Arts Exchange - multi-coloured scraps of paper

Arts Exchange 2022 // Cohort 3

Arts Exchange is an initiative developed by MT Space in 2020 as a way to keep Waterloo Region artists employed and active in the arts during the height of COVID-19 restrictions when many artists were faced with loss of employment and opportunities. Arts Exchange gives IBR artists in the Waterloo Region the opportunity to explore new artistic partnerships, collaborate on new or existing projects, mentor each other in similar or new disciplines, and join the community of local IBR (Indigenous, Black, Racialized) artists who aim to elevate each other’s work.

MT Space pairs up participants based on interests or ideas, practices and disciplines or any general matches that have the potential for magic. Participants are funded for three weeks of collaborative creation in a timeline that suits the pairing’s needs. Artists are free to use their time together as they wish: to exchange ideas, processes, and even mentor one another.

There is NO expectation to have a finalized product by the end of the exploration. At the end of this time, artists have the option to share or present what they’ve created or explored in an artistic encounter, hosted in-person and streamed online.

For those who would like to continue developing their work, after the program has finished,
MT Space is here to support them through our incubation stream.

 

* Intisar ‘Isa’ Awisse and Kathleen ‘Kate’ Kamo McHugh are working in an exchange pairing that will not be presented the weekend of October 8-9.  

Arts Exchange 2022: Encounters at Culture Days

Arts Exchange Encounters
as part of Culture Days 2022

Saturday, October 8, 2022 | 5-9pm
Sunday, October 9, 2022 | 4-8pm

We’re thrilled to be able to come back together this October 8th and 9th at The Registry Theatre for Arts Exchange Encounters, a mini fest that showcases local IBR artists who participated in our third (yes, third!) Arts Exchange cohort.

At the Arts Exchange Encounters showing, you can expect to see some new works-in-progress, have engaging curated conversations, and to meet some of the wonderful local IBR artists that are right here in Waterloo Region.  

Encounter The Artists

Encounters at Culture Days – Saturday, October 08 @ The Registry Theatre

6:00 pm »

Arts Exchange 2022 Artist - Behnaz Fatemi
Behnaz Fatemi

Behnaz Fatemi was born in Iran in 1991 and moved to Canada in 2018.

Fatemi received her BFA in painting from the University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran. She is an MFA candidate at the University of Waterloo from 2022-2024. Fatemi is an interdisciplinary artist based in the KW region. Her work has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions throughout Iran and Canada.

Fatemi expresses her artistic ideas mainly in drawing, sculpture, and installation. She focuses on the deep connection between humans and their behaviors. This is an answer to her question of how human sensibility is interconnected with topics such as society, politics, religion, personal beliefs, and the like.

Fatemi was the 2020-2021 Kitchener Artist in Residence, working on immigrant- and immigration-related themes in the Pegman project. At the same year, she was also one of the members of Art$Pay Artist in an incubator program supported by the Region of Waterloo. In November 2020, Fatemi received Arts Awards Waterloo Region in the Emerging Artist category.

Arts Exchange 2022 Artist - Zahra Seemab
Seemab Zahra

Seemab Zahra is a multidisciplinary artist in Waterloo Region, Canada.

She works as a poet, writer, and photographer with theatres, magazines, and art institutions. Her poetry and articles have been published in various local and international magazines.

Seemab has presented her work at the Femme Folks Fest by Pat the Dog Theatre Creation, Happening Multicultural Fest by Muse Arts Toronto in 2021, and Arts Exchange 2020 by MT Space. As a photographer, Seemab exhibited her work at THEMUSEUM Kitchener in 2021, and Martin Luther University College, Wilfrid Laurier University in 2022.
Seemab is a recipient of a Micro-grant for Artists in Waterloo Region from Pat the Dog Theatre Creation for the years 2020 and 2021.

Besides, Seemab facilitates Art workshops with various organizations in Canada, and currently, she is completing her BA in Honours Sociology from Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada.

You can follow Seemab on Instagram @seeme.naqvi and Twitter @seemab_raza.

*MUSICIAN FEATURED IN SEEMAB’s VIDEO: Bilal Khan. He is the CEO of Ahang Kada Institute of Art and Music, Islamabad, Pakistan. Find him on Twitter @BilalKhanartist and on Facebook @bilal.khanbilal.507 

6:30 pm »

Arts Exchange 2022 Artist - Claudia Aguirre
Claudia Aguirre

Claudia Aguirre’s studio dance training began with Toronto Spanish dance pioneers—Paula Moreno, later training with Carmen Romero and, more recently, joining Maria Serrano’s musical ensemble.

