We’ve been thinking about the big checklist debate and why it limits our ability to transform our thinking about access.
Kseniya Tsoy paints a mural in white on a brown building in Marrakech, Morocco, framed by green leafy tree branches and some metal scaffolding
Let’s Talk Art: Culturally Diverse Aesthetics in Mural Art
Image: Dar Slimane (Marrakech, Morocco) by Kseniya Tsoy

Connector Weekly

In This Edition
Highlights from the Community
Accessing the Arts Listings

Sweater weather is here and what better time than now to hunker down in your sweater pants and read some Deaf and disability art news.

If you haven’t signed up for Kevin Gotkin’s Crip News, do it now. V.4 arrived in my inbox on Monday and my week has been better because of it.

My favorite takeaway was this line from John Lee Clark’s essay Against Access
“...the question we begin with is not “How do we make it more accessible?” Instead, we start by asking, “What feels beautiful?”  

I found myself this week, once again facing the checklist debate when thinking about access and a timely interview appeared on CBC with Marvel’s Deaf superhero Lauren Ridloff where she talks about having to work around theatre schedules that only provide captioning at specific times, - another good example, I thought of how access can get detached from the day to day mindset and operations of a team.

Thank you for reading. We'd love to hear from you – just hit reply. If you enjoyed this email, you'd be doing us a big favor by forwarding it to someone else who might like it. If you got this from a friend and would like to subscribe yourself, please do so here!


