Written by Lenore Gale, member of the Young Arts Leaders Collective.
Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to get involved in your city as an artist. Below are some things in Ottawa to follow to make you aware of opportunities for artists, events to attend, and things happening in the city that you can get involved with.
For daily e-mails in your inbox about art openings, dance, music, and theatre performances, video screenings, workshops, and calls for new work, follow Artlist on Artengine. This listing is essential for any Ottawa artist to keep informed about the arts in the city.
You can also post your own announcements on artlist for any events that are free or benefit non-profits.
Apt613’s blog about uncovering Ottawa’s arts and culture is a great way to really connect with Ottawa as an artist, and their event page can keep you posted about what’s happening in the city. Apt613 is a volunteer-run not-for-profit organization, and you can even offer to help out with the blog.
Awesome Ottawa awards a no-strings-attached $1,000 grant each month for an awesome idea. This is a great opportunity for an artist with an awesome idea, or good to watch and see what other creative people in Ottawa are doing.
Your local BIAs
Connecting with and following your local BIAs (Business Improvement Areas) is a great way to get connected with businesses in the city. Relationships with businesses are valuable for an artist, as they may be willing to provide you with resources such as space, if you are able to help promote them and bring in patrons. Follow your favourite BIAs to see what’s happening in the neighbourhood, and what you can be involved in.
Wellington West BIA
Bank Street BIA
Downtown Rideau BIA
ByWard Market BIA
Somerset Street Chinatown
Spark Street Mall
Westboro Village BIA
Bells Corners BIA
Heart of Orleans BIA
Local festivals can be a great way to use your skills, showcase your talents, sell your artwork, get involved with your community, or to meet like-minded people. If you want to see opportunities to get involved, follow some of these festivals.
Ottawa Jazz Festival @OttawaJazz
Ottawa Fringe Festival @OttawaFringe
The Happening Ottawa @HappeningOttawa
Chinatown Remixed @ChinatownRemix
Ottawa Animation Festival @OIAF_Animation
Ottawa Writers Fest @Writersfest
House of PainT Festival of Urban Arts and Culture @HouseofPainT
Glowfair Festival @Glowfair
To find more festivals around Ottawa check out http://www.ottawafestivals.ca/
Artists often succeed when they connect with their communities. Getting involved with your community by attending events, meeting people, and using your skills to help out are all ways to make yourself known and to gain even more opportunities as an artist. By following some of these resources, you will know what is going on in your city so you can best take advantage of opportunities that are offered to you.
The Young Arts Leaders Collective (YALC) is an initiative of the AOE Arts Council. YALC's mission is to support the professional development of young emerging artists and arts administrators in Ottawa. In the initial stages this will include a mentorship program, networking opportunities, the dissemination of information, and communication to connect young, emerging artists and arts administrators in Ottawa with each other and with other artists, to help contribute to building a thriving Ottawa arts community.