Building on past programming success and learnings, this three-year program by Arts Network Ottawa connects artists and community partners to collaborate on art projects within Ottawa neighbourhoods. Through this initiative, artists develop projects, build partnerships, advance careers through mentorship and contribute to the growth of community-engaged arts in Ottawa. The program provides opportunities to collaborate, share ideas, raise understanding on social issues and foster support for the arts in a way that has a profound impact on both the community and on the artists’ lives. To date, 6,770 individuals have experienced the work created by another 852 participants.

This year, Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa will explore the work of community-engaged arts in the times of physical distancing. It will be an adventure in shared-learning guided by our four residency art projects. These projects were selected based on their artistic merit and ability to engage neighbourhood communities in meaningful ways during these challenging times.

This program is made possible through the generous financial support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Ottawa Community Foundation. 

 

We would also like to thank Wallack’s for their support of the program.

Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa 2020-21:

The Eagle and Condor Collective

Circles of Knowing is a multidisciplinary art project that includes teachings for Indigenous Elders of the Americas, plant teachings by knowledge carriers, art workshops and music workshops all created by Indigenous arts professionals. The neighbourhood of Beaver Barracks of the Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation CCOC will have socially distanced art activities until the pandemic restrictions lift. The project includes artwork creation that will go into the public spaces of the five buildings of this eco-friendly neighbourhood that has diverse tenants, including over 100 children. Each season’s theme—Circle of Life, Circle of Rhythms and Circle of Community—has activities for children, adults and families and seeks to encourage a greater sense of neighbourhood community connections and tenant wellbeing, while building bridges between the Indigenous-run collective and the neighbourhood members. Some activities will be open to the public and all are grounded in wellbeing for the families and sustainability for the community in this unique neighbourhood.

The Eagle and Condor Collective was formed in 2017 by Indigenous knowledge keepers, elders, artists, musicians and allies to share cultural knowledge between the Indigenous nations of the Americas and with others including both settler and newcomer populations. Our members and participants come from diverse racial, socio-economic, spiritual and gender backgrounds. To date, we have had a spiritual gathering in the spring of 2018 at Origin Arts and Community Centre. We also have done pop up traditional gardening and harvesting in 2018 and 2019. In the spring of 2019, we partnered with other nonprofits to create the No Borders Arts Festival. The collective recruited Indigenous artists for the gallery show, and led circles with five knowledge carriers, artists, musicians, and traditional gardeners. In 2020 we have distributed seeds for traditional medicines and are proud to be initiating this Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa project, Circles of Knowing.

 

Margaret Boyle (Mentor Artist) is a multidisciplinary visual artist, an Indigenous traditional craftsperson and a hand drummer. She has been a professional artist and art educator for over thirty years after graduating from NSCAD University. She has taught Arts from Kindergarten to grade 12, as well as art education courses at three universities and the Ottawa School of Art. Marg embraces community art initiatives and is founder of the Eagle and Condor Collective as well as FNMIEAO. She creates artwork that focuses on traditional medicinal knowledge, spiritual visions and Msit No’kmaw.

 

Nelson Akawui Riquelme Catalan (Mentor Artist) is a singer-songwriter of Quebecois and Chilean origins. His father, Nelson Fernando Riquelme Pincheira, introduced him to South American folk music at the age of three years. From then on, he spent his childhood busking in the streets of Montreal and Vancouver with his father`s band, playing Andean music. These experiences, along with his deep connection with his Indigenous Chilean heritage have inspired Akawui’s unique musical blend. Akawui is currently working on his first solo album, creating music that bridges his Indigenous roots with a contemporary electronic sound. Akawui is passionate about creating connections between Indigenous people internationally and is a member of First Nations drum group Sacred Wolf Singers.

 

Edgar Hernandez (Mentee Artist) is a prolific artist whose work in sculpture, film, media projection, and digital technologies focuses on the difficult questions of habitat renewal, conservation and restoration. In two award-winning short documentaries, “Heroes of Pollination” (2019) and “Collective Presence” (2018), we can see his approach clearly. These films and others by Hernandez have been screened at festivals and galleries in Ottawa and Toronto. Born in Guatemala, Edgar Hernandez is based in Ottawa, Canada. He holds degrees in art and design, including a BFA (Sculpture and Media) from the University of Ottawa (2015) and a Diploma in graphic computing from La Cité. In 2015, the artist was awarded the University of Ottawa prize in sculpture. Nonetheless, this busy working artist still finds time to be an active community volunteer. He also contributes to community projects in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.

