Photo Credit: Kevanna Studios, 2020

2020 saw the launch of our new Creatives in Residence program – a series of 10 feature programs produced together with artists and partner organisations across the province. 

COVID-19 restrictions changed the way we experienced arts and culture; programs took place in the digital sphere with pre-recorded content designed for at-home participation. From heritage cooking, to DIY art supplies, to dance workshops, participants were encouraged to experiment, while learning something along the way. 

Didn’t have a chance to catch it all? Check out our full list of residents below and discover what programs were on offer.


Anishinaabe Resilience Through Fashion and Design

Indigenous Friendship Centre and Art Gallery of Algoma – Sault Ste Marie

The Sault Ste Marie Indigenous Friendship Centre (IFC) and the Art Gallery of Algoma have partnered for the past few years on an in-gallery demonstration and fashion show of Anishinaabe women’s ribbon skirts. This year, as a result of the pandemic, the program was re-imaged into a photoshoot, with participants from the IFC showing their new creations alongside their close family and friends. The series for the first time also included Ribbon Shirts, creating an opportunity for men from the IFC to get involved.


From Food to Palette
Ottawa – Kanika Gupta and Amit Kehar

In the early stages of the pandemic, multidisciplinary artist Kanika Gupta was inspired by the scarcity of grocery store shelves and the challenge of shopping for food, and wanted to think about how people could make art when supplies were limited. As part of the Ontario Culture Days festival, Kanika showed us how to make natural watercolor paints out of everyday grocery store items, like turmeric, beets and blueberries. In each mini workshop, directed by cinematographer Amit Kehar, participants learned how to extract colour from the produce, and gained some watercolour painting tips for creating their own artwork. Participants could also request a kit, made up of a brush and watercolour paper, to be mailed out to them.

Tamara Green, Port Perry
Produced in partnership with Scugog Council for the Arts with support from the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation

Chef Tamara Green focuses on the intersection of research and menu development, rooted in the use of pre-colonial ingredients adapted for contemporary kitchens. For her Ontario Culture Days program, Green created an entree of a bison roast paired with a blackberry sauce. Together with Scugog Council for the Arts, Green recorded the cooking demonstration, highlighting the history of the ingredients, and their use in Indigenous cooking. Participants were provided with a list of ingredients, allowing people to make the meal in their own homes.



Matthew Stevens, Port Perry

Produced in partnership with  Scugog Council for the Arts with support from the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation

ONCD worked with Durham Region arts organisation, Scugog Council for the Arts to produce a series of videos on local Indigenous language and identity, built off of the existing relationship Scugog Arts has with the nearby Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

Matthew Smith, the Cultural Coordinator of Mississaugas of Scugog Island, created a series of short videos on the Anishinaabe language. The videos were paired with a recorded conversation with Scugog Arts Vice President of the Board, Jonathan Colwell, on First Nations identity within Canada. Throughout the talk, Stevens and Colwell highlighted core Indigenous values, teachings and place names that are rooted in Canada today, while pointing out the richness that is lost when assuming a pan-Indigenous identity throughout the country.



Lynde House Museum – Whitby

As part of the Culture Days festival each year, Lynde House Museum hosts an immersive living history experience on the grounds of their Georgian-era historic house. 

As part of their 2020 Residency, they produced a series of videos on early settler heritage activities — showing how to spin wool, create rag dolls, and make Darby cakes. Each video shared some history, outlined how these items would have been made at Lynde House in the 19th century, and showed participants how they could follow along at home.


The Longest Drop – Puppet Performance and Workshop
Kornel Wolak and Clelia Scala – Kingston

Professional puppet designer Clelia Scala and clarinet soloist Kornel Wolak teamed up to show us how shadow puppets and music can tell a story, even if there aren’t any words.
In 1979, a 17-year-old from Toronto set a world record by dropping an egg from inside the CN tower into a specially designed net. Inspired by this fantastic tale, Wolak and Scala created a shadow puppet performance filled with fun, whimsy, and a few aliens!
In addition to the performance, Scala recorded a workshop on how to create your own shadow puppets at home. She walked participants through how to make a shadow box and create the puppet, as well as tips on building a story.


Culture Days @ the Toronto Public Library

As part of our ongoing partnership with TPL, we hosted five live digital programs throughout the Culture Days festival.

Artists included:

Ballet Creole

Living Hyphen

Naomi Smith

Paulina O’Kieffe-Anthony

Sage Tyrtle

Learn more about the full Culture Days @ the Library program here 


Feature photo: Indigenous Ribbon Shirts and Skirts Program, Sault Ste Marie Indigenous Friendship Centre & Art Gallery of Algoma, Photo Credit: Kevanna Studios, 2020