partners: Evergreen a United Neighbourhood, Faye Peterson House, Community Action Group, Thunder Bay & Area Victim Services.

Participating artists:
Barbara Benwell –  Visual Arts
Ma-Nee Chacaby – Elder, Storytelling
Jayal Chung –  Visual Arts, Written & Spoken Word
Carol Kajorinne – Visual Arts
Michelle Richmond-Saravia – Indigenous Knowledge, Writing, Storytelling”

Upcoming workshops:
Thursday, October 20th 4-6pm
Thursday, October 27th 4-6pm
Thursday, November 3rd 4-6pm”

Visit CAHEP’s Facebook page for updates.

Posted with permission from Alana Forslund, CAHEP
Read Community Arts & Heritage Education Project (CAHEP)’s profile on ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Highlights of ArtBridges’ Site Visits in Montreal! 1/3

Last June, ArtBridges/ToiledesArts’s Project Director, Seanna Connell and Francophone Community Arts Coordinator, Catherine Lamaison, spent a week in Montréal to visit and meet 19 community partners and learn about the work that they do on the ground. While most of the ArtBridges/ToiledesArts’ team’s work is done online or over the phone from our Toronto office, getting a chance to travel, see community arts program in action and finally meet partners in person is always highly inspiring and gives all the meaning to our work.

We’ve decided to dedicate a series of 3 blog posts to the amazing community arts and arts for social change initiatives we’ve discovered in Montréal. There is something very particular about that place, and about the work that is made possible there. Seanna and myself have been amazed by the originality and innovation of programs, the variety of organization models, the dedication and drive of mostly volunteer staff, the resources available and the crucial understanding of the importance of community arts and arts for social change. We believe that stories and ideas need to travel more across provinces, and particularly across languages, and that the rest of Canada needs to be more aware of the kinds of projects that are developed in Québec. Here are highlights about each organization we met.

Monday, June 20th  la place commune Our first stop was in the Parc Extension neighbourhood, at a fairly new art hive — part of the Art Hives Network called La Place Commune. Primarily a coffee shop restaurant whose revenues help support the rent and staff, La Place Commune set up an arts corner with supplies that can be used for free. Come for a coffee or just to make art or both, this place is open and the members believe in shared economy. We then headed to Westmount to meet with Ruth Gagnon and her assistant Anne-Celine at Elizabeth Fry Society du Québec. We talked specifically about their art programs and about the Art Entr’Elles collective and its projects. Art Entr’Elles is a non-profit organization gathering criminalized women and professional artists in collaborative projects. Through the making of art, this collective of women support self-esteem building, sense of belonging to a community, critical thinking, socio-political expression and reinsertion to society. Tuesday, June 21st We started our second day in Montreal with a meeting with the Culture Days team in their Mile Ex office. Culture Days is a 3-day event across Canada aiming to get community engagement happening around the arts. This event is particularly important for communities that have little art events on a regular basis. They have provincial chapters that run Culture Days in each province independently. It was particularly interesting for us to have a discussion with another nation-wide organization. Catherine then met with Alyssa Kuzmarov from Productions Oracle near Concordia University campus. Productions Oracle is a bilingual non-profit organization providing at-risk youth and adults with creative modes of expression through writing and video-making workshops. Participants are encouraged to share their experiences through an empowering process of documentary-making while developing social skills and values of respect and tolerance. Productions Oracle also offers production services for social and educational videos as well as promotional and corporate videos.

Liam and Dan, co-founders of Spectrum Productions.

Liam and Dan, co-founders of Spectrum Productions.

We stopped by Spectrum Productions summer camp, in Le Plateau. Working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum, Spectrum Productions is a community-based non-profit organization that provides “social, creative, exploratory and employment opportunities” through workshops, summer camps and various programs focusing on film and media production. Most of the programs are run in their own space part of an arts building in Le Plateau, with multiple rooms and professional video equipment. At the end of a day of site visits we were so happy to finally meet Jacinthe Laforte for the first time! Jacinthe has been translating ArtBridges/ToileDesArts content from English to French since 2011 remotely. She was originally referred to ArtBridges by Engrenage Noir / ROUAGE. What a delight to finally meet in person after 5 years and enjoy a glass of wine together! Don’t miss the rest of our site visits highlights in Montréal in tomorrow’s blog post!

Jacinthe Laforte and Seanna Connell. from ArtBridges

Jacinthe Laforte and Seanna Connell. from ArtBridges

Call for Applications: Platform A (Toronto)


Platform A is a strategic initiative of the Toronto Arts Council in collaboration with Art Starts, Jumblies Theatre, SKETCH/CUE, and VIBE Arts. Each organization is offering grants of up to $1000 each to support art projects.

Platform A grants from Toronto Arts Council are for artists who:

  • Reside in Toronto
  • Have experience in any art form or tradition
  • Have not received funding from the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, or other substantial arts funding
  • Can work on their project between January and April 2017
  • Can present or share their project at a public showcase in June 2017

In addition, each organization has its own criteria. Applicants may apply to ONE of the following organizations:

Art Starts grants fund:

  • New generation and newcomer artists
  • Projects that engage a community with which the artist is connected


Jumblies grants fund:

  • Artists of any age
  • Community-engaged art projects


CUE (with SKETCH) grants fund:

  • New generation artists who live and work on the margins;
  • Independent art projects in any discipline


VIBE Arts grants fund:

  • Aritsts up to 29 years old from underserved communities
  • Projects that engage a communiy with which the artist is connected



-submitted by Jumblies Theatre
See the profiles of Art StartsVIBE ArtsJumblies Theatre & SKETCH in ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Resilient: Indigenous Youth Community Building Project & Workshops, Oct. 12-26 (Toronto)


“Join us for our October workshops:

Wednesday, October 12 5-7PM
Wednesday, October 19 5-7PM
Wednesday, October 26 5-7PM

To learn more about the program or to register, please contact:

Native Youth Resource Centre
655 Bloor St. West, Toronto”

For more info, visit

Posted with permission from Reagan Kennedy
Read 7th Generation Image Maker’s profile on ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

Honouring Our Stories: A digital storytelling & arts-based project for survivors of sexual violence (Thunder Bay, ON)


“The Northwestern Ontario Women’s Centre invites cis women, trans women, trans feminine, non-binary and two spirit people who have experienced sexual violence (e.g. sexual assault, rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, exploitation etc.) and allies to learn about the project through supportive creative workshop sessions.

Be part of a collaborative experience to create a group poem and short video to show support and make a statement against sexual violence.

Creative Workshops
For survivors: August 10, 24
For allies: August 11, 25

5:30pm – 8:00pm
285 Red River Road
Waverley Library

For more information, call 807-345-7802 or email
Can’t make it? Drop off or email your submission to the Northwestern Ontario Women’s Centre.”

Visit the Facebook Event Page or for more information.

Posted with permission from Jayal Chung