2021 – 2022 Season

Red Betty Theatre
October 28, 2021 | 3-4 PM

This project involved CCENA’s partnership in supporting two hearing-impaired actors to participate in the Decolonise Your Ears New Play Festival (June 22-26 2021) by supplying ASL translators. The translation also meant that the entire festival was accessible for hard of hearing audiences.

Thanks for Nothing
November 18, 2021 | 3-4 PM

This film follows Hamiltonian Sharon Miller as she fights against displacement, trying to stay in her apartment and home despite numerous maintenance and pest issues. The transit agency Metrolinx became Sharon’s new landlord when they purchased her building to construct a Light Rail Transit system and have been trying to evict her from her unit without offering appropriate compensation and an alternative place to live. With nowhere affordable to move to within the increasingly gentrified city of Hamilton, Sharon fights back against displacement pressures and against a city that sees her as dispensable.

Hamilton Black History
December 2, 2021 | 3-4 PM

CCENA is partnering with the Afro-Canadian Caribbean Association and the Hamilton Black History Council to hire a summer researcher, Aaron Parry, to research and assemble an online “one-stop shop” for locating Hamilton Black History resources and archives. At present, many historical sources exist in scattered places, and the idea here is to create a portal that can enable the community, who may not have inside access to various archives (McMaster, Hamilton Public Library, Stewart Memorial Church, etc.) to find relevant materials on Black life in Hamilton.

Keeping Six Quarterly
January 20, 2022 | 3-4pm

Keeping Six–Hamilton Harm Reduction Action League is a community-based organization that defends the rights, dignity, and humanity of people who use drugs. It was formed in response to the ravages of the opioid crisis, and out of recognition of the need for an organized voice for people with lived and living experience of substance use at the many stakeholder tables attempting to manage and overcome the drug epidemic in the city of Hamilton. In addition to being a creative outlet, the zine is a tool for advocacy—building understanding and compassion for the community of people who use drugs. This event featured Arts Coordinator Kelly Wolf & Maggie Ward.

Art Not Shame
February 17, 2022 | 3-4pm

A Guelph-based, community-engaged arts organization serving Ontario youth and young adults, Art Not Shame speaks back to systemic forces that perpetuate cycles of shame and the undermining of self-worth. Art Not Shame seeks to shape community by intentionally building supportive and transformative social spaces. The Rest and Resilience project curated a space for BIPOC youth and adults in Guelph, Hamilton, and surrounding areas to explore rest and resilience through arts-based practices in an environment of intersectional solidarity, celebration, and support.

Hamilton Arts & Letters
March 3, 2022 | 3-4pm

Hamilton Arts and Letters is a biannual magazine and ongoing activist project with a community focus. At this Long Table, HAL‘s editors, alongside filmmaker in residence Sedona Micale, present “The Foundry”–a short film that premiered at the AGH Film Festival and features the poetry of Liz Tessier, the voice of Leo Dragtoe, and artworks by Clarence Porter. HAL builds infrastructure for artists, giving Hamilton artists and writers–emerging and established–opportunities to present new works alongside their peers from across Canada and the world.

2020 – 2021 Season

Ubuntu Music Collaborative
October 22, 2020 | 3-4 PM

The Ubuntu Music Collaborative is a music collective where the rich spiritual and oral music culture of the African community is cultivated and shared with the African diaspora and other communities in Hamilton.

Stories from Hamilton
November 19, 2020 | 3-4 PM

Stories from Hamilton is a community arts storytelling project with artist Lisa Pijuan-Nomura. Through workshops and storytelling sessions, participants learn how to research local history, develop, and tell their stories.

6-Minute Memoir Book Project
January 28, 2021 | 1-2 PM

6-Minute Memoir is a live storytelling event series featuring stories told by Hamilton residents facilitated by author Anne Bokma. For the 10th anniversary of the series, Anne is compiling an anthology of these stories.

Hamilton Arts and Letters
February 11, 2021 | 1-2 PM

Hamilton Arts and Letters (HAL) is a Hamilton-based literature and arts magazine. Issue 14.1 titled The Hammer presents community stories about Hamilton in a time of COVID-19. Issue 13.1 explores the relationship between art and the natural world, and issue 13.2 explores Mennonite stories.