Highlights from the Community

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Let’s Talk Art: Culturally Diverse Aesthetics in Mural Art (November 17th)
In this online panel presented by Neighbourhood Arts Network, multidisciplinary artists Poonam Sharma, Aitak Sorahitalab, and Kseniya Tsoy will speak with moderator Claudia Arana about their artistic and mural practices, and how they were influenced by the cultural aesthetics of their home countries. The artists will also discuss their experiences as immigrant women producing mural art, barriers they've faced, and the change needed in order to build more spaces for diverse aesthetics in public art. This free webinar will have ASL interpretation and closed captioning.
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From November 12th to November 27th, dont miss DIS/PLAY, a public arts project where 50+ Disabled creatives will light up the GTA as part of ArtWorxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art. This project, created by Ophira Calof in partnership with the ReelAbilities Film Festival Toronto and Miles Nadal JCC features disabled people telling their own stories through narrative and visual art, woven into a multi-media piece that will be projected onto exterior building walls throughout Tkaronto. The piece is approximately 10 minutes long and it features Deaf Interpretation created by Deaf Spectrum, captions, and artistic audio description.
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Lobby Chats: Safe Networking for Entertainment Careers
One of the most nebulous, anxiety-inducing aspects of an entertainment career is networking. Many people hate doing it, especially since there is no perfect rulebook to show the way. At its best, it can lead to a growing sense of community and new work opportunities. Conversely, it can also be riddled with uncomfortable moments, blurred boundaries, and misunderstandings. On November 30th, join this panel discussion hosted by The AFC about networking while maintaining personal boundaries and a sense of safety. ASL interpretation and closed captioning provided.
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Invitation to Participate: A Software Demo Event on Dance as 3D Sound
Are you interested in dance, sound and experimental art? If so, please consider joining professional dance artist and choreographer Andrea Spaziani for an in-person software demonstration on transforming dance into 3D sound! Andrea is looking for a group of approximately ten volunteers on  November 7th and November 8th to listen to a series of dance movements over headphones and to describe what they hear. This feedback will assist in developing software with support from the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategy Fund for projects that combine art and technology to positively impact public access to the arts. Each participant will receive a $200 honorarium and a travel stipend for transportation from within the Toronto area. Please note that Adelheid studio is not fully barrier-free.
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Almost Live: Constructed Identities
On November 17th, join VocalEye for a virtual art tour of Constructed Identities with artist Persimmon Blackbridge and Jenna Reid from Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture. Almost Live is VocalEye's series of accessible online arts adventures that include a variety of described performance videos (theatre, opera, dance), festival highlights, visual art tours, described film screenings and cultural tours. If you’ve never attended a free VocalEye Almost Live Zoom event before, you can register for just one event or sign up for the full season.
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November RoundUp
Disability Without Poverty's Monthly RoundUp series provides a time to share stories and ideas from people with disabilities all across the country. Join them on November 18th for their next RoundUp, which will be showcasing Indigenous artists in honour of Indigenous Disability Awareness Month. This month's talk features Christa Couture, a performing and recording artist, writer and broadcaster, and Donovan Gates, a mostly self-taught argillite, wood, gold, and silver carver. ASL, LSQ, English/French closed captioning, as well as simultaneous French translation will be provided.
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Call for Proposals: Justice
Montréal, arts interculturels (MAI) is seeking proposals for Justice, a digital project conceived for a trio of makers (video, sound artists, writers). Each commissioned video will have two soundtracks – one created by a composer, and one written and narrated by a text-based artist. Through the use of a QR code, viewers/listeners will have the capacity to choose either soundtrack at any given time. The works are to focus on the theme of justice – visions of a better future, greater freedom for all, racial justice, queer liberation, disability justice, combatting homelessness, however you understand, enact and see justice. The deadline for proposals is December 1st.
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Call for Submissions: Inside Out
Submissions for the 2022 Toronto 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival are open until January 7th (late deadline January 28th) - they're looking for Narrative Features and Shorts, Documentary Features and Shorts and Experimental films. All films selected to screen at Inside Out must include either captions or subtitles in English.
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A Better Way Forward
Join Arts BC on November 17th and November 18th for A Better Way Forward, two virtual days of discovery and connection, to explore ways to build a healthier, more equitable sector beyond the pandemic. Panels and presentations will focus on developing new ways of leadership, centering the wellbeing of Indigenous artists and communities, Disability arts & culture, cultural mapping, and more. ASL interpretation and auto captioning will be available for all events.
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Routes & Rituals
Reel Asian has partnered with the City of Toronto’s BigArtTo, a city-wide initiative involving large-scale projections across 25 wards in the city, to represent Routes & Rituals as part of the 25th Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. From November 17th to November 20th, Routes & Rituals will be projected nightly onto Fairview Library from 5pm to 8pm. And, with the support of VUCAVU, this program is available online throughout the duration of the festival dates of November 10th to November 19th. Closed captioning and audio description will be provided for the works and artist talks on VUCAVU.
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An Introduction to Applying to Fringe Festivals for Indigenous Artists
