Event Category: Opening

Being Scene 2020

"Workmain Arts Presents Being Scene: 19th Annual Juried Exhibition" against a detail of "aftermath" by Shannon Taylor Jones, 2019

Workman Arts presents BEING SCENE, a sweeping exhibition encompassing more than 100 artworks by 66 artists. These artists give shape to compelling ideas and narratives, covering a wide range of conceptual and material approaches from diverse experiences.

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Being Scene 2020 is free to attend, and runs March 7-26 at Toronto Media Arts Centre (TMAC). The exhibition also includes a series of events during the run that provide opportunities for discussion, reflection and exploration.

Each event will have an active listener on site. We do our best to accommodate any interpretation, transportation assistance, navigation assistance, financial assistance or any other accessibility needs by request. If you require any accessibility supports in order to attend any of these events, please get in touch with Justina Zatzman at justina_zatzman@workmanarts.com or 416-583-4339, ext 9.

Image: Shannon Taylor Jones, aftermath, 2019 (detail)

A Big Heritage with A Glorious Past

Still from Sunlight Vandalism (2019) by Marina Xenofontos with the caption "I closed all the windows and now everything is one room."

A Big Heritage with A Glorious Past
Curated by ma ma (Magdalyn Asimakis and Heather Rigg)

“A Big Heritage with A Glorious Past” presents the work of Eleana Antonaki and Marina Xenofontos in an inconclusive dialogue around the migratory experience. In their practices, both artists explore transnational feminist perspectives, honing in on the adversities of migration and strategies of settling and creating homes while in exile.

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Love My Dysfunctions

Promo image for "Love My Dysfunctions" with red lettering on a black background, and a red line drawing of a chair with clothes draped over it

LOVE MY DYSFUNCTIONS by Rebecca Sweets is an immersive installation which explores her mad, neurodivergent + disabled identity through the lens of executive dysfunction, a dominant symptom of ADHD. The exhibition is concerned with social constructs of dysfunction, within the context of “higher education” that normalizes neurotypicality by reinforcing systemic ableist, sanist, and capitalist modes of existence.

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Shannon Finnegan: Lone Proponent of Wall-to-Wall Carpet / They Forgot That We Were Seeds

Katherine Takpannie, Niriqatigiit (detail), 2019 (digital photograph) Shannon Finnegan, Do you want us here or not [Drawing 5], 2017, (digitized drawing)

Carleton University Art Gallery (CUAG) will host a party to celebrate the opening of its two new winter exhibitions. During the event, the gallery will launch a new catalogue featuring the work of former Ottawa artist Dennis Tourbin and sell prints by Robert Houle to benefit Minwaashin Lodge.

Shannon Finnegan: Lone Proponent of Wall-to-Wall Carpet
Curated by Heather Anderson and Fiona Wright

The Brooklyn-based artist and activist Shannon Finnegan makes cheeky work about disability culture and access. Her furniture, murals and drawings call out ableism in art galleries and other public places, and imagine a world committed to ongoing, responsive and collective care.

They Forgot That We Were Seeds
Curated by Kosisochukwu Nnebe

Featuring artists KC Adams, Deanna Bowen, Roxana Farrell, Bushra Junaid, Amy Malbeuf, Meryl McMaster, Cheyenne Sundance and Katherine Takpannie.

This ambitious group exhibition brings together black and Indigenous women artists around the subject of food. Their compelling works about the production, trade and consumption of such goods as cod and sugar firmly embed Canada in the global history of colonialism.

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Image: L: Katherine Takpannie, Niriqatigiit (detail), 2019, digital photograph. R: Shannon Finnegan, Do you want us here or not [Drawing 5], 2017, digitized drawing.

Yellow Peril; The Celestial Elements

Promo image for "Yellow Peril; The Celestial Elements" - close up photo of red tulle fabric draped over railroad tracks

Yellow Peril; The Celestial Elements is a visual art exhibit inspired by the Chinese Five Elemental forces, seized by the urgent tensions between Queer Chinese diasporic identities. A collection of multichannel installations, visual and sculptural activations provoke a cosmic encounter of our living past and present as we ‘race’ towards a healing future. These elemental activations attempt to collapse the linear temporality to dislodge an emotional, spiritual, cosmological, and metaphysical enunciation of our Queer ‘Chineseness’. Rather than focus on the trauma that queer people of colour face, this project is fundamentally an invitation to an exuberant celebration of queerness that is unabashedly Chinese.

