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Announcing the 2021 ARTicipate Project Grant Recipients

Supporting programming at Shenkman Arts Centre

Ottawa (Ontario) – Arts Network Ottawa is pleased to announce seventeen Ottawa area artists and arts groups combined have been awarded $160,000 by a peer assessment jury for the 2021 ARTicipate Project Grants at the Shenkman Arts Centre.

Artists receiving project grants from the ARTicipate Endowment Fund will be able to facilitate creation and presentation in this remarkable cluster of creative spaces. With new support from the Shenkman Arts Centre, Arts Network Ottawa is pleased to offer these project grants to artists of many disciplines.

“It is artists who give life to an arts centre,” said Cassandra Olsthoorn, Executive Director of Arts Network Ottawa. “Facilities like the Shenkman Arts Centre become cultural hubs because they are home to visual artists, dancers, musicians, dramatists, comedians, and more. We are thrilled to offer these project grants to engage artists in a process of enlivening our creative spaces once again after an extended hiatus from public offerings in this one-of-a-kind venue.”

Join us in celebrating as these artists are reunited with an appreciative audience in an arts centre more than ready to welcome them back.

Congratulations to the 2021 ARTicipate Project Grant Recipients:

Abdul Muse AKA KAR33M for The Ara Ilu Showcase

The Ara Ilu Showcase is a virtual musical showcase involving five Ottawa artists and one internationally recognized artist. Using music as our primary channel, we hope to promote education about the rich history of the African diaspora, and consequently help eliminate the knowledge gap that instigates anti Black racism.

Aroha Fine Arts for ArohaFest 2021

Having not missed a beat during the pandemic, ArohaFest - Canada’s only fully bilingual festival celebrating the arts of India in Canada will feature dance, music, visual arts, yoga and Bollywood in the fall of 2021.

Autumn Melody Collective for The Jade Bracelet

The Autumn Melody Collective presents The Jade Bracelet: a beloved comic work from the Peking Opera canon, re-imagined in a bilingual version combining English and Mandarin, contemporary references and classical style, rendering it accessible and delightful to Ottawa audiences.

BEING Studio for Video Poetry

Video Poetry is a series of video artworks produced by BEING Studio and directed by artists Ada Chan, Jessie Huggett, and Jake Riseborough. The videos will connect writing, visual art, dance, and theater performance to create immersive stories. This project investigates the potential of video to become an alternative exhibition space—an opportunity to recast performance in a digital hybrid world.

Circadia Indigena for Con/sequence

An innovative production and presentation project integrating outdoor multimedia elements with live contemporary Indigenous performance based in First Nation’s story and history of place.

De Confetti Club

De Confetti Club focuses on the creation of a series of digital sketches inspired by multidisciplinary hybridity. Combining interdisciplinary artistic mediums such as theater, dance, humour, song and parody, this new Franco-Ontarian collective hopes to propel original content. Featuring a dynamic, hilarious and engaging trio, the project aims to promote identity and intersectionality within marginalized groups (francophone, bilingual, LGBTQ+, female, artistic, etc).

The Eagle and Condor Collective for Circle of Diverse Indigeneity

The Circle of Diverse Indigeneity seeks to generate new connectedness amongst performers and artists of diverse Indigenous nations of the Americas. This event will include four performing artist acts matched with four visual artists. Each act and each artist will be on stage at Richcraft Theater together. The artists will live create while the performers perform. This entire event will be televised via our youtube channel and will demonstrate how diverse the Indigenous community in this region is. The artwork will be presented digitally via the Eagle and Condor Collective website. This event reinforces our commitment to building bridges of understanding between our collective members, persons of the Indigenous community and both settlers and newcomers in the National Capital region. All of the performers present original compositions and all of the artists will interact with the musical works while generating new large works viewable by the virtual audience. Our collective is also committed to sustainable artistic practise so only eco-friendly paints, varnishes, and upcycled surfaces will be used. We are excited by creating a first event that clearly demonstrates we can be unified as Indigenous people while honouring each others’ voices. This is to counteract a trend in mainstream media to question who are legitimate voices for Indigeneity within the arts professions. This gatekeeping has harmed the professional lives of committed Indigenous arts persons. We hope to create a positive affirmation that we are diverse, we have unique perspectives and we are all relations. MsitNo’kmaw Kakina ni dodem.

Luciano Porto Concalves for River of Cultures

River of Cultures is an immersive experience of world fusion music, grounded by an inaugural album from Brazilian Canadian musician Luciano Lu, and branching into an educational exploration into the flavourful fusion of cultures behind the songs. The launch project aims at bringing the sounds of “street traditions” directly from the streets of Brazil right into the streets of Canada, through online performances, workshops, cultural stories and chats with the guest artists who contributed their unique styles to this celebration of cultural diversity and expression of multicultural community.

