Category Archives: The Locals

KickstArt 2010

I’ll admit – I’ve recently become a Vancouver 2010 junkie. I went for a trip to Vancouver/Whistler about a month ago, and since then I’ve been caught up in all things Olympics. The torch relay, the completition, the tourism proponents and opponents, and the fuzzy red mittens have all captured my attention more than I thought they could.

In reading about Vancouver (and remembering my trip), I found out about KickstArt, which is:

Based in Vancouver, Canada, Kickstart (formerly the Society for Disability Arts and Culture) presents and produces works by artists with disabilities and promotes artistic excellence among artists with disabilities working in a  variety of disciplines.
One of their big events this year is the Cultural Olympiad – a 60 day series of cultural showcases and events in and around Vancouver and other parts of BC. The series runs from January 22nd to March 21st, 2010 and promises to showcase some amazing talent.

I couldn’t find much information about the individual events for the Cultural Olympiad, but here is the blurb I found at  It showcases only some of the events for KickstArt’s Cultural Olympiad (note: these events are focused on the hearing-impaired and are all ASL interpreted).

KickstArt, UBC, Ryerson University and the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad present Out From Under: Disability History and Things to Remember at UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson St., March 9-21, 8:00 am-10:00 pm daily. Curated by Kathryn Church, Catherine Frazee and Melanie Panitch, this show premiered in summer 2008 at the Royal Ontario Museum. It is a groundbreaking and artful exhibit that pays tribute to the resilience, creativity, and the civic and cultural contributions of Canadians with disabilities. Recipient of the 2008 Access Award for Disability Issues, and jury-selected for Design at Work 2008. Free.

KickstArt and the Pendulum Gallery present Heroes at the Pendulum Gallery, HSBC Bldg, 885 W. Georgia, March 8 – 27. Co-curated by Elizabeth Shefrin and Bernadine Fox, 20 participating artists from across the country have been asked to engage with notions of The Heroic, as it applies to the disability community. It’s hoped the exhibition will invite visual meditation or commentary within the context of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Mon-Wed 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, Thurs/Fri 9:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sat 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. Free.

KickstArt and UBC present She Laughed! She Cried! at Telus Studio Theatre at the UBC Chan Centre For the Performing Arts, 6265 Cresent Rd, UBC, March 12. A double-header, beginning with Sara Marreiros, a Victoria-based fado artist, with her band. Funny in the Head is the rollicking story of a bipolar comedian’s fight to stay funny, written and performed by Jan Derbyshire. Tickets $22/$16 at, 604-280-3311.

KickstArt, Vancouver International Dance Festival and the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad present Configurations at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre, March 20 and 21, 8:00 pm. Geometry of the Circle, performed by Alison Denham and Mark Brose, is a remount of the critically acclaimed duet choreographed by Canadian modern dance legend Peggy Baker. Bill Shannon, influenced by house and hip hop dance forms, silent film acting and skateboard culture, performs Spatial Theory, a multi-media show in four acts integrating Shannon’s unique hybrid movement on crutches. Tickets $25-35 on March 20; $75 on March 21. Gala also includes Peggy Baker performing Earthling. Tickets at

Pretty cool, eh? Definitely makes me want to go back to Vancouver…


Building the Canal – a Virtual Exhibit from the Bytown Museum

One of the scenes from the 3D tour of the building of the locks on the rideau canal

A 3D tour of the Rideau Canal locks system

I was perusing the Virtual Museum of Canada today and came across a really nice gallery of images from the Bytown Museum.

This virtual exhibit chronicles the building of the Rideau Canal and the key players who made it happen. At first glance, I thought the silent animation on the homepage was the entire project. Then I went to “The Animation” page, and I found a series of downloadable movie files that explains why the locks were built, how they work, and the general history of early settlement in Ottawa.

It also showcases an early tour of the bytown museum, the commissariat originally built for the locks project.

The tour takes 10 minutes, so you need some time to watch it, but it’s a pretty interesting 3D tour of the Bytown Museum before it was the museum.

If you’re interested in the actual 3D project itself, check out the “About the Project” page, and you can see how hard everyone worked on getting the exhibit finished for the VMC.

’tis the season to be learning – in Ontario

Take your family to the ROM this holiday!

A trip to the ROM is a great way to spend some quality time with your family over the holidays

It’s that time of the year again – the time when schools are out for two weeks, your house is full of sugary treats and your kids are bouncing off the walls!

So what do you do if you’re little angels don’t want to brave the cold and go play in the snow? Give them the gift of fun and learning!

How can YOU benefit from getting out to see museums?

1. You get out of the house – no mess to clean up, no dishes to do, no indoor floor hockey to monitor with breakables

2. Your kids are still learning – they’re not in school, but museums teach kids a lot of stuff they may not cover in schools, and are generally a more fun and interactive way of doing it.

3. You’re still learning! If you’re like me, a lifelong learning proponent, you’ll love the opportunity to discover something new and interesting with your kids AND your friends.

4. Discounts are EVERYWHERE. There is no better opportunity to visit museums than over the holidays. Almost every day of the holidays boasts discounted, half-price, or even free admissions to many institutions in your city.

Below are some of the museums, exhibits, and discounts you’ll find in major cities in Ontario this holiday season.

In Ottawa

  • The Canadian Museum of Nature has free admission on Saturdays from 9am to 12 pm and free admission at all times for children 3 and under. In addition, you can go to the library and take out the ‘nature card’ which allows for free general admission for a family if you wish to go on a day other than Saturday
  • The Canadian War Museum and the Canadian Museum of Civilization both have free admission Thursdays from 4pm to 8pm. The Children’s museum closes early on a few dates over the holidays. You can check out their hours here. Also note, Canadian veterans and up to three guests always get free admission as do members of the Canadian Forces
  • The National Gallery of Canada offers free admission to the permanent collection Thursdays after 5pm and free admission to children 12 and under for all exhibits.
  • The Canada Science and Technology Museum offers free admission on International Museum Day ( Monday May 18th this year) and on Canada Day (July 1st) in addition to free admission for children under the age of 4.

In Toronto

  • Admission to the Royal Ontario Museum is free on Wednesdays after 4:30pm. The ROM has special half price holiday admissions (for general admission only) every day during the holidays from 4:30-8:30. They also have extended holiday hours and are hosting the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit, so the Christmas holidays are an ideal opportunity to take your family to the ROM!
  • The Mackenzie House on Bond Street has a special kids craft making program on for the holidays (from December 29th-Jan 3rd) for the following prices: Child: $3.33, Youth: $3.81, Adult: $5.71 and Senior: $3.81. (They’re not free, but still an fun and inexpensive afternoon out of the house!).
  • The CBC Museum has FREE admission for everyone on weekdays from 9-5pm. They’re currently hosting the exhibit “Growing up with the CBC” (ie – bringing you back to your days of Mr. Dressup). I haven’t seen the exhibit yet, but if I were in Toronto for the holidays, I would definitely make a trip down there to check it out.
  • It’s not a museum, but the Toronto Zoo has half price admissions for everyone,
    Take this holiday season to discover the ROM

    for the entire holiday season!

If you know of any admissions discounts or special events in an Ontario city of the holiday break, leave a comment below! I’ve searched for a few, but I’m sure there are tons more opportunities for inexpensive mini-trips all over the province.

Residents of other provinces – don’t worry, there will be more posts as the week continues about museums and special holiday discounts in your province.

Remember, this holiday season you can give the gift of quality time, fun, and education to your family.  Why not take advantage of it?