DAY 3: NOVEMBER 21, 2018

Emergence Symposium - Arts and Equity Leading Social Change

Toronto Arts Foundation's Neighourhood Arts Network invites you to join us in creating an inspirational full-day gathering. The Emergence Symposium offers artists and community leaders valuable resources, facilitation skills, peer-to-peer learning opportunities and insights that will empower the community engaged arts sector and further promote inclusiveness and equitable conditions within the neighbourhoods that our artists work.


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8:30-9:00AM | Registration & Breakfast

9:00-9:45AM | Opening: Smudging Ceremony and Welcome Remarks

10:00-10:45AM | Community Arts Keynote panel:
Mahlikah Awe:ri, Nicolas Aziz, Alexa Hatanaka, Paola Gomez, Asad Raza (Moderator), Helen Yung 

11:00AM-1:00PM | Morning Breakout Sessions
Registration for individual breakout sessions begins October 10, 2018.

1:00-2:00PM | Lunch

1:30-6:00PM | Afternoon Breakout Sessions
Registration for individual brekout sessions begins October 10, 2018.

6:00PM | Closing Remarks and Debrief




Part 1: 11:00AM-1:00PM | Grounding in Authenticity & Purpose – Explore and reflect on the definition and practice of authenticity as a guiding light to finding and staying true to your path of purpose.

Part 2:  2:00-4:00PM | Embodying Healing & Well-Being – Explore self-care and self-love as a practice of understanding, expressing, and honouring your deeper needs.

Part 3:  4:30-6:00PM | Embracing Identity as a Resource for Purpose in Social Justice – Explore aspects of your identity within a framework of equity to help ground and provide direction for your work in Social Justice.



Rebirth at Emergence will be a 3-part workshop series for artist educators and community facilitators who are in a time of transition or re-birth in their lives or work, to ground and connect with their sense of true inner purpose. Rebirth is ideal for those who believe in the power of personal and collective transformation, and who feel called to work with marginalized members of society by engaging with social justice, healing, and education through the arts. This is a professional development opportunity that centers the personal journey of purpose and is grounded in the 4 pillars of Purpose Driven Education (1. Identity & Purpose, 2. Healing & Well-Being, 3. Social Justice & Equity, 4. Creativity & the Arts).

It is recommended that participants attend all 3 sessions to receive the full benefit of completing this journey.

Sun, the Phoenix (formerly known as The Real Sun), has been an artist educator and a leader in community arts organizing since 2005. She is a multi-disciplinary artist of poetry, music, and visual arts, who has recently turned her artistic focus to dance (Brazilian Zouk). Her work centers around the development and delivery of Purpose Driven Education - a pedagogical framework for exploring identity and purpose, social justice and equity, and healing and well-being through creativity and the arts. Sun's true inner purpose and calling is to support and guide artists to embody authenticity, and pursue their path of purpose.

Honouring Our Brokenness: The Magic of our Shattered Hearts 
11:00AM-12:00PM | 1:30-3:00PM Sheniz Janmohamed
Workshop and nature walk


Honouring our Brokenness: The Magic of our Shattered Hearts is a workshop for arts educators, community organisers and artists. It invites participants to reflect upon their vulnerabilities and brokenness as a path to owning the messy imperfections and fleeting magic of their creative processes, teaching methodologies and community engagement.

The concept of “product over process" has been one of the dominant narratives of colonization. Additionally, in the age of technology, reach on social media platforms has become a gauge of our worthiness. Are we successful artists if we don't produce an art piece that has the potential to reach numerous audiences or spaces? To further explore these ideas, Sheniz will facilitate guided writing prompts, collaging, personal reflection and visualisation exercises. The workshop concludes with optional sharing.

Sheniz Janmohamed believes in fostering community through collaboration, compassion and creativity. An author, artist educator, spoken word artist and land artist, Sheniz has performed and led arts based workshops and programs internationally for over a decade. Sheniz is also the founder of Questions for Ancestors, a blog that encourages BIPOC writers and artists across Turtle Island to ask questions of their ancestors and provide advice for their descendants.

