September Newsletter

With the school year in full swing, MASC is excited to get our artists back into your classrooms. Click here to meet our newest artists and see what we have planned for the rest of September!

Culture Days at Cumberland Heritage Village Museum

Culture Days: Memories of Childhood

Thursday, September 22 (presented in English), and Friday, September 23 (presented in French).


  • Artist Nicole Bélanger (Thursday and Friday from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm)
  • Folk music by Kathryn Patricia (Thursday from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm)
  • Traditional storytelling by Louis Mercier (Friday from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm)

MASC partners with Cumberland Heritage Village Museum to present a cultural program on Thursday, September 22 (presented in English) and Friday, September 23 (presented in French) that will explore memories of childhood while celebrating community connections. Interested older adult groups are encouraged to contact the museum at for more information on how your organization or club can enjoy this unique event. 

This program is supported by a grant from the City of Ottawa’s Older Adult Plan.

*This program is offered free of charge to participating older adult (50+) community groups in Ottawa.

WelliWOW: A Little Renaissance in Wellington West

Check out this amazing mini-documentary created by MASC artist Craig Conoley and featuring MASC artists Luciano Porto, Jacqui Du Toit, Claudia Salguero, Kathryn Patricia Cobbler, Propeller Dance, and Junkyard Symphony.

Thank you to the Wellington West BIA and Together Ottawa Ensemble for their support!

I live in the country 2022

You’re invited!
Date and time: Thursday October 6th at 1pm
Location: Osgoode Township Museum, 7814 Lawrence St, Vernon, ON K0A 3J0

Je vis en campagne / I live in the country 2022 is a MASC initiative offered in partnership with the City of Ottawa Rural Initiatives fund, the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) and the Osgoode Township Museum. This arts education project connected youth from the Collège catholique Franco-Ouest Médi’Arts program, who live, study or work in a rural setting. Paired with professional artists, the participants explored the history of intriguing places in rural Ottawa South.

Professional photographer Shaun Elie guided students during an outing at Baxter Conservation Area, Osgoode Township Museum and Waupoos Family Farm located in the region. All photos were taken at these locations. Singer-songwriter Janie Renée led another group of students through writing workshops during which they wrote poems inspired by the photos.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for students to discover and re-discover south rural Ottawa through the lens of photography and poetry. MASC artists Shaun Elie and Janie Renée encouraged youth to explore what it means to live in a rural area, and define what characterizes it using images and words.”

Chantal Racine, MASC’s French Program Director, who launched the project in 2021 in Cumberland, Ontario.

In August 2021, MASC artists Nicole Bélanger and Jimmy Baptiste each led the creation of a mural inspired by conversations with folks living in rural settings. Both murals were painted outdoors with community participants at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum. Nicole’s mural was installed outside the offices of the Rendez-vous des aînés francophones, and Jimmy’s mural was installed indoors at the Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre.

MASC hopes to bring this program to a new rural community in Ottawa every year.

MASC extends a heartfelt thank you to our partners:

City of Ottawa – CECCE

Osgoode Museum – Baxter Conservation Area – Waupoos Farm

News: Awesome Arts makes waves in Vanier

By Erica Pierre-Pierre on August 26, 2022
Article originally published at

For the past several weeks, Awesome Arts en folie has been partnering with the Vanier community for an eight-week-long celebration of arts. Operating at both the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa’s Don McGahan Clubhouse and the new outdoor Vanier HUB, children, youth, adults and seniors in Vanier have been invited to partake in a vast assortment of creative programs, from videography to songwriting to mural painting!

The initiative is presented by the Multicultural Arts for Schools and Communities (MASC), an Ottawa-based organization that started 32 years ago to celebrate the arts and diversity. While Awesome Arts has historically been offered in Sandy Hill and Lowertown, this summer marks the first time the program has taken place in Vanier.

Apt613 spoke with key members involved in the initiative’s Vanier roll-out to get a flavour of how the collaboration came about, what’s been going on these past several weeks, and what Ottawa residents can look forward to in the days ahead.

Under the banner of MASC, Awesome Arts was born of a vision to effect more targeted community change. As a testament to its widespread success, the program received the International Spotlight Award presented by the American National Arts and Humanities Youth program in November 2017 — the United States’ biggest prize for after-school arts and humanities programs directed toward underserved youth.

