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Art Place opens doors of creative social expression to Ottawa residents


A new artist-in-residence multiple year program by AOE Arts Council underway


On November 26 at the Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital, AOE Arts Council launched a three-year community outreach initiative called Art Place funded in part by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Artists will work in spaces where there is a gap in artistic programming, such as immigration service facilities, community centres, and seniors’ residences. Art Place will bring together different participants to work collaboratively with professional artists and generate awareness for socially-driven issues.

In its inaugural year, the new social practice professional artist-in-residence program will enable six jury-selected artists and groups of artists the opportunity to offer unique free-of-charge artistic services in collaboration with community sites across the city of Ottawa.

“Working with AOE Arts Council is an exciting opportunity to engage with the community, and bring together diverse groups of people to share their history, culture and creative experiences,” said participating textile artists Christine Mockett and Karina Bergmans. “Many cultures have a rich history of fibre and textile arts that are part of their identities. And so what better way to connect with their current community, than to share and combine these traditions and backgrounds with those in Ottawa in sculptural form.”

Each artist or arts group will be paired with a non-profit organization for a period of five to eight weeks. The artists will work with a designated site partner and its participants to create an artistic project. The 2014-2015 projects will be created through various art practices, from theatre to sculpture, to storytelling and book arts.

Immigrant Women Services Ottawa | Performing arts | Naomi Tessler, Theatre artist
Résidence Élisabeth‑Bruyère (Soins continus Bruyère)| Book arts| Rachel Kalpana James, Book artist
Zonta Club of Ottawa| Performing arts | Laurie Fyffe from Ottawa StoryTellers, Managing Artistic Director
Hospice Care Ottawa | Performing arts | Sarah Conn from STO Union, Theatre artist
TBD | Fibre art sculpture | Christine Mockett et Karina Bergmans, Textile artists
Résidence Saint-Louis (Soins continus Bruyère)| Sculpture | Marc Walter, artiste en Land art

“Art Place offers truly meaningful benefits for both Ottawa artists and community organization participants,” says AOE Arts Council Executive Director Victoria Steele. “Artists will take on new challenges and be catalysts for social change.    And, participants from community organizations will have artistic-led tools to express their ideas, as well as highlight social issues affecting them and their community. “

In collaboration with AOE Arts Council, Bruyère Continuing Care kindly accepted to host the public launch as well as the celebration event. This organisation is the home base for two of the 2014 Art Place artists and was one of the first partner sites to show its enthusiasm and support for this new initiative.

“The Artist in Residence program is a wonderful opportunity for our residents to participate in a therapeutic activity that promotes self-expression and gives them a sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction,” adds Kimberley Durst-Mackenzie, Coordinator and Recreation Therapist at Bruyère Continuing Care. “This will help make a transitional phase easier for some and give others a chance to come out of their shell and express their creativity.”

“This is a unique collaborative process, one that will give voice to underserved Ottawa residents building bridges and new creative partnerships with groups across the City.  The arts really will be a community building tool and I look forward to seeing the results!” adds Steele.

The 2014-15 Art Place program was made possible through Ontario Trillium Foundation funds and AOE Arts Council staff. However, it is essential for the Arts Council to actively seek donor/sponsor support to sustain the program over the next three years. For more information on how to donate or become a sponsor contact Victoria Steele, Executive Director,

Throughout the process, all Art Place projects will be documented by AOE Arts Council as well as the artists themselves. Images, videos and insights will be posted on the Arts Council’s news site and a dedicated Facebook page (Art Place d’art). All projects will be showcased at the closing celebration on February 25, 2015.

About AOE Arts Council

AOE Arts Council has been serving the arts community for 27 years. As a not-for-profit charitable bilingual organization, the Arts Council represents a membership of over 400 artists, organizations and supporters. The Arts Council creates opportunities for artists to share and sell their work, provides resources and services to its membership, organizes professional development activities and is a leader on city-wide arts initiatives.

About Bruyère Continuing Care

Bruyère Continuing Care is the champion of well-being for aging Canadians and those requiring continuing care, helping them become and remain as healthy and independent as possible through innovative and compassionate care, research, education and advocacy. Located in Ottawa, Bruyère Continuing Care provides complex continuing care, palliative care, rehabilitation, care of the elderly, long-term care, research and family medicine. One of the largest health care centres of its kind in Canada, Bruyère Continuing Care includes:  Saint-Vincent Hospital, Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital, Élisabeth Bruyère Residence, Saint-Louis Residence, Bruyère Village, Bruyère Family Medicine Centre, Primrose Family Medicine Centre, Bruyère Research Institute and Bruyère Foundation.

About Ontario Trillium Foundation

A leading grantmaker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities.


For more information:
Cristiane Doherty, Director of Communications
AOE Arts Council
Tel.: 613.580.2767

Chantal Renaud, Communications Officer
Bruyère Continuing Care
Tel.: 613-562-6262 ext. 4020

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