Grant Marketplace
Erika Hennebury, Strategic Program Manager at Toronto Arts Council
Kateri Gauthier, Indigenous Culture Fund Outreach Coordinator at Ontario Arts Council

Maya Bedford, Information Services Coordinator at Ontario Arts Council
​Nas Khan, Arts Education Officer at Ontario Arts Council

Rm. G106 | No Appointment Necessary

Interested in applying to Toronto Arts Council or Ontario Arts Council for arts funding? Want to learn more about TAC and OAC programs, eligibility, or how to complete an application? Stop by for an informal chat. No appointment necessary. 

Erika Hennebury is a planner and cultural producer from the Wabanaki Territories (aka Nova Scotia). She has a Masters in Environmental Studies, Planning, from York University. Erika has been a theatre artist, curator and cultural producer in Toronto for over 20 years and has worked with Public Recordings Performance Projects, Small Wooden Shoe, Secret Theatre, hum dansoundart, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, the Rhubarb Festival, Les Vaches, OOMPH Group, and Canadia del'Arte . Erika is a member of Friends of the Green Line.

Kateri Gauthier is an Anishinaabekwe hand drummer, singer, teacher and song carrier from Niswaakamog (Sudbury) and whose roots are from Wikwemikong. Currently based in Tkaronto, she is the Indigenous Culture Fund Outreach Coordinator at the Ontario Arts Council and was previously the Program Administrator for OAC’s Indigenous Arts and Multi- and Inter-Arts sections.

Maya Bedward is a filmmaker, arts educator and community-engaged artist living in Toronto, ON. She is also the Information Services Coordinator at the Ontario Arts Council where she helps artists and arts professionals navigate OAC’s many funding programs

Nas Khan is a media artist, musician, community-engaged artist, and an arts administrator living in Hamilton. At the Ontario Arts Council, she supports artists to work creatively and collaboratively with community members in various contexts through the Engaging in Communities and Schools grant programs. Committed to equity and access in the arts, she led OAC’s Equity Committee to develop OAC’s Equity Plan currently guiding the organization. Born and raised in Toronto, Nas is a second generation immigrant of mixed parentage (Indian and Welsh).


Message in a Bottle
11:00AM-12:00PM | Kat Singer
Talk, workshop and exhibition


This three-tier presentation includes an exhibition of Message in a Bottle Project: a community storytelling initiative featuring authentic narratives about prescription medication use, an artist talk on the process of creating art intertwined with disability advocacy, and a workshop component, inviting participants to examine their own attitudes about prescription medication use (sharing not required!). There will be opportunities to physically interact with various art pieces, including the artist’s latest series of fiber sculptures.
To learn more about Message in a Bottle, please visit Those interested in making a submission are welcome to do so - a drop box will be available on site.Kat Singer (they/them) is a queer and disabled Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist, activist and educator whose work spans various media including photography, street art, fibre art, printmaking, drawing and painting. In addition to creating their own artwork, Kat speaks at conferences, facilitates art-making sessions in a variety of settings, and volunteers with arts-based initiatives that help build creative and inclusive communities and cultivate social change.

Evidence in Inspired People
11:00AM-12:00AM | Ontario Trillium Foundation

When applying for an OTF Grow Grant, applicants are required to submit evidence of the effectiveness of the approach they are planning to grow or replicate. Many organizations struggle with this. This workshop, designed especially for initiatives that support arts, culture and heritage, will provide:

  • An overview of evidence of effectiveness vs evidence of need
  • An overview of the range of evidence that can be used to demonstrate the effectiveness of your initiative’s approach
  • Examples of how arts organizations have successfully used evidence to support their applications
  • Tips on how to generate your own evidence and where to search for external arts, culture and heritage evidence

