INNOVATION & RESILIENCE
IN CANADA’S CULTURAL SECTOR

Nicole Bauberger

Whitehorse, Yukon Project: Dalton Trail Trail Gallery
Discipline(s): dance, museums and galleries, music, reading, writing, publishing, theatre, visual arts, multidisciplinary

From March 2020 on, Whitehorse (Yukon Territory) based multi-disciplinary artist Nicole Bauberger created the Dalton Trail Trail Gallery using disregarded brush along the path just off her backyard as gallery spaces. Motivated by the constraints imposed by the pandemic, the Dalton Trail Trail Gallery opened the day after art galleries and the city’s other cultural spaces closed due to COVID-19. Since then, the ‘gallery’ has provided safe and accessible opportunities for diverse audiences, including casual unsuspecting folks just walking by (e.g., cyclists and moms with strollers) and intentional show goers (e.g., the city’s arts and culture audience hungry to attend a live show).

Special impacts:

The story is impactful and innovative in part because of the manner in which Nicole pivoted almost immediately following the closure of typical exhibit and performance space. She saw a way to provide a space where folks could go to safely experience art and performance, and enjoy the company of other audience members, all the while maintaining a 2 metre distance – together/apart. Exhibits and performances on the trail have been diverse and are ongoing, and include Civil Twilight performances (poetry readings which were also broadcast live via Facebook), a dance performance with a canoe at -35 degrees Celsius (ooooh to witness the steam rise off the dancer lying in the canoe in the snow!), and Nakai Theatre’s Pivot Festival opening event, RavenMonsterDress, where over 100 audience members gathered on a frozen pond at the end of the Gallery and listened to music performed on small islands speckled across the pond, while viewing the festival’s opening exhibit. The discussion around what is exhibit space, and how to diversify the audience our work attracts, as well as how to engage community are now part of a community discussion here and will have long-lasting impacts on how to present art and engage (new) audiences – including those who are not intentional audiences ‘going to a show’ but because an audience member just by being where they are, and at the show circumstantially.

Source: Survey

Link to website

SpanicArts: Hispanic Association of Professional Artists Ltd.

Calgary, Alberta Project: DesayunArte & DramatizArte
Discipline(s): dance, libraries, media arts, museums and galleries, music, reading, writing, publishing, theatre, visual arts, multidisciplinary

These two programs were developed by SpanicArts as an effort to innovate and adapt during the pandemic. The two events were adapted to be streamed online and keep the community engaged and connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
DESAYUNARTE:
DesayunArte begun in November 2019 with the purpose of bringing people closer to the visual arts. Each month, we invite members of the community to listen to an artist talk about a specific theme. The artists giving the talk are artists whose practices are related to the theme of each month. In the beginning, these artist talks were in person meetings, where people were able to meet each other, enjoy a cup of coffee and a quick breakfast while learning about art and engaging in meaningful conversations. The topics for the first three in- person sessions were:
Death through the Hispanic and LatinAmerican Vision. October 2019.
Music as a social expression in the Hispanic Culture. November 2019.
LainAmercian Women & Art March 2020.
With the surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, SpanicArts had to find a way to keep the programming going and engage with the public. We decided to stream the programs online using Facebook Live. This meant of course that we could no longer meet in person and enjoy sharing a warm cup of coffee and croissants and thet we were unable to host the events in spaces dedicated to cultural activities. Nonetheless, bringing the programs to an online platform allowed us to reach a much wider audience, beyond the Calgary Community. We were able to expand our audience not only in Canada, but also internationally. We were able to invite artists from other places around the world to connect and participate with our local artists. We decided to host our events with one artist from our community and one artist from a different place, to create more opportunities for networking and discussion. By doing so, we realized that a new door had opened before our eyes: that of a fruitful exchange of realities from different communities all over the world. We now have SpanicArts members residing in many different parts of Canada.
DesyunArte has grown its audience and the possibilities have expanded since the beginning of the pandemic. As an organization, this challenge has also helped us to expand and grow our vision.
The themes for all the DesayunArte events we have held until now are:
1. Hispanic Theatre. April 25th, 2020
2. Art in the time of Covid. May 30th, 2020
3. Interculturality and Solidarity among communities. June 25th, 2020
4.Confined performance. July 27th, 2020
5. Artist Nature September 19th, 2020
6. Music in support of non violence. October 3rd, 2020
7. LatinAmercian Religious Art. November 2020
8. The gift of Art December 12th, 2020
9. Blue Monday Theatre. January 30th, 2021
10. Loving Art. February 20th, 2021
11. Feminist Art. March 20th, 2021
12. A world without art. April 17th, 2021
13. Behind the scene of creativity. May 29th, 2021
14. LGTBQ Art. June 26th 2021
15. Art in the field July 24th 2021

DRAMATIZARTE:
DramatizArte was scheduled to launch in March 2020. The project’s objective was to promote the reading of Theatre plays written by Hispanic authors, through dramatized readings in English or in Spanish to engage and nurture Hispanic reading amongst the new generations, to share the work and the plays of Hispanic theatre writers; and to promote and encourage the work of our local theatre performers and artists. This proposal was also developed as a way to minimize the cost of scene montage and rehearsals. Initially, the project was meant to be carried out in public libraries, where the public could join, with an entrance by donation, to help support the cast.
Once again, since the pandemic did not allow for those initial plans to take place, the event was moved to our online platforms, to be streamed via Facebook Live. To promote and support our members, half of the cast of each reading must be SpanicArts members. The event is held every two months and at the end of each reading there is a short interview to get to know the artists and ask them what they learned and experienced through the process of preparing for the event.
For the first event, we presented one scene from the play “Rosa de dos aromas” by Mexican writer Emilio Carballido.
In the March edition of DramatizArte we presented the short story “Unete Pueblo”, again from Mexican writer and playwright Emilio Carballido.
Performed by the theatre company “Latin Scenario”, the first organization to join SpanicArts as members. LatinScenario operates and is located primarily in Vancouver, BC.
The last edition of Desyunarte presented the play “Hamlet Mats”, performed by a theatre company based in Querétaro México. Thanks to the use of technology and online platforms, we were able to invite them to share their work, as well as helped them promote their work to the Canadian public.
So far, all the plays have been performed in Spanish, but we are considering the opportunity to present plays in English as well. We will continue to present plays from Hispanic writers and a cast with a minimum of 50% SpanicArts members.
We intend to be able to make these events in person as soon as possible to do so in a safe manner, hopefully by the Fall of 2021. We will also continue to stream the plays online to reach more public in the future.

