Wednesday, February 3, 2-3 pm

ABCs in Action: An Introduction to Contemporary Dance with Elizabeth Emond-Stevenson

Participants will explore a variety of ways to transform ideas into action through games and fun exercises using principles of direction, weight, speed and flow. Discover your own personal movement vocabulary and surprise yourself! Fitness, enjoyment and expression come together in an inclusive format open to all ages and abilities. Specifically adapted to online platforms and small spaces. No experience necessary.

Elizabeth Emond-Stevenson is a Franco-Ontarian dance artist from the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnawbe people (Orléans ON). Under the name TAKE UP SPACE Elizabeth creates/performs/collaborates through connections between people/places/artforms from an inclusive, feminist perspective that aims to create space for collaborators and audience members alike.


Saturday, February 13, 7-9  pm

Big and Small Screen Storytelling: A Screenwriting Introduction with Dan Lalande

As a veteran TV writer (You Can’t Do That On TV, The Raccoons, etc.) with five feature films to his name (with stars including Ernest Borgnine, Eli Wallach, Teri Garr, Michael Moriarty. Pat Morita, and Graham Greene), Dan was invited some time ago to teach a pair of screenwriting courses at Algonquin College. He went on to teach them for over a dozen years, earning, over that time, some of the highest evaluation rankings among the college’s PT instructors. He has adapted these courses into a two-hour primer delivered via ZOOM, for those interested in trying their hand at developing their own big or small screen story.

Dan Lalande is a professional writer based in Ottawa. Dan’s career began at the age of nineteen, as a staff writer on Nickelodeon’s flagship series You Can’t Do That on Television (named one of the 50 greatest sketch comedy shows of all time by Rolling Stone magazine) and the Canadian animation sensation The Raccoons.  Dan also contributed to The Adventure of Teddy Ruxpin, Under the Umbrella Tree, For Better or For Worse, Young Robin Hood, White Fang, Mouse Sports, and other family-friendly series. While writing and performing as a member of the Skit Row comedy troupe, the sketch and improv ensemble that was Ottawa’s answer to Second City, Dan enjoyed a parallel career in professional communications. Dan researched, wrote, and co-produced informational and instructional content for government departments, small to medium sized businesses, national and area charities, and Ottawa’s then booming high tech sector. Over this time, Dan was also penning a myriad of TV specials and series, in the comedy, drama and documentary genres. Broadcasters included CTV, CBC, Bravo!, Discovery, and W. Dan is also an accomplished journalist and short story writer.

Wednesday, February 17, 2-4 pm

Re-discovering your Voice: Maintaining Your Power and Colour, with Chris Ralph

“Many of my students are finding as they get older, their voices are losing power and colour. In this workshop, you will use poetry and scenes from plays to learn easy to repeat techniques to keep your voice strong. You will also learn how acting techniques can keep your voice purposeful and full of intention. You will also learn how to add variety and colour to your voice. “When I teach voice, I take it from the perspective of ‘What is getting in the way of your healthy voice, and how can I overcome these blocks.’ This will not be a ‘singing class’ or a ‘lecture class’; it will be interactive, practical, fun and entertaining.” Chris says.

Chris Ralph is an Ottawa-based actor and acting teacher  for over twenty years. He is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and received an MFA in Acting (with a specialization in Voice) from York University in 2009. In the past two years, he has acted at the NAC (Up to Low) and GCTC (The Virgin Trial) as well as numerous other companies in and around Ottawa. In addition to acting work, he founded an acting studio called the Acting Company in 2003. Their studio is in the Glebe, and pre-COVID-19 they had 100-150 adult students taking various theatre courses.

Saturday, February 20, 7 – 8:15 pm

Footloose Fitness with Kayla McSorley and Lisa Paquette

Footloose Fitness is a workshop designed to help musical theatre lovers who may be recovering from injuries, who are hoping to strengthen a targeted muscle group, or who are seeking to improve mobility, to create a health and fitness regimen on their terms while leaving lots of room to express their artistic creativity as they dance to some classic show tunes. After all the secret to a sustainable healthy lifestyle is to enjoy the process!

