Archive: Art for Social Change NOW national gathering




Welcome to the archive of the national gathering, “Art for Social Change NOW,” that took place online on January 25 to 27, 2022. Hosted by the International Centre of Art of Social Change (ICASC), this was the inaugural event of the Art for Social Change Network (ASCN), a new national network of community-engaged art for social change (ASC) artists and organizations. Right now, in every corner of Canada, community-engaged artists and organizations are nurturing new forms of collaborative creation, dialogue, partnerships, and action for positive change. At the gathering we explored important key questions: Who is doing the work? What are the current struggles and innovative solutions? How can we and how do we address issues of equity and justice? How are we rising to the critical challenges happening in the community-engaged arts landscape today? 

Click the names below to access the presenters’ biographies and click on “recording link” to access the specific session recording on YouTube. The report on the gathering in English and French is forthcoming.


DAY ONE – Tuesday, January 25

10am to 12:30pm PST | 11am-1:30pm MST | 12-2:30pm CST
1pm to 3:30pm EST | 2-4:30pm AST | 2:30-5:00pm NST



DAY TWO – Wednesday, January 26

9:30am to 12:30pm PST | 10:30am to 1:30pm MST | 11:30am to 2:30pm CST
12:30pm to 3:30pm EST | 1:30pm to 4:30pm AST | 2:00pm to 5:00pm NST

  • Opening Ceremony: Ka’nahsohon Kevin Deer (no recording posted online)
  • Host: Ryan Veltmeyer
  • Session – The Art for Social Change Network (ASCN): Who and What? – What is “ASCN”? Who are we? What are the goals? Hear from each of the ASCN hubs from across the country on what they’re doing in the field of art for social change (ASC). Hosted by Judith Marcuse (BC). Speakers include: Jacob Zimmer (YK), Marie Coderre (NWT), Sally Njoroge (AB), Judy McNaughton (SK), Josh Ruth (MB, Seanna Connell (ON), Maude Levasseur (QC), Saa Andrew (NB), Natasha Blackwood (NFLD), Tim Borlase (LAB), Megan Stewart (PEI), and Heather Wilkinson (NS). – recording link
  • Poetic Intervention: Dr. Afua Cooper – recording link
  • Session – Art for Social Change: Digital Strategies – The world is becoming increasingly digitized and this affects how we approach art for social change. The virtual space offers endless tools for innovation and also presents some significant challenges when it comes to authenticity and community engagement. Panelists will discuss how they have used their respective digital strategies to forward their work for social change through the arts and some of the ways they have navigated challenges within the digital space. Questions about access and representation, as well as innovation and the future of art for social change in an ever-changing environment, will be brought into discourse with panelists and attendees. Featuring: Adonis Huggins (ON), LeeAnne Ireland (AB), and Joy Balmana (MB). Hosted by Josh Ruth (MB). – recording link




DAY THREE – Thursday, January 27

9:30am to 1:30pm PST | 10:30am to 2:30pm MST | 11:30am to 3:30pm CST
12:30pm to 4:30pm EST | 1:30pm to 5:30pm AST | 2:00pm to 6:00pm NST

    • Knowledge Holder Ceremony: Knowledge Holder Maggie Mercredi (no recording posted online)
    • Hosts: Josh Ruth, Heather Wilkinson
    • Session – Communities of Hope: Decolonization and Connection for the Revolution Summary – Join three leaders in discussing ways in which the Art for Social Change sector can embrace anti-colonial practices that center equity and justice through models of care and community. Implicit in this discussion is a consideration of the need for creative spaces that resist exploitative institutional frameworks, the role of artists in imagining our collective future, and the function of nuance in our work. Panelists will also offer tactics for holding onto hope and prioritizing individual and community wellness as integral practices when investing in substantive social change. Speakers include: Allison Yearwood (MB), Vanessa Richards (BC), and Albert McLeod (MB). – recording link
    • Session – The Power of Partnerships in Arts for Social ChangeThe creation of reciprocal and trusting partnerships is central to both short and longer-term ASC community-engaged initiatives. Our panel of experienced ASC practitioners will explore the often-complex elements for success, including taking the time to understand each other’s perspectives, language and processes; defining roles and responsibilities, and clarifying goals and capacities and sustainability. Hosted by Judith Marcuse with presenters Candice Lys (NWT), Laura Barron (BC), Dr. Louise Comeau (NB), and Karin Lavoie (QC) who will share experience and perspectives and then open up the conversation to your questions and comments. – recording link
    • Music Video: Qunmuuyuq: Ascend by PIQSIQ (Kayley Inuksuk Mackay and Tiffany Kuliktana Ayalik). – recording link
    • Session – Embedded Evaluation: Capacity Building for the Sector and BeyondWhy do evaluation? Who is it for? How to explore the perspectives of participants, community partners, funders and facilitating artists/ASC organizations? How to use qualitative, quantitative and/or arts-based approaches? How can we carry out this work in respectful and useful ways? Hosted by senior ASC leader, Seanna Connell (ON), this event brings together Dr. Annalee Yassi (BC), Dr. Kim van der Woerd and Dr. Marnie Badham (Australia) who will explore this sometimes-challenging element of our work in community-engaged arts. To provide some context for this event, please visit – recording link
    • Conclusion  recording link



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