October 2010 Arts Festival

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The Creative Spirit Arts Festival was a huge success! Thank you to all of our wonderful presenters and performers and to everyone who joined us in the gallery over the past week. We couldn’t have done it without you!

If you participated in any part of the festival and conference, we’d love to hear what you thought! Please find our questionnaire here or feel free to send us an email at csac@creativespirit.on.ca.

For those of you who missed this year’s event, stay in the loop by following us on twitter, becoming a fan on facebook, checking in on the website or send an email requesting to be added to our electronic or paper mailing lists. (Festival photos by Nora Webb and Ronnie Burbank).

We have also published a small catalogue which features seventeen of our Creative Spirit artists as well as a text on the history and philosophy of our organization by Ellen Anderson, see here. Thanks again and we hope to see you in the future.

(continue reading below to see the festival's participants and schedule)

Dear Friends,                        July 23, 2010

You are cordially invited to attend the Creative Spirit Festival & Conference on October 21-23, 2010 hosted by Creative Spirit Art Centre in Toronto. Please join us and share your ideas, connect with other organizations in the field and celebrate accomplishments in accessible arts from across Canada. The Creative Spirit Festival & Conference will provide an opportunity for individuals and organizations working in the field of art and disability to come together.

Through this event we hope to create a climate of collaboration, camaraderie and celebration. The three-day event will feature presentations from agencies and social services from across the country, performances by disabled musicians and dancers as well as an integrated art exhibition.

The conference will also explore a way to share a vision for showcasing arts and disability organizations and individuals in an annual cross Canada Accessible Arts Festival and Conference.

Registration is free! and open to everyone (download registration form here).

Join us and share your ideas, connect with other organizations in the field and help us celebrate the accomplishments of individuals with disabilities. Together we can work towards a shared vision for our services, showcasing the accessible arts and ensuring the legacy of our work.

We hope to see you in October!


Ellen Anderson

Founder & Executive Director, Creative Spirit Art Centre

Schedule Of Events Creative Spirit Arts Festival

(download schedule here - includes directions & where to stay and dine!):


10:30 – 11:00 Registration & Refreshments

11:00 – 11:30 Presentation

Ellen Anderson, Founder & Executive Director Creative Spirit Art Centre

Toronto, Ontario www.creativespirit.on.ca

· Ellen Anderson has always been passionate about community issues. In the past she has been a leader in daycare and women’s safety issues in Toronto. She founded Creative Spirit Art Centre in 1992 and has since been serving the needs of artists with disabilities in the GTA.


11:30 – 12:00 Presentation

Michael Seary, Director Creative Spirit East Halifax, Nova Scotia www.veithstreetgallery.org

· Michael Seary is a long time advocate for people with disabilities. He founded Arts Carousel in Toronto, an accessible arts organization which evolved to provide attendant care. Michael was instrumental in the development of the TTC’s Wheeltrans program and is a co-founder of Creative Spirit Art Centres in Toronto and Halifax.


12:00 – 1:00 Lunch by Vert Catering

1:00 – 1:30 Presentation

  • Isabel Fryszberg, Creative Works Studio, Toronto, Ontario


· Creative Works Studio offers healing and recovery through creative arts. Their studio provides an oasis from the daily rigours and challenges of life for people living with a mental illness. Isabel has pioneered this program at St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto as a visionary leader and occupational therapist.

1:30 – 2:00 Presentation

Katherine Porter, Executive Director H’art School of Smiles, Kingston, Ontario


· Since 1998, H’art School of Smiles has been committed to helping adults with intellectual disabilities reach their highest potential through arts and education. H’art believes that inclusive post secondary education provides a natural pathway into adulthood. In 2003, H’art began working with Queen’s University to provide such a path for adults with intellectual disabilities with great success.


10:30 – 11:00 Registration & Refreshments

11:00 – 11:30 Presentation


Rose Jacobson, Project Manager & Artistic Principal Picasso PRO, Toronto, Ontario www.picassopro.org

· Picasso PRO was formed to facilitate genuine opportunity and integration for artists with disabilities and Deaf artists in the performing and media arts. It springs from the passionate conviction that artists with disabilities and Deaf artists belong on Ontario and Canada's stages and screens, among our audiences, professional staffs, teachers and cultural leaders.




11:30 – 12:00 Presentation


Teresa Peñafiel, Marketing and Promotions Director Multi-Ethnic Association for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities, Montreal, Québec


· The association’s founding philosophy aims at full participation and integration into society, for all people, on all levels. Their approach reflects this philosophy when carrying out activities and organizing services.




12: 00 – 1:00 Lunch by Vert Catering


1:00 – 1:30 Presentation


Izabella Lipowski, Community Support Worker Corbrook, Scarborough, Ontario www.corbrook.net

·Corbrook develops and provides opportunities for meaningful work and personal development for persons with high levels of disability.




1:30 – 2:00 Presentation


Gabriella Caruso and Patricia Chang, Community Artist & Co-facilitator Red Pepper Spectacle & York Community Services, Toronto, Ontario


· For over 20 years community artist Gabriella Caruso has worked independently and in collaboration with numerous organizations towards accessibility in the arts.  With six Dora nominations and one win plus international acclaim for her multi-disciplinary work, it had long been her desire to focus her extensive professional experience and creative resources on an inclusive cultural practice.




2:00 – 2:30 Performance

Alan Shain, Comedian, Playwright and Disability Advocate, Ottawa, Ontario www.magma.ca/~rickcurrie/shain

· Alan Shain is a multidisciplinary performance artist working in theatre, dance, storytelling and stand-up comedy – all specific to the representation of the lived experience of disability. Alan has also contributed extensively to research and advocacy around disability and performance. He sees himself as a disability activist who uses the arts to affect social equality and change.





  • 11:00 – 11:30 Registration & Refreshments
  • 11:30 – 12:00 Presentation
  • · Renata Soutter and Shara Weaver, Co-Executive & Artistic Directors Propeller Dance, Ottawa, Ontario



Unique, inspirational, professional, Propeller Dance provides dance programming to people with and without disability. Their programs are inclusive, fostering an integrated approach to dance and art-making, education and community development.




  • 1:00 – 1:30 Performance
    • Roger Knox, Poet, Composer, Music Educator, Toronto, Ontario

    • www.musiccentre.ca
    • · Roger Knox is a Toronto composer, poet, reviewer and music educator/researcher. He has received composition commissions from The Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council, taught at McMaster University and Douglas College, and worked as music researcher at Bloorview Kids Rehab. He has been known to play the blues harp past midnight.



1:45 –2:45 Performance


Alan Shain, Comedian and Disabilities Advocate Ottawa, Ontario


· Alan Shain’s disability is obvious and his comedy is unique. A hysterical rebuff at public attitudes, Alan attempts to answer burning questions such as “Are all wheelchair people related to each other?”, “Do wheelchair people go to the bathroom?” or “Do they ever think about sex?” You’ll probably learn just a little bit more from Alan than you really wanted to know.

3:00 – 3:30 Perfomance

Odradek and Meiko Ando Toronto, Ontario

  • www.myspace.com/odradektoronto

  • · Odradek is Toronto based trio of improvising multi-instrumentalists who have been playing together for more than 5 years. They are Andy Yue, James Bailey and Michelangelo Iaffaldano. They will present a performance developed in collaboration with independent Butoh dancer, artist and choreographer, Meiko Ando.