Kayla McSorley is a French-Canadian actor, singer, dancer and theatre teaching artist from Ottawa, Ontario. Since acquiring her BFA Theatre Performance from Niagara University, New York, she has worked in the USA, Taiwan, Toronto and Ottawa. As a result of the pandemic, Kayla has been focusing on furthering her dance training to extend that passion and offer healthy outlets through classes and workshops to members of the community who are feeling stagnant in their daily routine. This multifaceted artist currently offers performance classes at Artishow and Top Rock, is a member of the TRAPT Ottawa dance troupe and is the artistic director of Pirate Life Ottawa.  In 2021, Covid restrictions permitting, Kayla will be seen performing in a variety of performances across Ontario starting with the Oh Canada Eh Ottawa dinner theatre this spring. More info on Kayla’s work can be found on the following social media platforms:
Kayla’s Performance Reel

Lisa Paquette is a Registered Kinesiologist in the Ottawa area who focuses on physical rehabilitation in order to better the daily lives of clients. Lisa has worked as a Kinesiologist for 4 years now, both in physiotherapy clinics, and in the houses of clients working with victims of car accidents. Lisa has recently been working for the Dementia Society providing supportive counseling and education about dementia and the caregiving role.

Wednesday, February 24, 2-4 pm

Drawn Together: How Lessons from Art Are Connected To Mindfulness Training, with Charlene Lau Ahier

“Since the earliest cave drawings were discovered 40,000 years ago, drawing has been a universal tool for expression owing to its immediacy. Based on my experiences of drawing from life, I’d like to apply the lessons learned to these elements of mindfulness training: Exploration (letting go of conscious thought and control and drawing spontaneously); Rapport Building (using conversational drawing to consciously communicate in a new way) and Interpersonal Relations (being attentive to each other). Slowing down the process of looking, these exercises give participants the opportunity to practice being more “present”, and to have fun without expectations. The results can be quite amusing! The session will include a presentation on how drawing fits into the big picture of how humans relate to each other, concepts of mindfulness, and how drawing can help us to develop self-awareness. Participants will do some automatic drawing during the presentation. This will be followed by more drawing exercises. Materials for the exercises would be fairly simple: paper, pencil or pen, and some water media, like coffee, tea or watercolour (optional)”, Charlene says.

Charlene Lau Ahier is an experienced teacher, technical communicator, arts advocate, and visual artist, specializing in perceptual painting and drawing. She has taught classes and led lectures, demonstrations and workshops in painting and drawing at a number of venues, including National Gallery of Canada, Orange Gallery, Canterbury High School, Ontario Teachers Federation, Glebe Neighbourhood Activities Group, Nuit Blanche Ottawa Gatineau, University of Ottawa Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine, and private mentoring and workshops at Studio 6 and LiveLab.

Saturday February 27 2021 7-8:30 pm

Story-Based Artwork With Jadzia Romaniec

“Participants will listen to a story in very short segments and then respond to each segment using a new method or material, such as using their non-dominant hand, using both hands simultaneously, rotating their paper and more. Each step in the process will highlight or focus on a distinct element of art such as color, line, shape, etc.  Participants will interpret the story as literally or abstractly as they choose.  At each stage, I will make suggestions as to how media can be used in addition to specific instructions for that stage”, Jadzia says.

Following the art making activity, participants will be invited to examine their own and others’ artwork and to share their observations about their own process, interpretations of the story elements and likes/dislikes.  The project offers opportunities to use different parts of the brain, develop visual literacy, imagination and critical thinking, enhance listening and fine motor skills, promote self-awareness, and engage with others while sharing their experiences of the project.

Materials: paper, pencils, markers, paint, or whatever the participant may have, including household objects such as Q-tips, straws, and tissues for moving paint or other media.

Jadzia Romaniec is an Ottawa artist with over 20 years of exhibitions to her name. She has worked as an art therapist with the Salvation Army Stabilization Program, Canadian Breast Cancer Network, Bereaved Families of Ontario, and National Gaucher Foundation of Canada. Jadzia has also taught art classes for adults with the City of Ottawa and at the Wild Pigments Studio, and also led drawing classes with the OCDSB and Ashbury College.