Tangled Arts Think-tank with Deaf, Mad and Disability-identified Artists/Advocates
11:30AM-12:30PM | Tangled Arts


Tangled Arts’ Access Development committee leads an interactive think-tank of Deaf, Mad and Disability-identified artists and advocates that focuses on the intersection of the arts and disability social justice. The talk includes an overview of Disability Arts and the disability social justice movement, an interactive session where participants are provided relevant scenarios to react to, and ends with personal reflections from each presenter on their unique experiences within the arts sphere. This dynamic talk illustrates the vast diversity of experiences of those who identify as Deaf, Mad and/or Disabled artists, as well as illuminates some of their experiences navigating the intersection of the arts and social justice as a disabled artist- an important and underexplored intersection.

Birds Make Me Think About Freedom
12:00-1:00 PM | Victoria Freeman, Cheryl Zinyk and Nicholas Herd
Artist Talk


The play Birds Make Me Think about Freedom, performed at the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival, reflects on institutionalization and the desire for an inclusive society from the perspectives of survivors, family members, friends, and people with intellectual disabilities who were not themselves institutionalized but are still confronted by many similar attitudes that constrain their freedom. Artists from the original play will share highlights of the production and host a lively discussion about the process of creating the show, what they learned by doing it, what they think the show achieved, and how it will be further developed. 

Victoria Freeman is a public historian, multidisciplinary artist, writer, and educator, as well as the researcher, co-writer, and co-project lead (with Cheryl Zinyk) of Birds Make Me Think About Freedom. She has collaborated on numerous community-based research, public education, and artistic creation projects through SolExpress, First Story Toronto, and Jumblies Theatre, most recently as co-writer of Jumblies’ Talking Treaties Spectacle at the Fort York Indigenous Art Festival in June 2017.

Nicholas Herd has a love for performing. Since 2007, Nicholas has been with L’Arche Toronto Sol Express, working with local artists to develop his skills as a performer and visual artist, and for nine years appeared in a primary role with the annual plays presented by Dramaway. During the 2012 Toronto Fringe Festival, Nicholas was part of the ensemble in a Diverse Creations presentation of the award-winning play: RARE, co-created and directed by Judith Thompson. The play RARE  was showcased at Soulpepper Theatre the following year. This led to Nicholas’ role in the RARE Theatre Company’s production of Wildfire, in 2017 at the Soulpepper Theatre. Currently, Nicholas works with Yona Lunsky, H-CARDD Director at CAMH, Department of Psychiatry at UofT providing scenario-based educational training to medical students working with people with developmental disabilities. Nicholas is also a working member of the Distory Then and Now research and support project with and for survivors of the institutions and younger generations of people with intellectual disabilities.

Cheryl Zinyk has lived and worked with people who are labeled with intellectual/ developmental disabilities for 25 years. She is trained in clown, improvisation, and voice. Cheryl is the founding Artistic Coordinator of Sol Express, L’Arche Toronto, a Multidisciplinary Arts program for artists who are labeled with a developmental disability. Sol Express consults with local artists to create original works of art and performance, and have performed at various venues including the Papermill Theater at Todmorden Mills, the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, Nathan Phillips Square, the Aga Khan Museum as well as Art of the Danforth. Recently, they mounted an art exhibit showing over 65 works titled A Part of Me is a Part of Us, at the Papermill Gallery, and were featured in both the 2017 and 2018 Toronto Fringe Festivals winning Patron’s Pick for their performance of Birds Make Me Think About Freedom in 2018. Cheryl’s combined knowledge of arts-informed research methodologies and improvisation has lead to several collaborations with a number of universities in the GTA.

12:00-1:00PM | Mariam Magsi
Artist talk


This dynamic talk explores the intersections of culture, Western feminism, and representations of religious and cultural veiling. Mariam will discuss the history of cultural veling and analyze interviews conducted with a diverse group of veil users, ending with artistic interpretations and interventions with the veil, specifically the burqa- a symbol of the ultimate ‘Other’.

