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Posts Tagged ‘community arts’

Culture Days 2017 (Sept 29 – Oct 1)

Culture Days 2017 takes place September 29th through October 1st, and is poised to showcase thousands of opportunities for Canadians to express what culture means to them. Hundreds of rural and urban communities alike offer a diverse series of events for the public to experience rare-access, behind-the-scenes, and hands-on arts and culture activities – and all for free.

Millions of Canadians engage in thousands of free activities and performances hosted by artists, cultural organizations and municipalities in communities across Canada. From Nunavut to New Brunswick, and from British Columbia to Baffin Island – and all points in between – we share all the inspiration, artistry, creativity and expression that reflects the mosaic of Canadian culture. As a leading national voice for an active and engaged cultural life, we provide marketing and industry development resources that lead to greater cultural engagement. The Culture Days national awareness campaign culminates in a three-day celebration of the arts starting on the last Friday of September.”

For more information, please visit

-from Culture Days website

Video: Art as a Tool for Social Change / L’art comme outil de changement social (ArtBridges/ToileDesArts)

C’est avec fierté qu’ArtBridges/ToileDesArts vous présente L’art comme outil de changement social, une vidéo réalisée par Emily Laliberté (Funambules Médias) qui porte sur l’impact de l’art communautaire et de l’art pour le changement social ainsi que sur le rôle de la ToileDesArts.

Pour réaliser cette deuxième vidéo d’une série de trois, nous avons braqué les projecteurs sur ce qui se passe au Québec, et plus particulièrement dans la ville de Montréal, afin de célébrer et de mettre en lumière certains des projets d’art communautaires et pour le changement social parmi les plus puissants, les plus transformateurs et les plus inspirants de ceux qui ont cours en ce moment d’un océan à l’autre.

Nous avons invité Emily Laliberté de Funambules Médias à collaborer avec nous pour créer un court métrage qui souligne trois projets d’art communautaires montréalais en captant leurs actions et leur impact sur le terrain. Chaque organisme partage ensuite au sujet de son expérience avec ArtBridges/ToileDesArts et de l’importance de faire partie d’un réseau pancanadien.

Nous remercions du fond du coeur Emily Laliberté et les équipes de Funambules Médias, d’Exeko, de la Société Elizabeth Fry du Québec et d’Art Entr’Elles pour leur extraordinaire travail et pour leur collaboration qui a rendu possible cette vidéo.

Bon visionnement ! N’hésitez pas à partager la vidéo pour répandre la magie de l’art pour le changement social !

– Catherine Lamaison, Coordonnatrice francophone en art communautaire, ArtBridges.

ArtBridges/ToileDesArts a reçu une subvention de la Fondation de la famille J.W. McConnell accordant des fonds sur une période de trois ans pour créer trois vidéos visant à sensibiliser le public sur la nature, la valeur et l’impact de l’art communautaire et de l’art pour le changement social au Canada, et sur le rôle et la participation d’ArtBridges/ToileDesArts. Notre première vidéo, L’art communautaire et l’art pour le changement social, c’est quoi ? a été réalisée et produite par Andrea Dorfman en 2014.
Cliquez ici pour la revoir !

ArtBridges/ToileDesArts veut aussi souligner que ses projets et programmes reçoivent le soutien de la Fondation Trillium de l’Ontario, du fonds Ruth Mandel – WHO GIVES, de Patrimoine Canada et enfin de tous ses membres. ArtBridges/ToileDesArts est un projet de Tides Canada.

ArtBridges/ToileDesArts is proud to present Art as a Tool for Social Change, a video directed by Emily Laliberté (Funambules Médias) focusing on the impact of community arts and arts for social change and on ArtBridges’ role.

In the making of this second of three ArtBridges’ videos, we looked to Québec and particularly the city of Montréal to celebrate and shed light on some of the most powerful, transformative and inspiring community-engaged arts and arts for social change projects going on in Canada now.

We asked Emily Laliberté from Funambule Médias, if she would be willing to work on this project with us and create a short film that would highlight three community arts initiatives in Montréal and showcase their actions and impact on the ground. Each organization would then share about their experience with ArtBridges and on the importance of being part of a Canada-wide network.

