Young Playwright? Here’s the info you need to know and act on RIGHT NOW!

RBC Emerging Playwright Award

An award that will give up-and-coming playwrights the opportunity to win a 6-month mentorship with a professional playwright of their choice, from our 600+ playwrights roster as well as a $2000 cash prize. The award will be presented at the 2017 Tom Hendry Awards and the winner will be provided with a special event featuring a live reading of their work in their province of residence.”

Submissions are open for any supporting or student member of Playwrights Guild of Canada who has never had a professional production and have never been full members of PGC. Must submit a full length play (see applications form for details)

Past recipients: Rafael Antonio Renderos, and Rhiannon Collett. 

Funding for the award was generously sponsored by the RBC Emerging Artists Fund.

DEADLINE: May 16th, 2017 at 11:59pm

Submissions are now open


The Robert Beardsley Award

The Arts and Letters Club of Toronto Foundation proudly announces The Robert Beardsley Award for Young Playwrights. This award is to be granted to a full-time secondary or post-secondary student within the GTA for the creation of a one-act play script.

 An entrant to the competition will be a student, under the age of 25 at time of submission, who is enrolled as a full-time student in an educational institution recognized by the Ontario Department of Education (Secondary or Post-Secondary) within the Greater Toronto Area. The submission selected shall be awarded a monetary prize of $500.00. Applicants for this award DO NOT need to be PGC members. If you are applying for this award and are not a member, you will receive a PGC Student Membership once your submission has been received. Past Recipients for this award include Luke Reece, Remi Long, Elizabeth Ransom, Rosamund Small, John Rowntree, Aviva Philipp-Muller, and Erum Khan (Honourable Mention).  

DEADLINE: Applications must be submitted by May 16th 2017 at 11:59pm

Submissions are now open


Supporting Arts, Heritage, Creative Industries Fundamental to City-Building: Mayor Crombie

Mayor Crombie with Mike Douglas, Executive Director, Mississauga Arts Council.

The following keynote address was delivered by Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie during the Annual General Meeting of the Mississauga Arts Council which took place yesterday, March 29, 2017:


“Good evening, everyone. I want to begin by acknowledging Mike Douglas, Executive Director, and my husband, Brian Crombie, President of the Mississauga Arts Council, along with all staff and volunteers.

“Through your ongoing commitment to supporting the arts and local artists, Mississauga continues to cement its reputation as a leading arts and festivals destination.

“I also want to acknowledge the team of professionals from the City of Mississauga – and principally our Community Services Department – who work closely with the Mississauga Arts Council to deliver on our shared strategies, goals and efforts.

“Because of staff, today, we proudly announced that Festivals & Events Ontario named Mississauga as the Municipality of the Year!

“Mississauga earned this recognition because of our many, popular community, cultural, music and artistic celebrations, like the much anticipated TD Mosaic South Asian Arts Festival!

“Congratulations to everyone involved in earning this province-wide distinction.

“Let me also recognize MPP Bob Delaney who is bringing greetings on behalf of Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Eleanor McMahon.

“Earlier this month, Minister McMahon announced that 87 different local community groups in Peel would receive close to $350,000 in funding as part of the Ontario 150 Partnership Program.

“Mississauga-based not-for-profit MonstrARTity – which produces the immensely popular Bollywood Monster Mash-Up at Celebration Square – is one of the community groups in the province receiving financial support in celebration of Ontario’s 150th anniversary.

“Mississauga Council is also funding $70,000 toward this year’s Bollywood Monster Mashup.

“Mississauga has a robust grant program for community festivals and internationally-recognized events. City council has approved $710,000 in grant support for 19 festivals in 2017.

“Carassauga, Mississauga Waterfront Festival, Southside Shuffle Blues and BBQ Festival, Paint the Town Red – are some of our top funding recipients.

“Partnership is fundamental to ensuring any city has a thriving, accessible and celebrated arts scene.

“The Mississauga Arts Council is truly the heart and soul of our arts community. MAC was first founded in 1981 by a City Resolution.

