Arts education has been a critical part of Jennifer Cayley’s life work, both as co-founder of MASC and as a teller of tales in community and educational settings. She has told stories in schools, libraries, community centres, and performance festivals across the country.
Yvon Soglo has been dancing for over 10 years, during which time he has become known as one of Canada’s top street dancers.
Emily Rose Michaud is an interdisciplinary artist and educator working at the crossroads of community organization, ecology, and civic participation.
Here, Jacqui talks about creating opportunities for performers of colour in Ottawa’s theatre scene and providing a safe space for vulnerability in young storytellers.
York Street Public School students were struggling with the news of racial violence coming out of the United States and here at home. The school partnered with MASC so that the students could explore the issues and their feelings through an artist-in-residence poetry program. The result is “Give Hope,” a collective poem.
Le R Premier: “While it is true that the arts often mirror the world we live in, the arts must above all embody the positive transformations that we would like to see in the world, in addition to denouncing injustice.”
Eleanor Crowder is an award-winning actor, playwright, and director. She is a member of several artist collectives, including Bear & Co., Calalou, The Skin Songs Collective, and The AWAY Collective. With MASC, Eleanor works in classrooms to explore text and dramatic creation.
MASC artist Tina Le Moine has lived and worked in animation in Vancouver and Montreal, and she now resides in Ottawa spending her time teaching animation, creating, and enjoying life.
Amanda Lewis: “I wanted the children to know that they could continue learning and having fun, but most importantly I wanted them to feel seen and heard and valued. I wanted to give them a small sense of normalcy by continuing their relationship with a trusted and familiar instructor.”
Multi-award winning Twin Flames is led by Jaaji, an Inuk Mohawk man from Nunavik, and Chelsey June, an Algonquin Cree Métis woman from Ottawa. Their newest single “Battlefields” speaks to ending the stigma associated with mental health. Jaaji and Chelsey June speak about life as touring musicians and arts educators adapting to COVID-19.
Chris McKhool has been delighting audiences with infectious songs and world instruments for two decades. In this interview, Chris talks about launching a new album in the midst of a pandemic and connecting with children of all ages through joyful music and positive messaging.
Interview: Brad Lafortune teaches Métis jigging workshops and shares the intricacies of Métis culture
Brad Lafortune hails from the Métis community in Sudbury, Ontario. He works as a physiotherapist in Ottawa and offers Métis jigging workshops and performances through MASC. Here, he talks about the unique identity created through a blending of rich cultures, as well as the opportunity to bring the joy of dance into people’s homes during COVID-19.
Founded in 2007, Propeller Dance is recognized as a leader in Canada for their innovative, inclusive creations and teaching practices, and for demonstrating that dreams can be achieved for people of all abilities. Artistic associate and company dancer Liz Winkelaar speaks about Propeller Dance as a role model for students and the community.
Trained in jazz ballet at the Montreal Jazz Dance Academy and then at the West Can Folk Performing Company in Montreal, Suzan is an accomplished artist and a seasoned teacher and choreographer. She recently appeared on CTV News Ottawa and will be offering workshops through MASC’s online program and the National Arts Centre’s #CanadaPerforms.
Rhonda Doxtator is a pow wow dancer from the turtle clan of Oneida nation. Here, Rhonda talks about working with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth, finding cause for celebration beyond Canada’s devastating history of colonization, and art as medicine.