May: Funding Announcement, Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival, Shaw Festival, the Bentway and more!

Dear Friends,
I am writing to you today as the Founding Executive Director Emerita as Thomas Vaughan steps into the role of Executive Director! More on that and 25th Anniversary memories in the next issue but for now I am excited to share a major announcement by Minister Lumsden last Friday!

Theatre Aquarius, celebrating its 50th anniversary, premiered a new musical by musician, artist and Hamiltonian, Tom Wilson. The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, also from the Hammer, was there to bring greetings on the occasion of the Theatre’s anniversary and for OCAF’s 25th. The Minister also announced a three-year funding commitment to OCAF of $6 million!

We are thankful and thrilled as this will allow us to provide outreach across the province and make OCAF an even better program, supporting the Ministry’s goals and providing support to the cultural tourism sector for the benefit of all Ontarians. Thank you Minister Lumsden and your team for your confidence and support in this unique program!
The reception was attended by many local dignitaries, including Mayor Andrea Horwath and former MPP, Eleanor McMahon, as well as cultural organizations, including the Art Gallery of Hamilton. The music community was out in full force to give their enthusiastic support to Tom Wilson and his extraordinary new musical, Beautiful Scars, which OCAF was proud to support.
For the Minister’s remarks click here.
For the news release click here.
Enjoy this beautiful month of May with all it has to offer – events, festivals and exhibitions all across Ontario!
Kathleen Sharpe
Founding Executive Director Emerita

Events On Now: Opening

The Canadian Canoe Museum is opening its doors on May 12, giving visitors access to the world’s largest collection of canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft. The new facility displays 600 watercraft, thousands of small artefacts and an archive!

On May 12 the community can visit the new space of the Canadian Canoe Museum. Tour the new facility, outdoor campus and and check out programming for a sneak peek at the new visitor experience. Admission is free, but attendees must pre-register.

Learn more

The Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival is returning for its  fourth edition, running May 30 – June 2, 2024 in Toronto, with 100+ Indigenous artists, designers, makers, brands and pundits from Canada and worldwide. The IFA Festival will take place over four days with runway shows and a 70-vendor marketplace at CF Toronto Eaton Centre, with the Fashioning Resurgence symposium and workshop series at Toronto Metropolitan University’s Student Learning Centre.

In 2024, the Festival will welcome its biggest audience yet, with attendees experiencing the dynamic Indigenous talent in fashion today. Tickets are available now through

Learn more

The Bentway’s Summer 2024 programming brings the city back together in public space, including the Canadian debut of Yoga With Adriene, roller skate parties, and an exhibition of free public art, Softer City.

The Bentway’s season open on May 24 and will feature large-scale parties, community recreation, and free public art presented under the Gardiner Expressway, running from May 24 to October 6.

The cornerstone of the season is The Bentway’s free public art exhibition, Softer City, a series of six commissioned art installations, performances, and events that explore “softness” as a collective strategy for social connections.

Summer Opening Night Party
May 24, 2024 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Come mix, mingle, and dance under the Gardiner. The evening culminates with a massive collective performance led by local queer line dancing icons, SPURS. And, be the first to see The Bentway’s new public art exhibition Softer City.Walking:Holding 
May 25, 2024 to May 26, 2024 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

Walking:Holding is a unique, experiential performance that invites audience members (one at a time) on a guided walk through the neighbourhood, where they encounter and hold hands with a series of people along the way. Rosana Cade’s project embraces social connections between strangers, illuminating how identity, intimacy, hypervisibility, and vulnerability intersect in public space.

Learn more.

Join Shaw Festival for Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution at the Royal George Theatre!

When a wealthy, older woman is found brutally murdered, there is only one suspect: her handsome, charming, and much-younger lover. Sure, he has a motive, but did he actually do it? Due to a strict, no-spoilers policy, we can’t answer that question. Here’s what we can say: the play is full of clever twists, witty dialogue and rising tension. If you’re a fan of riveting courtroom dramas, don’t miss this shocker.

Learn more.

This month, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery is celebrating a brand new exhibition, kicking off its anniversary season which we are proud to support! Emerging Visions is an annual exhibition of thesis projects by the third-year Fine Arts class at Durham College. The event, 7-9pm will feature opening remarks with Durham College students and staff to recognize the opening of Emerging Visions, performances, screenings and an award ceremony. 

Like all visionary explorers, the students in Durham College’s Fine Arts Advanced program are involved in a continual process of identifying and studying meaningful subjects that pertain to their own evolving bodies of work. They first research then develop strategies unique to their practice through experimentation, all the while learning to define and focus their personal interests. This exhibition includes a wide range of subjects, interests, and mediums.

Look out for future events from The Robert McLaughlin Gallery throughout the year!

Learn more.

Retour en haut