Special impacts:

The future goals for DesayunArte is to continue attracting new public from different parts of the world and to obtain funding to be able to pay our artists a fee for their participation.
DramatizArte is an event that does not require as big a time commitment from the participants (actors and director) as an in-person theatrical performance (rehearsing, several functions). The budget is also smaller given that the play is presented online and the scenography can be digital as well.
DramatizArte is a project that allows us to create a platform for our theatre artists, many of whom do not speak English, giving them an opportunity to learn and engage with a new audience.
The future goals for DramatizArte are to present the plays in person once it is safe to do so, and to pay the cast of performing artists participating with the donations received during the functions.
This event opens the opportunity to collaborate with other theatre groups from other communities across Canada and other countries, like we did with the theatre company Los Focos, from Queretaro, Mexico.
Lastly, DramatizArte is an attractive opportunity to Hispanic playwrights to submit their work for consideration and possibly become featured in our event. SpanicArts wants to help these artists by promoting and making their work known to a wider audience worldwide.

Equity seeking: Racialized, 2SLGBTQIA+
Source: Survey

Link to website

VIBE Arts for Children and Youth

Toronto, Ontario Project: VIBE Bloom
Discipline(s): visual arts, arts education

VIBE launched four new programs in the pandemic including VIBE Bloom, a series of virtual art-making lessons for artists of all ages and experience levels.

Source: Canadian Network for Arts and Learning

Link to website

The Arts Council

Markham, Ontario Project: Art Therapy Sessions for Seniors
Discipline(s): visual arts, arts education

The Arts Council is offering Art Therapy sessions for Seniors as a great way to deal with the stresses and challenges of the pandemic.

Source: Canadian Network for Arts and Learning

Link to website

City of Pickering

Pickering, Ontario Project: Selfie Stations featuring Public Art and Cultural Space
Discipline(s): festivals, media arts, visual arts

With public events on hold over the summer, we designed, fabricated, and installed 5 selfie stations throughout Pickering that feature a background view of Public Art and Cultural Spaces that will allow and encourage residents and visitors to still go and visit their favorite locations in Pickering and create their own experience while social distancing. These 5 locations will be moved throughout the summer, and can be rebranded to suit our needs going forward.

Special impacts:

We are showcasing Public Art, and the multitude of Cultural Spaces available to encourage our community leaders to come back to hosting events of all sizes again in 2022, and to show Artist around the province that we appreciate the work of all artists, and will continue to showcase installations as key elements of our community.

Source: Survey

Link to website

Laïla Mestari

Chicoutimi & Montréal, Quebec Project: Fille de foin, un partenariat audacieux entre Laïla Mestari et le centre d’artistes LOBE
Discipline(s): visual arts

Succès à travers la pandémie réside sur deux aspects: le premier est qu'elle a varié les sources de financements et de projets (commercial, performance, exposition, résidence, production) et le second est qu'en collaboration avec le centre d'artiste avec lequel elle a travaillé, ils ont adapté l'exposition à la situation.

Special impacts:

Elle a su démontrer une adaptabilité, une débrouillardise et une prise de position face à la situation. Alors que plusieurs organismes ont fermé leurs portes et abandonné la communauté d'artistes, elle s'est trouvé des projets de toutes sortes et les a adaptés.

Equity seeking: Racialized
Source: Research

Link to website

Dene Nahjo

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories Project: Dene Nahjo Winter Art Market
Discipline(s): visual arts, festivals

Organizers made the decision to move the market online this year, said Larsson, who is also a well-known Gwich'in artist herself. And the result was a craft sale with more reach than previous years, she said. The online market had about 300 items for sale online when it launched last Saturday, including parkas, jewelry, ulus and more — and the majority of that sold within the first hour, Larsson said.

Special impacts:

Larsson said this year's market showed how highly valued northern Indigenous art is around the world. "We sold products all across Canada, all across the United States, and we even sent products … all the way to the U.K." "It really blew our mind to know this was the impact," she added. Last year, about 1,000 shoppers came through the typically in-person market, she said.

Source: Research

Link to website

Arts Council Wood Buffalo & St. Aidan's Society

Fort McMurray, Alberta Project: Art of Conversation
Discipline(s): media arts, music, reading, writing, publishing, visual arts

From May to December 2020, artists engaged in conversations over the phone with seniors or Elders. The artists created new pieces of art using that conversation as their muse. Arts Council Wood Buffalo then purchased those art pieces from the artists and gifted them to the seniors or Elders with whom they were made. Arts Council also offered seniors and Elders with an art supply kit for those who wanted to create art in addition to conversing with a local artist.

Special impacts:

The goal of Art of Conversation was to connect isolated seniors and Elders with local artists to have conversations, and then create art based on those conversations. Planned months before the pandemic became a reality, Art of Conversation was meant to be a face-to-face workshop between artists, seniors and Elders. COVID-19 prevented those in-person meetings from happening, but the pandemic has made the program more important than ever.

