FESTIVAL PRE-LAUNCH EVENT

FESTIVAL PRE-LAUNCH EVENT

Marketing graphic with white squares and main text reads "Public Speaking Workshop". Two male presenting people stand on stage in front of TED X sign.
  • Saturday October 15, 2-5 PM

TD Commons Green Space, 945 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario

MALPENSANDO / 2022 / English / Canada / 120 minutes

These students impressed in their Level 1 Grad Show and are now back for more! Come and witness 6 weeks of hard work and dedication boiled down to one amazing comedy night! These students will speak from the heart and (hope to) make you laugh till you drop!

Originally from Costa Rica and Colombia, Stephan Dyer and Juan Cajiao are bilingual corporate leadership and communication trainers who also happen to be award-winning comedians and improv experts. 

Leaving their executive positions in the banking world in 2017 to pursue their professional careers in stand up comedy, they have successfully founded MalPensando, a bilingual (English, Spanish) comedy and public speaking school.

CREATIVE TEAM
Juan Cajiao
Stephan Dyer
This program was made possible by the generous support of The Slaight Family Foundation in partnership with North York Arts.
CONTENT WARNINGS
Loud sounds
Swearing / Mature language
Sexual Content
Keywords: BIPOC Experience | Community | Depression | LGBTQ2S+ | Racism
#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion
COMMUNITY PARTNER

THE THINGS WE CARRY WITH US

THE THINGS WE CARRY WITH US

The things we carry with us size 2 (1)

THE THINGS WE CARRY WITH US
Twinkle Banerjee

The things we carry with us is a mixed media installation that explores the life of the artist’s grandmother, who experienced displacement as a child when India was partitioned as the British exited India. What the artist’s grandmother saw or experienced was never discussed but the signs of her trauma remained. The family went through much emotional upheaval as a result and shaped the artist’s anxieties as her grandmother remained the artist’s caregiver for most of her childhood.

The things we carry with us explores coping mechanisms we pick up as children to survive. And, in practice, it can take a very long time to come to terms with our realities and sometimes we never do; we live behind a net seeing and experiencing the world differently, and that becomes the only world we know.

Twinkle Banerjee (she/her) is an Indian-Canadian visual artist, who explores work that deals with social issues such as generational trauma, globalization and human rights. Understanding the pressure put on BIPOC artists for creating trauma-related work, she also tries balancing her work with introspective experiments with a focus on poetic imagery.

Twinkle has exhibited in the USA, Canada, the UK and Armenia, been published in Berlin and featured on CBC. In 2021 her artwork “Characters of Memorial Park” was part of an exhibition and publication at the ICP-New York.

Artist website:  twinklebanerjee.com

Keywords: Activism | BIPOC Experience | Bipolar Disorder(s) | Trauma | CPTSD Generational Trauma

#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion

This year, the exhibition in the Rendezvous With Madness Festival will be presented in-person throughout the festival from October 27 to November 6.

VENUE:

The exhibition is held at Workman Arts Offsite Gallery, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Unit 302, Toronto. 

 

DATES:

October 27 to November 6, 12 – 6 PM.

 

EXHIBITION OPENING & ARTISTS TALK

October 29, 1-4 PM, Talk at 2:30 PM

After the opening reception, engage with the artists of kind renderings as they delve into their work and  practice.

TOURS

Please join us for a guided tour on Thursday, November 3 at 5 PM 

ACCESSIBILITY

If in-person access is a barrier, please contact Raine Laurent-Eugene at raine_lauenteguene@workmanarts.com.

 

Visit the Accessibility page for further festival information and wayfinding.

LOSING IT

LOSING IT

Pink cream background with four fem presenting people at the bottom of the page. All four have an image of a naked human running on a hamster wheel. The four figures are looking tired, on their devices and pensive.

LOSING IT
Boozie

Inspired by the helplessness of being stuck on a hamster wheel, this series chronicles one’s inner dialogue. Losing It explores the journey of trying to confront your demons after listening to them tell you lies all day long. For the artist, this includes trying out all the self-help tricks in the book with the hope that a light can someday be found at the end of the tunnel. This series was created to find an outlet and a means of articulating the artist’s mental health struggles with room for some humor in the despair.