We would like to thank very deeply Emily Laliberté, and all the wonderful teams at Funambules Médias, Exeko, La Société Elizabeth Fry du Québec and Art Entr’Elles for the amazing work that they do and for making this video possible.

Enjoy the video and don’t hesitate to share it! Let’s spread the word about the magic of art for social change!

– Catherine Lamaison, Francophone Community Arts Coordinator, ArtBridges.

As part of a three-year grant, ArtBridges received funds from the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation to create three videos that raise awareness on the nature, value and impact of community-engaged arts and arts for social change in Canada, and about ArtBridges’ involvement and mandate. Our first video, entitled What Are Community-Engaged Arts and Arts for Social Change All About? was created and produced by Andrea Dorfman in 2014.
Click here to watch it again!

ArtBridges projects and programs are also supported with great appreciation by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Ruth Mandel – WHO GIVES Fund, Canadian Heritage and Memberships. ArtBridges/ToileDesArts is a Project of Tides Canada.

World Community Arts Day! (Feb 17, International)



‘We can either react in fear or anger to the state of our world thus becoming part of the problem or respond creatively and become part of the solution.’

You are invited to be part of a global celebration on 17/02/17
All we ask is that during the month of February or on the day of the 17th to be creative.
Sings, dance, act, draw, paint, write, make, create.
Anything or anyway you feel you or your group are artistic.
Big, small, full of craft and skill or a complete beginner.
All are welcome.
If you can mark your creativity by adding the following hashtag to your social media website like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. #WCAD2017

Our aim is to create a world festival for a day that promotes “Art as a catalyst for caring and sharing”.

Community Arts Practice Foundations Course (ACI Manitoba)


Community Arts Practice Foundations Course

Dates & times:
Part 1: with Sue Hemphill is currently in session and will run again in 2017
Part 2: January 11–February 15, 2017, 6–9 pm
Part 2 may be taken before part 1

Registration deadline: December 16, 2016
Location: 4th Floor Classroom, ACI Manitoba, 245 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg
Cost: $150 ACI member | $200 non-member (fees include manual)
Instructors: Sue Hemphill and Kerri Twigg

This course is for artists and community members wishing to:

  • develop, grow or refine an existing community arts practice
  • work in the field of community-based arts
  • conduct arts-based community development
  • work collaboratively for community cultural development

Gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to initiate and manage collaborative community-based arts projects and programs.”

-submitted by ACI Manitoba

Highlights of ArtBridges’ Site Visits in Montreal 3/3


Montreal photo 1

Catherine, ready for a day of site visits!

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 programs 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 three blog posts to the amazing community arts and arts for social change initiatives we’ve discovered in Montreal. Check out part 1 and part 2 here.

Thursday June 23rd
After three days of visits, we were so inspired by all this new information and discovery that it became difficult to talk about it right away, we needed time to process it all. In the meantime, we kept going and were on our way to more exciting meetings for our last day in town: Exeko, Cafe Graffiti, NDG Seniors Atelier, Les Impatients, ELAN and Cirque Hors Piste.

Exeko is a very innovative and progressive organization offering a variety of programs, all extremely creative and aiming at achieving social inclusion through art and philosophy. Exeko’s approach consists in creating collective thinking spaces where everyone is equal, through the organization of critical or creative workshops and programs.  They are Spectrum Productions’ neighbours, in a big arts building in Le Plateau.

Raymond Vigier, founder of Café Graffiti, in the arts studio.

Café Graffiti is an organization that has existed for 30 years in the Maisonneuve neighbourhood, relying on an interesting business model. The publication of a magazine (a prevention tool sold all over Québec, mostly in schools, in French and English and edited by the founder of Café Graffiti, Raymond Viger) and the profit of a bar/restaurant across the street (Bistro Ste Catherine) generates money to fund the organization. Café Graffiti aims at offering a space where youth can come, hang out, make art and feel safe, while developing professional skills, fighting exclusion and marginalization.