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Spoons by Gloria C Swain. Horizontal medium and light grey rectangles on a black canvas

HIDDEN: Gloria C Swain, Peter Owusu-Ansah, Tamyka Bullen, Kyisha Williams

About the Exhibition
‘Hidden’ explores intergenerational trauma [hauntology], isolation and lived experiences of Black artists with hidden disabilities. What is hidden is kept concealed, and what is concealed is done to hide our uniqueness. As we navigate through unwelcome spaces that create exclusion and anxiety, we recognize how ableism, according to Dustin P. Gibson’s definition, is an “anti-black system that assigns value based on our ability to produce profit, excel and behave, and enforces a false idea of normalcy.” But we find each other in spite of invisibility, concealment and what is hidden. We strengthen each other by centering our communities from the peripheries, celebrating our shared spaces, ideas and experiences with other like-minded individuals.

Through our intersectional approach to disability arts, we reject single narratives of disability. Our collective understanding of disability is one that is political and relational. As we begin to uncover what is hidden, we move towards a rich and vibrant diversity of movements that work to confront our own cultural priorities.

Even though our practices are different, each artist adds to the exhibition in unique ways that results into a powerful show. We are stronger together than separately.

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Hidden on Facebook

Ikigai Machine: A Disability-Arts Vaudeville Experience / Opening Party

Myles de Bastion playing the guitar in front of vertical rows of coloured lights

Opening Weekend Party

Deaf curator, advocate and artist Myles de Bastion is here to rock the building with a dose of music, moving images and light. Working with the CymaSpace production team, de Bastion lays down optical effects in conjunction with beats and melodies; the result is an accessible, inclusive and altogether enthralling experience. DJ Deaf Wish gets the party started right; then comes de Bastion with an immersive visual narrative set to live ambient, hypnotic soundscapes, followed by a return performance from Deaf Wish.

The work of Myles de Bastion encompasses activism, mentorship, music and technological innovation. He works to create spaces and standards that are inclusive of the Deaf community, and to expand the sensory experiences of all audiences. He is the founder of non-profit CymaSpace, and his work has appeared everywhere from the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry to the Jimmy Kimmel Live! Show. For DJ Deaf Wish, sign language knows no boundaries, and neither does music. Whether it’s swaying to a waltz, stepping to a marching song or simply throwing down the hammer, this artist loves to inspire the crowd to do more, both on and off the stage.

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Opening Night: Emerging Directors’ Spotlight & Pitch Competition

"Emerging Directors' Spotlight and Pitch Competition" in purple letters with illustrations of people and the Regent Park Film Festival logo

An exciting OPENING NIGHT to the 17th Annual Regent Park Film Festival that you don’t want to miss!

Hosted by actor, filmmaker, and YouTuber Kiran Rai aka Kay Ray, our Opening Night features the best of Canada’s emerging talent. Beginning with a screening of previous works from four selected filmmakers, followed by a live pitch competition, this exciting opportunity gives filmmakers a platform to have their ideas heard in front of a jury of industry experts and live audience, for the chance to win a development deal with the CBC and a $1000 cash reward, courtesy of RBC!

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Dead End (dir. Lu Asfaha)
The true colours of a couple are revealed after a murderous night peels at their relationship. When couple Katie and Andy find themselves responsible for the death of a friend, a simple backyard burial becomes a therapy session that may end in arrest.

Restless (dir. Tommy Truong)
Restless is a short animation depicting director Tommy Truong’s personal struggle with anxiety through the daily mundane activities of his career. The struggle of balancing a sustainable lifestyle while not burning out, and the importance of support are the overarching theme of Restless.

EAST: A Relationship (dir. Noor Khan)
EAST: A Relationship is a short film about how an individual’s relationship with people shaped her relationship with the land. She comes from the Middle East and South Asia, and it is also her location in relation to Toronto, i.e. Scarborough. Her relationship to EAST, both locations, have impacted her social standing, and social community.

Geni (dir. Jackie Batsinduka)
Realizing how much her life resembles her mother’s despite their distance, Geni must tackle this truth in order to break its spell. Geni is the story of a daughter’s intergenerational trauma, a mother’s sacrifice, and the cyclical nature of family that we all attempt to deny, but must inevitably face.