Elders

Marcelo Saavedra-Vargas, Ph.D, Quechuan nations from Bolivia, sessional professor in Indigenous Studies at University of Ottawa

Evelyn Commanda Dewache, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, traditional knowledge carrier

Rachelle Lapansee, Haudenasaunee, seedkeeper, traditional gardener and craftsperson

Alma Lo Tuscarora, Six Nations of the Grand River, seedkeeper, storyteller

Elders will be involved in this project as guest storytellers, artists, musicians, knowledge carriers and seedkeepers in order to connect the tenants in this neighbourhood with connections to authentic Indigenous knowledge that underlies the circular themes of this art project, in an authentic way.

Community Partner

Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) is a community-based, tenant- and member-directed, non-profit housing organization whose mission is to create, maintain and promote housing for low and moderate income people. CCOC continues to be run by dedicated volunteers and staff who believe in the basic idea that everyone should have control over their housing.

Kseniya Tsoy

From a Parking Lot to a Vibrant Community Hub is a community-engaged placemaking project that aspires to create a positive public space in Vanier. At the heart of this project is the idea of repurposing a used shipping container into a creative community space on the grounds of Vanier Community Service Centre (VCSC)’s parking lot. Inspired by VCSC’s community programs that creatively utilized the unused parking lot spaces, this project aims to create a unique community pop-up events venue that, once the world is back to normal again, will be able to host various creative projects and community gatherings to bring residents of Vanier and visitors together.

Throughout summer this project will explore the meaning of community-engaged arts in the times of physical distancing, finding innovative ways to involve the residents in the process of co-creation and building connection to their community and each other.

Kseniya Tsoy (Lead Artist) is a new Canadian artistic producer and community-engaged artist, originally from Uzbekistan. She specializes in designing shared experiences for the public at the intersection of art, social innovation and play. The core of her socially engaged practice is the emphasis on cross-cultural and inter-generational aspects of programming revolving around creative collaboration.

For almost a decade Kseniya has been working with World Culture Open, a global network of cultural creatives, to design and produce community-engaged programs at local and international levels. After moving to Canada, she shifted her focus to public art and place-making and is now dedicated to bringing communities together through projects that make cities more artistic, vibrant and livable.

 

Renée Michaud (Artist-Mentee) is a North Bay, Ontario native and member of the Algonquin First Nation community. She is an emerging multidisciplinary artist, community organizer and creative entrepreneur, and the founder of Uneety Wellness and Creative Co. Gender equality, open-mindedness and empathy are important values in Renée’s work that centres around art, music, dance and dialogue to advance community-building, wellness and social causes. At the heart of her artistic offerings is individual and collective healing through creative self-expression.

Bringing her experience in communications and event coordination to this project, Renée is inspired to explore and grow her own community-engaged art practice.

Community Partner

The Vanier Community Service Centre is a unique community service hub that strives to improve the quality of life for citizens of Ottawa-Vanier, and is known for its innovative programs and grassroots approach. 

This artist-in-residence project is brought together in close collaboration with VCSC’s Community Development Team that works directly with the residents to build a healthy and safe Vanier.

MASC – Awesome Arts

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. This will be the 6th Awesome Arts program in Sandy Hill since 2012. The ongoing nature of this program allows for a rich connection between the artists, residents and the community partner.

MASC is a charitable arts organization, based in Ottawa, that brings the arts and culture alive for over 120,000 children, youth, teachers and seniors each year. MASC represents a roster of 138 professional artists of diverse backgrounds, who offer workshops, performances, artist-in-residence programs and professional development in all artistic disciplines, including music, dance, drama, literary arts, media and visual arts.

MASC is an official-languages bilingual organization, with programming offered throughout Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, in schools and community settings. As part of its core programming, MASC offers six annual multi-disciplinary arts festivals which bring additional professional artists from across the country.

For the past 30 years, MASC has been committed to providing equal access to arts and cultural experiences to those living in underserved neighbourhoods and has expanded to include rural areas. By bringing artists into communities, MASC reduces economic and institutional barriers, allowing community members to access high quality arts programming where they live and go to school. MASC brings the arts to the people.

Suzan Richards (Artist) shares her deep Dominican roots through her Cultural Arts Studio, School of Afro-Caribbean Dance; a creative space that mixes and celebrates African and Caribbean traditional dances. Trained in jazz ballet at the Montreal Jazz Dance Academy and then at the West-Can Folk Performing Company in Montreal, Suzan is an accomplished artist and a seasoned teacher and choreographer. Among her many awards and distinctions are the 3’s Company Cultural Mosaic Award, the Women’s Community Leadership Award from the Province of Ontario, and the United Way Ottawa Community Builder Award, for which her name now appears on the Wall of Inspiration in the Jean Pigott Hall of Ottawa City Hall. Her philosophy is that everyone should have the chance to tell their story through dance and movement, regardless of age, size, fitness or disability.