Awesome Arts en folie 2022. Photo provided by MASC.

“The idea behind Awesome Arts was to focus on a particular neighbourhood,” explains Jessica Ruano, MASC’s Community Program and Communications Director, “to address issues that were important to the people who live there through the arts.”

The decision to expand specifically to Vanier this summer came from a previous interest in the community and the persistent efforts of local changemakers such as Tom Radford of the Vanier HUB.

A community centre in its fourth year of operation, “the HUB” routinely offers free activities to youth like pop-up skateboard nights and movie nights — complimentary popcorn included.

In large part, the idea behind the HUB was to “develop programming space where events and programming and cultural activities and the cultural economy can thrive,” says Radford.

“You see each other on the street, but a space like the HUB allows those people to come together, so it humanizes our neighbourhood, it allows for connections and shared experience; what we really strive for is a greater sense of social cohesion in our neighbourhood, so it’s just bringing people together.”

Awesome Arts en folie 2022. Photo provided by MASC.

The beats are definitely bumping on a sunny Saturday afternoon as a crowd gathers to witness a b-boy dance-off in full swing. Punctuated by bright, beautifully painted shipping containers, this space loudly proclaims inclusivity, self-expression and good cheer — easy to see why a partnership with Awesome Arts made perfect sense.

“I’ve known Tom for many years, and I know that he is so passionate about his Vanier community, and he puts on some darn good events, so I thought, you know we were really hoping to bring this program to a new community,” says Ruano of how the collaboration ultimately fell into place this past spring.

In addition to their mutual vision for Vanier, the HUB and the many other partners of Awesome Arts are aligned in their commitment to removing barriers to access, be these social, geographical or financial. Indeed, in being open to participants of all ages, Awesome Arts’ programming fosters intergenerational collaboration. In true Ottawa fashion, the program is also offered in both French and English. Moreover, Awesome Arts intentionally operates in community centres easily accessed by walking, and is 100% subsidized and endowed with generous grants from all three levels of government.

“Bringing art to youth in communities that don’t have the opportunity to work alongside professional artists, especially recognized professional artists from the city of Ottawa,” is one of the program’s main commitments, says local hero JustJamaal ThePoet.

The artist, whose impressive resume includes serving as Ottawa’s poet laureate from 2017 to 2019, has been working with MASC for the past 10 years. As a facilitator for Awesome Arts in Vanier, ThePoet explains that while he had initially intended to teach youth how to write a song and create an accompanying music video this summer, “a transformation occurred” when he and his colleagues touched down in Vanier.

“When you want to step into a community, you’ve got to know how to speak their language,” he notes. “When you’re trying to bring art which, you know, is universal in its essence, to communities, you’ve gotta learn what is attractive about art; you need to know the threads that interweave those attractions for people.”

Awesome Arts en folie 2022. Photo provided by MASC.

The artist found that he could connect with Vanier youth through their deep love of sports, and – in a remix of his previous repertoire — his workshop evolved into the creation of a spoken word documentary.

For ThePoet, the hope is that the project gives space to these budding artists to see the importance and power of their unique and authentic stories:

“When young people want to create a piece of art, I think sometimes they think it needs to be chart-topping, or it needs to be viral for the message, for the impact to be felt, but when you get a chance to inspire youth and tell them that their messages, their stories are important, and if it doesn’t go viral that’s not what’s relevant,” he says, “what’s a priority is you’re getting an opportunity to tell your story.”

These stories, along with the many others cultivated and curated over the past several weeks, will be showcased at the program’s capstone event on Friday, August 26 beginning at 6pm at the Vanier HUB. This celebration is free for Ottawa residents near and far to attend!

Awesome Arts Vanier

AWESOME ARTS VANIER 2022 : This summer, Awesome Arts en folie comes to Vanier for 8 weeks of arts programming for children, youth, and adults! Join us at the brand new outdoor Vanier HUB for music and poetry with Wise Atangana, Bboying and Bgirling with Bboyizm Dance Company, and participate in a community mural led by Jimmy Baptiste and Stephanie Babij supported by the Canadian Mental Health Association. You’re also welcome to check out BGC Ottawa’s Don McGahan Clubhouse to take part in a Brazilian Carnaval with Luciano Porto, or create a music video with JustJamaal ThePoet and Craig Conoley. Thanks to generous funding from Ottawa Bilingue (ACFO) and Together Ottawa Ensemble (Compassionate Ottawa), all activities FREE and will culminate with a community showcase at the end of August!