Friday, March 5, 7-8:30 pm

The Elegance of the Ordinary: Living Each Moment in Dance with Lola Ryan

“My approach is to gently and precisely assist you in finding and/or rediscovering your own physical expression, not choreographed but spontaneous. After some warm-up and focusing exercises (muscles, bones, breath, balance and coordination) , we will put them into an artistic form that acknowledges your individual abilities and preferences. Yes, we will actually dance, but it will be your dance, the one that you create in the moment. I’ll supply the music and a lightness of instruction that will make the session a unique delight. Your home is your studio and your concert hall! (Mine is too…)

I will work with you to make this session your own, rather than simply prepackaged and delivered material. Serious fun will be had!” Lola says.

Lola Ryan is a teacher, writer and performer. She is a senior artist, with an extensive career in many fields of endeavour   A former champion athlete, she began a career in dance in her twenties, founding and co-founding  several  dance/theatre  companies and touring nationally. She is one of Canada’s foremost practitioners of dance and movement improvisation. As a critic, she has both written and broadcast reviews of dance and theatre across Canada and in the U.S.  Her work with adults and children is an abiding interest, which is why the work she has created, encourages links between youthful play and the world of dance. Through MASC, Lola has taught thousands of children, adults and seniors since 2000.  She also teaches at the University of Ottawa and serves on the board of Dance Ontario. See Lola working with seniors HERE.

Saturday, March 6, 7-9 pm

Interactive Shakespearean text analysis and scene study with Jodi Kristjanson

Participants will first be guided through the general and basic aspects of Shakespeare’s plays (prose vs. poetry, iambic pentameter, etc.). Following this, participants will learn specific  tools and unique poetic devices employed by Shakespeare (antimeria, parimion, etc.). Throughout the session, participants will get the opportunity to actively participate by looking at different examples throughout Shakespeare’s works. The second part of the session will consist of a scene study, to apply what was learned in the text analysis portion of the session. Each participant will be assigned a dialogue. Participants will learn how to discover the rhythm of each line in a scene and how to stress the appropriate words in a naturalistic way. They will experiment with their scene by playing with different choices in text analysis. The session will conclude with the performance of these scenes with the use of the script.

Jodi Kristjanson is a graduate of Drama Studio London and has also been a part of Prairie Theatre Exchange’s Professional Training Ensemble and the Stratford Festival’s Theatre Performance Intensive. Some of her most recent film and theatre credits include Amy Evans in Hallmark’s A Winter Getaway, Margery in The Country Wife, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Isabella in Measure for Measure. In addition to being an actor, Jodi is a singer, pianist, and dancer. She received her undergraduate degree in philosophy (B.Ph) from Collège Universitaire Dominicain/Carleton University.

Wednesday, March 10, 2-4 pm

Making Inks from Garden-Grown or Foraged Plants with Wendy Feldberg

This workshop explores making your own non-toxic and natural art materials using local/regional plants for work in the visual arts, textile arts, calligraphy and the book arts. Wendy writes, “In my own current work, I am using plant inks for work on paper and textiles either alone or in mixed media applications, including new explorations of mineral and earth based colours. I have made it a goal to use local and regional plants for the colours they offer so, unlike the commercial makers of synthetic paints, I choose work within a relatively restricted ink palette with nods to historical colour ranges. My work with making natural inks has grown out another of my interests: a genre of direct or contact printing with plants now commonly referred to as ecoprinting. This is a direct process (very straightforward, not at all arcane!) which extracts plant colours and causes the plants to print their forms on papers or textiles.”

Wendy Feldberg is a local mixed media artist now interested in natural materials for art. She works mainly with papers and textiles, painting and printing with plant dyes in various applications, including embroidered surfaces and artists’ books. She grows and forages the plants she uses for art. Her work has been shown in many local galleries including the Ottawa Art Gallery as well as in Toronto and the UK. Some of her pieces are in the Permanent Collection of the City of Ottawa.

Saturday, March 13, 7-8:15 pm

Shakespeare and Song, A Performance of Shakespearean Art Song through a Variety of Composers, with Carmen Harris

Carmen Harris will present a performance of Shakespearean art song through a variety of composers, including: Strauss’ Ophelia Lieder, Shakespearean selections from Dominick Argento’s Six Elizabethan Songs and the local composer Andrew Ager’s own Five Shakespearean Songs. Along with singing these beautiful, diverse works, she will discuss the historical importance of Shakespeare’s poetry and plays in music and how each of these composers represented his words very differently through text-setting and rhythmic play. Carmen will provide translations to the German text of Ophelia Lieder and will also speak about each song cycle before it begins so participants can share in the discovery of these amazing works.