 

Claudia Salguero (Artist) is a Colombian-Canadian professional multidisciplinary artist and Community Engaged Artist working with multicultural groups in communities at risk. Working in collaboration with different social institutions, she has created close to 30 community murals in the City since 2014. Through her work, Claudia has evidenced the power of community art and her capacity to work with communities in big projects. In 2017 she was awarded a Neighbourhood Arts 150 grant by Arts Network Ottawa for the creation of her mural “Canadian Pride, Harmony in Cultures” as part of Canada’s 150th Anniversary official celebrations. In 2018, she created “Transformation, the WOW Mural”, the tallest mural in town, as the official image of the Welcoming Ottawa Week, WOW week. Both murals were created with the participation of close to 100 people from all backgrounds and corners of Ottawa.

Claudia is also a Latin Folk and Jazz singer who has been raising funds for kids’ foundations in her home country Colombia through her annual sold-out concerts at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre since 2011. She is a member of Arts Network Ottawa’s Board of Directors.

Community Partner

Sandy Hill Community Health Centre 

Since 1973: Working together to make our community healthy

Good health means more than just treating people when they are sick. Problems like poverty, addiction, and family violence can bring on illness—or keep people from getting well. At Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, we treat illness when it arises. We also work hard to create a healthy community, so that people stay well and get the most out of life, and we believe in:

integrity | respect | equity | collaboration | empathy

Moov Ottawa Dance

In order to aid the transmission of knowledge to the younger generation in the Ottawa street dance community, this program will allow the community to connect through:

  • free mentoring sessions in DJing
  • free online street dance classes
  • video interviews of key figures in the Ottawa street dance scene

The program will make use of virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom for all the mentor and mentee sessions. Youtube will be used as the video platform where all the online classes and interviews will be available.

Moov Ottawa Dance specializes in the arts of hip hop and various street dance styles. Through event coordinating, shows, entertainment, dance classes & competition, Moov welcomes beginners and experienced dancers alike. With their international and local presence, Moov offers a bilingual creative outlet and an overall unique experience and guidance to street dance culture.

 

Alea De Castro (Artistic Director) began her journey with the classical forms of Ballet and Jazz at the Canadian School of Dance in Ottawa. Throughout her youth, she has been a part of many organizations such as Boss Dance Crew where she began event curating, choreographing and performing. Alea has had the pleasure to showcase her work at Capital Pride 2018, Canada 150, The Grey Cup Festival and Runway for Hope. Aside from performing, Alea also competes in Canada and the US. She is currently working on theatre shows, teaching and working with her community to make Street Dance accessible in the city.

 

At the age of 18, Arnaldo Betancourt Silva (Project Coordinator) decided that the time had come to do something artistic or physical. Breaking seems to be the perfect activity because music and dance have always been forms of art that he wanted to do. In 2009 he joined the Deadly Venoms Crew. Since then, he has traveled little through the world. He has won several competitions such as the Canadian Street Dance, Vancouver Street Dance Festival and many more. He’s travelled the world sharing and acquiring knowledge to bring back to his community. He’s currently dedicating himself to helping the next generation.

Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa 2019-20:

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.

About the Project

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.

Community Partner

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.

About the Project

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.

Community Partners

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.

Community Partners

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.

About the Project

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.

About the Project

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.

Community Partners

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.

Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa 2018-19:

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.

Christine Mockett’s project is called “Sentinels”. Participants of all ages in low-income social housing complexes across Ottawa will have a chance to learn about art, create a permanent art installation and exchange ideas. With the starting idea of creating life-size outdoor fibre figure sculptures combining people and place, participants will take the project in their own direction. This project was inspired by the idea of everyone having access to public art in their own communities and giving residents a hand in determining what is created to represent their spaces. All the workshops she teaches are zero garbage and emphasize turning anything into an art material.

Community Partner

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.