“This began the road to a long, strong and enduring relationship between City Council and the Arts Council.

“And each year Council reaffirms its funding commitment to help MAC achieve and exceed its mission to offer workshops, classes, camps, the MACArts Festival and a variety of different platforms to showcase local artists and their talents.

“Through the Culture and Community Grants Program, City Council awarded the Mississauga Art Council nearly $270,000 dollars.

“In Mississauga, we are building a complete city – a place where people can raise a family, earn an education, find a well-paying job, access regionally-integrated transit and enjoy an unrivaled quality of life.

“Investing in the arts enhances the quality of life of all people – no matter a person’s age or culture – each and every one of us is enriched by the arts.

“A thriving arts scene is also central to our efforts to diversify our economy and ignite new local economic development opportunities.

“Under the leadership of Paul Damaso who heads our Culture Division, we recently launched our Creative Industries Strategy.

“The strategy also focuses on outlining actions and tactics for attracting, developing, retaining and growing the creative industry sector.

“Mississauga is proudly home to the world renowned Metal Works Recording Studio.

“And there is more we can do to attract businesses like Metal Works to choose Mississauga to work.

“Film and television, interactive digital media and live music are the areas that we will focus on moving forward.

“The total economic impact of live music in Ontario’s economy is $1.2 billion.

“The Film and TV industry contributes $1.5 billion to the provincial economy each year.

“The creative industry cluster has emerged as a major, and growing, source of GDP in Ontario that now generates approximately $12.2 billion dollars annually for Ontario’s economy.

“Council’s new Arts, Culture & Heritage Committee, formed last October, will work with staff and stakeholder representatives, like Mike Douglas, to ensure we turn ideas set out in this report, into results.

“Through the work of our Community Service Department we are transforming historic sites into hubs for creativity.

“Clarke Hall in Port Credit is one of many rental spaces available for all types of creative activities.

“The Small Arms Building in Mississauga’s southeast Lakeview neighbourhood is going through a game-changing transformation.

“The future of this building is about preserving the heritage integrity of the structure.

“The renovations will ensure safe, flexible and purpose-built facilities for a wide range of environmental sciences and technology, arts, heritage, and cultural endeavours.

“It’s also an opportunity to commemorate, preserve and promote the history and heritage significance of the building and site including the continuing role of women today.

“This year we just marked the 40th anniversary of Visual Arts Mississauga – one of Mississauga’s most dynamic creative centres.

“And what better place to inspire artists, showcase their talents and reach the broader community, then at Riverwood – the heart of our community’s beautiful, natural greenspaces.

“And finally, I’m honoured to serve as the Honorary Chair for the Art Gallery of Mississauga’s Annual Fine Art Auction taking place on April 27.

“This year, we are very excited to be celebrating the AGM’s 30th anniversary, which makes this event even more special.

“Join us in ushering the gallery into its next 30 years, and take home a unique reminder of the amazing art and artists that have made the AGM the respected institution that it is today!

“We look forward to the ongoing growth of the AGM and how we can best accommodate that growth with new space.

“During my campaign for mayor, I placed a great emphasis on investing in public art.

“I was honoured to serve as vice-chair of the Arts Taskforce under Hazel McCallion and committed to carrying on her work, as mayor of Mississauga.

“Public art brings people together and enriches neighbourhoods, residents and visitors.

“The Contemplating Child sculpture is in the heart of our downtown core, located at Community Common Park.

“In Churchill Meadows Councillor McFadden and I unveiled the Heaven and Earth Sculpture as part of the new residential development at Winston Churchill and Eglinton.

“This new piece of art is helping further unite and give the Churchill Meadows community a unique identity. 

“Last year, we unveiled The Book by Ilan Sandler to be part of the City of Mississauga Public Art Collection.

The Book – a painted steel sculpture – was donated by Toronto Pearson and is also on display at Celebration Square not far from Central Library. And it came at no cost to taxpayers.

