What is Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa?

Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa  gives professional artists and arts groups the opportunity to work directly with community members, build relationships with community groups such as public libraries and community health centres and residents, and mentor emerging artists.

As mentors, participating artists will be able to share their knowledge and provide useful training to their mentee as well as expand on their own artistic practice in the community. Mentees will receive valuable feedback, guidance and networking opportunities, leading to a stronger artistic practice and confidence.

Throughout the residency there will be three gathering events for artists, project participants and community members to build relationships and share best practices. These events will culminate in a Community-Engaged Arts Gathering in Winter 2019 where community partners and project participants will share their experiences and learn from each other.

Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa residency objectives:
  • Engage Ottawa residents to participate in the arts through professional artist-led projects
  • Bring awareness to the arts as a tool to develop a stronger sense of community
  • Foster relationships between the arts and communities through working opportunities for artists to connect with residents.
  • Develop stronger mentorship opportunities and professional career paths to emerging Ottawa artists

Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa 2019-2020: The Artists

CHRISTINE MOCKETT is an Ottawa area sculptor and fibre artist, originally from England and raised in southern Ontario. Christine studied clothing design, and created business wear and costumes in Sydney, Australia. In Montreal, she studied fibre sculpture and wearable electronics in her BFA. Garments continue to appear in her artwork as portable architecture. Christine’s work addresses “place”, and the interrelationship between architecture, environment and presence. Christine teaches co-created community art projects, helping everyone access art programming. Her materials are community-based, salvaged and repurposed and her studio and art practice are zero garbage. Christine’s artwork has appeared in Fiberarts, Embroidery Canada, Fibre Quarterly, and has been exhibited/collected in Canada, USA, Italy, Mexico and Australia.


The Broken Teacups project will create a tested and transferrable model for a self-sustaining, eco-conscious, participant centred ongoing art program that can be shared between the 15 low-income social housing complexes across Ottawa served by the Ottawa Coalition of Community Houses (OCCH). Programming will be a series of projects flexible around community events and holidays. Participants will be asked to select and propose projects and creative skills that they are interested in learning and sharing. Creative output from classes will be either taken home by participants, installed in community spaces or contributed to community sales that will raise funds to continue the art programming. Current and future neighbourhood residents and visitors will encounter “Broken Teacups” artwork installed indoor/outdoor in the community as a result of this project. They will be able to enjoy the creativity, draw inspiration and join in building their own community connection. This project will bring public art to low-income communities and empower residents through their own achievements.


Ottawa Coalition of Community Houses – strives to strengthen the impact of place-based, barrier-free support programs and services in social housing neighbourhoods along with increasing opportunities for community engagement and the success of residents. Materials donated by Value Village.

MELANIE YUGO is an educator, organizer and artist passionate about empowering citizens, particularly those who are underrepresented, with the tools and knowledge to participate in and shape cultural life in Canada. Bridging independent platforms and institutions, she is a recognized leader in cultural programming, arts-based facilitation, community engagement and network building. As a creator rooted in printmaking, graphic art and social practice, she is interested in critically addressing and reimagining representations and narratives of the “other” within the public sphere, particularly with culturally diverse, low-income and youth communities. Melanie holds a B.Sc. in Psychology from McGill University, an M.Sc. in Social and Cultural Psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science, in addition to completing summer studies at the School of Visual Arts.  As a cultural manager, she is Co-Founder and Director of Possible Worlds, an art and music hub in Ottawa’s Chinatown, and Spins & Needles, a collective that transforms public spaces through participatory art and music experiences.


Through the mediums of printmaking and publishing, artist and organizer Melanie Yugo will facilitate a mobile print studio, which will travel to different Ottawa neighbourhoods to work with community members, with a focus on youth. Together Melanie and participants will co-create prints, zines and artist books in community workshops, culminating in an exhibition that will reflect stories related to neighbourhood, place, and identity. The insights this project provides may help us envision and act on what a renewed city might look like through the eyes of everyday Ottawans, particularly the next generation.


Somerset Street Chinatown BIA – improve, promote and undertake projects that will result in a stronger and more competitive commercial district – known as the Ottawa Chinatown.

Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre – we work in partnership with individuals, families and communities to achieve their full potential, paying particular attention to those facing barriers to access, including those who are most vulnerable and at risk.

BRANCH OUT THEATRE facilitates, motivates & inspires community engagement, creative play, critical reflection, personal and collective transformation and sets the stage to rehearse towards social change. For 10 years, Branch Out Theatre has been leading popular theatre workshops, productions, and community arts projects in Ottawa and Toronto, co-creating storytelling performances and original forum theatre plays addressing discrimination towards newcomers, the stigma attached to mental illness, homophobia, transphobia, homelessness, racism, Islamophobia and more. With the support of Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa, Branch Out Theatre has launched From the Roots Collective, bringing together 5 exceptional Ottawa community-arts practitioners to collectively lead: From the Roots Theatre Project. As a Branch Out Theatre Ottawa associate artist collective-From the Roots Collective seeks to support communities to co-create, co-learn and build the confidence and capacity to stage their personal stories, raise awareness about the issues impacting their communities, and challenge audience members to strengthen their empathetic listening and advocacy skills to transform conflict one scene at a time.

NAOMI TESSLER, M.A. is the Founder, Artistic Director and lead facilitator of Branch Out Theatre.  She has been working with communities globally for 16 years, using theatre to inspire positive change! She is a graduate of the Master of Arts program in Educational Theatre for Colleges and Communities, New York University. As a facilitator, Naomi has an extensive background in Theatre of the Oppressed, Playback Theatre, acting, physical theatre, storytelling, directing and playwriting.
  WISE ATANGANA is a Canadian artist, singer-songwriter, originally from Cameroon. He is a charismatic, dynamic and authentic artist dedicated to producing music with uplifting, inspiring lyrics, motivating rhythms accessible to youth, rooted in ancestral culture. Wise Atangana says he uses his talent, charisma and story to inspire and motivate people, marginalized or lacking self-confidence, and above all to create a positive space and atmosphere where people can connect.
  REBECCA BENSON is passionate about politically and socially conscious theatre that deconstructs systems of power and creates space for under-represented voices. She has works as an actor, director and instructor in Ottawa. Rebecca has taught with OttawaU’s Theatre Department, Carleton University, The Acting Company, and Ottawa Children’s Theatre. She currently directs and facilitates the Creative Well Theatre Project with Branch Out Theatre and the Psychiatric Survivors of Ottawa.
JACQUI DU TOIT is an award nominee, international theatrical performer and storyteller from South Africa. She has a B.A. in Thetare and Performance from the University of Cape Town. Her experience covers a wide range of fields including writing, directing, acting, movement and puppetry. She is the Co-owner of The Origin Arts and Community Centre. She performs theatre, dance and African storytelling with her company 8thGeneration Storytelling, travelling across Canada and South Africa, sharing love and telling the story.
  NATALIE FRASER started in acting and theatre at Concordia University. It opened the world of healing to Natalie. Theatre is the source. It is at the origins of modern religion, spirituality and psychotherapy. There she learned about obstacles, heroes, villains, victims, tragedy, love and resilience. She studied the very history, structures and archetypes of human nature. Over the past decade Natalie has performed with a company and used playback theatre to tell stories and help people heal and connect in many diverse communities in her own work.

The From the Roots Theatre Project will engage newcomer women and youth in building leadership, communication and theatre skills and culminate in the co-creation of a storytelling performance as well as a forum theatre play that seeks community support in addressing and transforming the conflicts common to immigrant women and youth including: language barriers, barriers to employment, isolation, discrimination and racism. They will co-create a storytelling performance after the first half of the workshops that shares their individual and collective journeys of coming to Canada. In the second half of the workshops, participants will co-create a forum theatre play. The latter half of the workshops for each group will involve identifying the focus for their forum theatre play, co-creating the script and rehearsing. From the Roots Collective artists/facilitators will direct the performances encouraging and supporting participants’ in exploring their own staging ideas.


Catholic Centre for Immigrants – promotes and facilitates the reception of newcomers to Canada, sensitizes the community to address newcomers’ needs and invites it to respond and assists newcomers to realize their full potential in Canadian Society through various programs and settlement services.

