Into the Light wins Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award!

We are thrilled to share that “Into the Light: Eugenics and Education in Southern Ontario” has received The Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award! This award celebrates individuals, groups and communities for their exceptional contributions to heritage conservation – cultural and natural, tangible and intangible.

The Ontario Heritage Trust is an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. The Trust identifies, protects, promotes and conserves Ontario’s heritage. The Trust conserves provincially significant cultural and natural heritage, interprets Ontario’s history, educates Ontarians of its importance in our society, and celebrates the province’s diversity. The Trust envisions an Ontario where the places, landscapes, traditions and stories that embody our heritage are reflected, valued and conserved for future generations.

Into the Light is co-curated by Mona Stonefish, Peter Park, Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning, Evadne Kelly, Seika Boye and Sky Stonefish. This exhibition of artistic, sensory, and material expressions of memory aims to bring one of Guelph’s dark secrets, as well as stories of survival, out of the shadows and into the light. Co-presented by Re-Vision: Centre for Art and Social Justice, Bodies in Translation, and Respecting Rights, Arch Disability Law.

The exhibition is now closed at the Guelph Civic Museum, but you can read this piece by Evadne Kelly and Carla Rice in The Conversation Canada that outlines some of the experience, “Universities must open their archives and share their oppressive pasts.”

Dolleen, Sky, Evadne, and Mona on stage receiving the award at Queen’s Park in Toronto.
Evadne standing behind Mona, with a number of other people sitting and standing around them. They are both wearing red and smiling. 
Sky, Dolleen, Evadne, Carla, and Mona smiling together.
Mona smiling, wearing braids and a beaded sheriff’s hat, holding the award.

Hart House Hancock Lecture 2019

Handwriting text: Moving Towards a Disability Justice Revolution

In Canada, people with disabilities are consistently told, explicitly and implicitly, that we do not have the right to exist freely. In this lecture, Sarah Jama will discuss the ways the “disabled body” and “disabled mind” is treated through consumerist understandings in order to uphold every existing oppressive structure in our society. Sarah will discuss the history of the disability justice movement in Canada and the USA, unpack themes around global capitalism, the historical links between colonialism and ableism, and discuss how to build a world that truly uplifts the rights of people with disabilities. Lastly, she’ll walk you through her journey as an organizer, and the steps she has taken towards building inclusive movements. The answer to a better world is a revolution that centres disability justice.

Thursday, March 14 at 7 pm at the Hart House

*Tickets are sold out but live coverage of talk will be available on the Hart House Facebook page.

More information about Sarah Jama and the Hart House here

Upcoming Exhibitions Featuring Vanessa Dion Fletcher

Vanessa Dion Fletcher is an accomplished artist and Bodies in Translation artist-in-residence for 2018. She is a graduate of The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, where she obtained her M.F.A. in 2016. Vanessa has received several awards for her work, including the Textile Museum of Canada Melissa Levin Emerging Artist Award. For more information about Vanessa, please visit her website:

Vanessa will be exhibiting her work at several exciting upcoming events:

Inside Voices, a film by Vanessa Dion Fletcher, will be shown as a part of “That’s So Gay (TSG) 2018: Say My Name.” This group show is curated by Syrus Marcus Ware, and is presented with the 8th annual 10×10 Photography Project and Nuit Rose & Pride Toronto at the Gladstone Hotel. The exhibition runs June 13th till August 5th with the opening party on June 21st from 7-10pm. Artists will present Pechu Kucha talks (short presentations) on July 17th from 6-9pm.

This year’s participating artists are: Xanthe Blister, Quill Christie-Peters, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Myung-Sun Kim, Wy Joung Kou, Gabrielle Le Roux, Life of a Crap Head (Amy Lam + Jon McCurley), Patrisse Marie Cullors, Desmond Miller, Just Seeds Collaborative (Jesse Purcell + Mary Tremonte)

The TSG 2018 subtitle, Say My Name, refers to the #Sayhername campaign, centred around the killings of black women, in particular of black trans women, and the massive campaigns around Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) across Turtle Island.

[Still image from Inside Voices by Vanessa Dion Fletcher. There is a screen with a photograph of a bleeding cervix. The screen is surrounded by a soft brown curtain.]

In Vanessa’s words: “For TSG I am embracing the connection of female anatomy with domestic and interior spaces, lining the walls and floor with textiles creating a tactile comfortable viewing space.”

For more information about the event, visit the Gladstone Hotel website and the Facebook event.

Another exciting exhibition, Crosscurrents: Canada in the Making features Vanessa’s ongoing work with the Textile Museum of Canada. She created a work (in progress) entitled Body Image for the exhibition.

Body Image by Vanessa Dion Fletcher. Her description is The image is of a pelvis and legs with blood dripping into the ground, the phases of the moon are present with an abstraction that references florals patterns or clouds

[Body Image by Vanessa Dion Fletcher. Her description is included in the quote below.]

According to Vanessa:

“The image is of a pelvis and legs with blood dripping into the ground, the phases of the moon are present with an abstraction that references florals patterns or clouds. I have been making and remaking this image in different forms for several years. I hesitated to start this work because I felt like I was repeating my self, but people seem to be very pleased with its new iteration and materials, perhaps I put too much emphasis on the new rather than returning to an always becoming image of a body.”

The exhibition is curated by Roxane Shaughnessy and includes artwork by Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Brenda Lee, Meghann O’Brien, Amanda Rataj, and Ovilu Tunnillie. The focus of the exhibition is the role that textiles play in storytelling, identity- and history-building and expression. From the curator’s description:

“At its core, Crosscurrents considers how textiles old and new stimulate the sharing of new knowledge and insights. Many object stories are held by the communities in which they were made. To reveal them, we have reached out to makers, family members, historians and artists to share their perspectives and knowledge, and summoned their collective voices – foregrounded through gallery commentary, social experiences, workshops, talks and performances, connecting diverse perceptions, passions and understandings from the past and the present into the future.” (Source)

Crosscurrents runs from June 27th 2018 till March 31st, 2019, with an opening reception on June 27th.

For more information, please visit the Textile Museum website.