“It’s unveiling coincided with the 25th anniversary of Central Library, home to a vast collection of art publications.

“In October, Minister Navdeep Bains announced funding of nearly $200,000 to the City of Mississauga to commission artwork that will have a permanent home at Celebration Square.

“Celebration Square is where residents come together to share and celebrate their culture for everyone to experience, appreciate and enjoy.

“This new artwork will be another important way Mississauga pays tribute to the 150th anniversary of our nation’s founding.

“The new piece will focus on the themes of diversity, inclusion and reconciliation with Indigenous Communities.

“What better year to celebrate the important role art has in telling the story of our nation’s proud history and promising future then in 2017, the year we mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

“And just this past week I joined Council, Chief Beckett and first-responders from Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services as part of the ongoing efforts to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

“We have launched a mural to recognize this occasion and it will be officially launched on April 9.

“Of course, we cannot forget the much anticipated Do Your Homework Exhibit about the life and legacy of the legendary Hurricane Hazel McCallion.

“The Museums of Mississauga will be highlighting the life and times of Hazel McCallion in an exhibition held April 12th to 26th at the Mississauga Civic Centre.

“As part of the exhibit, artists were invited to apply with works that are paintings, drawings or sculptures of Hazel McCallion.

“On April 12, join Hazel McCallion in Council Chambers for an intimate “In Conversation with Hazel” where she discusses leadership lessons and learnings from building the sixth largest city in Canada.

“I want to close by once again thanking the volunteers, members, artists and leadership of the Mississauga Arts Council for all they do year-round.

“Investing and supporting the arts, heritage and our creative businesses is fundamental to city-building.

“Working together with the City of Mississauga, Council and staff, we will continue to ensure that Mississauga enjoys an unrivalled reputation as an emerging, world-class arts community.

“Thank you!”

Art Battle March 15, 2017

Another full house on Wednesday night’s Art Battle at the LAC, and what a battle it was. 11 registered artists and 1 wildcard competed for the chance to advance to the regional finals on June 21, bragging rights and some cash of course. Most of the artists were first time Art Battle competitors. Remember folks, they only have 20 minutes to complete their masterpieces! Advancing from the first round were Denise Smith for her serene landscape and Michael Huggins for his very blue portrait. The wildcard, Jack Cooper, only 10 years old, competed in round 2. Jack’s dad, Mark, competed in round 1, looks like Jack’s following in his dad’s footsteps. Jack didn’t advance to round 2, but I think we will be seeing a lot more of him in the future. Advancing from round 2 were MAC’s own Khaula Mazhar with her magestic lion and Bonnie Wu with her painterly portrait. Congratulations to all the participants and to the evening’s winner Bonnie Wu. See you at the next Art Battle on May 17th, LAC

Welcome back to the MAC Couch!

Do you have talent you would like to showcase to the world? Submit your application to be featured on MAC’s youtube channel and be able to share your talents with your community! You may transform your feature to demonstrate your craft whichever way you would like. Discuss, represent and perform on the MAC Couch today!

This is an exclusive opportunity for MAC member only! Make sure to renew your membership if you have not already.

Click Here to submit your application!


And the Curators Choice Award goes to…

Last week I was able to speak with the Curator of the AGM, Kendra Ainsworth, about the big opening night of VAM39.

Since the gallery has been in operation, the AGM and Visual Arts Mississauga (VAM) have collaborated in bringing the annual juried show to Mississauga residence and every year it seems to grow larger.

Ainsworth tells me that this has been the first year that a video format has been granted the first place prize. Shazia Javed’s video piece, Can You Hear Me?, 2015, features a young woman changing her appearance in order to grab the attention of, presumably, society.

The young woman calls out “can you hear me?” Some people listen but others did not, the young woman is told that it’s because of her hair that she was only grasping the attention of a portion of society.

She reappears with a head scarf and shouts once again “can you hear me?” Once again she only receives a portion of the attention she requires.