Arts are critical to connecting people and filling them with mental, emotional and physical well-being. Art of Conversation is intended to support good health, while also providing paid opportunities for artists to create their work. This project also served a a reminder of the important role of seniors and Elders in the community.

The program’s inaugural run created 29 art pieces that included songs, paintings, poems and even a balloon sculpture. Some of the stories told through the artistic pieces were new even to volunteers at St. Aidan’s Society, many of whom had known the seniors for years.

To celebrate this project, Arts Council created an online virtual gallery which features the artwork created through the Art of Conversation. The project was so successful that we secured funding from Suncor Energy and the federal government’s New Horizons program to run Art of Conversation again in 2021.

Equity seeking: Indigenous Peoples, Racialized, 2SLGBTQIA+, D/deaf, disabled, or live with difference, Members of official language minority groups
Source: Survey

Link to website

Heather Martens-Rempel

Brandon, Manitoba Project: Monsters a la Miro
Discipline(s): visual arts, arts education

Heather Martens Rempel led socially-distanced painting classes for grade 3 & 4 students to make mono-print monsters.

Source: Canadian Network for Arts and Learning

Link to website

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art

Winnipeg, Manitoba Project: Plug In Editions Online
Discipline(s): visual arts

Overcoming the challenges of converting the institute's work to resonate better with COVID reality by moving to digital from a highly training/institute focused art centre.

Source: Research

Link to website

Tom Thomson Gallery

Owen Sound, Ontario Project: Mural Project
Discipline(s): visual arts, arts education

The Tom Thomson gallery connected a local grade 9 class with an artist to create a mural on “what is essential to you”.

Source: Canadian Network for Arts and Learning

Link to website

Ben Benedict, visual artist

London, Ontario Project: FAGGOT & OTHER LGBTQ2+ STORIES
Discipline(s): visual arts

The goal originally was to take a year and make art - then Covid struck. In the midst of this my partner left and in February 2021 I was diagnosed with PTSD. I received London Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, and Canada Council for the Arts funding for this project. After my partner left I know I needed more so I booked an exhibit that opens on July 21, same as the province. It's either luck or my efforts to lobby the Premier. This project also saw national advertising with Border Crossings, Canadian Art, XTRA and IN Magazine as well as local marketing. Invitations were sent toe very gallery in Ontario and commercial galleries across Canada - a big risk in Covid but I wanted to reach Canada's vulnerable gay population given the rising numbers of hate crimes. Because Pride is cancelled or online this year I also wanted to give the community some sense of Pride, through this event and these works of reclamation.

Special impacts:

This exhibit is personal as well as public. It's impactful because as an independent artist, I did this on my own, in the face of much adversity, and for a community where many do not know me nor my activist efforts. It's art with a message of hope and change. It's about perseverance, and tying my career to the London Regionalist Movement. It is innovative in its materials, found and manipulated, and its message. I hope to tour this post-pandemic and share this message of hope and reclamation. I am also using it to raise funds and awareness of the Rainbow Youth Leadership Bursary at the London Community Foundation.

Equity seeking: 2SLGBTQIA+
Source: Survey

Link to website

Yellowhouse Art Centre

Galiano Island, British Columbia Project: Virtual Pottery & Photography Workshops
Discipline(s): visual arts, arts education

Yellowhouse Art Center facilitated a Pottery workshop via Zoom, with one on one glazing appointments, and more.

Source: Canadian Network for Arts and Learning

Link to website

Kiran Ambwani

Montréal, Quebec Project: Kiran Ambwani’s Can-Asian Artistic Resilience project: Photography in solidarity with the Asian community
Discipline(s): visual arts, media arts
Read the story

Artiste asiatique qui a utilisé son temps pour monter un projet qui recueille 135 témoignages d'artistes asiatiques et canadiens à travers le Canada pour en savoir plus sur leur expérience de la pandémie et comment ils ont adapté leur pratique artistique

Special impacts:

Elle raconte l'histoire de plusieurs artistes asiatiques qui ont dû faire face à la crise et à une vague de racisme.

Equity seeking: Racialized
Source: Research

Link to website

Patricia Coulter

Cold Lake, Alberta Project: The Last Hurrah: Custom Pieces from Recycled Clothing
Discipline(s): visual arts, arts education

During the pandemic, Patricia Coulter's practice switched to creating wearable art tote bags.

Source: Canadian Network for Arts and Learning

Link to website

Graham A. Brown

Vancouver, British Columbia Project: COVID19 ART CHALLENGE
Discipline(s): media arts, reading, writing, publishing, visual arts, multidisciplinary

The goal from the very outset was to keep the art group at Barclay Manor connected during the lock-down.

Special impacts:

The COVID19 ART CHALLENGE, may not be that innovated but it is important for the small group of senior artist to keep in touch even if they do not submit a work of art for that weeks newsletter as of now July 13, I am getting the Week 40 underway, yes that is 40 weeks we have been sending this art challenge to our members. But that is not totally true we have attracted some poets and haiku writers to participate. Over the last 40 weeks I have seen a different side of the artist, and poets submissions. For some they have become more expressive allowing their inner ideas to come to the surface, and come out of their comfort circle and for a few this also means going across their cultural boarders. Having the distance helps. And for many seniors the acknowledgement that they have something to contribute.
For other artist they could learn what is most important the why they create, and do they have the courage to expose themselves.
At times you only hear me screaming yes when I see what a member has done, that brakes their comfort level. Let the bells ring out, for they have made this all worthwhile.