The intention of this talk is to shift perspectives of politicized and controversial cultural and religious practices (such as veiling). Mariam encourages participants to interrogate their own presumptions and notions of tolerance in the context of veiling and otherwise, and reflect on how artists reproduce biases in their creative practices.

Mariam Magsi is a contemporary artist working in photography, performance, video, documentary, poetry, and fashion. Mariam holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art, Media & Design from OCAD University in Toronto, Canada.

Salzburg Global Seminar, Young Cultural Innovators (YCI)
1:30-3:00PM | Helen Yung
Artist talk / Round table


Brought together by the Salzburg Global Seminar and the Canada Council for the Arts, YCI is a new network for young innovators working together across multiple sectors. This session is a facilitated idea generation workshop, to discuss and identify challenges which young innovators can help solve. Participants will explore the way we see and interact with each other and analyze if as a collective, we have the creative vision, talent and energy that our communities need to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Helen Yung is an artist, designer, researcher and cultural consultant. A member of the Culture of Cities Centre, Helen Yung has been recently named a Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow, serves on the Board of Directors for the Centre for Social Innovation, and has received multiple nominations for her work in the cultural sector.

Imagining Indigenous Futures with Virtual Worlds: Screening and Discussion 
1:30-3:00PM | Maize Longboat, Institute of Indigenous Futures, Montreal
Round table discussion and showcase


Machinima (from the words “machine” and “cinema”) is an emerging technique of making movies within virtual worlds or video games. Since 2008, Mohawk artist Skawennati has been creating machinimas to tell Indigenous stories. Her work with AbTeC as co-founder and co-director has also lead to the development of the Skins Machinima workshops that teach participants how to create a short machinima from beginning to end. This screening and discussion will feature work by both Skawennati and Skins workshop participants centred around the Indigenous future imaginary.

Maize Longboat is Mohawk from Six Nations of the Grand River in southwestern Ontario. He is currently in the second year of his MA in Media Studies at Concordia University where he is completing a research-creation thesis on Indigenous video game development. Maize is a research assistant with AbTeC and the Initiative for Indigenous Futures (IIF) and has combined his work and studies as a facilitator of several Skins workshops.

2:30-4:30 PM | Milumbe Haimbe aka Artistrophe
Comic Book and Storytelling Workshop

The demographic makeup of Canada, and Toronto in particular, has changed drastically over the past few years, and will continue to change. Living and working in our communities today and in the future will, therefore, require each one of us to become increasingly aware of the challenges of cultural change. Using the comic book project Ananiya Calling, this workshop aims to encourage discussion on diversity in a stimulating and creative space. As a facilitator of the workshop, Milumbe will employ the techniques of Comic Book Art and Storytelling to motivate the participants to explore their own identities in a shifting cultural landscape while increasing their awareness of the various dimensions of diversity. The artist is providing a non-confrontational and safe space where participants can express themselves creatively and tell their stories. It is NOT the intention of this workshop to arrive at the "right" answers. Like a conduit for community, this workshop seeks to channel real voices and experiences.

Milumbe Haimbe holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture and Master’s Degree in Fine Arts and has had her work exhibited internationally. Milumbe is interested in the idea of the collective psyche, its associated social trajectories, and current psycho-socio trends and systems. Drawing on a background of painting, her current art practices are based in digital illustration, including sequential art as an intermedia process that combines and integrates illustrations and written texts into narratives.

Engaging Marginalized Artists in Changing Arts Organizations
3:00-5:30 PM | Charles Smith
Panel and workshop


This presentation and workshop will provide critical insight into how Indigenous, racialized and marginalized artists can effectively work for change in arts organizations. It will also discuss the impact diverse practices are having and how increasing recognition of this is changing the arts landscape.