Boozie is an independent, self-taught artist based in Toronto. She finds inspiration in everyday moments. Her artwork primarily focuses on her experiences as a woman. Being drawn to portraits, many of her works reflect everyday women in different personas. 

Artist website:  instagram.com/artbyboozie

Keywords: Anxiety | BIPOC Experience | Family | OCD

#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion

This year, the exhibition in the Rendezvous With Madness Festival will be presented in-person throughout the festival from October 27 to November 6.

VENUE:

The exhibition is held at Workman Arts Offsite Gallery, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Unit 302, Toronto. 

 

DATES:

October 27 to November 6, 12 – 6 PM.

 

EXHIBITION OPENING & ARTISTS TALK

October 29, 1-4 PM, Talk at 2:30 PM

After the opening reception, engage with the artists of kind renderings as they delve into their work and  practice.

TOURS

Please join us for a guided tour on Thursday, November 3 at 5 PM 

ACCESSIBILITY

If in-person access is a barrier, please contact Raine Laurent-Eugene at raine_lauenteguene@workmanarts.com.

 

Visit the Accessibility page for further festival information and wayfinding.

CINNAMON

CINNAMON

Painted portrait of a park parking lot with a bright light in the blue sky and an ice cream truck with an adult and child waiting for their treats.

CINNAMON
Wen Tong

Cinnamon is a series of paintings which, like the spice, is mundane yet leaves an experience that invigorates the senses and has a magical quality. Ideas for the paintings came from everyday experiences in a suburban setting yet, a fantastical theme is constructed throughout the series.

This reflects the artist’s own sensitivity and yearning for what is beyond daily life, where she experiences flashes of inspiration through living her life. These may be the unexpected consequences of meditative practices of a state of mind that carries over to everyday experiences. Regardless of origin, these visions are triggered by the world around her and they reshape moments into a fresh perspective. The artist’s work aims to share the knowledge gained from these experiences.

Wen Tong was born in Jinan, China, before immigrating to Canada at the age of 2. She received her HBsc from the University of Toronto in 2021, studying Biotechnology and Computer Science, but also took studio art classes at Sheridan College in both painting and printmaking. Wen is an award-winning contemporary artist that creates cinematic oil paintings in the style of magical realism. She has shown in a number of exhibitions across Ontario and has artwork in multiple private and public collections. Wen works from her studio in Oakville, Ontario.

Artist Website:  wentongart.com

Keywords: BIPOC Experience | Youth, Teens and/or Children

#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion

This year, the exhibition in the Rendezvous With Madness Festival will be presented in-person throughout the festival from October 27 to November 6.

VENUE:

The exhibition is held at Workman Arts Offsite Gallery, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Unit 302, Toronto. 

&

Special feature of work from Cinnamon by Wen Tong will be shown in the Tangled Gallery vitrine space at 401 Richmond St W, Suite 124, Toronto

 

DATES:

October 27 to November 6, 12 – 6 PM.

 

EXHIBITION OPENING & ARTISTS TALK

October 29, 1-4 PM, Talk at 2:30 PM

After the opening reception, engage with the artists of kind renderings as they delve into their work and  practice.

TOURS

Please join us for a guided tour on Thursday, November 3 at 5 PM 

ACCESSIBILITY

If in-person access is a barrier, please contact Raine Laurent-Eugene at raine_lauenteguene@workmanarts.com.

 

Visit the Accessibility page for further festival information and wayfinding.

MULTITUDE OF FISH - ASCENSION TALES

MULTITUDE OF FISH - ASCENSION TALES

Black and white line drawings of multiple linked fish swimming above waves of black lines.

MULTITUDE OF FISH – ASCENSION TALES
Jenny Chen

Multitude of Fish – Ascension Tales is an animation that tells the story of fish ascending into the heavens, symbolizing spirits being uplifted. This animation was created by hand drawing each frame. The images were derived from the artist’s mental wellness journey, specifically the healing of past trauma and depression.

