Category Archives: Art

Mississauga Arts Council announces The Art of Wellness Initiative

The Mississauga Arts Council (MAC) wishes to catalogue the ways in which creative experiences help to improve mental wellbeing in Peel. 

Today MAC announces The Art of Wellness Initiative, led by Susan Ksiezopolski, award-winning poet and founder of WriteWell. Susan is an experienced art practitioner who has developed, Write to Heal, Creative Resilience and Write Your Story workshops helping people explore creative writing as a path to wellness. 

“Expressing ourselves through artistic creative processes has many tangible health benefits, reduces isolation, gives us a sense of connection and lifts our spirits”

Susan Ksiezopolski

“Gathering evidence about the impact of the arts for improving health and wellbeing of those with moderate mental health issues points the way to better using creative experiences in healthcare protocols,” says Mike Douglas, Executive Director of the Mississauga Arts Council. “Cataloguing mental health services provided by artists in Mississauga and the Region will show these mental health benefits in action.” Through a Trillium Foundation Seed Grant, MAC is hosting the Arts for Mental Health Conference in the spring of 2021. 

“The Art of Wellness documentary will spotlight the important role the arts can play in effectively treating people with high stress, anxiety and depression,” says Dr. Colin Saldanha, member of the Arts for Mental Health Steering Committee. 

“This is a good news story,” says Committee Chair, Anna Silgardo, founder of Artists in Momentum, adding that, “The effects of mental illness are malignant and damaging – it can destroy individuals and families. It knows no boundaries. We need to mobilize a defence mechanism to halt and uproot its advance. What better means than art!”

The project begins next week and MAC is calling on all local artists who are currently leading arts programs for mental wellness goals, to please contact the video producers using the subject line Mental Wellness and the email: media@mississaugaartscouncil.com.

MAC Micro Grants – Dance and Visual Arts Winners Announced

The Mississauga Arts Council (MAC) is happy to announce the remaining winners of their 2020 Micro Grants Program. 19 artists and group projects have been awarded a total of approximately $7,800 for their works, benefitting artists and residents.

This is the second announcement about winners of MAC’s expanded 2020 Micro Grants Program, 34 artists in total have been awarded $28,700 for their works benefitting artists and residents.

Congratulations to all of the recipients! Here are the Dance & Visual Arts winners:

Colleen Snell, Co-Founder & Artistic Director of Frog in Hand Productions, was awarded the Dance as a Movie Grant of $4,000 for their four-video series about the wonder and wellbeing of walks in nature during the pandemic. They will be creating four site-specific dance films shot in scenic landscapes around Mississauga, featuring talented, professional dancers.

Emily Roman from Elite Dance Companyalso won a Dance as a Movie Grant of $2,000 for their dance video performance, “The Moments That Define Us’ (working title), an original piece that is a coming-of-age story about innocence lost and real-life realized. This piece will feature local Mississauga based dancers, directors and videographers. 

18 Mississauga-based visual artists; Ashley Beerdat, Grace Miah, Jackie Gallagher, Cathy Clark, Debby de Groot, Sandra Robson, Joanna Turlej, Rosemary Broos, Sujata Chander, Shobha Wagley, Adriana Rinaldi, Laura Beaton, Sue Archibald, Gabby Tutak, Sjon de Groot, Noelle Hamlyn, Sofia Berger and Raheel Patel were awarded a Grant for expenses to participate in the first Mississauga Invitation Fine Art Show. This free art show and sale will feature a winding spacious path through artists’ exhibits in the sparkling Luxe Ballroom at the newly opened Hyatt Place Hotel on Hurontario south of Britannia. Unfortunately, due to recent updates from the Provincial Government regarding COVD-19 gathering limit restrictions, the show is postponed, pending a safer time for all of those involved. Stay tuned for more information. 

The Mississauga Arts Council is dedicated to enabling the growth of the arts by creating opportunities and connections between artists and residents in Mississauga and beyond. The Mississauga Arts Council’s programming offers no-cost or low-cost opportunities to perform, learn, and engage.

Since its inception in 1981, the Mississauga Arts Council works to facilitate partnerships, encourage collaboration and provide awards for healthy competition between artists and performers, to strengthen our community and contribute to a more vibrant city. 

To learn more about MAC visit: www.mississaugaartscouncil.com

Local writers share their COVID-19 stories and win the #ApartTogether Writing Contest

The #ApartTogether Contest was featured through the 2020 summer of COVID-19. It was offered as a way of having writers write about their experiences and what they have gone through during this pandemic. Mississauga Arts Council offered three prizes for the best submissions – 1st place $250, 2nd place $150, and 3rd place $100. Mississauga Writers Group handled the admin part of the contest and will be featuring the submissions in their yearly anthology, the upcoming WordFest, Celebrating Family, Friends and Neighbours. Peel Weekly News published the different submissions and will be publishing the winners in their weekly newspaper. Heritage Mississauga will be posting all the writings to their city archives. 

21 submissions came in as poetry and stories. School, pet, family, sad and happy stories were judged by a panel of five judges. All of them were amazed at the submissions and were happy to be a part of it. So many submissions were from the members of the Mississauga Writers Group and as the director, I was very happy that they did step up. That is what it’s about. We are a writers’ group and we were given an opportunity to write about our everyday lives and how we were coping.  