Eleanor Crowder is a performer, director, playwright and producer with a life-long community arts practice interwoven with her work in professional theatre. Her work across the Ottawa region was recognised with the Victor Tolgesy Award in 2002. As a performer, she just toured a solo show, Shakespeare’s Will, to rural Newfoundland. With Lola Ryan and Sarah Waisvisz, she is in the creation process for Skin Songs, with funding from the Canada Council for the exploratory stage of work. This fall she will direct This Flight Tonight, a tribute to Joni Mitchell, at The Gladstone. For Bear & Co. she produces and directs summer Shakespeare in the Parks. She has worked in the Glebe to stage large-cast community plays and musicals for 20 years. She has written 5 pieces for that inter-generational group. Long-term projects include Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre’s Poverty Players and Faith and Arts Ottawa’s young adult outreach exploring belief, environmental despair, and most recently, transgender issues. In 2017, she directed Overbrook, the Musical and created a community production process with the planning team.

She has mentored younger artists and created opportunities for work for 30 years, as founding artistic director of OPT Theatre in Action, of Salamander Theatre for Young Audiences, of Shakespeare Camp, and as a lead artist of Bear & Co. The project she’ll be working on is Overbrook Diary, a performance project which celebrates the voices of the neighbourhood. Open to the community, the project includes actors, singers and dancers of all ages working in several languages. Her inspiration for this project came from last year’s community response to the closing of Rideau High School, which included Overbrook, the Musical, which she was asked to direct. It resulted in a group of community members inspired to spotlight their neighbourhood and to document their lives.

Community Partner

The Overbrook Community Association encourages community engagement by providing welcoming opportunities for all residents to voice their interests and concerns, organize events, and participate in projects related to: membership; environment, preserving heritage and parks; fundraising; communication, planning and development; social events; traffic and safety; and arts and culture. We invite all residents to use their gifts and actively promote social inclusion.

We collaborate on decision-making; work with other groups and communities; ensure that the voice of Overbrook is heard in municipal government; foster connection through our community newspaper, website and emails; reach out to businesses in the hope of creating a Business Improvement Association.

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton University in 1991 Jennifer enjoyed the expertise of many renowned teachers and mentors specializing in art glass at several North American schools. Jennifer works with kiln-formed and flame-worked glass. The process, including sand blasting and cold work, is completed in her teaching studio, Current Works of Glass, on the Mississippi River in Mississippi Mills, Ontario. Her work has been shown at Cirque Du Soleil boutiques internationally, and select galleries in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. Jennifer teaches her specialized techniques to other glass artists in Canada and in Europe.

Winter 2019/20 saw the unveiling of a large-scale sculpture project with the Ottawa Inuit community. The 17’ glass and wood qajaq stands on permanent display at the Ottawa General Hospital. This project is thanks to Arts Network Ottawa’s Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa mentorship program and the Ontario Trillium Foundation. 

The qajaq, titled SIVUNIKSATTINU “For Our Future”, became an intersection where the Inuit Community of Ottawa shared valuable information with the wider community. The three Inuk Artists, Melissa Attagutsiak, Kaajuk Kablalik, and Alexander Angnaluak, who worked to create an illustrated story through the glass panels, shared their cultural history and their lived experience. Jennifer’s vision of a glass sculpture that expresses the beauty of Inuit Art has been realized. At the outset Jennifer described the project as knowledge sharing. The journey of creating the sculpture was so rich with learning among all the artists involved. Visitors to the glass studio and now to the General Hospital to view SIVUNIKSATTINU usually have questions about the qajaq and the glass illustrations. The answers lead all of us to a deeper understanding of our shared history and optimism for our future.

Community Partner

It is the mission of Tungasuvvingat Inuit to broadly provide Inuit-specific programs that contribute to the health and wellbeing of Inuit and to encourage and support similar programs for Inuit across the country.

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.)

 

Jamaal Jackson Rogers is a career artist living, creating and building in Ottawa, Canada. His medium of artistic practice is poetry and songwriting. He is also an artistic mentor, performance coach and arts educator. He enjoys spending time with his children, working with youth and artists, and quiet evenings on his green leather couch by himself.

His project is an 8-week songwriting workshop series. Participants will explore the techniques used to write contemporary Hip hop, RnB, Pop songs and transfer their learning to create an original song of their own, which will then be filmed into a music video.

 

Jacqui Du Toit is an international storyteller, arts educator and performing artist from South Africa. Storytelling has always played a big part of her upbringing in South Africa, during the harsh times of apartheid and during the freedom years of the rainbow nation, and has always guided her continuously. Our ability to learn from the past by listening and sharing stories, gives us that knowledge of making better decisions for the future.

Her project is an 8-week series of creative writing, movement and theatrical workshops to facilitate the discovery of the stories within, a transformative process of creative thinking and the art of storytelling.