Seanna dropped in to see the renowned organization – Les Impatients. Aside from large meeting/art rooms and gift shop there is a museum that showcases sculptures made by program participants. Here art therapy, hands-on arts activities and incredible art exhibits are all in progress! montreal newsletter photo 7Seanna dropped in at the NDG Seniors Atelier’s weekly workshop founded and run by Nicole Macoretta, a masters student in art therapy at Concordia. This new Art Hive is situated in the rec room on the ground floor of a senior’s residence. This beautiful weekly program works so well because it is accessible to the residents and neighbourhood (the program came to them! rather than residents travelling out to a program); there are no overhead costs, as there is an arrangement with the facility to not charge rent; the facility has given them a secure storage area for art supplies (so that materials don’t need to be carted back and forth every week and so that artwork in progress can be stored). Mostly it works so well because Nicole has created an environment for creativity that is warm, supportive, non-judgemental, joyful and accommodating. Participants are free to work on a new weekly art activity or their own project.

Seanna met with Christie Huff with ELAN – English-Language Arts Network that “connects, supports, and creates opportunities for Québec’s English-speaking artists and arts communities.” ELAN works on expanding access to affordable English language arts activities and workshops. Christie was interested in learning more about ArtBridges and to exchange ideas.

Finally, Catherine met with Karine Lavoie from Cirque Hors Piste. Cirque Hors Piste is a social circus organization. It is the Montréal cell of Cirque du Monde, the social action branch of Cirque du Soleil. Offering marginalized people with an alternative space and creative inclusion, the organization promotes individual, social and collective learning through the circus arts. It provides social circus workshops where outreach workers and circus instructors join forces. Regular sessions, sessions in public spaces, and creations in intensive mode – all aim to support the personal, physical and social development of young people in precarious situations. The overarching goal is to help participants create new relationships with society. It was exciting to learn more about the whole social circus network in Canada!

From left to right: Seanna Connell, Russell Jr Ratt, Mathieu Melançon, Catherine Lamaison and Craig Commanda.

From left to right: Seanna Connell, Russell Jr Ratt, Mathieu Melançon, Catherine Lamaison and Craig Commanda.

Friday, June 24th
Seanna and Catherine met early on St. Jean Baptiste Day morning, left Montréal and drove almost 4 hours north-west to Kitigan Zibi reserve to meet young video artists at the Wapikoni Mobile outreach program. The mobile – an RV equipped with state of the art video equipment was plugged in for the month to an electrical outlet at a rest stop in the community. Matthieu- our host – introduced us to Craig and Russell – young community residents whom had previously made a few 5-minute videos. We sat, talked and watched their videos and learned all about Wapikoni. Wapikoni provides Indigenous youth with equipment, skills and guidance on how to tell something personally meaningful through video. The stories are poignant and deeply moving. Youth are fully part of all the processes of video conception and development and the outcomes are professional quality. The videos are shown around the world. After a couple of hours we high-tailed it back through Ottawa and down the 401 to Toronto, so stimulated from all the amazing people we met and projects we saw and learned about. What a privilege! Thank you community partners in Montréal!!!

-Seanna Connell and Catherine Lamaison

Highlights of ArtBridges’ Site Visits in Montreal 2/3

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 three blog posts to the amazing community arts and arts for social change initiatives we’ve discovered in Montréal. Check out yesterday’s post to read about the beginning of our site visits trip!

Wednesday, June 22nd
On our third day we separated in order to visit more community partners. While Seanna explored more art hives (La Ruche St Henri and Le Milieu) and met with Marilyn Lajeunesse, Educational program officer at the Musee des Beaux Arts, Catherine met with Emily Laliberté from Funambules Media and later on with Joel Naggar, intervention coordinator, who gave her a tour of the famous Day Centre for homeless youth Dans La Rue. We met for lunch in the middle–with Esther Filion from Rouage and Seanna ended the day with a meeting with Chad Lubelsky at the J. W. McConnell Family Foundation.

Since 2008 the Funambules Medias Team has worked towards social change by providing marginalized and at-risk populations, mostly youth, with media training and material for them to create, to express themselves and to reflect on systemic causes leading to the criminalization of youth. Funambules Medias also offers production and broadcast services.  Every summer, they organize the Festival de Films Sous les Etoiles, a big outdoor and free film festival in Montréal parks. This event is very popular and features screenings of documentaries related to social change. Finally, they produce various kinds of documentaries and institutional films for organizations driven by social change endeavours.

