Indigenous Visual Culture Program Community Gathering Spring 2015

Saturday, March 7, 2015 | 2pm – 5pm
OCAD U Room 230
100 McCaul St, Toronto ON

re: ACTIVATE is a community gathering that will bring together Indigenous artists whose practice has initiated artistic interventions of social engagement interwoven across multiple communities and spaces.

re: ACTIVATE makes space for a discussion at the intersection of resistance, advocacy, imagination and witness as a site to recuperate personal and collective power that invigorates communities. Each artist will discuss their work within the matrix of reaction and interaction stirred from their encounters, facilitating a conversation to motivate the spirit of creative activism.

Featuring artists Christi Belcourt, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Peter Morin and members of the BOLD As Love collective – Jamaias DaCosta, Cris Derksen and Melody McKiver.

Artist Bio’s

Christi Belcourt
Like generations of Indigenous artists before her, Christi Belcourt (Michif/Otepmisiwak) celebrates the beauty of natural world while exploring nature’s symbolic properties. Belcourt was named as the 2014 Ontario Aboriginal Arts Laureate by the Ontario Arts Council and is the lead coordinator of Walking With Our Sisters. Follow Christi on Twitter: @christibelcourt or visit her website

Cheryl L’Hirondelle
Cheryl L’Hirondelle is a community-engaged Indigenous (Cree/Metis/German) interdisciplinary artist, singer/songwriter and new media curator originally from the land now known as canada. Her creative practice is an investigation of the intersection of a Cree worldview (nêhiyawin) and contemporary time-space. Her current projects include: a music album and several media-rich installations from song co-written with incarcerated women and detained youth; an international songwriting/mapping and media-rich installation project where she ‘sings land’; and a nomadic performative/collaborative light tipi installation.

Peter Morin
Peter Morin is a Tahltan Nation artist, curator and writer who recently relocated from British Columbia to Brandon MB where he joined the Visual and Aboriginal Arts Faculty at Brandon University. Morin studied art at Emily Carr University of Art+Design and recently completed his MFA at University of British Columbia Okanagan in 2011. In both his artistic practice as well as his curatorial work, Morin’s practice-based research investigates the impact between indigenous cultural-based practices and western settler colonialism.

BOLD As Love Collective featuring collective members Jamais DaCosta, Cris Derksen and Melody McKiver

BOLD As Love is a Toronto based intersectional showcase series of art and music performance by Indigenous and other artists of colour.

Jamaias DaCosta is a mother, a writer, a radio geek and a lover of radical rhythmic roots resurgence. Having spent over a decade working in radio and community education, Jamaias has been co-Host and Producer of The Vibe Collective radio show for the last eight years, and Producer of Indigenous Waves Radio for the last four years, both on CIUT 89.5FM. As a writer, Jamaias has worked with Caribbean Tales Film Festival, CBC, Muskrat Magazine and multiple publications. Jamaias sits on the advisory Board of Mixed in Canada, and is a mixed settler of Kanien’keha:ka, Cree, Irish and French, Jamaican (Colombian, African, Portuguese, Sephardic Jew) ancestry. Jamaias will be releasing her first spoken word recording project, Flint & Fire in early 2015.

Performing from Norway to Australia, Canadian Aboriginal cellist Cris Derksen is known for building layers of sound into captivating performances. Her music braids the traditional and contemporary in multiple dimensions, weaving her traditional classical training and her aboriginal ancestry with new school electronics, creating genre-defying music. Cris Derksen’s critically acclaimed debut solo album, The Cusp (2010), won the 2011 Canadian Aboriginal Music Award for Instrumental Album of the Year, and was nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award, and an Aboriginal People’s Choice Award. Her sophomore album The Collapse was released in 2013.

Melody McKiver is an Anishinaabe musician, interdisciplinary media artist, and arts programmer currently based in Ottawa. Melody’s musical practice spans across viola/violin, and drums/percussion, and performs solo viola working within loops, effects, improvisation, and noise. Melody writes for, is affiliated with Tribal Spirit Music, and co-hosts The Circle on CHUO 89.1FM Ottawa. McKiver holds an MA in Ethnomusicology at the Memorial University of Newfoundland (2014) and an Honours BFA in Music, Minor in Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity from York University (2010).

Ryan Rice, Chair, Indigenous Visual Culture Program