Next she appears fully covered except for her eyes and shouts one more time “can you hear me?” The response is even less.

Finally, she decides to rid herself of her hair entirely by buzzing it off. The video performance cuts to a black screen and the young woman’s voice asks “can you hear me now?”.

A marked offence against society’s constant concern with the outward appearances of women as opposed to looking beyond the exterior and into the skills, qualifications, and inner qualities that are constantly over shadowed.

I was truly moved by the performance; as were many others, according to Ainsworth.

Besides the juried awards there are two other awards that are given out, The Curator’s Choice award and The People’s Choice award.

The Curator’s Choice was awarded to Chizu Nakajima’s work Romeo and his Twisted Juliets, 2016.


“Having been the one to set everything up and really focusing on how to tie all the pieces together, I didn’t have a chance to jury the show. So I took a couple of days to digest what I’ve seen to come to a decision on who to pick for the Curator’s Choice award.” – Kendra Ainsworth

Nakajima’s work stood out to Ainsworth because the entire piece was done in coloured pencil. The amount of work and detail that went into this large-scale tapestry-like work is phenomenal for someone of such a young age.

You can see Nakajima’s Romeo and his Twisted Juliets and the rest of the VAM39 art work at the AGM until February 18, 2017!


You may also vote for your favourite piece by visiting the AGM’s Facebook page and liking the work you wish to vote for. The People’s choice award will be announced on the last day of the exhibition: February 18, 2017. Make sure to cast your vote A.S.A.P.!



The Mississauga Symphony Orchestra (MSO) is proud to announce that it has been awarded a $25,000 grant courtesy of the Ontario150 Community Celebration Program.

The grant will allow the organization to move forward with its plan to document and display the history of community orchestras in Ontario spanning 150 years.

Working with several partners, the exhibit and accompanying booklet titled, “The History of Community Orchestras in Ontario” will be on display at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga for one week in October 2017, reaching an audience of 10,000 people.

Following the presentation, the exhibit will be made available to other communities in Ontario with hopes to engage a broader audience.

To implement the ambitious project, the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra will contract a researcher and exhibit designer to gather information from various partners including:

  • Orchestras Canada
  • the National Archives
  • the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
  • Heritage Mississauga, Toronto Archives
  • Mississauga Archives

As well as several key Canadian musicologists to uncover the history and origin of Community Orchestras in Ontario. The source materials for the exhibit will be digitized and made available via an interactive digital document.

 The interactive digital document will be made available through the MSO website. The historic project will be made available to orchestras across the province, and the travelling exhibit made accessible for presentation in other communities.

The Community Celebration Program is a one-time, application-based program to support communities and community organizations across the province in commemorating and celebrating Ontario’s 150th anniversary in 2017.

The Community Celebration Program’s objective is to facilitate the creation and delivery of impactful, participatory and inclusive initiatives that celebrate and commemorate Canada and Ontario’s 150th anniversary.

This will be achieved by providing funding to communities and organizations across Ontario. About the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra The Mississauga Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1972 as the Mississauga Symphonic Association, an amateur community ensemble.

Based out of Hammerson Hall, a world-class performing arts facility located within Mississauga’s Living Arts Centre, the MSO has offered entertaining and increasingly sophisticated programs from the classic and popular repertoires of symphonic music, all performed to the highest artistic standards.

The MSO has continued to serve its original mandate to provide performance opportunities and personal development to talented amateurs while it has combined the strands of excellence and education by assisting young professional performers and composers through solo performance opportunities, commissions and mentoring.

The MSO can be found online at:; on Facebook at:; and on Twitter at: @MSymph. For further information, contact: Ryan Tobin, Assistant General Manager (905) 615-4404 |

VAM39 – Juried show hosted by AGM

On Sunday January 8th at the Art Gallery of Mississauga (AGM), the Civic Centre was buzzing with excitement as the set up for VAM39 was well underway! Bubbling artists strode into the AGM, carrying their work with pride, eagerly waiting to see their assigned wall space.