Equity seeking: Indigenous Peoples, Racialized, 2SLGBTQIA+, D/deaf, disabled, or live with difference, Members of official language minority groups
Source: Survey

Link to website

Romeo Honorio

Calgary, Alberta Project: Covid-19 Fundemic
Discipline(s): libraries, reading, writing, publishing, visual arts

A manuscript/book (poems, illustrations, sayings, wit, humor, musings, reflections and contemplations) dedicated to all frontline and healthcare workers.

Special impacts:

The book advocated for the declaration (as Covid-19 Pandemic Heroes) recognition and appreciation of frontline and healthcare workers (held on Dec 20, 2020 in Calgary)

Equity seeking: Indigenous Peoples, Racialized, 2SLGBTQIA+, D/deaf, disabled, or live with difference, Members of official language minority groups
Source: Survey

Link to website

Shauna Carpinelli

Courtice, Ontario Project: Created to Create – Virtual show
Discipline(s): visual arts, arts education

Art Teacher Shauna Carpinelli led the department to create a series of virtual shows including four promotional trailers.

Source: Canadian Network for Arts and Learning

Link to website

City of Markham's Public Art Program

Markham, Ontario Project: Becoming Public Art: Working Models and Case Studies for Art in Public
Discipline(s): museums and galleries, visual arts

“Becoming Public Art: Working Models and Case Studies for Art in Public” is a nine-week virtual summit co-curated by Markham’s Public Art Curator Yan Wu and Principle of ART+PUBLIC UnLtd Rebecca Carbin. Conceived in the context of the City’s recently approved “Public Art Master Plan 2020-2024,” the summit aims to develop resources for those interested in the practice of contemporary public art, from the maker to the producer, from professionals of the field to general public. Initially planned as a three-day in-person event—including indoor presentations and discussions, outdoor guided public art tours, temporary installation, performance, and screening—in June 2020, due to the impact of COVID, the summit had to reconfigure itself swiftly and creatively into an online format with comparably dynamic content. After a few experiments of similar but smaller programs over the summer and a follow-up audience survey, the curators came up with the current model of presentation: weekly live webinars combined with bi-weekly publishing of written interviews and a constantly updated archival website.

In a series of online lectures, panel discussions, and interviews, an esteemed international group of 46 participants (artists, architects, curators, fabricators, planners, and administrators) present the broad range of perspectives that shape public art making today. Framed by current discussions happening at the intersection of contemporary art, public realm issues and urbanism, the summit features working models and case studies that address the challenges and opportunities faced by those working in this constantly evolving field. The entire program was free to the public.

Over the course of nine weeks, close to 1500 people attended the live webinars and the program has developed 800 followers who has subscribed to the summit newsletters. The audience includes artists and designers, curators and art consultants, administrators from other municipalities both local and international, government agencies, and cultural institutes, university researchers and educators, art students, and general public who is interested in the topic.

Special impacts:

Unfolding over the course of nine weeks, from October 13 through December 8, 2020, the core of “Becoming Public Art” is a series of nine webinars, taking place weekly on Tuesdays from 1:30 p.m. through 3 p.m. Each session was broadcast live through Zoom webinar. All programs are free and open to the public. Registration was required. Focusing on in-depth presentations and discussions on specific case studies and working models, the webinars were developed under nine themes in response to the present state of public art production, starting from Ken Lum’s keynote lecture on public artist as a working model itself, followed by Collaborative Process, A Civic Role for Artists, Art and Urban Planning, Accessibility, Placemaking and Public Art, Site-Specificity and Public Art, Temporary Programming, and The Digital Turn in Public Art. Recordings of all the sessions are made available on the project website, with subtitles.

In parallel with the live broadcast, four online interview series—"What is a Public Art Master Plan?”, “Public Art and City Planning”, “Public Art on Campus”, and “Public Art on Transit”—were launched through five summit newsletters, delivered to the subscribers on a bi-weekly basis. The newsletters also serve as the platform for the presenters to answer the questions that were not able to be covered during live sessions.

The project website is intentionally designed as a living archive—not only to document the entire summit, but an on-going online database for anyone who is interested in the production of art in public. We were told by some colleagues that they had used the summit as learning materials for internal discussion and team building activities. At least eight universities around the world have used the summit as teaching materials in related courses and programs.

Equity seeking: Indigenous Peoples, Racialized, D/deaf, disabled, or live with difference
Source: Survey

Link to website

ILDIKO NOVA

Winnipeg, Manitoba Project: Searching for Doya
Discipline(s): visual arts, multidisciplinary, design

This project is inspired by the folk tale called Doya, the Romani Fairy. This story is about historical disconnection, relocation and searching for belonging. This is a tribute for all people who are challenged by removal from home or have to relocate due to catastrophes, war or any other reasons. Also, many movements are rising, such as environmental and human rights issues. Studies are more widely published, and through stories of individuals there is a newly found awareness. Also, there is more representation to minorities, women and non-mainstream communities. One way is spreading true, reliable information and challenging current policies, especially when they disregard or hurt certain populations or areas. It takes courage and strength. Matriarchal elements of governing would offer solutions to a lot of social problems.

Special impacts:

The intended impact of this story is the encouragement itself. Life is full of unexpected changes, and models that worked before become useless. Relationships are shifting, some people move farther, others develop closer bonds. Therefore, if ties are getting loose or one faces isolation, there is still a meaning of not giving up practices, in this case, creating art. "Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt." - says Mark Twain.
My images represent the question of how to honour traditions in a modern, cosmopolitan setting. The world is fast, and requires fast reaction from all of us in order to maintain survival. However, there is another side of our existence where we are closer to ourselves, such as creative work. Art can and can create a more peaceful dialog and through constructive depiction, awareness of human rights issues of many ethnic group might be better achieved. Women in a general sense need recognition, respect and equal opportunities.

