Press Release

Ontario Culture Days Announces the 2023 Creatives in Residence and Festival Hubs

(MAY 24, 2023) TORONTO, ON

Today, Ontario Culture Days announce eight new Creatives in Residence and thirteen Festival Hubs ahead of the September 22nd to October 15th Ontario-wide Festival. This is the fourth year of the Creatives in Residence program and the second year of the regional Festival Hub organizational partner program.

Creatives in Residence artists are selected to participate in a 5-month long residency program, where they collaborate with local communities to showcase the vibrancy of the Ontario arts and culture community. Their results culminate in community-based activities and exhibits presented during the 2023 Fall Festival. This year, the Creatives in Residence series is inspired by themes of material culture.

Hubs are local partners that act as community leads for the Festival. From regional galleries to the local culture department, these expert organizations are a friendly face during the Festival. This year, the Festival Hub program has grown to thirteen communities, deepening Ontario Culture Days’ connection to more regions across the province. Each Hub partner will develop their own cutting-edge arts programming and engage more local participants than ever before.

“Every year we work hard to connect with more local communities and look to present diverse stories with new perspectives to Ontarians,” says Ruth Burns, Executive Director, Ontario Culture Days. “With our expanded Festival Hubs and our exceptional Creatives in Residence artists we are gearing up for an unbelievable Fall Festival.”

Creatives in Residence 2023

  • Alisa McRonald (based in Guelph) is a contemporary textile artist who experiments with themes of folklore, fables and the esoteric. For her residency, Alisa will create colourful, contemporary punch-needle wall-hangings and host an exhibition of these wall-hangings. She will facilitate a large-scale collective art piece during the 2023 Queen West Art Crawl that takes place during the Ontario Culture Days Festival. Here art lovers will be invited to learn the art of punch-needling on-site and to contribute to this collaborative art piece.
  • Betty Carpick (based in Thunder Bay) is a multidisciplinary land-based artist, educator, and environmentalist, who offers stewardship of land and water shaped by her Cree and Eastern European heritage. Through a series of workshops and photographs, Betty will bring together hundreds of ink marks made by participants to “form patterns in a galaxy”. The resulting composition will be presented as an outdoor installation in Thunder Bay during the Ontario Culture Days Festival, alongside an artist talk at CoLab Gallery.
  • Chelsea Smith (based in Temiskaming) is an artist of mixed European and Anishinaabe descent from Northern Ontario. Chelsea will grow her own plants to create dye, which she will use to tint natural fabric. The fabric will then be made into a traditional hand-tied quilt through a series of community quilting and story sharing sessions. The artist will exhibit the resulting artwork and host an artist talk and participatory workshop, inviting attendees to experiment on paper with natural pigments created by the artist.
  • Juliane Foronda (based in Toronto) is a Filipina-Canadian artist, writer, and researcher. During her residency, she will research the board game archive at Ottawa’s Canadian Museum of History. From there, she will create a text-based installation scattering extracted board game phrases throughout the city of Ottawa. Through this, the city becomes similar to a game itself, with the public as participants. A complementary artist talk and interactive event will take place during the Festival.
  • Kevin A. Ormsby, (based in Toronto) along with KasheDance, will draw from Pan-Africanist based movement and host the ‘Kultcha Live Yah’ series at Citadel + Compagnie during the Festival. The series includes in-person and online workshops leading up to a final performance, which will feature a spectrum of dancers performing against a backdrop of digital artwork. The series is part of the organization’s 15th anniversary celebration that will incorporate dancers and the general public.
  • Mushtari Afroz (based in Pickering) is a classical dancer trained in the North Indian classical dance form called ‘Kathak,’ and is director of the Kathak Bandi Dance Collective. For her project, Mushtari will work with dancers to surprise and engage the audience through a series of dance performances that will interact with Pickering’s public spaces and invite public participation. The project will raise awareness of the importance of these shared spaces as gathering points and places of pride within diverse communities.
  • Myung-Sun Kim (based in Toronto) is an artist and a recognized curator. She will be creating a new edition of a larger body of work called ‘Rituals for Belonging’, in which she invites artists across cultural backgrounds to exchange an art object and an associated ritual. For the Festival, she will create an installation where participants will be invited to an in-person sharing of food-related rituals that center around the practices of joy, desire, and belonging.
  • Owen Marshall (based in Toronto) is an artist and printmaker who examines the way text and signage influence the surrounding environment. He will present a series of stitched flags which use humour to challenge and undermine the perceived authority of signage. The works will be presented on flagpoles throughout the Queen West neighbourhood, so that viewers may accidentally stumble upon them. In partnership with the Queen West Art Crawl, the artist will provide a series of informative and performative guided tours of the works in this neighbourhood.

Ontario Culture Days Festival Hubs

As a response to the overwhelming amount of community participation in 2022, Ontario Culture Days has expanded the Festival Hub program in Ontario, bringing the total number of Hubs for 2023 to thirteen. The Hubs are located in cities and towns across the province to help visitors explore local events and learn more about the area.