This annual exhibition and art sale has been hosted by the Art Gallery of Mississauga since 1987! The collaboration between the AGM and Visual Arts Mississauga (VAM) has been a successful means of exposure for residents of the City of Mississauga to appreciate local artists while also providing artists with the opportunity to present their work.

The artists practice different techniques and gravitate toward divergent styles! This is the kind of assortment that VAM and the AGM drives to show-case in their juried show every year.

I was fortunate enough to conduct a few interviews with some prominent artists who have been participating in the VAM juried show for many years. James Glen, Inge Kjeldgaard Tajik and Susan Clark, took the time to answer a few questions about their work!

 James Glen 

3rd place winner
Summer in the prairies 
24 x 30 In.
Casein on canvas board
Sale price $2400.00

Glen’s mentor, Allan Collier inspired him to approach painting while he was attending OCAD University in the 60’s. He generally prefers repeating patterns and using big shapes in his paintings!

“It creates the illusion of movement in the picture!” said Glen.

When I asked Glen what kind of paint he used for Summer in the Prairies he replied, “casein paint”.

Having been a fitness buff for many-a-year, my mind immediately went to casein protein… which is half right!

As Glen explained to me, casein paint is quite a difficult medium to use because of its quick drying properties. Compared to oils, which take days to dry and acrylics, which are very flexible, casein is a milk based substance—derived from milk protein – that dries in minutes!

I asked Glen why he prefers to use casein paint as opposed to other, more manageable mediums.

He replied, “I like the tonal differences that I can achieve with casein, a lot of people give up on it because of the difficulty of its application but I find the flatness adds to my subject matter, which is predominately based on central Canadian landscapes.”

The detail in Glen’s work is quite remarkable, I wondered how long it would take to complete such a delicate work. I was surprised to discover that it only takes a few days for Glen to get the majority of the painting completed, “when I go back I see things that I could have done better and I work on those areas.”

“The beauty of casein paint is that you can always go back and buff it up to give it a nice shine.” – James Glen

Inge Kjeldaard Tajik 

Subtle Reflections
16 x 24 In.
Egg tempera, varnished on primed board
Sale price $1200.00

Tajik was trained in fine arts at the Fünen Art Academy in Denmark. Her subject matter tends to be still life paintings. She revealed to me a very interesting process that she practices when putting together her still life arrangements:

“When I studied fine arts at the Fünen Art Academy, I was exposed to sculpture, design, painting and many other mediums. Building my own arrangements became an integral part of my practice. I found that I preferred to work from life as opposed to working from a photograph”

The artist tells a story with her work, “whether or not there are figures present.” Her current work, Subtle Reflections, allows the viewer’s eye to travel all around the painting.

She likes to handle objects that she is familiar with; ordinary household items that may not seem to carry much significance, but once Tajik has arranged them and painted them, they seem otherworldly, fascinating, and anything but ordinary.

I had a wonderful time discovering all the little details that are brought to life by a single brush stroke!

For more information on Tajik’s work click here to visit her website.


Susan Clark 

November Light 
36 x 24 In.
Oil on panel
Sale price $1900

Susan Clark was born in Montreal, Quebec and studied at John Abbott College for a short period of time but preferred teaching herself. Having been mostly a self-taught artist, Clark tells me that, “it would have been nice to have a mentor!”

She has previously won first place in the VAM juried show; holding the first place title in the years: 1999 and 2015.

Her paintings typically depict enigmatic tableaus that feature the use of line and colour.     

“I like to take my paintings a notch away from reality. I want to create a sense of mystery and wonder; to take something relatively ordinary and change it into a curiosity.”

I thought November Light had a similar style to Canadian artist, Alex Colville. To my delight Clark tells me she is a big Colville fan and has looked to his work for inspiration in the past!

“I have always looked up to Lauren Harris, Christopher Pratt, and Alex Colville.” – Clark

Clark works predominately with line work, generally using masking tape to help her keep a straight line. She likes to stick to her style so that she can gain a sense of recognition in the community.