MDA Productions for Tribute to Buena Vista Social Club

Tribute to Buena Vista is a musical project that celebrates the legendary music of Buena Vista Social Club. This tribute to traditional Cuban music is led by Cuban-Canadian pianist Miguel de Armas, featuring Canada’s finest Cuban musicians.

Andy Rubal – Lead Singer #1; Noderlis Valdés – Lead Singer #2; Alex Bellegarde – Contrabass; Delfin Marsal – Trumpet; Carlos Alberto Carralero – Cuban Tres; Adrian Perez – Acoustic guitar & vocals; Michel Medrano – drums; Diomer Gonzalez –Congas & vocals; Miguel de Armas Jr. – keyboards; Miguel de Armas – Piano, musical arrangements and bandleader

This project will present two shows on one day – Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 6 pm and 8:30 pm at the Richcraft Theatre Studio. The show is 75 minutes long and will have limited live audience on the Studio theater. The project will be recorded and will be streamed on YouTube on Saturday October 16, 2021 at 7pm as part of the celebrations of the Hispanic Heritage month.

Manohar Performing Arts of Canada for Lokamata

Lokamata – an idiom of Woman is a thematic video that explores the attributes of woman through movements, gesticulations and expressions in Indian classical dance genres of Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Odissi. The ancient Indian philosophy celebrates women as mothers and goddesses, and the 20th century composer of Lokamata, K. Narayanaswami Ayyar, draws attention to three goddesses portraying the innate energy of women thriving through nurture, mindfulness and resilience. The music is set to the Carnatic traditional genre by B.V. Balasai (India) and the concept/direction of the dance video is by Jayadev Raju. The dance features Priya Chandran in Bharatanatyam, Sunita Bhatia in Kathak, and Sangeeta Raju in Odissi as three goddesses emphasizing the virtues of women through expressive story telling. The video includes voiceover narration to provide context to the poetry and choreography. Manohar Performing Arts of Canada promotes the rich tradition of Indian poetry and classical arts and provides opportunities to Canadians in dance and theatre.

Following videography at Shenkman Arts Centre – Richcraft Theatre, the final video is to be commercially published online through social media/arts & culture platforms.

The Multicultural Artists’ Coalition for Women+ Art Festival: Immigrant, Refugee, Indigenous, and Racialized

In its second year, the Women+Art Festival will celebrate and visualize immigrant, refugee, Indigenous, and racialized women artists living in National Capital Region.

This in-person and online Festival will frame a 2-week art exhibition and an evening of music, dance, and storytelling performances. The performances will be streamed on Zoom from the Harold Shenkman Hall, and the Art Exhibition will be installed LaLande + Doyle Exhibition Space.

No Borders Art Festival

No Borders Art Festival (NBAF) is an annual art festival that this year will run in the Lalande + Doyle Exhibition Space and Agora Minto-Orléans Outdoor Plaza and provide opportunities to typically under-represented communities, individuals and groups. The festival brings together diverse artists and performers in a program that honours the Algonquin territory with Elder talks and Indigenous presentations. The program includes an art exhibition of paintings, sculptures, jewelry and clothing; artist talks; musical, dance, and poetry performances; film screenings, presentations by individuals and cultural groups, conversations and participatory activities such as beading and drumming circles and maker workshops.

The Ottawa Black Art Kollective for See Me Now 2021

The Ottawa Black Art Kollective (OBAK) and local visual artist An Nguyen are collaborating to create an exhibition of local artists from the Black Indigenous People of Colour (BIPOC) community.

Given the current political landscape, the theme See Me Now, explores the subject of visibility and invisibility from underrepresented perspectives. Alongside the global pandemic, racism has been an additional challenge for many communities. This exhibition will showcase the artwork of various BIPOC narratives in the hopes of building authentic dialogue about shared experiences, highlighting some of the unique talents that come from these vibrant multicultural communities.

The exhibition will be available to audiences as a pop-up exhibition at Shenkman Art Centre in October 2021 and virtually online. Exhibiting art plays a critical role in these communities because it allows artists to engage audiences and serves as a forum where ideas can be exchanged, discussed, and challenged within the public sphere.

As an extension of this exhibition, artists will benefit from a series of workshops to improve their artistic practice and learn how to use media and video in creative ways to promote their work. This show is an opportunity for leaders from underrepresented communities to challenge stereotypes linked to their identities and to support dialogue by engaging the audience on how we, as a community, can better view and understand each other. Shifting the narrative and seeding new stories through contemporary art is the goal of See Me Now 2021.

