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Shoshana Wasser

Senior Communications Coordinator (Government & Media Relations)
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058

Ontario Announces Recipients of Creative Engagement Fund

May 17, 2016

Province Challenging Attitudes on Sexual Violence and Harassment

Ontario's $2.25 million Creative Engagement Fund is funding 11 artistic projects that will provoke public dialogue on consent, rape culture and gender inequality to challenge attitudes that cause sexual violence. These projects are partnerships between arts and not-for-profit community organizations, professional artists and sexual violence experts.

The three-year Creative Engagement Fund is part of It's Never Okay – Ontario's Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment. The fund is administered by the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) on behalf of the Ontario Women's Directorate.

The successful projects were selected by an advisory panel (convened by OAC) of artists and arts professionals with broad knowledge and experience of community-engaged arts practice, as well as professionals with expertise in sexual violence and harassment prevention. The 11 projects are:

  • It's Never Okay for Franco-Ontarian Youth is a multi-disciplinary arts program that engages Franco-Ontarian youth in dialogue and action on sexual violence and harassment through discussions, problem-solving exercises, and artistic activities. (Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne (FESFO), Ottawa)
  • Get Consent is a one-year youth-led video animation project that will explore consent and offer youth practical skills to ensure they have positive and healthy relationships. (LAMPHEAD, Toronto)
  • Just Believe Us is a project that uses storytelling and digital art to understand the experiences of sexual violence survivors and improve relationships between women, police and the community. (Northwestern Ontario Women's Centre (NOWC), Thunder Bay)
  • Far from the Heart/Loin du Coeur is designed to affect attitudes and promote healthy relationships among youth. This theatre performance and sexual assault prevention program will help reduce risks, increase intervention and stimulate social strengths and resiliency. (Sheatre, Kemble)
  • Material Witness a three-year touring project includes both community engagement workshops and a dance theatre production that explores themes of sexual violence, harassment and violence against Indigenous women. (Aanmitaagzi, Nipissing First Nation)
  • Path of Wabano is a three-year project in six First Nations communities, where artists will create “Story Baskets” with youth and Elders to research Ojibwe language related to sexuality, sexual violence and harassment. (Onaman Collective, Serpent River First Nation)
  • Project ArmHer is a multi-disciplinary arts project that provides a forum for sex workers to tell their stories of sexual violence through performance, exhibits and audience workshops.(Myths and Mirrors Community Arts, Sudbury)
  • Resilient Hearts is a one-year project that offers multi-disciplinary arts education that celebrate strength and survival. Through a variety of disciplines including spoken word, poetry visual arts, and Indigenous arts, participants will explore issues of consent, healthy relationships, boundaries, resilience and self-care. (Community Arts & Heritage Education (CAHEP), Thunder Bay)
  • Sexual Violence – The Roadshow is a travelling art gallery, sexual violence workshop, studio and exhibition for 15 Ontario communities that will be hosted by local artists and Sexual Assault and Rape Crisis Centres in each region. (Scadding Court Community Centre, Toronto)
  • The Countdown Project will engage multiple communities, their residents, professional artists and sexual violence experts to design and build the first permanent monument in Canada to recognize survivors of sexual violence and increase awareness of sexual violence. (Red Dress Productions, Renfrew County)
  • Witness is a project that will explore, through dance, video and theatre performances, the real-life stories of refugee women who have experienced sexual violence. (Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society (IRIS), Toronto)

The It's Never Okay plan is helping to change attitudes, improve supports for survivors and make workplaces and campuses safer and more responsive to complaints about sexual violence and harassment.

Quick Facts

  • One in three women will experience sexual assault in her lifetime.
  • Ontario released a progress report in March on It’s Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment.
  • 15 per cent of the Creative Engagement Fund is allocated to support Indigenous projects.
  • May is Sexual Assault Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness about sexual assault and focus on the measures being taken to stop violence and support survivors.