Collectif Porte-Voix's stunning prevention book "Parcours, Chacun son Temps".

Collectif Porte-Voix’s stunning prevention book “Parcours, Chacun son Temps”.

Musee des Beaux Arts
Seanna met with Marilyn Lajeunesse, Educational program officer at the Musee des Beaux Arts. She had learned about the museum’s progressive community engagement program “Sharing the Museum” at a recent Power of the Arts Forum. Started 15 years ago, this program, supported by the museum’s foundation, collaborates with diverse community partners both outside the museum’s walls with communities and inside the museum’s art studios. Community partnerships include homeless drop-ins, eating-disorder clinics, and refugee centres. Dans la Rue was founded by Father Emmet Johns “Pops” in 1988. This charity organization helps homeless and at-risk-youth, providing care and services related to their immediate needs and to help them acquire skills needed “to lead more autonomous and rewarding lives.” The Day Center offers two artistic spaces running programs on a weekly basis (a visual arts room and a music recording/production room), along with additional drop-in programs led by other community arts organizations such as Cirque Hors Piste.

montreal newsletter photo 4

La Ruche St Henri’s main room

La Ruche St Henri Art Hive in St. Henri is based in a storefront with a spacious backyard and stellar cellar (a depot for found materials once bound for the landfill and now repurposed for art-making.) Seanna visited with facilitators, Sarah Tevyaw and Nicole Macoretta, during the open studio workshop for seniors. Piano, loom, spinning wheel, books, ink, indigo dye, gardening and pencils…one can get involved with any of the supplies and projects, enjoy a cup of tea and chat with other participants in a relaxed, quiet and warm community studio that inspires creativity, camaraderie and belonging. La Ruche collaborates with neighbouring organizations including a hospital for cancer patients. Outpatient peer-support circles meet here to make art in a setting alternative to hospital. What a great community partnership! (Read more here.) Catherine and Seanna both met with Esther Filion from Engrenage Noir / ROUAGE. “Engrenage Noir, founded in Montréal in 2002, is an non-profit organization. Its program ROUAGE supports activist art practice financially and through training and networking. It aims at partnering with community organizations defending peoples’ rights and their members who share a similar form of oppression or social exclusion in order to see how an activist art project can support their work.”

montreal newsletter photo 5

Kay (on the right) and her visiting friend at Le Milieu

Seanna then met with Kay Noele at the Le Milieu – Atelier et Café de Quartier, an Art Hive near metro Beaudry. This small corner-store art studio/café has floor-to-ceiling shelves of art supplies open for the community. One person was sewing on a machine, another working on a silk screen, another writing. Delicious cake was ready and coffee was brewing. (Sales pay the rent!) Open for the community for free, this community art studio is run as a co-op with fee-paying members. Anyone can be a member by paying about $50. Members are encouraged to volunteer to keep the doors open for approximately 3-hour periods, teach an art activity, organize supplies or help out at the café. The co-op finds enough volunteers to run this open café & studio every day (7 days a week!) year-round. What every city neighbourhood would benefit from! Kay and the few facilitating the co-op make the work look easy and fluid, but there is an art to making this work so well. Visit and find out!

At the end of a busy day of site visits, Seanna met with Chad Lubelsky, a brilliant Program Director with the J. W. McConnell Family Foundation. This was a chance to thank Chad for the foundation’s support to ArtBridges and to keep the conversation going. The foundation has provided ArtBridges with the means to develop a theory of change, an evaluation framework, impact evaluation, as well as project development and capacity building. Chad loved to hear about our site visits and had some suggestions about other programs to see. We talked about the uniqueness of community arts and arts for social change projects going on in Québec and indeed through all regions in Canada- how projects vary from city to city, region to region, based on language, culture and resources.

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

CultureShock Community Arts Festival (Aug 12-13, Toronto)


“CultureShock Community Arts Festival ( is a FREE all-ages multi-day festival presented by UrbanArts held in Little Avenue Memorial Park. The 11th annual festival will launch with a Kick-Off event on Thursday August 11th (7 pm) at 19 John Street (Weston Rd. & Lawrence Ave.) with an intimate musical and spoken word performance, as well as an art gallery exhibit.