For more information on Susan Clark click here to visit her personal website.

The 39th Annual Visual Arts Mississauga juried art exhibition and sale runs until February 18 2017! The people’s choice award will be announced on the closing of the exhibition, so make sure you vote for your favourite work!

Mississauga based Web Series, “Teenagers” flourishes on YouTube!

Do you remember what your high school experience was like?

Do you remember the drama, the intense moments of happiness followed by the deep feelings of sadness, hatred, jealousy, and contempt?

Do you remember feeling like your parents would kill you if they found out about your little secret? How ‘bout all the colourful friends your mom didn’t approve of or the boyfriends your father threatened to kill?

Or, maybe you had yourself a quiet four years… yeah right!

A screenshot of the “Teenagers” YouTube channel

Bring it all back with Mathew Murray’s web series Teenagers, a realistic and suitably dramatic depiction of modern day social teenagers facing the many issues in the uncharted age of social media, right here in Mississauga.  

Teenagers reveals a dark but truthful version of the lives young people hide from the adult world. A drama based on the realities of young people that no other high school show on TV has delved into before.

“So many TV series that portray teenagers commonly depict stereotypes and tropes of well-off, white students that so many other kids just can’t to relate to.”  – Mathew Murray

Because of its web series format, Murray is able to depict an unbiased and uncensored account that isn’t allowed on broadcast TV.

Murray began this project at age 19 while attending York University. After two successful seasons, Teenagers is on the verge of breaking into their third season, but they need some help!

If you’ve enjoyed the series so far and want to see more of it produced in Mississauga, please click here to donate to their Indiegogo campaign! So far the Teenagers team has raised over $17,000, but that’s only 40% of their required $40,000!

A screenshot of the “Teenagers” Indiegogo campaign

For up-to-date information follow Teenagers on Twitter @teenagersweb

To watch the entire series visit the Teenagers YouTube channel: teenagers


City of Mississauga asks YOU to speak up about Arts and Culture!


This is an exciting and important time for the future of arts, culture and heritage in Mississauga. As a valued member of the creative community, you are invited to take part in the creation of the City of Mississauga’s new Culture Master Plan.

The Culture Master Plan will be a leading strategy document that will highlight Mississauga’s vision and goals for the arts, as well as recommendations for how we can collectively elevate arts and culture in Mississauga. It is important that we create a shared vision for how we want to see arts, culture and heritage thrive and grow in Mississauga.

In order to do that, your participation will be very important.

We are hosting a series of focus group meetings around areas of discussion:

Meeting #1: Thursday January 12th 2017, 6:30pm – 8:30pm at the Burnhamthorpe Community Centre,  Fleetwood Village Room (1500 Gulleden Drive)

Theme: How do we support and attract the arts?

Meeting #2: Thursday February 2nd 2017, 6:30pm – 8:30pm at the Burnhamthorpe Community Centre Fleetwood Village Room (1500 Gulleden Drive)

Theme: How can we support cultural infrastructure, creative spaces and the public realm?

Meeting #3: Tuesday February 21st 2017, 6:30pm – 8:30pm at Clarke Memorial Hall (161 Lakeshore Road West)

Theme: How do we address issues of diversity, accessibility and building a collective identity?

Meeting #4: Saturday March 4th, 10am – 1pm at Clarke Memorial Hall (161 Lakeshore Road West)

Theme: Design charrette focused on creative solutions to challenges within arts, culture and heritage

There are other ways to get involved: through our online survey as well as through hosting your own round-table discussions. More information and links to the survey and Host Your Own Toolkit will be shared with you in the new year.

I highly encourage you to take part in each of meetings! If you wish to attend, please RSVP by emailing:

*Coffee and snacks will be provided at the meetings

*Child minding may be available at Meeting #4, if requested

Mojan Jianfar, MES (Planning)

Assistant Planner, Culture Planning

City of Mississauga | Community Services Department, Culture Division