The requirement was that we all lived in Mississauga and that it was a maximum of 500 words. Some were over but happily reduced the number of words. We insisted on having a bio and a photo for our promotions just like other contests and they obliged. One of the most difficult writings we have is our own bio – much like a resume but it is personal. Everyone stepped up and signed a permission slip to have their writings promoted within our four different venues.

Congratulations to our three winners! 1st place, Marisa Baratta – Together (poem); 2nd place, Angela Chao – Falling of Father Tree, 1950 (poem); and 3rd place, Frances Frommer – I Celebrate My Cats: Constant Companions During the Coronavirus Pandemic (prose). Their stories will and have been published in the Peel Weekly News. The announcement will be coming soon.

This was our first collaborative effort with a contest and it proved very successful. Our city is full of artists and writers and this just proves it.

MAC Micro Grant Winners Announced

The Mississauga Arts Council (MAC) is happy to announce the Phase One winners of their 2020 Micro Grants Program. Fifteen artists and group projects have been awarded a total of $21,000 for their works, benefitting artists and residents.

Here are the winners!

Jasmine Sawant, writer, is awarded the Theatre in the Park grant of $5,500 for their play “Pandemic Pandemonium”, an original work that will look at life during the COVID-19 lockdown and the experience of near and not-so-near family members over months. 

Angela Chao, visual artist and filmmaker, was awarded the Artists on Film – South Asian Women Grant of $6,000 for “Mississauga Creates: South Asian Creatives”. This short documentary will highlight South Asian Women artists working in poetry, visual arts and filmmaking. Sharing their stories will provide motivation and encouragement to others and demonstrate some of the diverse talent in Mississauga. 

Wali Shah, speaker, poet, was awarded the Touring Words of Meaning Grant of $2,500 for their proposal to deliver a poetry anthology written on timely and relevant social issues (Black Lives Matter, COVID-19, and immigrant/POC narrative) as well as pieces on Mississauga. This book will speak to the struggles and the blessings for diverse people in Canada. 

Qurat Dar, emerging author and spoken word artist, also won a Touring Words of Meaning Grant of $2,500 for their project, “Hot Damn It’s a Queer Slam – Mississauga”. This tour will put on a series of poetry slams and workshops live in Mississauga or online, each including a featured LGBTQPIA2S+ poet in an open mic. 

Eleven Mississauga-based musicians; Dimitri Hyacinth, Tennyson King, Justin Moy, Paige Blossom and Danny Lwin, Cmagic5, Shan Fernando, Andrea Arthur, Abhishek (Abby V), Cat Bernardi, and Vivek Mehmi received a Musicians as Video Makers Grant, each receiving access to a 1-year subscription to Adobe Premiere Pro and 6 hours of free instruction in video editing, digital marketing and social media impact. Using this software and guidance, each musician will create their own music video that will then be presented and promoted in MAC’s online ‘Sauga Showcase on a date to be announced. 

Over the past year, MAC members have volunteered to work at the Rama Gaming Centre on Battleford Road, raising the Micro Grant monies as well as funds for Open Mics and other public arts programming. Stay tuned for the announcement of additional winners of Visual Arts and Dance Micro Grants. 

The Mississauga Arts Council is dedicated to enabling the growth of the arts by creating opportunities and connections between artists and residents in Mississauga and beyond. The Mississauga Arts Council’s programming offers no cost or low-cost opportunities to perform, learn, and engage.

Since its inception in 1981, the Mississauga Arts Council works to facilitate partnerships, encourage collaboration and provide awards for healthy competition between artists and performers, to strengthen our community and contribute to a more vibrant city. 

To learn more about MAC visit: www.mississaugaartscouncil.com

Mississauga Arts Council wins $28,000 from Canada’s Emergency Support Fund to create a new online arts marketplace

“We are delighted to thank the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund and The Community Foundation of Mississauga for the $28,000 we will be applying to the creation of the online arts hub” announced Mike Douglas, Executive Director of the Mississauga Arts Council. 

The emergency fund provides Community Foundations of Canada, the United Way, Centraide Canada and the Canadian Red Cross with a total of $350 million for critical grants. 

“The Community Foundation of Mississauga has its fingers on the pulse of community needs in our city,” Douglas added, noting that, “we are relieved and grateful that the Foundation has seen the real value in supporting the creation of an accessible, online marketplace, in order to sell and promote artists’ works and services in a new digitally connected revenue channel.” 

MAC will be looking to the creative community for input into the design and operation of its digital marketplace, a creative hub for hosting online stores, websites and event news. All efforts are in line with MAC’s goals of creating opportunities for artists, helping them to excel and sustain themselves while connecting them with new audiences online.

“We are grateful to MAC for the role that you play in supporting our community as it continues to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.” offered Anne Marie Pierce, CEO of the Community Foundation of Mississauga “We know that the transition to new ways of delivering programs and services has not been easy.” 

Making the transition to digital will get a lot easier for the arts communities in Mississauga, thanks in large part to the financial help the new online arts marketplace has received. 

Further supporting the Marketplace, MAC will be launching a new educational program of digital workshops and tutorials this fall.