Hi there, this week we’re pondering norms and digital culture and how to avoid midges.
A collage by Veronique West with a colourful inkblot test blooming from a black-and-white military uniform, a partial diagram of the brain, a diary page and a graph, and figures in the top right and bottom left
rEvolver Festival 2021 (May 19 - June 6)
Collage by Veronique West from Szepty/Whispers

Connector Weekly

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

Fun fact: before the nineteenth century, the word “normal” was only ever used by carpenters to describe a square.

Pulled from Rosemarie Garland-Thomson’s, “What can a body do?”, a not-so-fun fact when you consider its place in a history where European colonizers used language to organize society into binary constructs: white/black, superior/inferior, right/wrong, normal/abnormal.

Garland-Thomson references disability scholar Lennard Davis, who says that before the nineteenth century in Western culture, all bodies were considered less than “ideal”, so either you were a clumsy mass of imperfect flesh (in other words, you were alive) or you were a celestial god-like being bathed in otherworldly light (in other words, you were dead).

Lately, I’ve had norms, and ideals, and rules following me around like swarming midges and my social feed is causing them to multiply.

I have to put notes around the room to remind myself that rules can be broken, that there’s a world away from our phones, that there can be a world without binaries and shoulds or should nots. Also, it’s spring so I actually do have a midge problem.

I’m most aware of the noise when it’s absent - the first five minutes when I wake up, look at the tree outside my window and think one quiet thought: is this who I am?

The irony is that social media as a mechanism is binary, a system of ones and zeros. Or at least, I think it is.

You’re probably thinking, isn’t Creative Users building a social network?


which probably explains why I’m using midge metaphors.

Given that we need these tools, I want to believe there’s a better way. I want to believe that we can design these tools in a way that refuses to exploit our human need for connection and belonging for capital gain and that refuses to cater to the notion that our worth as artists is measured by how much content we produce.

We think Network Connector could be the start of a better way. If you haven’t had a chance yet, watch our demo, and send us your reaction directly by hitting reply to this email or reply anonymously here.

You can also join Network Connector by adding your profile here. As an early adopter, you'll have access to weekly news about opportunities in the arts as well as the opportunity to help inform the design and direction of the Network Connector app.

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this email, please share it with your friends. If you’re seeing this newsletter for the first time, you can read previous issues and subscribe here.


Creative Users News

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Network Connector: tell us what you think!
In case you skipped ahead, don't leave before checking out our prototype for Network Connector!

Watch it here and send us your reaction. There’s no right or wrong answer, and you don't have to worry about hurting our feelings. It can be as short (a word, a sentence) or long as you like. Send us your reaction directly by replying to this email or anonymously using this form.

Highlights from the Community

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Featured Event: rEvolver Festival
May 19th - June 6th