For the past few years, Jenny Chen has worked with the recurring image of water and fish to symbolize the flow of energy. This larger body of work titled, Multitude of Fish, exists in mediums such as drawing, painting, clay sculptures, installation and animation. The fish moves organically through its surrounding space, leading the viewer on different journeys. These spaces are reminiscent of the inner realm while taking inspiration from outer landscapes.

Jenny Chen is a visual artist living in Toronto. She makes art to process the world around her while raising questions about existentialism and spirituality. Her work uses symbols to create mystical environments inspiring viewers to wonder about life beyond the material world. She graduated from OCAD University with a major in Drawing and Painting and a minor in Illustration. Since then, Jenny has worked mainly in watercolour, pen and clay. Her exhibition history includes the Small Arms Inspections Building, Toronto Media Arts Centre and Living Arts Centre. She has received grants for her work from the Ontario Arts Council.

Artist website:  jennychen.me

Keywords: Anxiety | BIPOC Experience | Community| Trauma

#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion

This year, the exhibition in the Rendezvous With Madness Festival will be presented in-person throughout the festival from October 27 to November 6.

VENUE:

The exhibition is held at Workman Arts Offsite Gallery, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Unit 302, Toronto. 

 

DATES:

October 27 to November 6, 12 – 6 PM.

 

EXHIBITION OPENING & ARTISTS TALK

October 29, 1-4 PM, Talk at 2:30 PM

After the opening reception, engage with the artists of kind renderings as they delve into their work and  practice.

TOURS

Please join us for a guided tour on Thursday, November 3 at 5 PM 

ACCESSIBILITY

If in-person access is a barrier, please contact Raine Laurent-Eugene at raine_lauenteguene@workmanarts.com.

 

Visit the Accessibility page for further festival information and wayfinding.

ALSO OF INTEREST

A Voice Through the Melt

A Voice Through the Melt

  • Wednesday November 2, 7 PM

CAMH Auditorium, 1025 Queen Street W
Toronto, Ontario

Anda Zeng & Natalie Wee / 2022 / English / Canada / 15 minutes

A Voice Through The Melt, a multi-disciplinary piece incorporating spoken word and music, is a collaboration between musician Anda Zeng and writer Natalie Wee. In this performance piece spanning 11 to 12 minutes, the collaborating artists open new pathways for entering belonging, mental health, selfhood, and grief. 

Individually, Anda’s cinematic songwriting allows for an embodied engagement with feeling, whereas Natalie’s written words create a cerebral experience guided by the reader’s input. In this crossover collaboration, Anda’s voice and harp create a sonic resonance with excerpts from Natalie’s new poetry collection, Beast at Every Threshold, performed in spoken word style. This creative call and response not only allows audiences to engage the work in a new way but also explores new interdisciplinary possibilities.

Natalie Wee (she/her) is a queer creator whose work explores themes of race, gender, queerness and nationhood. She is deeply informed by grassroots communities. She has written two poetry collections: Our Bodies & Other Fine Machines (San Press, 2021) and Beast At Every Threshold (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2022). Born in Singapore to Malaysian parents, Natalie is currently a settler in Tkaronto.

Learn more at natalieweewrites.com

Anda Zeng (she/her) writes cinematic night songs for the daydreamer. Her years of creating impressionistic blends of harp, piano, dreamy vocals, and visceral lyrics culminated in the release of her debut EP, Night Dress, produced by Jonathan Wu. At once soothing and wounding, Night Dress lures listeners through the small hours into dawn, through the thicket of our illusory selves into our vulnerable human core. Anda is also a vocalist, harpist, and songwriter for the band Tiger Balme.

www.andazeng.com

CREATIVE TEAM
Natalie Wee: Spoken Word Artist
Anda Zeng: Singer and Musician
Keywords: Anxiety | BIPOC experience | Community | Depression | Grief
#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion

PUBLIC SPEAKING THROUGH COMEDY

PUBLIC SPEAKING THROUGH COMEDY

Marketing graphic with white squares and main text reads "Public Speaking Workshop". Two male presenting people stand on stage in front of TED X sign.
  • Sunday October 30, 7 PM

Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario

MALPENSANDO / 2022 / English / Canada / 120 minutes

These students impressed in their Level 1 Grad Show and are now back for more! Come and witness 6 weeks of hard work and dedication boiled down to one amazing comedy night! These students will speak from the heart and (hope to) make you laugh till you drop!

