Event Category: Opening


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!

More information and registration on Eventbrite

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

Art Show & Sale

Promo image for "The Willow Arts Community Art Show and Sale" featuring a painting by Amanda Plante

The Willow presents Art Show & Sale, featuring the work of Sarah Schulz, Lisa Forstinger & Amanda Plante.

Support emerging artists living with mental illness/substance use. Featured artists set and receive 100% of their sale price. An additional 15% has been added to this price to support the membership at Willow Arts Community.

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Sarah Schulz is the artist behind Rising to the Depth and Detailed Renditions. Born and raised in the Niagara Region, she is primarily self-taught and has been an avid creator since childhood. Sarah officially started her professional career as an artist in 2013 through her business Detailed Renditions which concentrates on commissioned realistic portraits in coloured pencil. After a successful placement as an Artist in Residence through the Willow Arts Community, Sarah shifted her focus to personal exploration of themes surrounding mental health and recovery and began an additional arts practice called Rising to the Depth. (R2D). Sarah now works primarily with Acrylics and Mixed Media but continues to pursue dry media technique through daily art journaling – a very important part of her creative process and recovery.

Through her artwork Sarah strives to:

  • Provide other individuals with lived experience visual proof that they are not alone;
  • Extend to individuals without experience a visual depiction of some of what individuals struggling with mental health, trauma and dissociation are dealing with and,
  • Foster connection, understanding and deepen compassion surrounding these often alienating experiences.
  • Sarah’s creative process integrates what she finds easy to create professionally (detail) with what can be difficult to demonstrate artistically (emotion). Her work can be found on social media @Rising2theDepth and @DetailedRenditions.

Lisa Forstinger is a self-taught artist, born and raised in the Niagara Region. She has been drawing and exploring her creativity since she was a child. Her focus as an adult has been illustrating with ink, balancing the many lines and details of her ink drawings with playful splashes of colour. Lisa has used her ability to draw and create things as a way to cope and heal along her mental health journey. These themes of mental health can be seen throughout her work, as she often processes difficult emotions by expressing them in some form of self-portrait. Lisa also has a passion for fibre arts, and is talented at knitting, sewing, and hand-embroidery. Her pen and ink illustrations were featured publicly for the first time in the Fall 2018 program for the Willow Arts Community. Since then, Lisa has continued to learn and grow as an artist through Willow’s professional arts training program. In the past few months, Lisa has adapted her artistic approach due to limitations in her battle with Lyme Disease. This unexpected process of evolution has proven significant to her growth as an artist. In pursuit of her passion, she has learned to replicate her style of hand illustrations in a digital, more accessible format and is now considering a career as a digital/graphic artist. To see more of her work, follow @lisa4stinger.art on Instagram.

Amanda Plante has lived in Thunder Bay her whole life and has moved here to St. Catharines very recently. Art has been a huge part of her life. After graduating from High school, she took multimedia production in hopes to be a 3D artist or a graphics designer, but found out sitting at a desk was not good for her mental health. Then went to school for culinary, and became a cake decorator/ baker. Baker by day, artist by night. Still new to the professional world of art, She have only recently had a piece featured at the piece of mind show displayed at the NAC. Before her move here in St. Catharines, she had pieces displayed and sold at a bakery called Sweet Escape back in Thunder Bay. She is both a traditional and digital painter, focusing on portraits and semi realism/ abstract realism. Her weapon of choice is between digital art and acrylics. Fascinated by the way we as humans display emotions through our bodies and features, Amanda portrays movement and emotion with paint. A simple stance or look can mean so much. Colour and figurism is something she always loves to explore on the canvas.


Promo image for "Cool Arts presents Layers" with white text over a background of a painting in reds, blues and yellows

The FINA Art Gallery (1148 Research Road, UBCO) will host the third annual exhibition in partnership with Cool Arts Society in their gallery space this fall. The exhibition, Layers, will run from September 30 thru to October 11 with an opening reception held in the same space on October 4 from 3:30pm to 4:30pm. The exhibition and reception are free of charge to attend and will celebrate work by adult artists living with developmental disabilities in the Central Okanagan.