Art in Hard Times
February 26, 2021 | 3-4 PM

Art in Hard Times is a new, community-engaged, art project that will use visual art and digital platforms to engage and support a cross-section of Guelph and area residents virtually in the wake of the current COVID-19 global pandemic. Led by mural artist and Art Not Shame collaborator Melanie Schambach, Art in Hard Times is a co-creative, virtual mural, designed to build community, bridge diverse experiences, decrease isolation, and imagine alternative futures together during this time.

2019 – 2020 Season

October 24, 2019
Long Table: Home X Work and The Perfect Archive

In her photopoetic project Home X Work, Ashley Marshall revisited Hamilton, walking to explore themes such as home, distance, and return. Ashley presented on her experience of this project and its exploration of everyday experiences of both liberation and oppression. Paul Lisson read from his new collection of poetry, The Perfect Archive, an exploration in poems of how documents and information can, have been, and continue to be manipulated to tell or erase events that occurred or are occurring. Paul acknowledges and thanks the League of Canadian Poets, the Canada Council, and the Ontario Arts Council.

November 1, 2019
Hamilton Arts & Letters Fall Launch

Hamilton Arts and Letters is one of this city’s most integral journals, a vital ongoing showcase for a range of literary, academic, and cultural submissions.  Many guest contributors to this year’s publication will present at this launch, which includes a focus on McMaster University’s Discovery Program, original music from the Mohawk College ArtPop ensemble, and remarks from Johannah Bird, Guest Editor of this year’s “Re:Creation Stories” issue along with Shane Neilson, Guest Editor of the ʺImaginary Safe House: Canadian Disability  Poeticsʺ issue. Featuring readings from Kaitlin Debicki, Roxanna Bennett, John Hill, Leo Dragtoe, and more.

November 21, 2019
With Tongues Like These and Placing Attention II

John Hill (Oneida nation from Six Nations of the Grand River) presented his epic poem/performance essay on queer Indigenous poetics entitled “With Tongues Like These . . .” Placing Attention II was the second in a themed series of Long Tables on the ways art both helps shape, and is shaped by, our sense of place. This installment featured Tuscarora artist Waylon Wilson who makes video games that draw attention to Indigenous places and histories.

February 12, 2020
A Shared Table and The Weather Station

A Shared Table celebrates the cultural genius of ethnic and racialized communities in Hamilton by setting a table of food + stories + art. A Shared Table creates community meal and story-making opportunities, working toward “beloved communities” in Hamilton.

Several years ago, Charlie Mantina, a long-time community activist in the Beasley neighbourhood, started The Weather Station in the alleyway that runs north and south between Cannon and Barton streets. As a social space, art piece, and source of information about the weather for those without easy access to media or Internet, The Weather Station serves the diverse group of downtown citizens who use this alleyway.

2018 – 2019 Season

April 10, 2019
Long Table: Placing Attention

What are the habits, histories and narratives by which we place our attention? How, in turn, does the world around us emplace and shape our attention in subtle and crucial ways? In being sensitive to their everyday surroundings, artists and writers play a key role in shaping and responding to place.

This Long Table was the first in a themed series of Long Tables on the ways art both helps shape, and is shaped by, our sense of place. This Long Table featured artist Calla Churchward, poet Darrell Epp, and a broadsheet by Matt McInnes and Simon Orpana.

Click the link above to see photos of this event.

March 20, 2019
Long Table: Art Not Shame

Art Not Shame offers tools and programming for youth and other community members to express and address mental health challenges through collaborative art‐making and storytelling. Michelle Peek and Jeremy Hannah led us through exercises and activities, showing us what they do in their workshops.

Click the link above to see photos of the event and read more about Art Not Shame.

November 20, 2018
Long Table: Agile Films Collective and Hamilton Tenants Solidarity Network

Peter Cockett and three student filmmakers, Jamie, Khalil, and Claudia, represented Agile Films Collective and discussed their collaboration on a short film.

Bjarke and Emily of Hamilton Tenants Solidarity Network presented their CCENA-supported newsletter.

To see photos of and read more about this event, click the link above.

October 18, 2018
Long Table: The 10th Anniversary of Hamilton Arts & Letters

This Long Table, organized by HAL editors Paul Lisson, Fiona Kinsella, and Shane Neilson, involved artists and poets with disability or who engage in a significant way with the topic of disability as a result of caring, loving, and living with persons with disability. The Long Table kicked off with Music Professor Dusty Micale and the ArtPop music ensemble. This Long Table was part of the AbleHamilton Poetry Festival 2018, hosted by the AbleHamilton Poetry Collective and HAL magazine.

