This week we’re drawing lines around problems and
it has everything and nothing to do with disability.
A large orange square, in recognition of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th

Connector Weekly

In This Edition
Creative Users Projects News
Highlights from the Community
Accessing the Arts Listings

Prob•lem: a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome.

Yesterday, I found myself in bed at my personal gloaming hour circling thought bubbles around incoherent problems and asking myself like a five-year-old, but why? But why? But why?

The problem with problems is that they often start with assumptions.

That’s why it’s important to reach out and talk to people about the problem you think you’re trying to solve because you might discover that it wasn’t a problem at all.

As disabled artists, we’re so used to seeing disability framed within the context of problems that when we’re designing strategy and seeking to identify a problem to solve, understandably, it can start to feel a little uncomfortable.

I’ve discovered that it’s empowering to draw lines around problems that don't stem from our bodies but rather stem from the lack of our leadership. Only by looking at a problem from the standpoint of difference, can we get closer to solving it.

It’s like turning the camera on your phone and looking at the world through your own screen rather than being viewed by someone else’s. It points to the fact that disability can help us see a problem in a different filter and help us to unpack the assumptions that get in the way of solving it.

Sorry, that was a lot of problems.

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Creative Users Projects News

Next week Thursday is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We'll be stepping away from our screens and reflecting on what this means for Indigenous families whose lives have been taken.

We encourage you to explore how you can play a part: wear an orange shirt to honor survivors and victims of residential schools, support a local fundraising event or host your own, donate to Indigenous communities who are organizing and supporting families who have been impacted or put something in the world that carries the truth forward in actionable ways. 

Highlights from the Community

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Culture Days 2021
September 24th - October 24th