Claudia has taken classes with master flamenco instructors in Spain, and workshops with visiting artists. She has also practiced jazz and musical theatre vocals, bass, hip-hop and Bollywood dance, earning a Commercial Dance Certificate from George Brown College, and Bachelor and Master’s Degrees from York Dance with a minor in music. Claudia and her partner now teach flamenco in Kitchener-Waterloo, Scarborough and North York; and perform with colleagues in Toronto. Together, they founded The Grand River Flamenco Fest.

Recently, Claudia received a Graduate Diploma in Urban Planning, after switching out of the PhD program where she explored planning for the arts, cultural planning in suburban communities, and arts for health and for seniors.

Arts Exchange 2022 Artist - Raechele Lovell
Raechele Lovell

Claudia Aguirre’s studio dance training began with Toronto Spanish dance pioneers—Paula Moreno, later training with Carmen Romero and, more recently, joining Maria Serrano’s musical ensemble.

Claudia has taken classes with master flamenco instructors in Spain, and workshops with visiting artists. She has also practiced jazz and musical theatre vocals, bass, hip-hop and Bollywood dance, earning a Commercial Dance Certificate from George Brown College, and Bachelor and Master’s Degrees from York Dance with a minor in music. Claudia and her partner now teach flamenco in Kitchener-Waterloo, Scarborough and North York; and perform with colleagues in Toronto. Together, they founded The Grand River Flamenco Fest.

Recently, Claudia received a Graduate Diploma in Urban Planning, after switching out of the PhD program where she explored planning for the arts, cultural planning in suburban communities, and arts for health and for seniors.

7:30 pm »

Arts Exchange 2022 Artist - Ameya Kale
Ameya

Born and raised in India, Ameya is an actor and theatre enthusiast who moved to Canada in 2021.

Apart from being passionate about building technology-based products, he is also interested in storytelling and directing.

He’s currently exploring the theatre and art culture in Canada. 

Arts Exchange 2022 Artist - Hiyam Mahrat
Hiyam Mahrat

Originally Syrian, born and raised in the United Arab Emirates, Hiyam Mahrat came to Canada in 2018 and studied Performing Arts at Sheridan College.

Besides her passion and work in the medical and administrative fields, she is a growing artist in theatre, film and music. Her art focuses on issues of belonging, identity diffusion, and cultural erosion.

She is interested in contemporary Canadian theatre, experimental short film, and traditional performing arts. She is currently a choir member at the Canadian Arabic Orchestra. Hiyam is also interested in script writing and directing, theatrical set designing, voice acting and mixed media painting.

Hiyam is working with MT Space this summer as an administrative assistant and as an artist in the Arts Exchange program.

Encounters at Culture Days – Sunday, October 09 @ The Registry Theatre

5:00 pm »

Arts Exchange 2022 Artist - Jordan M. Burns
Jordan M. Burns

Jordan M. Burns (they/them) is a Disabled, Indigenous, Two-Spirit, Neurodivergent, multidisciplinary artist from Treaty 3 territory. Jordan M. serves as a co-founding artistic director of Third Wheel Theatre Co., this position has allowed them to explore a multiplicity of roles as director, producer, puppeteer, actor, and playwright.

They are an honours graduate of both Humber’s Theatre Performance program and York’s B.F.A. Theatre Acting program. Some of Jordan M.’s favourite credits include: Salt Baby (dir. N. Robitaille), Mno Bimaadiziwin (dir. H. Barnes), Cat in the Hat  (dir. S. Prelletz), The Echoes II: Pigeon Pie (dir. M. Wodzinska), and A Pineberry’s Past (writ. J. Burns).

Follow Jordan M. on Instagram: @ThirdWheelTheatreCo / @BurnsBright97 

Arts Exchange 2022 Artist - Bangishimo
Bangishimo

Bangishimo (they/them) is an IndigiQueer Anishinaabe originally from Couchiching First Nation located on Treaty #3 territory.

They currently reside in so-called Kitchener located along the Grand River.

Bangishimo is a community organizer, educator, and advocate. Their focus is on creating space for communities to come together allowing for Black, Indigenous and racialized voices to be heard. They are currently one of the co-founders of O:se Kenhionhata:tie also known as Land Back Camp.

Their advocacy and photography have allowed them to visit over sixteen countries; taking photos and sharing the stories of those they meet along the way. Bangishimo’s work has been featured in numerous publications and has had their work on display throughout Waterloo Region.

Most recently, Bangishimo won the Briarpatch Writing in the Margins Contest – Photography Category and was voted Best Photographer 2021 in the Community Edition.

Arts Exchange 2022 Artist - Shan Powell
Shan Powell

Shan Powell is a two-spirit Inuk living in Kitchener. Her childhood was spent living on the land all over BC and the Atlantic provinces.

She is a storyteller, writer, advocate, forager, and multidisciplinary artist. She is inspired by the natural world, magical practices, mythology, fairy tales, and traditional storytelling.

A glutton for learning, Shan is a member of the Writers’ Studio at Simon Fraser University, a graduate of LET(s) Lead at Yale University, and holds a BA in Classics, English, and Fine Arts from the University of New Brunswick.

She studied photography, visual art, and design at Conestoga College and the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design.

Her literary and visual art has been published in Augur, Feminist Studies Journal, Prairie Fire, Porcelain Artists of Canada, Yellow Medicine Journal, as well as in several anthologies.  

You can find more of her work on Instagram as @shanmonster 

6:00 pm »

Arts Exchange 2022 Artist - Jordan M. Burns
Abdi

“An artist is someone who looks at what everyone else has seen and thinks what no one else has thought.”
~ Unknown

Arts Exchange 2022 Artist - Diwan Faryal
Faryal Diwan

Faryal Diwan (she/her) is a multimedia artist, researcher and social urban planner based in Karachi, Pakistan and Kitchener, Ontario. Diwan is passionate about the environment, arts, architecture and culture. She loves exploring various mediums of art including painting, truck art, Islamic art, photography, patchwork (Arpilleras), poetry, and dance.

Her life experiences inspire her to move, write and create. She has dabbled in various forms of art out of love for vibrancy, for different shapes and forms, and for expression. Faryal uses poetry as an outlet to express moments in the world around her and transforms them into illustrations and paintings.

Through her artworks—
she loves to explore the connections between elements of her artwork to elements in nature, to explore what she’s feeling in the moment, and create through what moves her.

She has presented her work at THE MUSEUM in Kitchener, Canada, Alliance Française de Karachi, and V.M. Gallery
in Karachi.

Arts Exchange 2022 Artist - Shan Powell
MJ

“Art is the set of wings to carry you out of your own entanglement.”
~ Joseph Campbell

6:30 pm »

Arts Exchange 2022 Artist - Juneyt Yetkiner
Juneyt

Since moving to Canada from Turkey in 1999, Juneyt has built a large, dedicated following through his regular, electric performances throughout Kitchener-Waterloo, the GTA and beyond.

Juneyt’s peers recognize him as a highly talented, professional musician whose passionate performances have earned him:

  • Echo Magazine’s Best Local Musician Award (2022, 2003, 2004)
  • 21 Diamond Readers Choice Awards in up to 4 different categories (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021).
  • Waterloo Region Arts Award (2019)
  • Toronto Independent Music Awards – Best Instrumental & Best Classical (2017)

He has performed at numerous festivals representing Canada in Europe, Asia, South & North America such as: Mexico International Guitar Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Toronto Jazz Festival, Niagara Jazz Festival, Riverside Festival, Millrace Festival, Red Gorilla Festival Texas, Richmond International Music Festival, Guelph Latin Festival, Toronto Latin Festival, Cambridge Latin Festival, Waterloo Latin Festival, Grate Cheese Festival, Bon Soup Festival, Rib-Fest Cambridge, Elmira Maple Syrup Festival, Kultrun International Music Festival, Summers End Festival, Summer Lights Festival, Fresh Ayr Festival, Hamilton Turkish Festival, Toronto Turkish Festival, London Turkish Festival, Kitchener/Waterloo Turkish Festival, Waterloo Streets Festival, Bestival Festival, Canada Music Week to mention a few.

In recognition of his amazing musical talent, Juneyt has been chosen for numerous honors throughout his career including serving as a judge for the Ontario Arts Council, Turkish Culture Language Olympiads, The Shot –International Vocal Competition, working as a campaign musician for the Mayor of Waterloo and performing at numerous local festivals and events.

On December 2018 Juneyt was chosen to be The House Musician for CBC’s Sounds of the Season Gala.

He has built an impressive career as a professional musician playing both locally and internationally.

Arts Exchange 2022 Artist - Khanyisile C. 'KC' Ziyenge
KC Ziyenge

Drawn to the arts at a young age, K.C. Ziyenge has always been keen to explore its power in different mediums and uses it to discover her sense of self. Music has been a bridge to connect her to her Southern African roots.

Her mother being her most significant influence, introduced her to South African Jazz and Neo-soul artists from birth.

This has inspired her unique but catchy poetic and soulful sound which resonates with many who hear it. The self-taught artist continues cultivating her talent, in hopes of showcasing her gift and its raw potential.