Immigrant Women’s Services Ottawa – exists to provide immigrant and visible minority women and their families in the City of Ottawa and the surrounding area with the supports and tools to achieve their full potential as members of Canadian society and participate in the elimination of all forms of abuse against women and children.

Working out of diverse cultural traditions, MASC artists offer workshops, performances, artist-in-residence programs and professional development in music, dance, drama, literary, media and visual arts. MASC programs are delivered in English and French, throughout Eastern Ontario and Western Québec to students in Kindergarten to Grade 12, and to youths and adults in a variety of community settings (daycares, museums, NCC, festivals and seniors’ venues). Awesome Arts is a community engaged program that allows participants of all ages to explore issues important to their community through the arts. Held in partnership with community organizations, Awesome Arts offers an exciting series of workshops for different age groups that culminate in a public celebration. Participants express themselves via various art forms such as slam poetry, animation, music, theatre and video, all the while exploring issues important to them and their community. The Awesome Arts Festival brings the community together for an evening of celebration during which the participants share their creations. The Festival also features professional artists, inspiring the entire community to remain connected with the arts and the issues.

Nicole Bélanger is a visual artist who specializes in directing group murals, both in schools and in the community, Nicole’s emphasis is on group efforts at the conceptual and creative level. The murals are directed in a way where she provides guidelines and direction as the project progresses to ensure a quality finished product and a level of acquired expertise for the participants. Nicole believes in the energy created by a group effort, and that there is room for everyone to create. Through MASC and her own community work, Nicole has produced hundreds of murals in a variety of mediums.

Nicole Bélanger will work with a group of children to create an outdoor mural to be installed on the west side of Viscount Alexander Public School. Working in partnership with the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre and the school’s principal, teachers and students, the artist and intern will determine the theme, colour, scheme and design. Using multi-media techniques (sculpting and mixed media), participants will create 3D maquettes. These will be photographed and then transformed into unique and long-lasting digital murals suitable for display inside or outdoors.


Tina Le Moine was born in Berlin, Germany. She left her hometown and her teaching career during the turbulent ‘fall of the wall’ to study Art and Media in Holland, receiving a BA in Media. During that time, she founded an International Film Festival and found her passion for Animation. In 1995 she moved to Vancouver to study Animation, and later moved to Montreal working for the National Film Board and leading workshops at the Cinérobothèque. Tina has been with MASC for 6 years, leading hundreds of stop motion and pixilation workshops and residencies.

Tina will work with a group of young children to explore their favourite parts of their community, from friends and family to parks, school, home and community programs. The children will develop their stories and will create 2D pieces from paper and a variety of elements that Tina brings with her. The children will then record their stories and animate them using iPads and stop motion animation software. The result will be short animation videos that will be screened at the Festival and will be added to MASC’s collection on Youtube.


Sandy Hill Community Health Centre (SHCHC) is a public primary health care institution whose mission is to lead and innovate in person-centred primary health care and community wellbeing. MASC works in partnership with the SHCHC’s Community Development and Engagement (CDE) Team. The CDE team works directly in the neighbourhood to reduce isolation, provide opportunities for residents to volunteer and build capacity and leadership to build stronger communities. SHCHC is MASC’s key partner for Awesome Arts in Sandy Hill.

Christie Lake Kids is a charitable organization that offers year-round programs to Ottawa’s most vulnerable children, giving them the chance to learn physical, character and social skills in a safe, encouraging, inclusive environment.

Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) is the largest social housing provider in Ottawa. They are leaders in the delivery of quality, affordable housing. OCH has become a community partner in a number of Awesome Arts programs in the Strathcona Heights section of Sandy Hill.

Viscount Alexander Public School is the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board’s public school for the neighbourhood. All local English-speaking children attend the school. Viscount Alexander Public School provides the space for all of our child youth workshops.

Contact Us

Applicants are required to speak to the Program Manager prior to submitting their application.

Alex Maltby, Program Manager

Phone: 613-580-2767 Email: alex@artsnetottawa.ca

(Pour obtenir la version française de ce document, veuillez composer le 613-580-2767 ou visitez notre site web : artsnetottawa.ca)