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Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

Resource: Video documentary – Cripping the Arts

The Cripping the Arts program book sitting on a white table.

Click to view captioned version of the film:
Click to view audio-described version of the film:

Cripping the Arts was a three-day international symposium held in January 2019 at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. It gathered people who share a belief that Deaf, Disability, and Mad arts and activism change how we understand difference, and how we create and experience art and culture. This short documentary highlights some of the memorable moments from the event.

This documentary was made by filmmaker Kavya Yoganathan and produced by Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology and Access to Life at Re•Vision: The Centre for Art & Social Justice in partnership with the Cripping the Arts presenting partners: Creative Users Projects, Tangled Art + Disability, Ryerson University School of Disability Studies, British Council Canada and Harbourfront Centre.

Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology and Access to Life is a project of Re•Vision: The Centre for Art & Social Justice at the University of Guelph.

For more information, please visit:

-from Tangled Art + Disability

A Matter of Choice by Judith Marcuse (Position Piece)

A Matter of Choice

“By now, we all know we will not return to the old normal. There is growing agreement that our recovery must lead to greater inclusion, justice and sustainability – for a   Canada where everyone matters.

We have created a hierarchy of values in the arts. Many major arts and entertainment products in our country are delivered by for-profit, often US-based, businesses. Large arts institutions, many grounded in Western European cultural values, provide their audiences with artifacts and programs that now may include excellent “outreach” activities such as backstage tours for donors, pre-performance talks, free entrance on Thursdays and drawing lessons on Sundays. These institutions and the work they present are important for their consumers/audiences, the artists who make the work and the administrators who are the conduits for public presentation. They are also the largest and most highly funded institutions.   

But to create cultural democracy, in which every culture is acknowledged for its contributions to society, and all are treated equitably, we must reframe policy decisions within the whole ecology of the arts. We must value every aspect of creative expression…from your three-year-old singing about her dog in the bathtub to arts education in schools; from pottery classes at the community centre to celebrating cultural heritages and work for social justice. Artmaking is not exclusively the territory of professional artists. Nor is it a frill but rather an essential element of healthy, cohesive and innovative societies.

Why is this important? Artmaking then becomes an inclusive way of exploring, validating and sharing what matters. Image, sound, story, movement allow us to express, process and share our thoughts and feelings about our lives now.

While there is lots of rhetoric about “community participation”, we don’t hear much about an entire arts sector – hundreds of organizations across Canada that do community engagement work fulltime, not as an adjunct outreach activity. They operate on the premise that cultural expression is a basic human right. In community-engaged art (CEA) and art for social change (ASC), groups of people who may not self-identify as artists co-create art in any of its forms about what matters to them, this process facilitated by specially-trained, professional artists. Participants are collaboratively engaged in the work of weaving social fabric, supporting visions and problem solving for an equitable future, bringing people into connection across all kinds of barriers. This is artmaking that is both enjoyable and purposeful.

This work takes place in every corner of the country – with youth, seniors, in racialized and other marginalized communities. It addresses racism, intergenerational and intercultural issues.  It is present in diverse mental and physical health agendas, for poverty reduction, in community development, environmental education and in strategic planning. Or it can share what it’s like to be a teenager today.

People are the experts of their own lives.  Whether in the form of a play, a mural, a cell film, a dance, a song or stories, this art can be remarkably relevant, beautiful and moving because it expresses lived realities and dreams in a plural society.

Practiced worldwide, ASC has its own, unique goals, methods, pedagogy and scholarship. Collective creation and dialogue lead to empathy and insight, as well as solutions to often-complex problems. But this practice is much more. Image, sound, movement become reflections of what citizens are thinking and feeling now – and validate the creative voices of all participants, everyone whose perspectives and vision must become part of recovery conversations.

 After providing tailored funding programs for the sector since 1997, the Canada Council for the Arts eliminated CEA/ASC as a unique discipline some six years ago, subsuming it under other art forms. Funding goes to a small number of organizations in the sector (at the time of writing, we can identify just eight that have received annual funding in the last round of grants) and individual artists but, just when their work is most needed, the vast majority of community engaged artists have given up trying to access support from Canada’s major arts funder.

Many local governments and foundations recognize the powerful impacts of this work, referencing international research and local experience – but have far fewer resources; a few federal departments are starting to bring ASC into their programs. Yet, as coming economic challenges will result in funding triage for the whole arts sector, many organizations are facing legitimate fears for their survival. 

