The cover of El Alto Volume 2 with a blue-tinted photo of two dancers
El Alto Vol. 2 - d/Deaf and disability arts movements in the Americas

Connector Weekly

In This Edition
Highlights from the Community
Accessing the Arts Listings

Every Friday, I use this space to share my stories. Today I wanted to share a story from Elder Florence Sparvier, a third generation survivor of Saskatchewan's Marieval Indian Residential School.

“I’m 80 years old and I went to boarding school down there. I was taken by my parents to go. At that time, if parents didn’t want to allow their children to go to boarding school, one of them had to go to jail. So in order to keep the family together, we went to boarding school. They brought us there, we stayed there.

And we learned. They pounded it into us and really, they were very mean. When I say pounding, I mean pounding. Those nuns were very mean to us. I don’t think they liked being there either but we had to learn how to be Roman Catholic.

We couldn’t say our own little blessings the way we said it at home. We had our own way of honouring ourselves and Mother Earth in our own homes when we were little but we had to leave all that after.

So when we were taught at home that we had to look after ourselves physically, mental, emotionally, and spiritual; that got all stripped away when we went to boarding school. They told us what to say. They told us about a new being that was supposed to be our ultimate saviour but the ones we had in our school, they were not nice either.

They were very condemning about our people. They told us our people, our parents, our grandparents, they didn’t have a way to be spiritual because we were all heathens.

I was the third one in my family that went to that school. My grandmother went, and my mother and me, so they were still teaching that all the time. They were putting us down as a people so we learned how to not like who we were and that has gone on and on and it’s still going on because we couldn’t teach our people, our own families how to look after themselves, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritual.

When we became assimilated, they made us think different, and feel different so it's a lot of the pain we see in our people right now, comes from there.

I went to another school and that was the same thing. They made us believe we didn't have souls -both places and that was the ultimate desire of all of us - how can we be better, do better. Sometimes it's really hard to know and how our parents and grandparents had a hard life because they had to be assimilated.

So now we know how to do that. We don't have to go back, we just have to learn to look after ourselves in a good way."

- Cowessess First Nation Elder Florence Sparvier, survivor of Saskatchewan’s Marieval Indian Residential School, at a press conference held by Cowessess First Nation on June 24th.