Friday August 12th (1 pm – 10:30pm) – The festival will feature 5 neighbourhood summer camps participating in a short street parade and talent show for the community. The evening turns into a dance showcase and dance-battle featuring dancers from across the GTA. The night ends with a movie screening in the park for families.

Saturday August 13th (1 pm – 8 pm)

  • Live music performances, cultural dance and spoken word on stage
  • International music acts with local York South-Weston ties like J-Soul, Michie Mee and $Sheed
  • Kids Zone featuring inflatable attractions co-presented with the Weston Village BIA
  • Maker Lab with interactive art-making workshops -Beadmaking, T-shirt decorating and Painting workshop
  • Face Painting
  • “Mini Makeovers” by Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Artisans marketplace
  • Community Fair
  • Food (Food trucks, ice cream truck etc.)

Volunteering at CultureShock is an exciting, fun, educational experience. YOU are what makes this Festival happen. Join us!

Gardiner Museum Launches New Interactive Community Arts Space (Toronto)


Museum partners with local cultural groups for a full summer of community-engaged arts

“This summer, the Gardiner Museum is opening up its exhibition hall to five community partners who will animate the space with interactive workshops, exhibitions, art making, and experimental theatre: Akin Projects, South Riverdale Community Health Centre, Crazy Dames, UnSpun Theatre, and VIBE Arts.

Through an open call, community groups were invited to “Make It Real” by proposing projects inspired by the tangibility and authenticity of clay, and that encourage hands-on public engagement. Visitors will be able to take part in everything from blanket fort-building and clay making, to silkscreening and walking tours of the neighbourhood, most of which are being offered to the public for free.

The Community Arts Space will draw new audiences to the Museum and allow summer tourists to experience the diversity of Toronto’s cultural scene.

“The new Community Arts Space offers local cultural organizations a platform to present their work to a broader public and the opportunity to draw attention to some of our city’s most important social issues, including the experiences of new citizens and the quality of our urban environment,” says Kelvin Browne, Executive Director and CEO of the Gardiner Museum. “So many smaller cultural organizations don’t have the space or the funds to present their work to the public. The Make It Real Project aims to address this shortage by using the Gardiner’s resources and position in the community to broaden and enrich the local cultural landscape.”

A series of artist residencies throughout the project’s two-month run, in addition to offering local artists the chance to experiment and share their work with a wider audience, will highlight the creative process and bridge the gap between the artist and the public.

The Community Arts Space launches with a special reception on June 28 from 5 to 8 pm, where the partners will be on hand to introduce their projects. Guests will also be able to interact with Akin Projects’ PLACE/SETTING installation inspired by Judy Chicago’s iconic work, The Dinner Party. Media wishing to attend should RSVP to Rachel Weiner, Communications Coordinator, or 416.408.5062.

The Community Arts Space: Make It Real Project runs from June 28 to September 1, 2016. Learn more about the individual events below or visit for full details.

June 28 to July 8

Akin Projects, an arts organization that provides public programming around Toronto, will deliver a series of all-ages clay-making workshops and community events. Drawing inspiration from Judy Chicago’s iconic work The Dinner Party, visitors will interact with ceramics in a more social, contemporary way. Contemporary ceramists will lead workshops with visitors in which they will create a functional object. As they are created and prepared for display, the works will slowly set the table for a community celebration and active installation. The walls of the space will be covered to create a living sketchbook that documents the project and the planning of each unique piece. The closing event will be a community celebration for all of the participants where visitors will be allowed to share and trade the tableware created, reinterpreting the value placed on functional objects.

Transforming Muslim women’s experience of stigma and discrimination into creative expressions to bring forth acceptance and respect.
July 19 to 24

This project explores the impact of stigma and racialized discrimination on Muslim women’s identities and well-being. The South Riverdale Community Health Centre, a community-based organization that offers primary health care services and health promotion programs to a diverse community, worked with two generations of Muslim women, inviting them to share their stories and helping them transform their individual experiences into forms of artistic expression. These first-time artists will display their work in the gallery as a means of sparking dialogue and promoting acceptance within the broader community.

