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we’re working on a project that’s got us thinking about captions,
the unsung hero of that thing called “artistic integrity”.
A watercolour and mixed media painting by A.J. Brown of a boat tethered to a harbour dock. The boat is green and yellow with tiny speckles
Virtual Tour of A.J. Brown's Artwork
Image: Urban Boat Series, 3 of 4 with dots by A.J. Brown

Connector Weekly

In This Edition
Highlights from the Community
Accessing the Arts Listings

You know those lines of text that sometimes run along the bottom of your screen?

For me, they’re the determinant between blissful immersion in a binge worthy show or being stranded and confused on the corner of my couch screaming to whoever is on the other end: “What is going on?!”

I love and hate how something as simple as captions, can be the key to unlock art.

Years ago, Christine Sun Kim invited some of her Deaf friends for close readings to create sound captions of what they wanted to be added to the films they were watching, and it revealed how powerful text can be when embedded as an essential part of the viewing experience.

The Deafies in Drag youtube channel has a hilarious skit demonstrating why closed captioned devices are - excuse the pun - such a drag.

Captions or subtitles can also be wildly misleading or inaccurate. Tik Tok creator Youngmi Mayer shares her frustration with the english subtitles for Squid Game which miss fundamental character cues and cultural tropes. Her video doesn’t have captions but here’s an excerpt in which she pauses on a screenshot of one of the main characters:
 

"Right here, the translation says, ‘I'm not a genius but I can work it out' but what she actually said was: ‘I am very smart, I just never got a chance to study’.

That is a huge trope in Korean media - the poor person that's smart and clever and just isn't wealthy. That's a huge part of her character and almost everything she says is being botched translation-wise but you just missed - like the writers - all they want you to know about her is that.

It seems so small but it's the entire character's purpose of being in the fucking show!"


Some people believe that captions compromise the integrity of the viewing experience. I’m not going to argue whether or not that’s hogwash but I will say that if the purpose of art is ultimately to be experienced and if millions of people globally can’t access at least half of that experience because there aren’t any captions or the subtitles suck, then where’s the integrity in that?



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Warmly,
Lindsay

Highlights from the Community

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A Virtual Tour of A.J Brown's Artwork
October 28th