Originally from Costa Rica and Colombia, Stephan Dyer and Juan Cajiao are bilingual corporate leadership and communication trainers who also happen to be award-winning comedians and improv experts. 

Leaving their executive positions in the banking world in 2017 to pursue their professional careers in stand up comedy, they have successfully founded MalPensando, a bilingual (English, Spanish) comedy and public speaking school.

CREATIVE TEAM
Juan Cajiao
Stephan Dyer
This program was made possible by the generous support of The Slaight Family Foundation in partnership with North York Arts.
CONTENT WARNINGS
Loud sounds
Swearing / Mature language
Sexual Content
Keywords: BIPOC Experience | Community | Depression | LGBTQ2S+ | Racism
#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion
COMMUNITY PARTNER

AROBA: A Room Of Black Artists

AROBA: A Room Of Black Artists

A Black Mental Health Podcast Documentary Series

March 7 - April 8 2022

Black Artists have and continue to play an essential role as leaders in building communities and producing hallmarks of cultural expressions and yet continue to face a plethora of blatant to insidious forms of anti-Black racism and mental health discrimination. AROBA believes and works towards encouraging Black artists to have open discussions about Black mental health, to learn more about their own mental health, and to acknowledge the stigma of mental illness and addiction.

For this year, AROBA’s new podcast documentary series will feature a total of six unique episodes, each candidly focusing on experiences of addiction and resilience of Black Artists. Episodes will be released weekly starting Monday, March 7, 2022.

To view last year’s AROBA Symposium and Action Even you can do so here.

“The intention of shifting from a symposium to a limited podcast format is to shed more light on the day-to-day realities of mental health issues in the Black community. In the podcast series, Black artists and harm reduction workers candidly speak towards the causes and impacts of addiction on Black lives. It is the hope that the AROBA podcast series generates a greater understanding and inspires meaningful compassion towards those who struggle with mental health and addiction” says AROBA podcast writer and host Lana Lovell.

This project is generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council for the Arts Response Initiative program.

Ontario Arts Council Logo
  • Black Mental Health Day
  • March 7 - April 8 2022

Content Warning:

This podcast series contains discussions around topics such as but not limited to; addiction, substance use, relapse, mentions of suicide and other similar topics which may be triggering to some audiences. Audience discretion is advised.

Click the button below to access our complete mental health resources list.

Click the button below to receive email updates about AROBA

QUESTIONS? CONTACT:
Kais Padamshi
Communications and Development Manager
kais_padamshi@workmanarts.com

BROWSE CURRENT EVENTS

CHANNEL 2400

6 NOVEMBER 2021 - ONGOING

FILMLIVE PANEL/Q&A

HOW WE CARED

HOW WE CARED

Three video stills ontop of blueprints and maps

HOW WE CARED
Saroja Ponnambalam & Rupali Morzaria

How can we create our own architectures of liberation? How we cared (3-channel video installation) is a return to Pandi Kumaraswamy’s archives, reinterpreting the multiple systems of care in his life, over which he had varying levels of autonomy. This expanded schematic of forced care, natural forms of care and creative care. The three sites operate within a fluid and undetermined ecosystem spanning the healthcare/medical world to the spiritual/natural based on family experiences. The schematic attempts to move away from finite solutions to healing medically diagnosed disorders. It prompts viewers to take a step back from conventional architectural practices that use speculative methods to conjure up imaginary built environments for those receiving mental health care.

Saroja Ponnambalam is an Ontario-based filmmaker. Her art practice involves working with a variety of documentary mediums – animation, photographs, family video archives and interviews. Her more recent work explores intergenerational mental health experiences through an intersectional lens.

Rupali Morzaria is a designer and film programmer currently based in Tiohti:áke/ Montreal. She is moved by storytelling and movement—in film, dance, and advertising—and uses design as a way to indulge in this fascination. Her work is based in traditional forms of print media and finding new forms of expression within contemporary media arts.