Equity seeking: Racialized
Source: Survey

Link to website

Art Gallery of Hamilton

Hamilton, Ontario Project: Artist Led Projects Program
Discipline(s): visual arts, arts education

The gallery transitioned classroom programming to virtual, offering arts-based projects from kindergarten to grade 12.

Source: Canadian Network for Arts and Learning

Link to website

Arts Council Wood Buffalo

Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo, Alberta Project: Buffys 2020: Arts Awards
Discipline(s): dance, media arts, museums and galleries, music, reading, writing, publishing, theatre, visual arts, multidisciplinary, arts education

The Buffys, also known as the Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards, is an annual program that recognizes and celebrates excellence in various areas of the arts and builds awareness of the incredible contribution artists make to Wood Buffalo. The Buffys invest in the future of our growing arts community by supporting our most exceptional artists through appreciation and employment opportunities, and by connecting artists to the wider community.

Special impacts:

Typically, the Buffys are a live, in-person event featuring live performances and presentations; however, with restrictions due to COVID-19, Arts Council Wood Buffalo adjusted the format of the awards showcase and turned it into an online cinematic experience that was pre-recorded and then broadcast for free on multiple platforms. Historically, the in-person showcase has reached an audience of about 400 people, but by offering it in an online format, the awards showcase reached an audience of over 14,000 households during the event premiere.

This story is special and impactful because the local arts community was featured to a much wider audience, which gave local artists a much wider reach to build their reputations despite restrictions due to the pandemic. After the event, local artists (award nominees, recipients and performers) were able to access the video as a legacy piece for their portfolios and continued promotion of their art forms. The Buffys provides artists with paid opportunities to showcase their work, and by moving the awards showcase to an online format, even more opportunities became available for artists to be paid for their work - this was especially important during a time when paid opportunities for artists had decreased significantly.

This was also the first time that the Buffys reached as far as Hollywood. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented virtually to Tantoo Cardinal, who is an Indigenous Canadian Actress from Anzac (a hamlet just south of Fort McMurray). Cardinal has been in feature films such as "Dances With Wolves," "Unforgiven," and "Legends of the Fall."

Equity seeking: Indigenous Peoples, Racialized, 2SLGBTQIA+, D/deaf, disabled, or live with difference, Members of official language minority groups
Source: Survey

Link to website

Sheridan College

Oakville, Ontario Project: Arts degree program remote pivot
Discipline(s): media arts, theatre, visual arts

When the pandemic forced the closure of post-secondary campuses across North America, faculty in Sheridan's Illustration and Music Theatre degree programs needed to quickly find ways to still deliver quality learning experiences online. The Illustration program found a way to teach drawing — a skill that had always been taught through in-person observation — remotely via a multiple-camera setup that provided multiple views of form. Meanwhile, the Music Theatre program quickly pivoted from in-person rehearsals to Zoom in order to continue workshopping of a musical and ultimately produced a recording of the musical's opening number that featured every student in the cast.

Special impacts:

Both the Illustration and Music Theatre degree programs thought quickly, creatively and innovatively to provide valuable and meaningful learning experiences in a remote environment. In Illustration's case, students were given a unique experience that prepared them for remote work in the future, and faculty learned ways that technology could complement their studio settings even after program delivery returns to an in-person format. Music Theatre's ability to pivot to remote rehearsals within 10 days of the suspension of in-person learning enabled the advancement of a new Canadian musical while providing students and staff with artistic satisfaction, unique experience and new perspective on how online rehearsal could be a valuable tool in the future shaping of theatre.

Source: Survey

Link to website

Barbara Maye

Revelstoke, British Columbia Project: Pivot to Online Teaching
Discipline(s): visual arts, arts education

Barbara shifted her weekly classes to Zoom and developed online learning modules resulting in new learners from across the country.

Source: Canadian Network for Arts and Learning

Link to website

STEPS Public Art

Toronto, Ontario Project: INsiders
Discipline(s): dance, media arts, museums and galleries, theatre, visual arts, multidisciplinary

In the beginning of April, STEPS Public Art facilitated a national call for artists to create temporary public artworks in public-facing parts of their homes, gardens, balconies or courtyards. STEPS believed that during the pandemic, while we may be physically distanced, our desire to create, share and learn will always connect us together.

Artists were asked to consider the idea of public space and their sudden lack of access to it, exploring their public-facing private spaces and how the surrounding community could engage from a distance with their creative projects. We received an overwhelming response of 120 submissions in only two weeks.

STEPS supported ten artists from across Canada to bring eight projects to life. INsiders projects are diverse, ranging in materials and approaches from a front yard concert series with immersive set and costume design to an infinity room located in an empty storefront window that invites the public to both respond to and engage with an oversized COVID-19 disco ball. Selected artists represent both established and emerging practitioners and include Olivia and Hilary Wheeler (Victoria, BC), Michel Dumont (Thunder Bay, ON), Whyishnave Suthagar (Toronto, ON), Anna Camilleri (Toronto, ON) Somewherelse Collective (Toronto, ON), Taylor Boileau Davidson (Ottawa, ON), Tara Arnst (Lunenburg, NS), and Suzi Oram and Jordan Strong (Sydney, NS).

Special impacts:

INsiders was STEPS’ response to the Covd-19 pandemic, with a sole focus directed towards supporting artists, connecting communities and exploring public space during this uncertain time. The arts and culture communities are some of the hardest hit during the pandemic, with many artists, arts workers and producers suddenly out of work. Through INsiders, STEPS seeks to amplify the creative work taking place in public space across Canada. We continue to support artists to reimagine their communities over the pandemic recovery period.