Ottawa Chamberfest for Sensory-Friendly Concerts

At Ottawa Chamberfest’s Sensory-Friendly Concerts, artists have been creating welcoming concerts for children and people with sensory sensitivities, on the autism spectrum, or with other considerations for five years.

Stretch breaks, visual aids, storytelling, and movable seating promote a creative and safe space for families with differing needs to have fun with music. Participating artists have included the Cecilia String Quartet, VC2 Cello Duo, Stephen Prutsman, and Ensemble Made In Canada.

For the past year, Chamberfest has been adapting the concerts to the live video format in order to continue providing this valuable resource to individuals with sensory sensitivities and their families within the restrictions of this pandemic climate.

Rag and Bone Puppet Theatre for An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good

This project will be phase two of a workshop of An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good, a show for adult and senior audiences, a 60-minute live action/video/shadow puppet play, based on five satirical stories by Swedish author Helene Tursten, about an 88-year-old woman who pretends to be vague and helpless but is really a cold-hearted killer.

Samyuktha Punthambekar for Challenging Common Sense

As a first-generation South Asian, and being part of the ‘Canadian’ system, this project begins from a very personal and emotional space of my own journey and lived experiences. What I have gone through forms the basis of the context, shapes my personality and thus Challenging Common Sense (CCS). This broader perspective is about notions of the various taken-for-granted and so-called “common sense” or normative aspects of our lives that we continually negotiate with. In this project through the Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam, I address certain patterns of inequalities we face as individuals living in Canada. This means that each individual’s experience of living in Canada takes on different, yet related flavours (Rasa). I begin by sharing deep, personal stories, my own individual narratives of a first generation immigrant, and as someone who made the decision to move to Canada from India as an adult in her mid 20s. Investigating with my own individual narratives such as ‘North American’ terminologies or basic language gaps such as Diverse, Inclusion, Multiculturalism, Experience, Academic deception etc. are we being measurable and specific? along with intertwining them through various themes with Bharatanatyam vocabulary. In CCS, I challenge taken-for-granted ideas of what it means to live in Canada, and what it means to be ‘Canadian’. As part of the narrative in the development phase, I will be using Bharatanatyam movement vocabulary, Indian classical music infused with my own lived experiences.

Tessellate Collective for BREATH

BREATH is a multimedia immersive art installation that will use both portraiture and projection mapping through storytelling to honour and celebrate the humanity of Black and Indigenous womxn, while reminding our community in Ottawa about our collective right to live fully as human beings with equal access, to the right conditions to do so. Breath will intersect art and technology to address current societal problems affecting the womxn to be featured, and seek answers to some fundamental questions like: who are we, why are we here and where are we going as humanity?

The ARTicipate Project Grants support: the creation and/or presentation of artistic work in the Shenkman Arts Centre and/or across digital platforms; access spaces to local artists; collaborative projects involving more than one artist and/or arts organization; exploration and experimentation of digital strategies to present artistic works and interact with audiences online or through hybrid in-person/online events.

For ongoing information about these new Project Grants, please visit us on Facebook or on the ARTicipate website for more details.

About Arts Network Ottawa

Arts Network Ottawa knows how the Arts build strong communities. Since 1987, we have collaborated with communities to promote the creative, social and economic benefits of local Arts and will continue to do so. We provide an informed voice for a bilingual network of artists, cultural workers and arts organizations across the Ottawa region.  As an arts-service organization, we connect our members to opportunities, resources, programs and partnerships that advance their careers and the sustainability of Ottawa’s arts community.

Non-profit registered charitable organization: 12177 7023 RR0001.

For more information about the ARTicipate Endowment Fund, Arts Network Ottawa’s activities, media inquiries or to make a donation contact:

Alex Maltby
Program Manager
T 613.580.2767
Spencer Kahler
Marketing and Development Coordinator
T 613.580.2767

About the ARTicipate Endowment Fund Grant Program

The $5 million-dollar ARTicipate Endowment Fund was established in 2007 by Arts Network Ottawa, and in partnership with the City of Ottawa, with the generous support of donors and the Province of Ontario to enable artistic programming in professional spaces at Shenkman Arts Centre. Since 2010, the Fund has awarded 165 grants totaling over $875,200 to local artists and arts groups as well as the Shenkman Arts Centre’s five Resident Arts Partners (Arts Network Ottawa, Gloucester Pottery School, Ottawa School of Art – Orléans Campus, and Ottawa School of Theatre, Mouvement d’implication francophone d’Orléans (MIFO). For more information about the Fund, the ARTicipate Grant Program visit our Facebook page or our website or to make a donation through CanadaHelps.