Make new connections and check out the development of new works in UpintheAir Theatre’s online rEvolver Festival. The festival features 12 artist presentations split into audio and digital experiences, workshops and conversations, readings and talkbacks, with themes around activism and environment, colonialism and identity, mental health and hope. Many festival events will have ASL interpretation, and are low vision friendly.
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Disability Justice: Re-envisioning the Revolutionary Body
On May 28th, the InterdepenDance Collective invites you to Disability Justice: Re-envisioning the Revolutionary Body. Patty Berne from Sins Invalid will be sharing ideas, practices and experiences around Disability Justice. The workshop is geared to dancers, artists and creative people with lived experience of ableism, audism and/or sanism. ASL interpretation and captioning are available if requested by May 24th.
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Opportunities at BEING Studio
BEING Studio is seeking applications from Disability-identified candidates for the position of Executive Director. The position is offered as a one-year remote work contract, renewable to full-time permanent in 2022. Candidates from anywhere in Canada are welcome to apply; the deadline is June 3rd. Also, if you live in the Ottawa/Gatineau region and are interested in the work and ongoing evolution of BEING Studio, they are looking to fill spots on their volunteer Board of Directors. Formal training or prior Board experience is not required. The deadline for applications is May 27th.
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Able to Disabled: My Changing Landscape
On May 27th, The Disability Collective presents a screening of Kim Kitchen’s Able to Disabled: My Changing Landscape. Join in to collectively watch Kim Kitchen’s full soundscape piece, followed by a discussion and Q&A session with Kim. Captions will be provided at this event. Kim’s piece includes ASL interpretation.
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ABILITIES Project Conference
Recognizing the fact that people with disabilities face many barriers on a daily basis, Festival Accès Asie, with Conseil des arts de Montréal and MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels), initiated the ABILITIES Project to help artists with disabilities integrate into the professional arts community in Montreal. The Festival worked with Azalia Kaviani, a visual artist and dancer of Iranian origin who lives with cerebral palsy, by providing her with adapted training, professional development and accommodation to produce a solo art exhibition, a dance performance and deliver a conference presentation. On May 23rd, learn about Azalia’s experiences and artistic journey, and watch a screening of a short film on the ABILITIES Project.
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I Am Puff
In collaboration with Why Not Theatre, 1S1 Theatre and Dawn Jani Birley have launched the first three pilot episodes for the web series I Am Puff. Accessible to both Deaf and hearing children, the five-minute episodes are a vibrant introduction to Deaf culture. The show is a mix of live-action and animation that incorporates American Sign Language and spoken English, with captioning also available. Watch the first three episodes online for free!
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Intrepid Theatre Company presents Gemini by Lindsay Katsitsakatste Delaronde, "a performance that expresses archetypal aspects of human personality, bringing subconscious material into fruition through performative gestures and actions." This performance will be available to watch on demand from May 18th through May 24th. The video is closed captioned.
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Ask An Opera Singer: Disability and Opera Q&A
Check out this Q&A with Robin Hahn, co-founder of Opera Mariposa, a Vancouver-based opera company run by women with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Robin answers questions about funniest onstage moments, accommodations, and changes she'd like to see in the opera world. You can watch the Q&A on Robin's recently launched YouTube channel exploring opera, disability and LGBTQ+ issues. With captioning.
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Mine to Have: An Online Performance
On May 18th, Listen to Dis' Community Arts Organization and The Other Ordinary present Mine to Have, a play about sensuality, sexuality and disability. Mine to Have is an edgy, sexy romp of an exploration that reveals how relationships flourish, fall apart, and survive in a world that denies autonomy and pleasure. A Q&A will follow the presentation. ASL interpretation will be provided.
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On May May 31st, join Rising Sun Theatre for their first ever virtual show! Rooted in visual art, Threads is a virtual theatre performance that weaves together ideas, scenes and movement pieces inspired by the works of artists from the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts in Edmonton. Captioning will be provided.
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2021 TENT Call for Submissions
TENT (Theatre Entrepreneurs’ Network and Training) was created in 2014 by The Toronto Fringe Festival to address a growing need in theatre training. Since its inception, TENT has served emerging artists by providing free, intensive training in the skills vital to making their work a reality, such as managing budgets, marketing, fundraising, and grant-writing, and by connecting them with some of Canada’s leading “artrepreneurs.” ASL interpretation is available upon request for TENT programming and interviews. Live captioning will be provided. The program can be delivered with artists who are blind or low vision in mind. Submissions for 2021 TENT are due May 20th.
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Newcomer Week: Virtual Edition
Developed by Toronto Arts Foundation’s Neighbourhood Arts Network in response to event cancellations due to COVID-19, Newcomer Week: Virtual Edition is a week full of online activations showcasing films, music, and discussions by newcomer artists, and honouring the vibrancy that newcomer artists bring to Toronto’s cultural landscape. Events take place May 24th - May 28th and are free to attend. All live events will have closed captioning and/or ASL interpretation.
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Through May 30th, Joe Jack et John presents VIOLETTE, a theatrical work for an audience of one, using the digital arts to offer a new kind of intimate experience. In this dreamlike yet uncomfortable piece exploring the theme of abuse, each participant is given the chance to enter one woman’s unique inner world and her perspective in a reality often experienced by women with learning disabilities. 
Images Festival
Images Festival is an artist-driven festival that expands traditional definitions and understandings of media art by experimenting with a multiplicity of artistic forms. This year's free online festival takes place from May 20th to May 26th. Closed captioning and ASL interpretation will be provided for many festival events.
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Music, Purpose + Community
Moderated by recording artist, songwriter and disability inclusion advocate Lachi, check out this conversation with Siedah Garrett, Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Gaelynn Lea, Ryan “Gooch” Nelson and Namel “TapWaterz” Norris highlighting creators and professionals working to close accessibility gaps on and off the stage. Hosted by the New York Chapter of the Recording Academy. Captions are available.
QueerCab: Imagined Futures
How do we build the world we want to exist in? On May 22nd, Buddies in Bad Times presents QueerCab: Imagined Futures, showcasing a rich patchwork of possibilities and spanning a breadth of genres and perceptions. This work speaks to the beauty, complexity, fun and wisdom that goes into creating the multiplicitous visions of what queer futures can be. ASL interpretation will be provided. Performances will have captioning.
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Inside Out Film Festival 2021
Inside Out, Canada's largest 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival, runs online Ontario-wide from May 27th to June 6th. This year's festival presents 143 films, including 33 feature films and 5 episodic series from 31 countries! Many of the films will screen with captions or subtitles. With the Reel Access pass, you will have access to one viewing of all films that support captioning or full subtitling, including shorts, which are available individually with a Reel Access Pass.

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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Logos: Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council and Government of Canada
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