  • Elora/Fergus: Within Centre Wellington are the picturesque hamlets of Elora and Fergus. Resplendent with natural beauty and historical charm, these communities are known for unique shops, delicious dining, and of course, a plethora of art experiences.
    Partners: Centre WellingtonElora Fergus Arts Council
  • 1,000 Islands and Gananoque: This waterfront region, home to more than 1800 islands, stretches east along the St. Lawrence River. The area shines in the summer and has plenty to do during the cooler months too.
    Partner: Gananoque Arts Network
  • Guelph: Known as The Royal City and nestled between the Speed and Eramosa Rivers, Guelph is a gem of Southwestern Ontario. The city is famed for world-class arts festivals and its unique collaborative arts programming.
    Partner: City of Guelph
  • Halton: Along the Niagara Escarpment, in the northwest end of the Greater Toronto Area, you’ll find the communities of Halton: Halton Hills, Milton, Oakville and Burlington. The area’s natural beauty, historic hamlets and charming villages have captured the hearts of artists, encouraging many of them to call this place home.
    Partners: Town of OakvilleArts Milton
  • Ottawa Region: Located in eastern Ontario, Canada’s capital city presents you with impressive “big-ticket” possibilities, like Parliament Hill and national museums. Visit Ottawa proper for a rich cultural experience, and the satellite Hub of Prescott-Russell for a selection of arts and culture events for all ages.
    Partner: Conseil des arts Prescott-Russell Arts Council
  • Sault Ste. Marie: As a natural highway into the Great Lakes, the Soo is forever linked to its river, the “Bawating” as named by the Ojibwe people. And as a gateway to the further-north, the city is a vibrant hub for arts and culture in Northern Ontario, including a vibrant Indigenous artist community.
    Partner: Art Gallery of Algoma
  • Scugog: Scugog is a sweeping township skirting a lake by the same name, with its largest population anchored in Port Perry. From artisan workshops to performances responding to local history, this hub northeast of Toronto and just north of Oshawa is the perfect creative getaway out of the city.
    Partner: Scugog Arts
  • South Georgian Bay: South Georgian Bay’s sun and ski destinations draw visitors year-round. From Wasaga Beach to Collingwood and Blue Mountain, the area enjoys one of the largest concentrations of artists in Ontario. Artists in the region amplify the beauty of the natural environment and create events that allow locals and visitors to gather, create, and celebrate community.
    Partner: South Georgian Bay Arts Network
  • St. Catharines & Niagara Region: St. Catharines grew into a bustling city after the construction of the Welland Canal in the 1820’s and since then, the city has also become a thriving centre for the arts. Nearby Lincoln boasts the historic and lively Lincoln Museum & Cultural Centre.
    Partners: City of St. CatharinesLincoln Museum and Cultural Centre
  • Thunder Bay: Stunning landscape meets unique history in Thunder Bay, on the traditional territory of the Anishinabek. This city is rich with history, artists, and landmark institutions including the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and the Thunder Bay Museum.
    Partner: City of Thunder Bay
  • Toronto Queen West: There are free events in every corner of the city, celebrating Toronto’s many different and diverse communities. This year, the focus will be on the Queen West neighbourhood, its many artists within, and the annual Queen West Art Crawl.
    Partner: Queen West Arts Crawl
  • Vaughan: Vaughan is a creative city that integrates art into its public realm – a city where art is accessible to all people and valued as a placemaking catalyst for conveying Vaughan’s unique identity. Vaughan is also home to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, featuring more than 6000 works by artists across Canada.
    Partner: City of Vaughan
  • Windsor: Windsor, stretching along the Detroit River, is a dynamic cultural destination and a starting point for visitors to the province. Ontario’s southernmost city is storied with transportation innovation and labour history, making Windsor’s tale ripe for the art scene to explore.
    Partner: Arts Council Windsor & Region

Ontario Culture Days Festival will take place between September 22nd to October 15th, 2023 across the province of Ontario.

About Ontario Culture Days:

Ontario Culture Days is a not-for-profit organization that celebrates artists and cultural groups in our communities.

The Ontario Culture Days Festival is an annual celebration of arts, culture and heritage taking place each fall across the province. Each year, we work with organizers of all disciplines to produce this province-wide festival. Organizers host programs throughout Ontario and invite the public to participate for free. The next Ontario Culture Days Festival will take place between September 22nd to October 15th, 2023.

Ontario Culture Days lives at the local level. We support organizers from the smallest hamlets to the largest cities while coordinating with other national and provincial Culture Days partners. We support the success of our sector colleagues through resources and network development while highlighting the breadth and heterogeneity of Ontario’s arts and culture to the wider public.

A sincere thanks to Ontario Culture Days’ supporters, including Ivy Charging Network, Arterra Wines Canada, VIA Rail Canada, Star Metroland Media and the Toronto Star. Our programs have benefitted from the support of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), Destination Northern Ontario and Destination Toronto.

These programs would not be possible without the support of the Government of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Province of Ontario, the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund and the Toronto Arts Council.

The Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund is a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation.

For further media information, contact:
Deanne Moser. 647.888.9388