Join Curiko for a virtual gathering to meet Deaf watercolour and mixed media painter A.J. Brown. She will take you on an intimate tour of some pieces of personal art, and there will be a chance to chat about the pieces and how A.J. Brown composed the works. A.J. is also a featured artist in this year's Inclusion Art Show. Everyone is welcome to come connect, be curious and inspired! There will be an ASL interpreter present.
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Disability Atlantic Arts Symposium
Hosted by Theatre New Brunswick, the Disability Atlantic Arts Symposium (DAAS) will be an online gathering that brings Atlantic-Canadian Disability-identified artists together for the first time. Taking place on October 22nd through October 24th, DAAS will consist of three panel discussions: Funding Access: Where’s the Money?, A Conversation with Funders and Strange Avenues. The first panel in the series, Strange Avenues, is this evening! The weekend will close with a cabaret line-up of drag, burlesque, spoken word, poetry, performance art, comedy and a circus act! ASL interpretation, closed captioning, transcripts and a mix of visual descriptions and integrated audio descriptions will be available.
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Holding Space for Disabled & Chronically Ill Opera Artists in Canada
Loose Tea Music Theatre and Opera Mariposa present the first of four sessions in their Holding Space series for disabled and chronically ill artists in the Canadian opera industry. Canadian opera artists, arts workers, creators and students (at home and abroad) who identify as disabled/living with a disability or chronic illness are invited to join in online to network, foster dialogue and build community in a safe, supportive space - or share your thoughts anonymously ahead of time. ASL interpretation is available upon request by October 28th.
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Peek Fest & Peek Fest Access Program
Peek Fest is Impulse Theatre's annual festival for arts workers running November 3rd to November 20th. The festival offers a look at new, innovative works-in-development, and provides opportunities for the development and growth of theatre artists through residencies, showcases and workshops. This year the festival will be presented in a hybrid digital and in-person format. As part of their Peek Fest Access Program, Impulse Theatre is offering two spots in each Peek Fest workshop free of charge to arts workers who identify as queer, trans, non-binary, Indigenous, Black, a person of colour, neurodiverse, d/Deaf and/or disabled. Peek Fest Access Program intake closes November 1st and is filled on a first come, first serve basis.
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Sign Language Arts Workshop with Alexandria Wailes
Inside Out Theatre presents a Sign Language Arts Workshop with Alexandria Wailes, part of the ReDEAFining Theatre workshop series. The workshop takes place over four days, from November 30th to December 3rd at the Inside Out Theatre studio in Calgary. Deaf artists who identify as BIPOC, LGBT2SQA+, Deaf+ and other underrepresented communities are highly encouraged to apply to participate. The workshop is for those with ASL fluency. Both Deaf and hearing participants are welcomed to apply, however, this is not a "learn to sign" environment.
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Opportunities with Intrepid Theatre
Applications are open for Intrepid Theatre's OUTstages Theatre Festival and UNO Fest. OUTstages is a celebration of theatre, of queer culture, and of possibilities, bringing together fearless queer artists and stories with eager audiences seeking to be engaged and challenged. UNO is a curated festival of live in person performance, showcasing an eclectic mix of genres, styles and backgrounds. The deadline for applications for both festival is November 3rd.
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New Wave
Sometimes starting as tiny ripples a wave has the capacity to carry us, toss us, crash into us, and engulf us altogether. New Wave is an online exhibit that features the artwork of eight disabled youth artists, presented by Kickstart Disability Arts & Culture. Through this online exhibit, the multimedia works of art might start as a tiny ripple, but from October to December, the online exhibit and its virtual programming will draw you in and show you the strength of the voices of disabled youth. Participating artists include Nina Aldewood, Vee CR, Megan Dewar, Taryn Goodwin, Laura Rechwan, Pree Rehal, Midori Ryans and Emily Tironi. ASL and live captioning will be available for the virtual opening on October 24th.
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Queer Frontiers: James Knott Artist Talk
On October 30th, London Ontario Media Arts Association (LOMAA) presents a talk by Toronto-based artist James Knott, part of their Queer Frontiers series. This talk is presented in conjunction with an online screening of Knott’s “The Apocalypse In Your Bedroom” The Movie, which screens from October 24th to October 31st. ASL interpretation and Zoom captions will be available for the artist talk.
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BigFeels: Post Radical Growth Symposium: Making Space for Mental Health in the Arts
The BigFeels: Post Radical Growth Symposium: Making Space for Mental Health in the Arts is a three-day online symposium for the arts sector, hosted by Workman Arts from November 1st to November 3rd. This symposium will be a site of gathering and celebration for artists, communities, and a sector that has continued to shift through adversity and arrive into various states of individual and collective radical growth. BigFeels: Post Radical Growth highlights the importance of an intersectional approach when considering and engaging with mental health themes. You're invited to engage critically with these topics through the symposium’s programming led by Workman Art members ranging from panel discussions, workshops and performances. The symposium will be hosted virtually and closed captioning will be available.
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Dreaming Accessibility Futures: A Card Game
This online event on October 25th, for Social Justice Week at X University by the School of Disability Studies, will take the form of a digital game to work together and imagine different possibilities of the ‘future’ for X University. This game will create a space for participants to imagine how the future University, and education more broadly, might respond to Standing Strong Task Force calls by bringing in the different ways that disabled, deaf, and mad students experience university and beyond. The hope is to counter the ableist special education system Egerton Ryerson helped to design. ASL interpretation and live captioning will be provided.
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Trigger Warning: Cassandra
Andrea von Wichert is furious and foaming at the mouth, with a song in her heart and a lusty spring in her step. Trigger Warning: Cassandra, presented by Sick + Twisted Theatre from October 29th to November 6th, is the latest in a series of monologues crafted with razor sharp wit and featuring Andrea's searingly hilarious social insights. She chronicles four thousand years of patriarchy, to find the roots of her own madness in the violent sacking of the ancient city of Troy. The secret lovechild of Hannah Gadsby and Spalding Gray, Andrea takes a joy ride through madness while tickling the ivories in a cabaret act that will absolve you of your self-hatred and sooth your soul. Live-streamed performance with ASL interpretation on October 30th. Live audio description on November 5th.
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BEING Home Online Programming
BEING Studio is a community of artists with disabilities, and they are always welcoming new artists to join their BEING Home online program. Due to the closure of their physical studio space at the beginning of the pandemic, the staff and artists of BEING Studio were able to pivot to online programming. Over the last 18 months the programming has evolved into BEING Home, a place where BEING artists can continue social distancing while exploring their creativity. They've welcomed guest artists, including Shannon Finnegan and Olivia Johnston, through virtual workshops. They also participate in regularly scheduled virtual curated tours of galleries, customized for BEING Studio, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, the Ottawa Art Gallery and National Gallery.
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Primetime Festival
From October 30th - November 28th, Toronto Fringe presents The Primetime Festival, an online performance festival featuring interactive digital experiences from across the country. The festival features five shows, programed throughout the month of November, which take place on various online platforms: Zoom, gather.town, and Twitch. You can catch interactive sketch comedy, go on an adventure with a crowd-pleasing genie, enter a magical living room portal, watch an acclaimed storyteller in action, and catch up with a Fringe fave from the past. All audio pieces will be accompanied by transcripts. Captions will be available.
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Last Tuesdays: MAKE SH*T with Shanik Tanna
On October 26th, JAYU presents MAKE SH*T with Shanik Tanna, part of their Last Tuesdays programming. Learn how to use tools to create an audio based narrative around a social cause that matters to you. Take this knowledge to create stories through audio based mediums, incorporate it into podcast interviews, and utilize audio based software. ASL interpretation is provided for all events at Last Tuesdays.
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Job Opportunity: Acting Academy Manager
Realwheels Theatre is looking for an Acting Academy Manager for the Realwheels Acting Academy, which launched in September and offers an actor training program customized to people who live with disability. The deadline for applications is October 28th.
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Almost Live: Rocky Horror Highlights
On October 27th, VocalEye is hosting Almost Live: Rocky Horror Highlights. Join host Amy Amantea and special guest JJ Hunt as they take you through the film’s favourite songs, cult characters, midnight movie rituals and more! The VocalEye virtual lobby opens before the show for some socializing and community updates, followed by a pre-show introduction with Amy and guests. The show will be followed by conversation, Q&A and a prize draw.
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Taxes for Artists Workshop
Are you a young artist or entrepreneur preparing to file your taxes? Did you receive CERB / CRB / EI during the pandemic and are unsure how this impacts filing? Want to better understand how to track and report on your artist grant? Join host Tova Epp of Artbooks on November 10th for this Taxes for Artists workshop for youth aged 13-29, presented by ArtReach. ASL interpretation and closed captioning will be available.
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The Longest Way Round is the Shortest Way Home
The Longest Way Round is the Shortest Way Home was a series of dance performances with artists Harmanie Rose, Sarah Wong, Josh Ongcol and Marisa Gold, who were invited to consider ideas of home as it relates to interconnected ideas of the body, transiency, and the other, through a series of dance performances. On October 24th, join Arts Assembly for a conversation with the artists and moderator Benjamin Kamino. ASL interpretation will be provided.

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!

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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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