Schedule of Events

Music and poetry with Wise Atangana, Ages 6 – 11
Tuesdays 9:30am – 10:30am
Vanier HUB, 271 Marier Avenue (corner of Montreal Road), K1L 5P7

Bboying & Bgirling with Bboyizm Dance Company, Ages 12-17
Tuesdays 3 – 4pm
Vanier HUB, 271 Marier Avenue (corner of Montreal Road), K1L 5P7

Community mural with Jimmy Baptiste and Stephanie Babij
Pick up a paintbrush and make art with your neighbours!
July 18 – 29 All day, all ages!
Vanier HUB, 271 Marier Avenue (corner of Montreal Road), K1L 5P7

Videography with Craig Conoley, Ages 13-18
Tuesdays and Wednesdays 5 – 6pm
BGC Ottawa – Don McGahan Clubhouse, 430 McArthur Avenue, K1K 1G6

Making a music video with JustJamaal ThePoet (English only), Ages 13-18
Tuesdays and Wednesdays 6 – 8pm
BGC Ottawa – Don McGahan Clubhouse, 430 McArthur Avenue, K1K 1G6

Brazilian Carnaval with Luciano Porto, Ages 6-12
August 22-26, 10am-11am
BGC Ottawa – Don McGahan Clubhouse, 430 McArthur Avenue, K1K 1G6

About Awesome Arts en folie:

Awesome Arts en folie brings together participants of all ages to explore issues important to their community through the arts! Held in partnership with community organizations, Awesome Arts offers an exciting series of workshops for different age groups that culminate in a public celebration. Participants express themselves via various art forms such as slam poetry, animation, music, theatre and video, all the while exploring issues important to them and their community.

In November 2017, Awesome Arts was awarded the International Spotlight Award presented by the American National Arts and Humanitites Youth program. Along with 12 exceptional organizations from across the United States, MASC was thrilled receive the United States’ highest honour for after-school arts and humanities programs that reach underserved youth.To date, Awesome Arts has been run in a number of communities around Ottawa with a variety of partners. Awesome Arts has provided 814 individual workshops to 1942 children, youth and seniors. Awesome Arts Festivals have featured performances from over 1600 children, youth and seniors and 80 local professional artists to over 7519 Ottawa residents.

News: ‘We cannot wait for people to come’: local BIAs cheer return of in-person festivals and events

Full article available at Ottawa Business Journal

BIA-run festivals such as Wellington West’s WelliWOW have become key parts of Ottawa’s tourism landscape. Photo courtesy Wellington West BIA

BY: Andrea Sakiyama Kennedy

PUBLISHED:Jun 7, 2022 4:10pm EDT

With the first official day of summer around the corner, neighbourhoods across the city are coming to life, preparing for what residents and businesses hope marks a return to ‘‘normal”. 

For Ottawa’s central business improvement areas, the warm weather signals the highly anticipated return to in-person festivals and events that allow them to showcase and celebrate all that their local communities have to offer. 

“Collectively as downtown BIAs, we all agree that creating a sense of life and energy in the core is what we owe our businesses and our neighbours to get people excited again about the idea of being in public spaces together,” said Dennis Van Staalduinen, executive director of the Wellington West BIA.

OBJ reached out to some of Ottawa’s BIAs to find out what impact the return of in-person festivals and events for the first time in more than two years is having, or going to have, on their local member businesses and communities.

Wellington West BIA – WelliWow –  May – July 2022

Representing the interests of the eclectic Hintonburg and Wellington Village business communities, the Wellington West BIA has partnered with Ottawa-based community arts organization MASC to unveil a new kind of event experience that celebrates the intersection of culture, creativity and diversity this neighbourhood community is already known for.

The WelliWOW 2022 Performance Arts series will see outdoor arts and performance events popping up all around the Wellington West community, the plan being to animate local parks and public spaces and introduce a diverse range of artists and art forms.

The BIA hopes the free series will attract area residents, as well as encourage Ottawa-area or visiting art-lovers to stop by and see all that Wellington West has to offer.