Lesley Birchard is a storyteller who fuses television and digital production success with a passion for mentoring and inspiring the next generation of content creators. As Executive in Charge of Production for CBC Docs at Canada’s public broadcaster, Lesley spearheaded CBC’s digital-first strand CBC Short Docs, commissioning documentary content from emerging Canadian filmmakers. Prior to CBC, Lesley was a Production Executive at Food Network Canada and before that, was a freelance producer, director and story editor on factual series including Project Runway Canada and Canadian Idol.

Paige Murray has worked at the CBC for over eight years within the content areas and is currently the Development Manager, Comedy and Drama for CBC English Television. As the key point of contact for comedy and drama submissions, Paige actively looks for new talent and projects and evaluates series pitches to fulfill CBC’s programming needs. Paige is also the programmer for Canadian Reflections and Vice Chair of the Breakthroughs Film Festival Board.

Sara Yacobi-Harris has been working with the Unscripted Content team at the CBC for the past two years as the executive assistant to the director of unscripted content, Jennifer Dettman. She is also leading several projects for the team including internal and external equity and inclusion initiatives as well as talent outreach and festival partnerships. Previously she worked with the Film Circuit team at TIFF. Sara is currently pursuing an MEd in Social Justice Education at the University of Toronto with a focus on community engagement and alternative methods of education.

A Handmade Assembly

A pair of hands using scissors to cut out an images of scissors from a sheet of paper with multiple illustrations of scissors

A Handmade Assembly is a community event that brings together artists, curators, and others from the region and beyond to lead discussions, facilitate workshops, initiate projects, open exhibitions, and share in a common thread—the handmade. A Handmade Assembly is organized collaboratively by the Owens Art Gallery and Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre with the support of the Fine Arts Department at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick.

Now in its ninth year, the Assembly is a response to the significant number of artists who have in recent years been using materials and processes that are laborious, often intimate, and usually associated with traditional craft methods. In the process, Sackville has become a centre for the appreciation of the handmade in contemporary culture and a venue for artists to discuss their practices and make new and necessary networks.

The Assembly interprets the ‘handmade’ in the widest terms, embracing interdisciplinarity and wide-ranging critical inquiry. Artists as diverse as Karen Reimer, Jerry Ropson, Séripop, Ray Fenwick, Sandy Plotnikoff, Janet Morton, Yoko Homareda, Daniel Barrow, Graeme Patterson, and others have participated. Curators, academics, and writers including Mireille Eagan, John Murchie, Sarah Quinton, Jayne Wark, Janine Rogers and Danielle Hogan have also participated, offering their reflections on the handmade in contemporary practice at a wrap-up session on the last night of the proceedings. Another important component of the Assembly is the Heart & Pocket Revue, a crafters market supported by artists and crafters from Sackville and around the region.

We are excited to present A Handmade Assembly for the 9th time in Sackville, New Brunswick. We hope you can join us.

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Organizing Committee:
Colleen Coco Collins
Emily Falvey
Amanda Fauteux
Todd Fraser
Adriana Kuiper
Lucy MacDonald
Jerry Ropson
Rachel Thornton

Body Farm

Illustration from Body Farm by Valentin Brown

About Body Farm
Is that a mushroom, or his “peen”? Is that a pile of leaves or a pile of bones? Is that the “trunk” of the body? Valentin Brown queers the human body by combining it with forms from nature to create what he calls “soft body horror”—a mythology of monsters that describe his story. Valentin’s story sits at a largely neglected intersection: he is an autistic, trans man who inherited a complicated history of intergenerational trauma. His grotesque guardians express how he makes meaning, through a gaze that is queer, trauma-informed, and on the spectrum.

Through the many eyes (or lack thereof) in the “soft body horror” world, which worms its way to you through the Body Farm, Valentin reframes the loneliness, disquiet, and grief that result from the tangled intersecting parts of who he is. This way of seeing embraces the in-between places, and the places outside the scales on which he has been taught to place importance and meaning. “Soft body horror” gives Valentin space to begin re-experiencing his story in bits and pieces, in a greater context of awe, humour, and hope.

About Valentin Brown
Valentin lives and works in Hamilton, Ontario and is a graduate of the Visual and Creative Arts program at Sheridan College. He has exhibited in group shows at Sheridan College, at the Durham Art Gallery, and in Art Spin Toronto’s 2018 project “Holding Patterns.” In 2019, he was awarded Tangled Art + Disability’s Won Lee Fellowship, and the Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency. “Body Farm” is Valentin’s first solo exhibition.

This work was produced with the support of the Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency and Steel City Studio.

More information on the Tangled Art + Disability website
Body Farm on Facebook