In a broader context, it is essential that policy making is informed by knowledge about who participates in arts and cultural activities, not only as “audiences”. We have not conducted a national environmental survey of the arts and culture landscape in Canada since the Massey Report in 1951 (which led to the creation of the Canada Council). Is it not the moment to do a comprehensive and inclusive scan? We cannot get “there” from “there”. We must know our own landscape.

It’s past time to mobilize the power of art in a more holistic and cohesive way. Creative citizen engagement and dialogue across difference is critical for our recovery. We have a choice. Imagination and innovation live in us all.   

Judith Marcuse

February 1, 2021    

Judith Marcuse, LL.D. (Hon.)
Artistic Producer, Judith Marcuse Projects
Founder/Co-Director, International Centre of Art for Social Change (ICASC)
Senior Fellow, Ashoka International
Coast Salish Territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh and Səl̓ílwətaɬ Nations.

For more information about International Centre of Art for Social Change, please visit

Age is More Virtual Film Program (Reel Youth)

“The Age is More Virtual Film Program was the first ever youth and seniors virtual film program. Young filmmakers from across Canada worked with seniors in Revera Retirement Residences to create a poem based on the impactful moments in their lives, and the seniors used iPads to record footage to accompany it.

These videos are a tribute to the ageless spirit of older Canadians, to life-long learning, and to building relationships between different generations.”

For more information and to view more films from the Age is More Virtual Film Program, please visit

-from Reel Youth

“I Carry”: A Video Poem by Participants of the Countdown Public Art Legacy Project

“I Carry” is a video poem created by participants of the Countdown Project The Countdown Public Art Legacy Project is a series of pebble mosaics that honour sexual assault survivors across Ontario. They are created in collaboration with grassroots agencies, area residents, and survivors of sexual violence.

Visit Red Dress Productions’ interactive map of Countdown mosaics across the province:

-from Red Dress Productions
Read Red Dress Productions’ profile in ArtBridges’ Community-Engaged Arts Directory and Map

CBC Arts Article: Spend a day carving stone in Cape Dorset with 13-year-old artist David Pudlat

CBC Arts shares with us an article on David Pudlat, a 13-year artist from Cape Dorset. Here’s an excerpt from the article, as well as a video below to learn more about David and his artwork:

“David Pudlat remembers that when he was six or seven years old, he drew a man trying to catch a seal. Somebody told him the drawing was good, and that was what gave him the confidence to pursue art.”

Read the full CBC Arts article here.

-submitted by CBC Arts

Dans les ateliers des Impatients – Les crĂ©ations de l’Ă©tĂ© (QC)

Les Impatients viennent en aide aux personnes atteintes de problèmes de santĂ© mentale par le biais de l’expression artistique. Leurs ateliers gratuits, encadrĂ©s par des par des artistes ou thĂ©rapeutes professionnels, sont axĂ©s sur le dessin, la peinture et la musique et sont offerts dans 10 villes au QuĂ©bec.

Pour en savoir plus  consultez le site des Impatients.

Information diffusée par Les Impatients. Crédits photos: Laura Regev, Jean-Michael Seminaro et Les Impatients.

Video: The Paper House Movie – giving a form to voices impacted by housing issues (Margaret’s, Toronto)

Paper House was a ten week workshop, run by TAIS and facilitated by Margaret’s, in which street under-housed and homeless adults collectively produced a short stop motion animation on the theme of housing. The goal was to amplify and give form to voices impacted by housing issues. The result is a compelling movie portraying the problems, feelings and wishes of a whole community.”

For more information about Paper House, please visit:

Première de Lapierre/Pascal – le hood en 5 jours (MontrĂ©al)

Vous avez pu dĂ©couvrir il y a quelques jours sur notre blog le profil de Coup d’Ă©clats, un organisme montrĂ©alais Ă  but non lucratif qui rĂ©alise des projets de mĂ©diation, de collaboration et de co.crĂ©ation mettant en relation des artistes professionnel.le.s et des populations vivant diffĂ©rentes formes de marginalisation sociale.

En visite Ă  MontrĂ©al la semaine dernière, j’ai eu la chance d’assister Ă  la grande première d’une sĂ©rie de courts mĂ©trages intitulĂ©e Lapierre/Pascal – Le hood en 5 jours , s’inscrivant dans le cadre du projet «Voix partagĂ©es».

photo: Laurence Messier Moreau

«Voix partagées», le projet présenté par Emily Laliberté, directrice artistique:

«Voix Partagées, s’est déployé comme un projet de co.création cinématographique par et pour un groupe de jeunes du quartier.