Charles Smith is a poet, writer, educator, and cultural theorist, the Executive Director of Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario, and the Artistic Director of The Wind in the Leaves Collective. He won second prize for his play Last Days for the Desperate from Black Theatre Canada, has edited three collections of poetry, has four published books of poetry, and has had his poetry featured in numerous journals and magazines. In addition to his various poetry and non-fiction publications, Charles has lectured on cultural pluralism at the University of Toronto-Scarborough and continues to lecture at the Humber College post-graduate program in arts administration.

If It Ain't White, It Ain't Right
3:30-4:30PM | Natasha Adyana Morris


Making room for ‘diversity’ is crucial and tricky! This workshop seeks to shift perceptions beyond diversifying spaces and programming in a move towards transforming cultural models for theatre creation and infrastructure through presenting alternative models. A legacy of ‘isms’ has contributed to the consistency of public funding, established donor bases and infrastructure in Toronto’s top institutions. Can equity be attained through representation or ownership?

Natasha Adiyana Morris is a theatre producer, writer and performing artist based in Toronto. Her artistic and production training includes a Metcalf Arts Management Internship with Volcano Theatre and Peggy Baker Dance Projects, an apprenticeship producing with Obsidian Theatre, completion of anitafrika.dub theatre's artistic residency, and graduating from Etobicoke School of the Arts’ Drama Program.

Unmasking Healing
3:30-4:30PM | Ammarah Syed & Ty J. Sloane


Unmasking Healing is a collaboration between Ammarah and Ty’s programs ‘Resistance In Healing’ and ‘It’s All An Act’. This workshop provides an opportunity to practice developing resiliency and safe spaces internally, within art practices, and during mental health journeys. Participants will take home self care skills, creative writing and movement techniques, and insight on how to unpack nuanced intersectional identity experiences through different kinds of hands-on art practices.

Ammarah Syed is an interdisciplinary artist interested in documenting how modern day discourses (such as capitalism, colonialism, and various power discourses) inform trauma, mental health and the human experience. She aspires to use the arts as a means to transform oppression into growth through the cognition and processing of trauma.

Ty J Sloane is a mixed (Ojibwa/Asian/Irish/Iberian) and Queer (Two-Spirit/Non-Binary) individual navigating the world as a multi-disciplinary artist with a focus in movement, photography, and visual art. As an artist, Ty hopes to unpack many intersectionalities in the community and hopefully give voices to those that may need the support.

A Pessimist's Guide to Self-Care 
4:30-6:00PM | Netta Kornberg


This workshop will  use a health equity lens to ask: how can individual self- care practices meaningfully support artists’ well-being in the context of precarious work and intersecting inequities? Participants will take a critical eye to self-care messaging which orients daily health practices towards self-sufficiency, productivity and inadvertently makes ableist assumptions. This workshop is an opportunity for artists to identify their individual self-care needs within a shared context of health inequity. Bringing a health equity lens to art allows artists and arts workers to focus specifically on the way creatives must use self-care to navigate their way through precariousness, sector exclusion and other forms of inequity.

Netta Kornberg is a researcher, writer and organizer who works at the intersection of adult education, population health, and the arts. For two years she supported the wellbeing of artists through health education, financial assistance and community-building programs at Artists' Health Alliance. Netta has been published by popular, academic and industry publications and is an avid community-based volunteer. She is currently the Knowledge Dissemination Strategist at the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research and continues to offer workshops on artists' health.

Rising Boats
4:30-6:00 PM | Akshata Naik
Art activation


Rising Boats!! explores concepts of migration and identity. Participants will make symbolic red origami boats and invited to write and/or draw their lived experiences on boats. In the end, all will be gathered to become one large collective piece, composed of individual stories and social commentary.

Akshata Naik is an emerging artist who has exhibited her work internationally. Her personal experiences with migration is reflected in her work which seeks to expose the struggle between grounded reality, experiences of existential crises, and the ongoing struggle with self. She is currently completing research on the aesthetics of migration through visual art which investigates how notions of multiculturalism in Canada impacts and emerges alongside Canadian contemporary art.