Equity seeking: Indigenous Peoples, Racialized, 2SLGBTQIA+, D/deaf, disabled, or live with difference, Members of official language minority groups
Source: Survey

Link to website

Vonny Lorde

Toronto, Ontario Project: Exposure Studio
Discipline(s): visual arts

Exposure Toronto — a studio dedicated to helping amplify and fund Black photographers and videographers in the city of Toronto. "Exposure" project based on Justice for Regis protest. Successful GoFundMe campaign. Photographer is a Black non-binary person. Affordable studio space and access to equipment are the main barriers to access in photography.

Equity seeking: 2SLGBTQIA+
Source: Research

Link to website

Visual Arts Mississauga

Mississauga, Ontario Project: A video message from the VAMily
Discipline(s): visual arts, arts education

The group produced a video thanking supporters and celebrating visual art making at home.

Source: Canadian Network for Arts and Learning

Link to website

Françoise Falardeau

Beloeil, Quebec Project: Topographie du temps présent
Discipline(s): visual arts

Me choisir comme artiste, matière et sujet.
La pandémie a eu pour effet de me confronter au moment présent et au désir de création, en fait de questionner l’artiste que je désire être. J’ai traversé une période de sidération pendant laquelle ma pratique s’est arrêtée. Après quelques mois de stagnation, j’ai porté mon regard sur mon présent et ma vie de confiné. J’ai alors réalisé que j’avais sous la main tous les outils et le temps nécessaires pour reprendre ma production et que je pouvais devenir mon principal matériau. Malgré l’isolement, je voulais rejoindre la vie qui continue de bouger à l’intérieur de moi et trouver un sens à ce qui me semblait insensé et inacceptable.
Pour ce faire, j’ai choisi d’explorer une nouvelle approche de ma création. Je me suis dirigé vers la vidéoperformance et la transformation de l’image par procédé numérique. En me filmant sur quelques mois, je suis devenu le sujet et le médium artistique. Cette nouvelle approche est devenue comme un territoire à raconter et à explorer.
En faisant face à cette nouvelle réalité, l’inspiration a su retrouver un équilibre entre mes réflexions et l’exploration de nouvelles techniques pour présenter un corpus d’œuvre différente. C’est ainsi dans ce contexte d’isolement et d’exploration que j’ai repris le chemin de la création.

Special impacts:

Réorienter ma pratique.
Ce projet a une grande influence sur la suite de mon parcours artistique. Durant le processus de réflexion, d’exploration et d’apprentissage de l’art numérique (le temps mis sur pause le permettait), j’ai pris le temps de réfléchir à l’image, à la gestuelle, et au mouvement. Durant tout le processus créatif, j’ai eu le désir et le plaisir d’habiter mon œuvre en devenir et de donner une âme au lieu où je me trouvais. Je pouvais être à la fois le modèle et la copie, et composer avec ma présence, une image topographique du temps présent pour ainsi donner un nouveau sens à mon travail.
La vidéoperformance et la transformation numérique de l’image m’ont permis de mettre en contact le temps et l’expérience. La sélection d’images pertinentes à travers l’ensemble des propositions que les vidéos m’ont proposée a ouvert la porte à une nouvelle direction créatrice dans laquelle ma pratique pourra évoluer. Les séquences filmées et les arrêts sur image sont devenus une topographie proposant des zones de dépression et d’élévation, des reliefs de mes conforts et inconforts. J’y ai recherché une corrélation entre la réalité, la représentation et l’imaginaire. Cette manière de travailler m’a mené vers une nouvelle authenticité, qui m’était encore inconnue.
Mon projet se veut évolutif, un travail en progression qui me mènera graduellement à des éléments et concepts nouveaux qui se grefferont au travail déjà commencé.
Pour terminer mon projet, au-delà de mes réflexions artistiques et l'exploration de nouvelles techniques, le temps en résidence au mois de mars 2022 à l’Atelier Silex de Trois-Rivières m’aidera à compléter et réaliser une exposition qui présentera un nouveau corpus d’œuvres multidisciplinaires.
Finalement, le confinement aura permis de me retrouver en tant qu’artiste et de relever des défis et de revoir ma pratique, ce que je n’aurais pas fait en temps normal où tout va trop vite.
Mon intention pour ce nouveau corpus est de témoigner d’un temps présent et d'inviter le regardeur à la partager avec moi.

Source: Survey

Link to website

Sandwich Secondary School

Windsor, Ontario Project: Mentoring
Discipline(s): visual arts, arts education

Visual arts and photography teacher at Sandwich Secondary led her students to win many local competitions.

Source: Canadian Network for Arts and Learning

Link to website

Place des Arts

Coquitlam, British Columbia Project: Online Transition: year-long children’s group music programs
Discipline(s): music, theatre, visual arts, arts education

Our year-long children’s group music programs continued with pre-recorded classes which were sent to the parents. With the entire province in lockdown mode, we understood how important it was to provide our students with an outlet for self-expression. Supporting our self-employed teachers and artists through teaching and exhibiting opportunities continued to be a priority for us.

Special impacts:

pre-recorded, virtual classes, free video content, perofmrances, online exhibitions, ceramics at home

Source: Research

Link to website

Michelle Massaro/St. Joseph Catholic High School

St. Thomas, Ontario Project: Collaborative Art
Discipline(s): visual arts, arts education

Art teacher Michelle Massaro at St. Joseph Catholic High School led students to individually contribute to grand-scale collaborative art pieces.

Source: Canadian Network for Arts and Learning

Link to website

Ottawa Art Gallery

Ottawa, Ontario Project: The Land Art Project – Virtual Gallery
Discipline(s): visual arts, arts education

The gallery offered virtual tours and online workshops, and made new instructional videos for their Contemporary Indigenous Arts program.