À travers une série d’ateliers de libre expression proposés aux jeunes du quartier, nous avons travailler sur les perceptions négatives dont ils sont victimes et leurs conséquences sur la communauté.

Un groupe de 10 jeunes impliqués auprès de l’organisme Parole d’ExcluEs, dont un noyau fort du Staff Lapierre, s’est engagé dans la démarche. Au terme d’un long processus scénaristique, nous avons choisi de réaliser une série de 5 courts métrages thématiques afin de faire connaître le quartier sous un angle nouveau.

En documentant l’expérience d’invité.e.s convié.e.s à découvrir le quartier à la manière de la «Petite Séduction», les jeunes ont accompagné le rappeur algonquien et photographe Samian, l’historien et rappeur Webster, les jeunes entrepreneurs de Nation Kreyol, une mère de région éloignée et ses enfants ainsi qu’un jeune montréalais issu d’un milieu aisé à la découverte de l’art, de la communauté, de l’entreprenariat, des jeunes et de l’histoire du quartier.»

La première à la Maison Culturelle Et Communautaire De Montreal-Nord

Buddha Rank, photo: Catherine Lamaison

La projection s’est dĂ©roulĂ©e le 24 mai dernier, dans le cadre du lancement du Festival des arts de MontrĂ©al-Nord. La sĂ©rie documentaire Ă©tait prĂ©cĂ©dĂ©e d’une performance de Buddha Rank et suivie d’une discussion avec les co.crĂ©ateur.trice.s du projet.

La belle salle Oliver-Jones s’est remplie d’un public très enthousiaste, venu nombreux pour assister Ă  l’aboutissement de ce projet de longue haleine qui a durĂ© 13 mois au lieu des 4 mois initialement prĂ©vus! Le rĂ©sultat est inspirant, plein d’Ă©motion, de sensibilitĂ© et d’humour. Les prĂ©jugĂ©s associĂ©s au quartier de MontrĂ©al-Nord sont un Ă  un dĂ©construits et cette co-crĂ©ation met en avant la solidaritĂ©, la diversitĂ© et la richesse culturelle et crĂ©ative d’un quartier trop souvent stigmatisĂ©.

Nous espĂ©rons que cette sĂ©rie trouvera un diffuseur afin d’ĂŞtre vue par le plus grand nombre.

La Presse en parle…

Cliquez ici pour accéder au bel article de Rima Elkhouri.

Pour en savoir plus sur Coup d’Ă©clats, c’est par lĂ .

-Catherine Lamaison, coordonnatrice en art communautaire francophone

CBC Arts Article: Spend a day carving stone in Cape Dorset with 13-year-old artist David Pudlat

CBC Arts shares with us a recent article on David Pudlat, a 13-year artist from Cape Dorset. Here’s an excerpt from the article, as well as a video below to learn more about David and his artwork:

“David Pudlat remembers that when he was six or seven years old, he drew a man trying to catch a seal. Somebody told him the drawing was good, and that was what gave him the confidence to pursue art.”

Read the full CBC Arts article here.

-submitted by CBC Arts

Vidéo : Connaissez-vous ToileDesArts?

Réalisée par Andrea Dorfman, la dernière vidéo de notre série présente ToileDesArts et sa mission. Elle a été produite grâce au soutien de la fondation J.W. McConnell, de la fondation Trillium de l’Ontario et du fonds Ruth Mandel—WHO GIVES. Vous pouvez visionner la vidéo sur cette page ou sur Youtube. Merci de la partager!

La première vidéo de la série, ToileDesArts : L’art communautaire (Qu’est-ce que l’art communautaire?), a été réalisée et produite par Andrea Dorfman en 2014.

Réalisée par Emily Laliberté (Funambules Médias) en 2016, la deuxième vidéo, intitulée L’art comme outil de changement social, se penche sur l’impact de l’art communautaire et de l’art pour le changement social, et sur le rôle de ToileDesArts.

Nous remercions Andrea Dorfman, l’équipe de ToileDesArts, Emily Laliberté et toutes les merveilleuses personnes qui travaillent à Funambules Médias, à Exeko, à La Société Élizabeth Fry du Québec et à Art Entr’Elles pour leur super contribution à cette série de vidéos. Soulignons avec gratitude que les projets et les programmes d’ArtBridges/ToileDesArts sont également financés par la fondation Trillium de l’Ontario, le fonds Ruth Mandel – WHO GIVES, Patrimoine Canada ainsi que par les cotisations de ses membres. ArtBridges/ToileDesArts est un projet de Tides Canada.