Illustration by Ani Castillo
Illustration by Ani Castillo




Arts and Minds: A Community Arts Series will give residents in the Victoria Village neighbourhood a series of collaborative photography workshops led by artist Sean Patenaude.

Participants will create a show of documentary photography working with themes of identity, wellness and community, as defined by the participants themselves.

Over this 6-week program (August 2, 9, 16 , 23, 30, & Sept 6; all 6pm-8pm) learn fun and simple lessons in photographic technique and composition and be part of exciting exercises like “shoot 20 pictures standing in one spot,” to engage your creativity!

Photographers will be encouraged to explore written captioning to underscore the messages and themes conveyed in their photographs, then gather each week to share and discuss their works as a group, shaping and defining the public show in the fall of 2017! The final images will be printed and displayed to the community at a reception hosted by the artists to celebrate their journey.

These workshops will allow participants to explore their surroundings and experience new things while developing artistic skill, then through the group show, encourage community connections with other artist-participants and the Victoria Village community at-large.

Sean Patenaude


Sean Patenaude is a Toronto street, event, and portrait photographer. He works in a combination of film and digital processes to capture striking, emotional images that invite the viewer to imagine the story beyond the frame. You can often find him photographing strangers at demonstrations, parades, festivals, and performances.
His work has been displayed at Hart House, Artscape Youngplace, the Gladstone Hotel, and Contact Photography Festival. Sean’s pictures have been published internationally in books, magazines and online.


Neighbourhood Arts Network and Workman Arts are grateful for the Arts & Minds Programming Committee, who have advised and helped to develop this series. Meet the artists behind the scenes.

James Buffin is a filmmaker with over 26 years’ experience working on movies, tv shows, commercials, music videos and documentaries shooting across North America, South America, Asia and the South Pacific. The theme of his current work is disaster/recovery, both environmental and personal. Current projects include a feature length documentary about becoming an aware survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Having taught for many years with organizations like Planet In Focus, LIFT Toronto and Workman Arts, he recently expanded his company, Veritus Pictures, to include video workshops in Toronto’s East End.

Apanaki Temitayo M is the owner of Toronto- based Apanaki Designs (AD). Her business focuses on multi-media acrylic artwork incorporating African Textiles collage on canvas. AD offers fine art in the form of original and commissioned works, posters, postcards, archival prints and merchandise. Apanaki is a self- taught multi-media artist who enjoys expressing her Afro-Caribbean heritage and spirituality through African textiles on canvas, shells, crystals and reclaimed objects. She is a visual artist, writer, spoken-word poet and actor. The work of Apanaki Designs has been showcased at numerous venues across Toronto including Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival, Hart House at University of Toronto, Workman Arts 12th Annual Being Scene Juried Exhibition 2012, Woman Abuse Council of Toronto 2013 and Caribbean Tales Film Festival 2015.

Maha Munaf is an Iraqi/Syrian photographer and architect. She is the creator of Cameras + Cupcakes, dedicated to all things delicious in Toronto In 2015. Maha was a finalist for the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Newcomer Artist Award. Since then, she has been part of five group shows and three solo exhibitions: Forgotten Memories [CONTACT Photography Festival 2015], Faces & Places [Toronto Centre for the Arts, 2016] and Scent of Jasmine [CONTACT Photography Festival 2016].

Aitak Sorahitalab is an award-winning visual artist, art instructor, researcher, and art producer with more than 15 years’ experience in the field. She is the founder of Airsa Art & Thought Association, supporting new Canadian artists and art workers through training, events, and community art initiatives in Toronto. She holds a Master of Design and Production from the University of Art of Tehran. Since immigrating to Canada in October 2013, she continued to research and teaching while maintaining her artistic production in ceramic and sculpture studio. To date, she has received a total of 6 art grants and awards in Canada, and has curated two exhibitions in Toronto.

Jan Swinburne is a Canadian visual artist whose interdisciplinary practice makes use of traditional and digital media. Swinburne approaches all media from a painter’s sensibility and this drives her aesthetic. At times her work mutates into large-scale, site-sensitive installations and projects. An experimental approach to art is central to her practice. Jan Swinburne’s work has been exhibited locally and select works have been exhibited internationally. Her work resides in various public and private collections. Swinburne’s work as an art facilitator in the disability/psychiatric community has afforded opportunities to write and present talks on inclusive practices at The Art Gallery of Ontario, Ontario College of Art and Design University, VSA Arts International and Workman Arts.

Tia Laing is a youth animator at Action for Neighbourhood Change at Victoria Park Hub and a resident of Victoria Park Village.