Source: Canadian Network for Arts and Learning

Link to website

Care/Of

National, Ontario Project: Virtual Team Building – Arts & Culture Experiences
Discipline(s): visual arts, music

For-profit company connecting artists with corporations looking to do arts-based team-building exercises. Went to an entirely online model in the pandemic and will stay there.

Special impacts:

Created viable paid virtual opportunities for artists, pivoted to online and they will likely be fully online from now on

Source: Research

Link to website

ALAVIVA

Québec, Quebec Project: Maelström créatif: joindre l’utile à l’agréable
Discipline(s): museums and galleries, music, reading, writing, publishing, theatre, visual arts

Stimuler et briser l'isolement des aînés en les connectant à des acteurs culturels grâce à des robots de téléprésence et à une plateforme d'intermédiation sociale et culturelle.

Special impacts:

Connecter les aînés aux artistes et professionnels de la culture permettra d'améliorer la qualité de vie des premiers tout en ouvrant de nouvelles possibilités de travail pour les second. Les bienfaits de la culture sur la santé sont maintenant reconnus. Rencontres sympathiques, médiation culturelle, création artistique, art-thérapie... La solution permet le rapprochement des gens malgré la grandeur du territoire.

Source: Survey

Link to website

Vancouver Visual Art Foundation

Vancouver, British Columbia Project: Virtual Art Classes
Discipline(s): visual arts, arts education

The group started successful online art classes in September attracting participants from across Canada, the USA, Costa Rica and Australia!

Source: Canadian Network for Arts and Learning

Link to website

Mike Cope

Ancaster, Ontario Project: Drawn to Life: Animation in Nature
Discipline(s): visual arts, arts education

Cartoonist Mike Cope created a special online instructional video series called "Drawn to Life: Animation in Nature.”

Source: Canadian Network for Arts and Learning

Link to website

Vancouver Mural Festival

Vancouver, British Columbia Project: #MakeArtWhileApart
Discipline(s): festivals, visual arts

Over 6 weeks in April-May 2020, Vancouver Mural Festival teamed up with local artists, Business Associations, Vancity Credit Union, City of Vancouver and Goodbye Graffiti to create temporary murals on storefronts boarded up (to avoid break-ins and looting) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The result was 60 incredible murals to inspire hope, brighten streets, celebrate resilience and connect communities. With stores reopened, most murals have been removed and re-purposed.

Special impacts:

VMF and local artists transformed our downtown core from apocalyptic-feeling to inspirational with a coat of paint -- demonstrating the true power of public art and collaboration. When local businesses and local governments understand to the power of colour and creativity in public, we can move quickly and wear our shared cultures, values and pride on the outside. While importantly -- ensuring artists are well compensated for their skills and contributions.

Equity seeking: Indigenous Peoples, Racialized, 2SLGBTQIA+
Source: Survey

Link to website

Michelle Thevenot

RM of Corman Park, Saskatchewan Project: Portal of Healing
Discipline(s): visual arts

A portal-frame sculpture carved from sustainably salvaged log wood using chainsaw and power tools. Two eagles fly together – one adult, one juvenile. This is the Portal of Healing.

The artwork was created with inspiration observed in nature and the firsthand account of an empowered storyteller.

Enza and I connected with the purpose of interpreting human experience into art. She chose to share her story of intergenerational trauma through Indigenous lineage and the effects it has on personal, family, educational, financial, socio-economic, and career dynamics.

My artistic intent is to serve as a channel to deliver interpretation, healing, and connection to others through the artwork. I opened myself to receive inspiration from nature to create a meaningful artwork that is relevant and honoring to the topic.

The eagles presented themselves as inspiration and the “Portal of Healing” emerged.

Special impacts:

The future lies ahead framed through a passageway. It honours those flying forward together in the direction of intergenerational hope and healing. It is a transition from one side of history to the other, leading the way for others to follow.

Healing starts here by telling your story.

Healing starts here by listening to others’ stories.

The “Portal of Healing” is intended to be a publicly accessible monument that honours those with stories to tell and invites other to listen. A place where healing can take a step forward into the future, together.

The artwork is currently available and seeking a suitable location for permanent installation.

Equity seeking: Indigenous Peoples
Source: Survey

Link to website

STEPS Public Art

Toronto, Ontario Project: CreateSpace BIPOC Public Art Residency
Discipline(s): libraries, media arts, museums and galleries, reading, writing, publishing, visual arts, multidisciplinary

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed inequalities that leave out marginalized peoples and voices, particularly within public spaces. While STEPS has been dedicated to providing opportunities for these voices in regular programming, we saw an opportunity to further these efforts. Over the last 10 years in the field and through our participation on many public art selection committees, we have witnessed the disproportionate disadvantage that Black, Indigenous and other artists of colour have had in accessing large-scale public art opportunities. These opportunities begin with access to small to midsize portfolio building commissions. Our CreateSpace BIPOC Public Art Residency offers its participants real world opportunities and experiences in creating public art works from conception through to realization. Through this unique program, STEPS celebrates creativity, diversity and inclusion through public art. CreateSpace builds the capacity of emerging BIPOC artists through a combination of technical skills training, targeted mentorships and networking.

Special impacts:

In 2020 STEPS launched CreateSpace, a national public art residency program providing emerging Black, Indigenous and racialized artists with the skills, relationships and practical experience needed to foster and develop skills in lasting public art practices. CreateSpace was open to early to mid-career Canadian-based visual and media artists working in public space. In total, ten artists were chosen from across Canada by a review panel composed of BIPOC members of the Canadian arts community. This first of kind program offered participants skill building, relationship fostering and networking opportunities, practical public art making experiences, introductions to new audiences and financial support.