Highlights from the Community

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Featured Event: El Alto Vol. 2 Launch / Lanzamiento El Alto Vol. 2, June 26th
Join the celebratory launch of El Alto Vol. 2 - d/Deaf and disability arts movements in the Americas, the second edition of El Alto, the British Council’s review of arts and culture in the Americas, created in partnership with British Council, Tangled Art + Disability, and 17 Instituto de Estudios Críticos. Participating contributors include Elian Chali, Mariana Tirado, Amanda Cachia, Sean Lee, Beatriz Miranda, Saada El-Akhrass and Pablo Rosselló. This event is free to join and will include ASL and LSM and simultaneous translation in English and Spanish.
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Ephemeral Artifacts
Through Saturday night! This edition of Ephemeral Artifacts is conceived as a 4 channel video, light and sonic installation on the outside of the Theatre Passe Muraille building, featuring Tap Dancer Travis Knights in a sustained state of reflection and gratitude toward The DaNcE* and the people who helped to shape it with their passion. ASL Interpretation by Thurga Kanagasekarampillai, Marcia Adolphe Martins, and Emma Dehez, in collaboration with Deaf Community Consultant Dr. Jenelle Rouse, is available for Ephemeral Artifacts via smartphone.
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Luminato Access Hub
Luminato's new website has launched, and it features an Access Hub with over 30 pages of content. The Access Hub will continue to evolve over the summer with added blog posts, more audio content, ASL videos and more, so keep checking back. And, starting this weekend, Luminato is taking over ISO Radio to create Radio LUMI, bringing Luminato programs to Blind & low vision audiences with exclusive interviews, “on-air” audio descriptions, and more!
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Accessibility for Arts Organizations
On July 3, join Jenel Shaw, executive director for Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba, as she explores the many ways to make your space more inviting for the Deaf and disability communities. Part of Creative Accessibility, a series of online webinars and discussions presented by Creative Manitoba and Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba exploring disability art, the experiences of artists with disabilities and how to make art accessible. With ASL interpretation. 
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Building Worlds: UNION Artistic Collaboration Panel
What's artistic collaboration all about? Tomorrow join Cinevolution for an interactive panel with the artistic collaborators behind UNION! Featuring six collaborators who contributed sound design, musical composition, visual world building, and sculpture, the conversation will spotlight the mediums involved in the making of UNION, as well as the process of collaborating while navigating pandemic limitations. With ASL interpretation and automated captions.
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Project Dis/Play
Dis/Play is a public art project that shines a light on disabled folks of all ages telling their own stories, woven into a multi-media display that will be projected onto building walls in the streets of Toronto later this year in partnership with the ReelAbilities Film Festival of Toronto/Miles Nadal JCC, as part of ArtworxTO. In response to the prompt "How do you want to be seen?" , they are seeking visual content to be used in the projections, and submissions for spotlit storytellers. Submissions accepted until mid July.
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VIM VAMS – Opening Doors to Music
On July 2nd, Vancouver Independent Music Centre, Vancouver Adapted Music and the Roundhouse present VIM VAMS – Opening Doors to Music, an online concert and panel on the accessibility of music venues. Curated by Dave Symington, co-founder of VAMS, the concert will feature the music of Kristina Shelden, Digger Dan and the Dirt Brigade, Greg “77 Spokes” Labine and Sticks and Tones. It will be followed by a panel discussion of issues facing musicians with disabilities.
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Tea With Me Series - Episode One
Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf presents the first episode in their Tea With Me series with Indigenous Deaf Artist, Paula Wesley. Available on Youtube in ASL, LSQ and English voiceover/subtitles.
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Q.A.A.C. Summer Art Club
Starting July 6th, National AccessArts Centre presents the Q.A.A.C. Summer Art Club! Want to learn more about storytelling in live performance? Tired of making art alone? This summer club is all about building a supportive place for artists from the disability community. Summer Club members will work with some of Calgary’s most talented artists, sharing their stories from the disability, Mad, Deaf, and Queer communities. The program is open to folks who communicate in all ways including ASL and those who are non-verbal, non-readers, and readers at any level.
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Call for Applications: The Garden Project
If you are an Indigenous, Black or racialized performance maker (playwright, choreographer, deviser, composer, you name it) who lives in the Greater Hamilton Area, the The Garden Project wants to commission you! You are invited to apply in your preferred language in writing or by video. Applications that require translation or interpretation services will be provided by The Garden Project. Apply by July 11th.
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Call for Applications: DigiZine Program
ArtReach is hosting the DigiZine Program, which includes 5 online zine-making workshops for youth who are both 2SLGBTQ+ and racialized (BIPoC - Black, Indigenous and people of colour) to learn how to make their own digital zines. Priority will be given to Disabled, Deaf and HoH applicants. The workshops will be led by 5 community engaged artists, who are also 2SLGBTQ+ and racialized. An honorarium will be provided. The deadline to apply is July 10th.
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Ottawa Fringe
This year's Ottawa Fringe closes on June 27th, but if you book tickets before the end of the festival, you have an additional seven days to watch the show. All shows have captions, transcript/outlines and audio pre-show notes available. Additionally, Dressed as People is sensory friendly, and Triptych is digitally relaxed. Speaking Vibrations incorporates ASL poetry, Deaf lived experience and explores access in an aesthetic way.
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Sketch Comedy with Ophira Calof
Starting June 29th, learn the fundamentals of sketch comedy writing with Ophira Calof in this 8 week course, hosted by Miles Nadal JCC. Delving into character, point of view, structure and silliness, this course will take you through the writing process from coming up with an idea to building a finished scene, with a focus on exploring disability through comedy. This class welcomes all disabilities, all experience levels, and is recommended for those 18+.
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Call for BIPOC Disabled Creatives: Digital Zine Anthology
Self_Saboteur (@self_saboteur6) is looking for creative submissions from BIPOC folks with disabilities for a digital interactive zine. The works will be selected based on diverse voices from different perspectives outside white disabled space, and vulnerability and honesty. You do not have to be skilled or a professional. They are looking for intimate vulnerable pieces to showcase the humanity of BIPOC folks with disabilities in world that refuses to do so. Honorariums will be provided. The deadline for submissions is July 31st.
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Making a Riddle out of a Solution
Join Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba (AANM) on July 2nd for the opening reception of Making a Riddle out of a Solution, a solo exhibition by Margaret Switala. The exhibition will be projected onto the side of the AANM building, and will be available online after July 2nd. Descriptions for images online will be available.
Call for Applications: Development and Communications Coordinator
Project: Humanity is hiring a Development and Communications Coordinator! Project: Humanity (PH) is a socially-engaged not-for-profit theatre company founded in 2008. Based in Toronto, but active nationally, PH believes the performing arts can bring disparate groups together and help them listen more compassionately. The deadline to apply is June 30th.
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Signs Of The Times
On June 30th, Cahoots Theatre presents Signs Of The Times, hosted by Catherine MacKinnon. Through poetry and storytelling in their own language, Deaf theatre artists offer emotive reflections on today's world. Featuring Tamyka Bullen, Chris Dodd, Thurga Kanagasekarampillai, Catherine MacKinnon, Gaitrie Persaud and Jordan Sangalang. ASL-to-English translation and automatic captions will be provided.
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Hive 2021: Flight Paths
HIVE 2021: Flight Paths is a collection of twelve micro-performances that take place digitally between you and an artist from your own home, phone, or neighbourhood. Hosted by HIVE Performance Collective, audiences can participate from anywhere in the world from July 1st to July 4th. Accessibility: D/deaf, hard of hearing and low-vision friendly shows, and options with closed captioning and transcripts.
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TPM Presents: Chautauqua Live
Tonight! Part kitchen party, part salon, Chautauqua Live is a streamed cabaret performance presented by Theatre Projects Manitoba.where viewers will experience the vast sound, feel and artistry of the Interlake as Chautauqua artists and community members share excerpts of their artistic projects. ASL-English Interpretation will be provided live. Described audio will be re-released at a later date.
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Call for Submissions: Artist Mentorship Program
Calling all Black artists across Canada! The Artist Mentorship Program is designed to give practical opportunities to emerging professional artists within their discipline and in conjunction with Black Theatre Workshop’s season programming and partnering companies. The deadline for applications is July 1st.
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Art in the Spotlight: jes sachse
On June 29th, join artist jes sachse in conversation about art, movement, architecture and access with Art Gallery of Ontario archivist Marilyn Nazar. Closed captioning and 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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