Following the Long Table, Paul and Fiona invited all attendees to a viewing of Der Himmel über Hammer ist blau (The sky above is blue hammer), an exhibition by Paul and Fiona at b contemporary gallery.

You can read the 10th Anniversary issues of HAL on their website.

October 5, 2018
The 10th Anniversary of Hamilton Arts & Letters

This event was sponsored by CCENA and was a celebration of Hamilton Arts & Letters. The event featured HAL editors Paul Lisson and Fiona Kinsella, Music ensemble ArtPop with Dusty Micale, Klyde Broox, Henry Giroux, Shane Neilson, and many more.

2017 – 2018 Season

April 24, 2018
Long Table: “Performance Essay II” and
Ode to My Postal Code

“Performance Essay II”: Dub poet Klyde Broox delivered the second phase in the evolution of his “performance essay” genre. Philosophy as spoken word! Spoken word as philosophy!

Ode to My Postal Code: Klyde has been working with a community of emerging poets, spoken word artists, and storytellers. This was a critical celebration of their codes and odes.

March 6, 2018
Long Table: “Art, Philosophy, and Community-Based Innovation”

Gord Tulloch (possAbilities, Vancouver), Nadia Duguay (Exeko, Montreal), and Sarah Schulman (Inwithforward, Toronto) presented on the work of their respective organizations in this panel. The panel explored the role of arts in generating social inclusion, intellectual emancipation, and grounded change with these three out-of-the-box leaders in creating vibrant communities.

February 27, 2018
Long Table: Canada Reads and Something Round

Sarah Roger, Paul Barrett, and Jeremy Haynes gave the presentation “Digitally Reading Canada Reads” on Canada Reads and reading habits.

Artist and photographer Margaret Flood discussed her exhibit Something Round and experiences of walking the Bruce Trail.

To read more about this event and see photos, click the link above.

January 18, 2018
Long Table: The Brightside Project and “Inventing the Performance Essay I”

Simon Orpana, Matt McInnes, and Friends discussed“The Brightside Project.” Simon and Matt have been conducting interviews and focus groups with people who lived in the remarkable neighbourhood of Brightside, which lies under what is now the Stelco lands. They have been connecting stories with mapping methods to re-animate our memories of this key neighbourhood in Hamilton’s history.

Klyde Broox has the extraordinary gift of being able to philosophize the tradition of dub even as he performs it. Over the past couple years, he has been inventing a new form, which he performed at the CCENA Long Table gathering: the performance essay.

November 2017
Long Table: “Visual Narratives, Creating, and Creation Stories”

Simon Orpana and Rob Kristofferson discussed their 2016 graphic novel Showdown! Making Modern Unions.

Dr. Rick Hill discussed his work on The Creation Story Project and the book he has been writing on Haudenosaunee creation story.

To read more about this event, click the link above.

2016 – 2017 Season

March 30, 2017
Spring Symposium: What have we learned so far?

Toward the close of CCENA’s second year, CCENA Community, Advisory, and Directorate gathered together for a Spring Symposium that explored the question: What have we learned so far?

This symposium folded together and presented all that we have learned from our various panels as well as literature on the topic regarding what constitutes community-engaged narrative arts. The format extended our usual “long table” gathering to a round table conversation wherein we invited community members to reflect with us on the evolving field of community-engaged narrative arts and to think ahead to the centre’s future in this arena.

In attendance we had past panelists from this and our inaugural year, members of the CCENA Advisory Panel, colleagues and friends from within the McMaster Community and a host of voices from within the larger artistic, activist, educational and governmental communities that have become a part of our extended CCENA network.

February 8, 2017
Writing Life: In Conversation with Eden Robinson

Bryan Prince Bookseller and CCENA joined to launch a new series called Writing Life, and Eden Robinson was the inaugural guest!

Click the link above to read more about the event and watch Eden’s interview with Kaitlin Debicki.

February 2, 2017
Long Table: “Stories from the More-Than-Human World”

This panel moved beyond people-stories to explore stories of the more-than-human world. Presenters included Kaitlin Debicki, Kanien’keha:ka PhD student in English and Cultural Studies whose research focuses on trees as instructors in Haudenosaunee tradition, John Terpstra, poet and author who has written for many years about the natural environment in Hamilton and is currently working on “daylighting Chedoke Creek,” and Randy Kay who discussed his ongoing work on restoring the Ancaster Creek valley watershed and the MacMarsh initiative. To read more about this event, click the link above.