Calling all Indigenous artists! Please join Nogojiwanong Indigenous Fringe Festival for their workshop on November 16th on how to apply for Fringe Festivals. Chuck McEwen, Executive Producer from the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival will be joining to go over the application process and Josh Languedoc, Director of Indigenous Strategic Planning at Edmonton Fringe Theatre will discuss the development of a new venue that brings more Indigenous voices and knowledge sharing to the Fringe stage! If you’re interested in attending, please get in touch at to register.
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Groundswell Festival 2021
From November 10th to November 17th, Nightwood Theatre's annual Groundswell Festival invites the audience to get creative, offering a six-day, interactive digital retreat to generate ideas and spotlight brand new works from their Write From The Hip (WFTH) playwright’s unit. This season’s festival offers a unique opportunity for folks to hear selections of new plays from Anahita Dehbonehie, Celia Green, Teiya Kasahara 笠原貞野, Breton Lalama, Kitoko Mai and Nikki Shaffeeullah and learn more about each artist in an intimate conversation hosted by Artist/Activist-in-Residence Sedina Fiati. Nightwood will also serve up a closer look at dramaturgy and play-pitching with two free professional development workshops curated and hosted by playwright and WFTH Program Director Donna-Michelle St. Bernard. All events will offer captioning, and can be viewed online until November 26th. ASL interpretation will be provided for workshops.
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Queer Frontiers: Steve Reinke Artist Talk
London Ontario Media Arts Association (LOMAA) welcomes Steve Reinke for the sixth event in their Queer Frontiers series. Reinke will be presenting a week-long online screening of The Genital is Superfluous: Final Thoughts, Series Four from November 7th to November 14th, and he will present a new work, Father, Limping Through a Field of Clover, during his virtual artist talk on November 14th. Closed captioning available for the online screening, and ASL interpretation and Zoom captions will be available during the artist talk.
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Thatz Showbiz Workshop Series
Check out the upcoming series of workshops hosted by Thatz Showbiz Theatre Project for artists and performers with disabilities, both online and in person! From November 6th to December 4th, take part in workshops to learn more about Parody Songwriting, Public Speaking, Dance and Movement, Casting Actors with Disabilities, and Tik Tok Theatre. Performers of all abilities are welcome.
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Call for Applications: RBC Emerging Indigenous Artist-in-Residence
Festival Antigonish is inviting applications for the RBC Emerging Indigenous Artist-in-Residence to join their team. Funded by the RBC Foundation, this program’s objective is to support and promote an emerging Indigenous theatre creator through funding and professional supports including exposure to new audiences, networking and mentoring, talent development and production resources. Applications are due by November 30th.
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OBJECTO: Toronto's Festival of Experimental Puppetry and Performing Objects
From November 26th to November 28th, Concrete Cabaret presents OBJECTO: Toronto's Festival of Experimental Puppetry and Performing Objects. The festival features two evenings of live in-person experimental puppetry performances, music, and installations, and one digital gathering for their online Exquisite Collaboration! ASL interpretation will be available for the performance on November 27th.
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Kaffeeklatsch: Elvira Finnigan and Jennifer Still in Conversation
Join the University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery online on November 26th with artist Elvira Finnigan and poet Jennifer Still for the second edition of Kaffeeklatsch. Finnigan and Still will discuss the ways in which their relationships, practices, conceptual frameworks and meditations on materials intersect and diverge. Memory, family origins, the ephemeral conditions of time, life and grief are present in both Finnigan and Still’s practices. Their relationship, shared processes and ties to the Winnipeg art community lay the ground for a surely intimate and in-depth discussion. ASL interpretation and live captioning will be available.
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Young People's Theatre presents rihannaboi95 from November 22nd to December 18th. Sunny, aka rihannaboi95 on YouTube, made some videos and shared them online. And while, yeah, they’re getting lots of hits, not everyone likes them. Now, Sunny’s whole world is threatening to implode. Hidden in the bedroom of Keira – a drugstore makeup counter clerk – Sunny records a video for their loyal viewers and invokes the spirit of Rihanna to help with the situation. This pre-recorded performance features descriptions of key visual elements such as non-verbal action, body language, setting and costumes. Captions are available.
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Artist Talk: Sona Safaei-Sooreh
Join Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art on November 13th for a conversation with Centre A’s executive director/curator Henry Heng Lu and current exhibiting artist Sona Safaei-Sooreh, about her practice and research in relation to her Centre A exhibition, Revolving: a family tale. Revolving: a family tale is a multimedia exhibition that revisits the semi-colonial history of the Iranian oil industry and attempts to compare the story of its nationalization with present-day political affairs. Closed captioning will be available.
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Open Call for Proposals: Exhibition Programming 2022-2023
OBORO invites artists, artist collectives and curators in visual arts, media and digital arts or interdisciplinary practices to propose exhibition projects to be presented between Fall 2022 through to the end of 2023. We are interested in innovative practices that offer a contemporary perspective on the issues facing us as individuals, as a society and as artists. OBORO’s mandate is to support creation in various cultural practices and to encourage innovation, experimentation, the exchanging of ideas and the sharing of knowledge. OBORO’s objective is to promote awareness and dialogue within the art world and society at large, and to contribute to a culture of peace. The deadline for proposals is November 15th.

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.

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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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