As this is the pilot year of a multi-year program, the 2022 CreateSpace BIPOC Public Art Residency will build off the successes of its first year. The program strives to not only support individual artists, but to foster connections and cultivate conversation around social equity in city-building and design. It will foster solidarity amongst artists working in diverse contexts; between artists and their own communities, while also inspiring broader dialogue on representation in city-building processes.

Equity seeking: Indigenous Peoples, Racialized, 2SLGBTQIA+, D/deaf, disabled, or live with difference, Members of official language minority groups
Source: Survey

Link to website

Remai Modern

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Project: Virtual Tours & Art-making Videos
Discipline(s): visual arts, arts education

The gallery led live virtual school art projects, made artmaking videos for families and created 360-degree virtual tours.

Source: Canadian Network for Arts and Learning

Link to website

Monsignor Leo Cleary Catholic Elementary

Courtice, Ontario Project: Virtual Gallery: #myessential
Discipline(s): visual arts, arts education

Teacher Sarah Almeida at Monsignor Leo Cleary Catholic Elementary led an arts project with grade 5 & 6 classes on Google Slide, resulting in a virtual art gallery.

Source: Canadian Network for Arts and Learning

Link to website

Diance Moran

Sooke, British Columbia Project: MINDFULNESS in MAY 2021: The Art of Kindness Exhibition
Discipline(s): visual arts, arts education

B.C. Artist Diane Moran led workshops on mindfulness and presented a student exhibit at a local gallery.

Source: Canadian Network for Arts and Learning

Link to website

Rhiannon Barry of Be Whimsi Art Loft

Niagara Regional, Ontario Project: Creative Conversations
Discipline(s): visual arts

As an independent visual artist, a coal work who has a lot of experience developing art-based therapeutic rec programming I wanted to reach out to the community and to encourage artists to use creativity as a catalyst for healing during isolation cause by Covid. I developed a series of approached to increase social connections and encourage creative outlet as a tool for exploring and explaining emotions to self and others.

Special impacts:

Because it continues to grow and evolve and it shows the different won't person can make in inspiring others to see art and art therapy through unique lenses. It elevated art and crwativuty to an essential need
At first the social isolation efforts imposed by the movement and self where meant to keep.individuals physically safe but shortly afterwards it became apparent that there was a high cost to mental health. Due to the need for socializing and emotional outlets for this complex feelings people.turned to art and creatives. There was a remarkable growth of art interventions during this last year and last few months.

Source: Survey

Link to website

Art Gallery of Ontario

Toronto, Ontario Project: Youth Council Program, Seniors Social, etc.
Discipline(s): visual arts

Excellent virtual offerings: innovative, thought provoking, diverse.

Source: Research

BEING Studio

Ottawa, Ontario Project: Artist Connect (Symposium): Ways of deepening conversations about disability arts in a virtual space
Discipline(s): visual arts, multidisciplinary, design

A series of online meetings that connected artist studios from across Canada that support artists with developmental disabilities.

Equity seeking: D/deaf, disabled, or live with difference
Source: Research

Link to website

Salt Spring Arts

Salt Spring Island, British Columbia Project: COVID Musical Chronicles
Discipline(s): music, reading, writing, publishing, visual arts

COVID Chronicles was digital exhibit and showcase aimed at engaging and promoting our local community artists. Presented in June 2020, Chronicles presented writing and photography of Salt Spring Island artists and citizens, sharing their experience and observations of social distancing. Later, we presented an extension of Chronicles - COVID Musical Chronicles as a way of bringing attention to local musicians. Through accessible digital presentation, the project allowed us to bring attention to creatives within our community, focus audiences on home-grown talent, and encourage connection through explicit discussion of the impacts of isolation and the power of art.

Special impacts:

Pre-pandemic, our organization and our mode of presentation were very traditional. The restrictions imposed by COVID-19 meant that we had to find an entirely new way to engage our community and to present and support an artistic dialogue

Source: Survey

Link to website

Centre des arts d'Edmundston

Edmundston, New Brunswick Project: Plan de relance du secteur culturel
Discipline(s): dance, festivals, libraries, media arts, museums and galleries, music, reading, writing, publishing, theatre, visual arts

À peine trois mois après le début de la pandémie, le Centre des arts à initié une consultation publique de la communauté artistique pour assurer la relance du secteur culturel (arts, patrimoine, événements).

Special impacts:

Suite aux consultations publiques, une feuille de route a été développée, permettant ainsi d'identifier des axes stratégiques et des initiatives prioritaires pour la communauté culturelle. Le plan a aussi permit de rassembler de nombreux partenaires non-culturels pour appuyer la relance. Sans cette approche de concertation, il aurait été impossible de mettre en oeuvre tant de nouvelles initiatives. Notre secteur culturel est maintenant plus vivant que jamais.

Equity seeking: Members of official language minority groups
Source: Survey

Link to website

Carving On The Edge Festival

Tofino, British Columbia Project: Community-centred digital practices in a remote and Indigenous context
Discipline(s): visual arts

Digitized the festival as a result of the pandemic and reframed the way they think of themselves as an organization in the process. From their website: "It is our commitment to cultural bridge-building, supporting growth in the carving community and understanding the coastal traditions of carving that keep us focussed and inspired."

Special impacts:

The festival has grown to support relationship-building in the contemporary and traditional carving communities, with programs led by master carvers, and guided by First Nations values, blending tradition and history with contemporary relevance.

Equity seeking: Indigenous Peoples
Source: Research

Link to website

Graffiti Art Programming Inc.

Winnipeg, Manitoba Project: Art Kits for Youth
Discipline(s): visual arts, arts education

The group assembled and distributed thousands of art kits to youth and community members through schools, community organizations, and door-to-door delivery.

Source: Canadian Network for Arts and Learning

Link to website