Culture Days is a national celebration of arts and culture. At the end of each September, millions of people attend thousands of free participatory arts and culture events across the country. Culture Days programs invite the public to get hands-on and behind-the-scenes to highlight the importance of arts and culture in our communities. In light of COVID-19, this year’s celebrations have again been extended to a 4-week run held indoors, outdoors and online. You can search for both in person and digital Culture Days events across Canada with sign language interpretation, closed captioning and audio description.
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Call for Submissions: SOUND OFF
Attention Deaf performing artists! SOUND OFF, Canada’s national festival dedicated to the Deaf performing arts, has announced an open call for submissions. In collaboration with Fringe Theatre Adventures, the 6th annual edition of SOUND OFF will take place in March & April, both live in Edmonton and online. They're seeking submissions for both live and online performances, and for their staged reading series which presents new works in progress that would benefit from feedback from a live audience. They are also announcing a call for workshop leaders who are interested in hosting peer-led training workshops during the festival. The deadline for submissions is October 17th!
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Almost Live: Mala
Join VocalEye and Arts Club Theatre on September 29th for an Almost Live presentation of Mala. What does it mean to be good? Mala’s candid and ultimately cathartic exploration of family bonds creates space for contemplation and provides a message of resilience and optimism. In this story, a child of immigrants grapples with the universal experience of supporting the people we love, questioning how far must we go, and for how long. Starring Carmen Aguirre, who will join for conversation and Q&A.
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Inclusive Practices Grant
Are you an individual artist who is D/deaf or has a disability? Are you part of an artists’ collective or organization with at least one member who is D/deaf or has a disability? You may qualify for a financial grant from the Conseil des arts de Montréal to help you carry out an artistic project. Attend a Zoom info session on September 28th or October 1st to learn more. The dealine for applications is November 5th.
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Demand Access
The My Dearest Friends Project is an interactive art experience co-created by Oaklee Thiele and DisArt that brings attention to the lived experience of disabled people. The international debut of the project includes the launch of a new web-based mobile application allowing users across the globe to geo-tag, document and share moments of physical, social and cultural exclusion. By using the parameters of time and location to create a navigable index of stories, the resulting map-based data set will help local, regional and national governments, non-profits, advocacy groups, and allies begin to see the global cost and systemic permeation of exclusion, as a key to unlock otherwise hidden bias and discrimination. Check out the map and add a location on the DisArt website.
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Able Zine #2
The second issue of Able Zine is out! This issue explores the theme of ‘Environment’ through the lens of disability and the perspectives of the wider disability community at large, through three separate paths: the Built, Natural and Technological Environments. Both the built and natural sections explore the manifestation of our physical world, formed without consideration of the disabled body, but where we have co-existed throughout time. In the technology section, the future and the intersections of disability and tech are considered. From framing the disabled body as a cyborg, to algorithms and the systems we use in our everyday lives, this issue considers how to positively use these techniques and move toward a more inclusive and anti-ableist future.
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How to Hug a Porcupine
Just in time for the fourth wave - welcome to the only online adult porcupine puppet comedy worth seeing this fall! How to Hug a Porcupine is a new theatrical comedy created by Adam Francis Proulx, based off Arthur Schopenhauer's porcupine dilemma, which proposes as a metaphor for human interactions, that porcupines long to be close to each other, especially for heat in the winter, but if they get too close, they hurt each other. Virtual admission is free or by donation and the show can be accessed on-demand. How to Hug a Porcupine is fully closed captioned, with ASL interpretation.
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Opulent Mobility 2021
The Opulent Mobility project is a groundbreaking collaborative effort to re-imagine mobility, disability and access. Wheelchairs, walkers, prosthetic limbs, crutches and other adaptive technology devices are part of our lives, but they’ve been left in the dust when it comes to custom design innovation and personalization. There are hundreds of thousands of designs for glasses, chairs and technology of other kinds. Why not adaptive technology? This year's exhbition will be will be online and in person (Monrovia, CA) beginning October 2nd.
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Kinetic Light: Digital Film Screening with Alice Sheppard
On October 12th, join Listen to Dis' Community Arts Organization for a free online digital film screening of two films, Revel in Your Body and The Making of Where Good Souls Fear, from Kinetic Light. The films feature dancers Alice Sheppard and Lauren Lawson, and Alice Sheppard will be joining for a Q&A where she will be answering questions about the film. ASL, CART closed captioning, and audio description will be available.
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Cripping The Arts: Artists Speak on Technology, Art and Accessibility
If you missed this panel discussion on September 18th, hosted by the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba with author, poet, and artist Diane Driedger in conversation with the artists of Criptych, you can still watch the video on Facebook. This panel discussed topics surrounding accessibility in the arts, the differences between being an artist with a disability and an artist who makes Disability Art, their processes, relationship to technology, and community responsibility. With ASL interpretation.
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Accessibility in Digital Projects
On October 21st, Theatre Passe Muraille hosts Accessibility in Digital Projects, part of their Digital Creators Lab series of free virtual public workshops this fall. Jess Watkin, Marjorie Chan and Indrit Kasapi will share all their learnings from their experiences with accessibility initiatives within a digital context. Initiatives that will be covered are Relaxed Performances, ASL Interpretation, Captioning, and Audio Description and how these initiatives change (or not) within the digital realm. ASL interpretation will be provided.
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Beginning today, Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba (AANM) presents Make/Do, a group exhibition, available for viewing both online and in person. This exhibition stemmed from AANM’s Art Salons, a mentorship program led by Yvette Cenerini and funded by the Manitoba Arts Council. Through the mentorship, eight artists with disabilities learned from Cenerini how to improve their art making and art career skills. This exhibition is a culmination of work over a year, and showcases what the artists can Make and Do with a mentor!
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Rolling Through Barriers: A Celebration of Artists with Disabilities
On October 6th, join Rolling Through Barriers as they wrap up a month of advocacy and fundraising, dispelling myths about disability and highlighting the importance of accessibility and inclusion. This free virtual event will feature a talented cast of dancers, singers, musicians and comedians with disabilities, including Elizabeth Winkelaar of Propeller Dance.
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Call for Submissions: Emerging Creators’ Unit
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre has announced a call for submissions for their Emerging Creators’ Unit (ECU) running from December 2021 to June 2022. This year the Emerging Creators’ Unit program will support two individual queer and/or trans artists. The deadline for submissions is October 4th.

Accessing the Arts Listings

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Connector is a newsletter highlighting accessible arts in Canada. In each edition, we connect artists and audiences with different organizations in regions across the country to get the word out about programming that has been curated with different bodies in mind. Our goal is to foreground Canada’s accessible arts culture by getting information out!

Please feel free to share this newsletter with a friend.

If you have an event you'd like to include on our events listing or in a future newsletter, please visit our online submission form!

You can update your subscription preferences at any time. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information and updates!
We acknowledge that inclusion in the arts relies upon listening, communication, and being responsive. We also acknowledge that lived experiences of exclusion, discrimination and oppression are real and unique to each individual. For these reasons, and because we do not organize the events we list, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of information provided, nor can we guarantee the quality of accessibility at events. Our goal is to make accessibility in the arts easy to find, and to provide you with as much information as possible, so that you, the user, can make informed choices based on your needs. Our hope is that, in doing this, we can put inclusion at the forefront of Canada’s arts sector.
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Accessing the Arts
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Logos: Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council and Government of Canada
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