Layers aims to introduce more disability and outsider art to the general public. Though there are many gifted animators, sculptors, and fibre artists living with disabilities in the Okanagan, too often their work is considered amateur or unprofessional. With the increased popularity of the disability and outsider art movements around the world, Layers attempts to bring more visibility to the work created by artists who have traditionally been on the fringes of the art world. All work is representative of each individual artist, with video animations, wall hangings, and yarn-bombed furniture featured in the exhibition.

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O is for Orange

Fresh and dried oranges on a table beside two puzzle pieces; one is orange with a yellow O and the other reads "O is for orange" with an illustration orange with branch

‘O is for Orange’ showcases a collaborative meditation on the skin of the fruit body, through the act of peeling. To contemplate the aspect of touch in care work, the multiethnic orange body is chosen for how it gets held and peeled. For how its shape reminds the hands to create for it an enclosure, a coop. The relationship between the hands and the orange then forms a skin to skin relationship.

Now, there isn’t a hierarchy when we speak of touch, but perhaps one does emerge when we hold. Is the skin the protector or are the hands, as they unravel it? A group of care-workers and parents lend their voices and perspectives on care, comfort and control.

*An art & social practice initiative, in collaboration with posAbilities.

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2019 National Awards Ceremony

Black and white image of mosaic work in progress of a snarling tiger

Join JRG Society for the Arts at our National Awards Ceremony. We will present the 2019 Emerging Artist Grant and the 2019 Atlantic Filmmaker Award. Refreshments, art exhibit, live music & door prizes.

This is a free event! Everyone is welcome! Join us in supporting artists with disabilities.

More information on Facebook

Image: Mosaic work in progress by 2018 JRG grant winner Wy Joung Kou.

Opening Party: New Fall Exhibitions

Olivia Johnston, Madonna (Roger) [detail], 2019, digital photograph

Carleton University Art Gallery (CUAG) will host a party to celebrate the opening of its four new fall exhibitions. CUAG’s new exhibitions are: Rah: SuperNova; Olivia Johnston: Saints and Madonnas; Sites of Memory: Legacies of the Japanese Canadian Internment; and Inheriting Redress: The Japanese Community Association Archive.

At 3:00 PM, opening remarks will be offered by Carleton President Benoit-Antoine Bacon and His Excellency Kimihiro Ishikane, ambassador of Japan to Canada. An exciting collaborative performance by Bear Nation Drummers and Oto-Wa Taiko will follow.

More information on Facebook

Rah: SuperNova (Sept. 15 to Dec. 8, curated by Heather Anderson)
SuperNova is a video installation that presents a futuristic talent show in an intergalactic realm. The artist appears in the guise of seven different characters, including Oreo, Fatimeh and Coco, whose talent show entries playfully explore issues of race and ethnic performance.

Olivia Johnston: Saints and Madonnas (Sept. 15 to Dec. 8, curated by Heather Anderson)
The Ottawa artist and recent winner of the RBC Emerging Artist Award continues her investigation of Christianity’s influence on art and society with a new series of photographic portraits of her contemporaries, posed and dressed as biblical figures.

Sites of Memory: Legacies of the Japanese Canadian Internment (Sept.15, 2019 to Jan. 26, 2020, curated by Emily Putnam)
The histories, legacies and impact of the Canadian government’s internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War are powerfully considered in video, installation and works on paper by three contemporary artists of Japanese-Canadian ancestry—Cindy Mochizuki (Vancouver), Emma Nishimura (Toronto) and senior Ottawa artist Norman Takeuchi.

Inheriting Redress: The Ottawa Japanese Community Association Archive (Sept. 15, 2019 to Jan. 26 2020, curated by Emily Putnam and Rebecca Dolgoy)
In April 1988, Japanese Canadians marched on Parliament Hill to pressure the Government of Canada to formally acknowledge and offer compensation for their dispossession and internment during the Second World War. This exhibition surveys the redress campaign’s visual culture and illuminates its history, telling stories through objects loaned by the Ottawa Japanese Community Association and activists involved in the landmark effort.

Sites of Memory and Inheriting Redress are organized with the support of Ottawa Japanese Community Association, the Ottawa Japanese Cultural Centre and the Embassy of Japan in Canada.