 

Keywords: BIPOC Experience | Bipolar Disorder(s)| Depression | Family | Psychiatry

IN-PERSON VIDEO INSTALLATION
CAMH (ground floor window)
1025 Queen Street West
Oct 28 – Nov 7

This piece has an audio component that will need to be accessed through a personal mobile/cellular device onsite. If data is unavailable, access to Wi-Fi is available upon request.

Headphones/earphones are also recommended to bring to experience this installation, though not necessary if mobile/cellular device has a speaker. Workman Arts will have extra headphones available onsite upon request.

If accessing this in-person installation is a barrier and to find out alternate ways to experience this piece, please contact Paulina Wiszowata at paulina_wiszowata@workmanarts.com or at 416-583-4339 ext 6. 

WORKSHOP – MOCA PARTNERSHIP:
FROM SCRAPBOOK TO SCREEN
Sun, Nov 7, 1 PM ET

Join artist Saroja Ponnambalam for a virtual workshop that responds to MOCA’s GTA21 exhibition.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Made with funding support from Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council

Toronto Arts Council - Funded by the City of Toronto
Ontario Arts Council Logo

SZEPTY/WHISPERS: DIALOGUE

SZEPTY/WHISPERS: DIALOGUE

Collage of a graph, lung drawing, portrait with flowers for a head

SZEPTY/WHISPERS: DIALOGUE

Through the voices of various artists, this web-based experience explores the relationship between mental health, language, and lineage. Many awareness campaigns urge us to “break the silence”. But the question of whether – or how – to speak is complicated. Mental health discourses are shaped by particular histories, which reverberate in the present. By juxtaposing multiple perspectives, Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue aims to expand the possibilities for how we communicate about madness, trauma, and neurodivergence. The content is offered in the form of audio files, transcripts, and ASL videos.

The process for Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue began when artist Veronique West invited seven collaborators to make audio recordings in response to open-ended questions about mental health, language and lineage. The collaborators were: mia susan amir, Kagan Goh, Maya Jones, Constantin Lozitsky, Jivesh Parasram, Kendra Place, and Manuel Axel Strain. A digital platform was developed to host the recordings, through collaboration between the Cultch Digital Storytelling Team, Sound Designer David Mesiha, Inclusive Designer JD Derbyshire, Dramaturg Kathleen Flaherty, Deaf Interpreter Ladan Sahraei, Production Coordinator Brian Postalian and Veronique West. Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue was first presented at the 2021 rEvolver Festival.

Consultants: Amy Amantea, June Fukumura, Simran Gill, and MariFer Rios.

For a full list of the Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue team’s biographies, please follow the link below:

CREATIVE TEAM BIOGRAPHIES
Keywords: 2SLGBTQIA+ | BIPOC Experience | Community | Disability | Family

COLLABORATOR ARTISTS TALK
Recording available online Oct 28 – Nov 7

Accessibility

For Artist Talk:
ASL and Closed Captions

For work in exhibition:
ASL, Transcripts, Audio Playback

Content Warnings

Brief references to colonization, war, genocide, child abuse, suicide, and psychiatric hospitalization. Detailed description of ableism, depression, mania, trauma, and a parent’s incarceration. The content does not play automatically and can be paused or skipped.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Digital Platform Realization by: The Cultch Digital Storytelling Team

Developed at Playwrights Theatre Centre as part of the Associates program.

The project has also been supported by:
Upintheair Theatre’s rEvolver Festival
The National Theatre School of Canada’s Art Apart initiative

The parallel in-person performance has been supported by:
the Canada Council for the Arts
the BC Arts Council
the Province of British Columbia
Playwrights Theatre Centre
Rumble Theatre
Progress Lab 1422
Chimerik似不像 Collective
Boca del Lupo and Rice & Beans Theatre’s DBLSPK series
Mentorship with Boca del Lupo’s Artistic Director Sherry J. Yoon
Universal Limited’s Horizontal Help program
The Arts Club Theatre Company’s LEAP Playwriting Intensive

The Cultch Digital Storytelling Team would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts