This week we’re chewing on some big questions around sustainability,
creative partnerships and giving.
A vivid image of a person in motion on stage, in front of a projection of a street scene with dark buildings and blue light in the windows, and bright spots of light and colour on the buildings
F-O-R-M 2021
In the Frame with Narrative Portraits with Virginia Duivenvoorden
(with ASL interpretation)

Connector Weekly

In This Edition
Highlights from the Community
Accessing the Arts Listings

“It feels like our ambitions are way bigger than we are."

This is what a colleague said when asked what our biggest challenge is, as a sector in this moment.

Sparking collaboration and building creative partnership is an exercise of vision, hope, trust, maybe even naive confidence.

There are times when you’re overwhelmed with the impossibility of bringing multiple minds, dreams, and wants together to work towards one goal but then you’re reminded that only through many hands on deck, can such an ambitious task be possible.

Besides, where’s the fun in working on your own?

Lately, we’ve been collecting our wits for Laying the groundwork for a sustainable Deaf and Disability Arts Future, a strategic partnership project that aims to explore as a sector how we might adopt digital solutions and socially driven business models to chart a path towards more sustainable ways of working together.

Last week we brought together sector leaders from across Canada - Inside Out Theatre, Tangled Art + Disability, ReDefine Arts, VocalEye, Deaf Spectrum, Lisnen, Critical Distance, the School of Disability Studies at X University, Electric Company Theatre, Superior Descriptive Services, KG Inclusion, Access and Disability Justice in Arts & Culture and others - to kick off the project.

Our objective was to emphasize the vital role we play as cultural connectors in Deaf and Disability Arts and to start a conversation about how we might collectively build a platform that empowers the next generation of artists and connectors.

Many insights emerged but two stood out in particular, 1) there is a need in our community for better collaborations and partnerships built on trust and a shared understanding of our values, 2) the act of giving as a creative force has a significant impact on channeling meaningful connections.

It made me think about the concept of a gift economy described by Lewis Hyde’s in his book The Gift. “Unlike the sale of a commodity, the giving of a gift tends to establish a relationship between the parties involved. When gifts circulate within a group, their commerce leaves a series of interconnected relationships in its wake, and a kind of decentralized cohesiveness emerges.”

How might we foster collaborations that are more creative, reciprocal, and that just feel better?

We’ll chew on that for the time being...

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Highlights from the Community

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F-O-R-M 2021
September 13th - September 18th

F-O-R-M is an international movement-on-screen festival that centers the voices of youth and emerging artists, screening and commissioning films that explore the limitless possibilities of the body in motion through film. Festival events will take place online, with the exception of Pedestrian Protest, an in-person film installation in Vancouver. All online events will be available to watch on demand through September 25. All films with any spoken words and all recorded events will include captions in English. Live ASL interpretation will be available for a selection of workshops, discussions and artist talkbacks. Transcripts for all live festival events will be made available after each event.
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Undeliverable is a continuation of artist Carmen Papalia’s curatorial practice. Envisioning curation as a form of care, the exhibition brings together six artists from the Mad, Deaf and disability community, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Chandra Melting Tallow, Jessica Karuhanga, jes sachse, Aislinn Thomas, and Carmen Papalia with Heather Kai-Smith, re-envisioning the museum around the demands and desires of the disabled body/mind. Presented across two spaces – Tangled Art + Disability and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery – the exhibition features ambitious new work that challenges institutional structures and centres mutual accountability. From September 17th – October 29th at Tangled Art + Disability in Toronto and September 18th – February 13 at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa. Audio description will be available for the exhibition as well as a guided tour
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Phoenix The Fire: Music Workshop for Deaf & Hearing Artists
In this Zoom workshop on September 19th, hosted by Kickstart Disability Arts & Culture, Gaitrie Persaud-Dhumoon will work with both Deaf and hearing artists to learn that Deafness shouldn’t be a barrier to enjoying and making music. This workshop is designed as a response to the misperception that music is an art practice solely for hearing artists. Due to the current inaccessibility of the music scene, Deaf artists are excluded from music performances, music lessons, and artistic collaborations. This workshop has limited capacity and will include 10 artists – 5 who are Deaf and 5 who are hearing. ASL & live captioning will be available. Submissions to participate are due today!
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11th Annual Toronto Disability Pride March
The Toronto Disability Pride March is back for 2021! On September 18th, gather virtually with speakers and artists. This year the struggles and resistance of Indigenous disabled people and their communities will be honoured.
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Pro Crip Tips: How Ableism Makes Disabled People Really Feel
Tonight! Pro Crip Tips is hosted by Disability Awareness Consultant Andrew Gurza, and will explore ableism, the discrimination against disabled people in favor of non-disabled people. Through a series of slides and candid conversation, Andrew will uncover how ableism touches every single part of disabled people's lives: from everyday conversations and interactions to self-perception and sexual encounters. All facets will be explored to underscore the emotional impact of living with ableism. This workshop is ideal for those looking to better understand disability issues or how to be a better ally for disabled social justice issues.
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The Visiting Artist Series: Voice and Singing with Erica McFadden
On September 16th, Listen to Dis' Community Arts Organization will be hosting an online singing workshop, Voice and Singing with Erica McFadden, as part of their Visiting Artist Series. Erica McFadden teaches classical and musical theatre and acting voice techniques and has experience working with all ages and abilities. In this free online workshop, you will focus on supportive breathing, stretching, vocal warmups for vocal strength as well as pitch matching and singing. ASL interpretation will be provided.
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BlackFlash Fall 2021
BlackFlash Fall 2021: A Temporary, Collectively-Held Space was developed in partnership with the MacKenzie Art Gallery. The unique guest-edited issue is an extension of Carmen Papalia’s summer exhibition Provisional Structures at the MacKenzie Art Gallery curated by Nicolle Nugent. With editorial features by Amanda Cachia and guest editor Carmen Papalia, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Aislinn Thomas, Vo Vo, Mercedes Eng, Cecily Nicholson, Kay Slater, Lisa Prentice and Joselia R. Hughes.
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2021 Vancouver Fringe Festival
The Vancouver Fringe Festival takes place through September 19th, with a hybrid in-person and online festival! There will be in-person shows, a live-stream show, and pre-recorded digital shows from local, national, and international artists. 16 pre-recorded shows all include closed captioning, and are available for viewing any time between through September 19th. There will be ASL interpreted performances of Truth Or Dare and Cooking for Grief on September 18th, and there are many low-vision friendly shows available.
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Because I Have a Voice: Music for Mental Health
For the second year, Bluenose Ability Arts & Film Festival presents Because I Have A Voice: Music for Mental Heath. This year’s free show is tomorrow evening at the Grand Oasis Stage in Halifax, with live ASL interpreters. The show will also be live-streamed to for anyone who can’t attend in person!
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Open Call for Artists: Frictions of Futurity in Transplant Medicine
In collaboration with Tangled Art + Disability, the Frictions of Futurity in Transplant Medicine project invites disabled, crip, d/Deaf, Mad, Sick, and chronically ill artists to submit proposals for new commissioned works on the theme of futurity, curative imaginaries, and solid organ transplantation. We are especially interested in proposals from transplant recipients or their support persons. Two artists will be selected for a 6 month artist-in-residence with the Frictions project, and invited to create, construct, deconstruct, and challenge knowledge related to transplantation through their artistic practice. The application deadline for the first residency is October 4th.
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Curatorial Tour and Design Relay Race
Ready, set, go….Helvetica! On September 22nd, join the University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery for an online design relay race by University of Manitoba School of Art Design alumni Ren Lam, Tamiko Chase Kavanagh, Kellie Huynh, and Ernest Zarzuela. Moderated by Playful Application curator Shaneela Boodoo, presenters will only have six minutes and twelve slides to present on their work before handing the baton to the next designer. Boodoo will also present an overview of the Playful Application exhibition including her curatorial framework and research. ASL interpretation and live captioning will be available.
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Learn How to Fund your Craft and Design Projects
Looking for support to develop a new prototype? Want to take time to pursue a new idea, process, or project? Wondering how to fund a master class, residency, exhibition, or conference? On September 13th, Craft Ontario, DesignTO and Harbourfront Centre, with the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), present a webinar to learn how to apply to the OAC and bring your project from concept to reality! Live captioning and ASL interpretation will be provided.
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Call for Submissions: Psst
Pegasus Incredible Film Festival (PIFF) is launching Psst, their first ever contest. It's a super short 60 second film contest on Instagram. The tournament begins on the PIFF Instagram in mid-October, and winning movies will go onto the next round until there is a winner. Submit your short film by October 1st!
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Job Opportunity: Project Assistant
BEING Studio is looking for a Project Assistant to support several of their new online projects. These include their podcast SPEAK, their online magazine CLICK and overseeing the documentation of BEING Studio’s archive. The ideal candidate is creative, enjoys working collaboratively and is connected to music and/or podcasting communities. This is a part-time remote/work from home position. The deadline for applications is September 13th.
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Toronto International Film Festival 2021
This year's Toronto International Film Festival runs through September 18th. The in-person and digital festival features films, special events, talks, tributes, and interactive experiences. Along with in-cinema, drive-in, and open-air cinema screenings, you can experience the festival from home with tickets for TIFF’s digital film screenings, available across Canada. All films screened digitally will be closed-captioned.
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Call for Proposals: Flying Start
Touchstone Theatre's Flying Start program seeks to provide underrepresented playwrights and theatre artists the opportunity to gain professional experience and share their artistic practice in a supportive and collaborative environment. This call is for artists who self-identify as Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit), Black, and/or person of colour, D/deaf, Hard of Hearing, living with a disability, neurodiverse, and members of the 2SLGBTQQIPA+ communities and anyone who identifies as an underrepresented artist. The extended deadline is September 26th.
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Sex and the Pandemic: Forms of Intimacies
The School of Disability Studies at X University invites you to an online monthly speaker series, Sex and the Pandemic, organized by Ricky Varghese. The next panel on September 17th features Confinement and Intimacies with Idil Abdillahi, Hot for Zoom: Cruising for Access Intimacy across Pandemics with Marty Fink and Tali Cherniavsky, and Rethinking Sex: Black Queer Literature in the Time of HIV/AIDS with Darius Bost. ASL interpretation and live captioning will be provided.
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Job Opportunity: Program Assistant
Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba is seeking a Program Assistant, who will be responsible for presenting and coordinating monthly digital exhibitions and presentations and assisting with the organization of in-person exhibitions. This position will be expected to attend weekly staff meetings and will receive mentorship from the executive director. The deadline for applications is September 24th.
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In Conversation with Shayda Kafai and Amanda Leduc
On September 26th, join The Word On The Street Toronto and Diaspora Dialogues in conversation with Shayda Kafai and Amanda Leduc, as they explore disability justice and activism through their works Crip Kinship and Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space. Kafai explores the art activism of Sins Invalid, a San Francisco Bay Area-based performance project, and its radical imaginings of what disabled, queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming bodyminds of colour can do. Leduc looks at fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm to Disney, showing us how they influence our expectations and behaviour and linking the quest for disability rights to new kinds of stories that celebrate differences. The conversation will be moderated by Dev Ramsawakh.
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Won Lee Fellowship 2021
Applications for the Won Lee Fellowship are now open. The Won Lee Fellowship is a $1,500 cash award designed to support a hard-working artist who identifies as Deaf, Mad, or Disabled and lives in Canada. It’s generously provided by Won Lee, and distributed by the Tangled Art + Disability team. Artists are welcome and encouraged to apply regardless of what art practice experience they have. Applications are accepted in English, French, ASL, and/or LSQ, and they welcome applications in whatever formats are most accessible to you, including video or audio submissions. The deadline is September 30th.
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Constellate | Fluid
Constellate is a live storytelling event in Halifax, connecting community through true stories that explore ourselves and our place in the world. Join them on September 26th for a show of true stories about Fluidity within our lives. Active listeners will be present. ASL interpreters are available by request.
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Call for Curator: Being Scene 2022
Workman Arts is seeking a guest Curator (or team of Curators) to develop and curate a small group show of visual art/multimedia work as part of Being Scene 2022. They are looking for proposals that speak to the current social climate as it relates to mental health and/or addictions and continues to celebrate Workman member artists and artists with lived experience. Proposals are due September 24th.

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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