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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Showing Up, Speaking Out moves on to explore two more themes: housing and poverty, and violence against Aboriginal women

September 9, 2010

Showing Up, Speaking Out is a four-week project offering Winnipeggers unique opportunities to speak out on important topics such as diversity and accessibility by co-creating temporary art works in public spaces with local and visiting artists. This project is about how art can help us express ourselves while building community. It also emphasizes the legitimacy of public space as a site for spontaneous conversation about about city life.

To participate, community members are invited to attend free collaborative art making sessions focused on brainstorming ideas and creating art to be displayed and/or performed as a group. The works will be presented in various locations across Winnipeg and aceartinc. (2nd floor, 290 McDermot Ave.) will host photos, notes and other related items left by participants about their their involvement in an installation that will transform over time.

Stop Violence Against Aboriginal Women Action Group (Winnipeg) welcomes community members to take part in a various projects over the course of several weeks, beginning on Saturday, September 11 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. at aceartinc. (2nd Floor, 290 McDermot Ave). The second session will take place on Saturday, September 18. Additional details will be available online soon.

Tomas Jonsson (Calgary) will work with community members on the subject of housing and poverty. Collaborative sessions on this topic will take place as follows:

  • Monday, September 13 from 4:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 14 from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m
  • Wednesday, September 15 from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 16 from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • Friday, September 17 from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.

All sessions will take place at aceartinc. Participation is free and all are welcome – please join us

Artist Biographies

Stop Violence Against Aboriginal Women Action Group (SVAAWAG) is a grassroots volunteer collective made up of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women working to address the disproportionate level of violence against Aboriginal women and girls. Collaborating artist Leah Decter is an active member of the group. The group began meeting informally in the fall of 2009 with the initial intent of generating concrete actions and strategies to effect change in the conditions that contribute to the perpetuation of this ongoing violence. In the spring of 2010, SVAAWAG organized a consultation and dialogue that included over forty individuals from relevant social service, activist, political and experiential communities to collect information and strategize on a local level. This resulted in a coalition being initiated to move forward with multiple approaches to addressing this issue. SVAAWAG members come to this work though a commitment to action, and with experience in community, program and economic development, research, socially engaged art practices, front line and anti-racism work, counselling, activism, and lobbying. SVAWAAG recognizes that there are more of these crimes against Aboriginal women because of factors arising from gender and race, such as misogyny and race-based oppression, that they are deeply embedded in legacies of colonization profoundly present in Winnipeg, and that they have devastating impacts on families, communities and individuals. We consider that broad awareness of these realities is one important factor in affecting change.

As an artist, curator and writer, Tomas Jonsson is interested in issues of social agency in processes of urban growth and transformation. Jonsson is pursuing a Masters in Environmental Studies at York University, with an emphasis on socially engaged planning. He recently participated in the Border Cities Kolleg at the Bauhaus Institute in Dessau, Germany, where he developed projects with creative and precarious communities in Tallinn and Helsinki. He is currently Programming Coordinator at EMMEDIA Gallery and Production Society in Calgary.

Other participating artists include: Deborah Kelly (Australia) on diversity and Kristin Nelson (Winnipeg) on accessibility. Inge Hoonte (Netherlands/USA) was involved September 1 – 7 on the subject of recreation.

This project is made possible thanks to partnerships with many local organizations: aceartinc., Art City, Institute for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg, Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art,, RAW: Gallery of Architecture and Design, Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, The University of Winnipeg’s Students’ Association, Urban Shaman: Contemporary Aboriginal Art, and Video Pool Media Arts Centre.

Generous financial support for this project has been made available by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Winnipeg Arts Council.

News releases will be issued throughout the duration of this project to share details about each element. A growing calendar of events can be found at


Milena Placentile, Independent Curator
showingupspeakingout @
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