July 25 to August 5

We Built This City is a playful way to engage diverse communities in animating, changing and improving our everyday experiences. Over the course of the two weeks, Crazy Dames will work with participants to create a scale version of the neighbourhood, build forts, and engage in walkshops, as a way to reimagine our public spaces. The program coincides with the City of Toronto Planning Division’s TO CORE initiative, a study that looks at using growth in Toronto’s Downtown to make the city a great place to live, work, learn, play and invest.

Crazy Dames is a collaboration between Jennie Suddick, a visual artist/educator, and Sara Udow, an urban/community/cultural planner. As an ode to Jane Jacobs, the seminal urban theorist who was often dismissed as a ‘crazy dame’ by male counterparts, Jennie and Sara use the artist’s studio as an experimental lab to test Jacobs’ ideas: her focus on people and her tradition of fostering tactical and collaborative approaches to city building.

August 11 to 20

In All The Things I’ve Lost, Shira Leuchter will revisit significant objects that have been lost throughout her life, alongside her mother, a ceramist, who will reinvent, recreate, and honour these lost childhood objects by re-making them out of clay. An exhibit and performance piece, All The Things I’ve Lost questions how physical objects hold memories and how we pass on stories from generation to generation through the things we have kept and preserved. UnSpun Theatre has been creating original award- winning contemporary performance in Toronto since 2004.

August 22 to 26, August 29 to September 1

Shaping the Real is a collaborative project by eight artists working in pairs to create new multi-disciplinary works that explore how to make the creative process real and engaging for audiences. The works developed during the residencies will be shared publicly at the Gardiner and will reflect the community’s rich stories. VIBE’s mission is to engage young people living in Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods in high quality and accessible arts educational programs that are meaningful, relevant, and collaboratively developed with community and education partners.

August 22 to 26
From the Earth

Portrait with Sandra Tarantino and Andrenne Finnikin: The artists will create a large-scale relief portrait using recycled and found materials, engaging the public to contribute to the piece by drawing and mark making with handmade natural dyes.

Circles with Pamela Schuller and May Chook: The public will participate in the co-creation of woven, sculptural visual installations, as well as singing, storytelling, and movement that responds to the collection.

August 29 to September 1
Behind the Scenes 

Lost and Found with Jennifer Chin and Amanda Foulds: An exploration of ownership and authenticity through the creation of a narrative photo exhibit of the museum’s lost and found.

Surface with Dara Gellman and Fitzroy Facey: Using portrait photography and projection to represent the invisible community that exists in and around the museum.

The Gardiner Museum celebrates the art of ceramics and engages local and international audiences by promoting understanding of the long history of people crafting in clay. The Museum stewards a highly important collection, connecting visitors to the fundamental role of ceramics in many cultures throughout history, and offers special temporary displays, many highlighting the relevancy of ceramics to contemporary life.

The permanent collection comprises approximately 4,000 objects, and focuses on specific areas which have been collected in depth. These include the most important collection of European porcelain in Canada, with particular strengths in Meissen, Vienna, and Hausmaler decorated porcelain, as well as a comprehensive collection of figures inspired by the commedia dell’arte. The Gardiner holds the best collection of Italian Renaissance maiolica in Canada, and a superb collection of English tin-glazed pottery. It preserves highly significant collections of ceramics from the Ancient Americas, Chinese blue and white porcelain, Japanese porcelain, and contemporary Canadian ceramics. The Gardiner is among the few museums in the world focused on ceramics, and is one of the most important specialty museums internationally. For more information, please visit:

-submitted by VIBE Arts

Registration for Culture Days 2016 is Now Open!


“Registration is Now Open!
It’s time to register your 2016 Culture Days activities!

Register and publish an activity by May 31 and you could win* a professionally edited video eVite to help promote your activity on social media and be featured in a national campaign this September.

Any arts or cultural activity – professional, community, amateur, educational – can be part of Culture Days as long as it meets four basic criteria:

  • is a free event
  • involves audience participation or a behind-the-scenes access
  • is happening during Culture Days, September 30 – October 2, 2016
  • is registered on

Don’t worry if you don’t have all your details finalized – you can register now and add details later.
* See Official Rules.”

-from Culture Days newsletter