MASC hosts Festival Awesome Arts en folie on April 14th, 2022, from 6pm to 8pm, livestreamed across Canada from the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG). Featuring the work of children, youth, and seniors from Lowertown, Sandy Hill, Vanier, and Riverside Park, the evening will celebrate the resiliency and diversity of Ottawa’s artists and communities.  

Headlining the bilingual event are MASC artists Indigenous Experiences, Jacqui Du Toit, Kuljit Sodhi, Medhi Cayenne, and Simon Brascoupe. Afro-Caribbean dancer Suzan Richards will host the event, and DJ Seiiizi leads the pre-festival dance party.  

The evening will also include performances of children and youth from Viscount Alexander Public School, York Street Public School, Francojeunesse, and Sainte-Anne Elementary School led by MASC artists Wise Atangana, JustJamaal ThePoet, Jacqui Du Toit, Tina Le Moine, Kuljit Sodhi, Junkyard Symphony, Fana Soro, and Bboyizm Dance Company, as well as a montage of community murals led by Claudia Salguero, Kseniya Tsoy, Jimmy Baptiste and Nicole Bélanger. 

“Awesome Arts en folie has been such a positive intergenerational event in our community! It serves as an opportunity for diverse creative minds to come together and share their point of view through art.”

Mathieu Fleury, City Councillor for Rideau-Vanier Ward in Ottawa, who will be in attendance at this year’s festival

In addition to the evening of celebration, visitors to the OAG between March 25th and April 17th will be able to view the mural created by Nicole Bélanger and the students of École élémentaire publique Francojeunesse. Each student has created an individual piece that, placed together, form the stunning mural on display at the OAG.  

“MASC has jumped through many hoops over the last couple of years. We’ve perfected our online programming, and now we’re ready to explore a hybrid model that is even more inclusive to the communities we serve. Plus, have you seen our line up? Canada, you’re in for a treat!”

Jessica Ruano, Community Program Director for MASC

This year’s Awesome Arts en folie Festival is supported by Reconnect Ontario, Ottawa Bilingue (ACFO), Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, Boys & Girls Club, Ottawa Markets, Lowertown Community Association, Lowertown Community Resource Centre, Ottawa Art Gallery, Christie Lake Kids, and Riverside Community Association

About Awesome Arts: 

Awesome Arts is a community engaged program that allows 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 in all artistic disciplines that culminate in a public celebration. The Awesome Arts Festival brings the community together for an evening of celebration during which the participants share their creations. The festival also features professional artists, inspiring the entire community to remain connected with the arts and the issues. 

About Ottawa Art Gallery: 

The OAG is an independent, not-for-profit, charitable organization governed by a volunteer board of directors. It was founded in 1988 as the Gallery at Arts Court by a group of local artists and community leaders and renamed the Ottawa Art Gallery in 1992. As a leader in the arts community, OAG presents new ideas and provide a cultural meeting place to actively promote relationships and exchanges between artists and various diverse facets of our community. OAG explores and reflects on diversity and social change through a spectrum of visual arts practice, focused on but not exclusive to the region in a national and international context. Over time, the OAG has built a significant permanent collection that now numbers more than 1,020 works including paintings, sculpture, graphic arts, photographs, and new media.