Carmen Harris is a passionate performer of classical music, opera, musical theatre and just about any other genre she is hired for. She has a Master of Music from the University of Ottawa and has sung with opera companies and symphonies across North America and Europe, including work with the NAC Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony, Chilliwack Symphony and Okanagan Symphony. Carmen wrote her master’s thesis defence on Strauss’ Ophelia Lieder.

Wednesday, March 17, 2-4 pm

Visualization and Creative Arts with with Marg Boyle – Part I

The idea is to introduce how visualization and visioning in Indigenous traditional knowledge impacts on my own art production. This will include specific connections to breathing exercises, visualization, journaling and sketching of ideas,” Marg says. There will be a follow-up session of participants’ activities grounded in both visual arts and writing.

Marg Boyle is Metissage from Gespeg/Gaspe/Gaspesie. Her ancestors are Mi’gmaq, Abenaki, European and African: thus she attempts to honour them all, through both the work she does in community and through the arts she creates and performs. She has made a commitment to arts making that is toxin free, eco friendly and sustainable. She is an artist, craftsperson, drummer, traditional dancer, writer, workshop provider, full spectrum doula and vintage shop owner.

Saturday, March 20, 7-8:30 pm

Moving Creatively with Allison Elizabeth Burns

Allison Elizabeth Burns teaches a gentle introduction to contemporary dance. It is designed for anyone who has been curious about the style, or movement in general. There is absolutely no dance experience required, just curiosity about what that brilliant body of yours can do! The workshop offers a new way of thinking about movements and sensations. The practice is largely based on improvisation, so the exercises can accommodate a variety of participants’ physical capacities. The skills taught here can be used in other forms of dance, performing arts, and general well-being and improved mind-body connection.

Allison Elizabeth Burns is a choreographer, performer, educator, and producer based in her hometown of Ottawa. Allison has choreographed and performed in multidisciplinary projects, dance works, and commissions. Her work has been presented at various festivals, and she has performed in choreographic works across North America. As a passionate dance advocate she promotes dance awareness and comprehension through workshops, talks and podcasts. She has worked as a dance instructor for Luv2Groove, The School of Dance, Ottawa Dance Centre, schools and Dovercourt Recreation Centre among others.

Wednesday, March 24, 2-3 pm

Visualization and Creative Arts with with Marg Boyle – Part 2

The idea is to introduce how visualization and visioning in Indigenous traditional knowledge impacts on my own art production. This will include specific connections to breathing exercises, visualization, journaling and sketching of ideas,” Marg says.

Marg Boyle is Metissage from Gespeg/Gaspe/Gaspesie. Her ancestors are Mi’gmaq, Abenaki, European and African: thus she attempts to honour them all, through both the work she does in community and through the arts she creates and performs. She has made a commitment to arts making that is toxin free, eco friendly and sustainable. She is an artist, craftsperson, drummer, traditional dancer, writer, workshop provider, full spectrum doula and vintage shop owner.

Saturday, March 27, 7-8:30 pm

An Evening of Canadian Jazz with Mike Tremblay and Mark Ferguson

Jazz in Canada has a rich and vibrant history that is respected all over the world. Mark and Mike will present a concert featuring some of their own original works and compositions from other Canadian jazz composers, including Rob McConnell, Kirk MacDonald, Mike Murley, Oscar Peterson, and others. The concert will include short stories about the composers and their material. The concert will be a live broadcast from one of the premier venues in the live Ottawa music scene, “Gigspace.” This venue, along with owner Marilee Townsend-Alcorn, has been supporting live music for years. She has also been busy raising funds and supporting live online broadcasts during the Covid-19 pandemic. The sound engineer will be Mike Mullin, a valuable member of the Ottawa music scene for more than forty years. He has both recorded and broadcasted live many concerts during the pandemic.

Mike Tremblay and Mark Ferguson have been performing together for more than 30 years. Their musical collaboration has taken many forms over the years, from teaching at Carleton University to performances with some of the finest artists on the planet including Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Bob Newhart, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Mark and Mike have released two recordings, “Home” in 2010, a duo album, and in 2019, “Appleface,”a quartet album featuring Canadian jazz legends Dave Young on bass and Terry Clarke on drums.