“We are very intentional, trying to be as open and multicultural and as diverse an area as is humanly possible, because we believe that creativity, prosperity and great communities are built on diversity, with people meeting people who aren’t like them and then forming surprising partnerships and projects,” said Van Staalduinen.

Francophonie Month

Celebrate the arts en français!

March is Francophonie Month. To reserve our francophone and bilingual artists for your classroom or community, please contact

News: Ottawa performers ‘phone it in’

A group of artists in Ottawa is doing a series of over-the-phone concerts for seniors in rural areas. Ottawa storyteller Kim Kilpatrick tells us more about it.

Check out this interview on CBC Ottawa Morning with MASC artist Kim Kilpatrick. Aired January 25, 2022.

News: Hiphop and Graffiti for Families

MASC artist Jimmy Baptiste invites families to join him for a Zoom session to learn the basics of graffiti design, illustration, and composition in order to paint large-scale murals.

Check out this interview on In Town and Out with Giacomo Panico. Aired February 26, 2022.

Job opportunity: Bilingual Communications and Marketing Director

Application Deadline: March 4, 2022

MASC is a dynamic, mid-sized charitable organization that (for over 31 years!) has brought professional creatives from diverse cultural backgrounds into schools and communities. We aim to deepen awareness and encourage understanding through our bilingual performances, workshops, and artists-in-residence programs.

The MASC Bilingual Communications and Marketing Director will be responsible for MASC’s communications strategies, which includes graphic design, multimedia promotions, management of mass marketing and social media. The position is supported by other staff and interns. This position combines our present part-time Graphic Designer position with marketing and communications responsibilities.

MASC is looking for an organized, creative and efficient person who believes in targeted, engaging communication. Someone who enjoys making a difference through the arts and working with a fun, dynamic team. This position requires enthusiasm, creativity, and initiative, a person who can work well in a team and on their own, often under pressure.

Position: Full time remote position, 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year (computer provided)

Annual Salary: $47,000- $57,000 (commensurate with experience)

Benefits plan: life and long-term disability insurance available after 12 months

Vacation: 3 weeks total paid vacation (2 weeks typically taken over the winter holiday school break, 1 week during the year)

Sick days: 10 paid sick days

Start Date: June 13, 2022

As MASC values diversity in its workplace, we encourage candidates to self-identify as members of the following equity-seeking groups: Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, persons with disabilities, 2SLGBTQIA, refugees, newcomers, seniors, and women+.


  • Communications Strategy: Determine messaging and annual calendar
  • Communications Materials: Design and write quarterly newsletters, Annual Report, Fundraising campaigns and other public communications.
  • Marketing Strategy: Ensure the best and most effective marketing techniques are used to reach key audiences. Create annual strategy; manage a yearly marketing calendar.
  • Marketing Materials: Design and write monthly e-flyers, event posters, brochures, and website imagery.
  • Social Media: Increase MASC’s social media engagement that MASC team members will manage through dynamic, frequent and engaging presence across several platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).
  • Multimedia Promotions: Maintain up to date image database, slide show creations, video creation (often in partnership with external teams).
  • CRM Management: The Communications and Marketing Director will analyze present tools (Filemaker Pro and MailChimp), and work with outside consultants to provide guidance as to how to streamline the system.
  • Intern Management: Manage interns who will provide tangible support to this position.
  • Public relations coordination: in partnership with the Community Program Director.

Required Qualifications and Skills:

  • Excellent written and verbal skills in both English and French
  • Proficiency with graphic design, photo editing software
  • Post-secondary education in relevant discipline(s) or equivalent work experience
  • Minimum of three years of professional experience with a strong track record of leadership through a series of similar positions and/or freelance projects
  • Experienced with WordPress and understanding of social media algorithms
  • Proficiency with CRM tools/databases and solid digital media/software user skills

To apply, please send Resumé and cover letter including samples of your design work, links to samples of your marketing writing and links or snapshots of social media posts

New artists 2021-22

We are thrilled to welcome Axis Theatre Company, Matinée of Theatre and Music, and Mona Kiame to the MASC roster. Book a performance or workshop today!


Online programming available across Canada.

Are you a professional artist with experience and passion for bringing the arts to schools and communities? Discover what it takes to become a MASC artist!