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CNCAC Coalition of New Canadians for Arts and Culture

Happy 2013!

We would like to thank everyone who attended the AGM on Thursday 6 December 2012. It was a great opportunity for the Board and Staff to meet with everyone, to review our accomplishments of the past year, and to introduce our exciting 2013 program.
Meet and Greet
Please join us on Thursday 17 January at 6 p.m. at OCISO, 945 Wellington Street for our upcoming Meet and Greet to learn more about the many services offered by the Ottawa Public Library. Céline St-Martin, a Librarian with Community Outreach and Newcomer Services at the Ottawa Public Library, will describe the variety of resources and programs available for newcomers, and will also speak about displaying art in the various Branches of the Ottawa Public Library. 

Call for Board Members 


The Coalition of New Canadians for Arts and Culture (CNCAC) has received funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, allowing us to expand our mandate and to implement several new and exciting initiatives. In order for us to better carry out these initiatives, the Board of Directors is recruiting additional Board members.


If you would like to make a difference to Canada’s arts and cultural scene and to new Canadian artists and arts professionals, please consider joining our Board of Directors. We encourage new Canadian artists to apply, as well as other professionals in the areas of law, finance, business operation, marketing and communications, web development, grant writing, and fundraising. 

If you are interested in applying for a position on the CNCAC Board of Directors, please send a cover letter and your Curriculum Vitae no later than Friday January 25 to

Call for Volunteers 


The Coalition of New Canadians for Arts and Culture (CNCAC) is interested in meeting with volunteers who would like to join our dynamic team, allowing us to expand our mandate and to implement several new and exciting initiatives.


If you have experience in the arts, in marketing, communications, social media, web development, grant writing, or fundraising and would like hands-on experience with an arts organization that works with new Canadian artists and arts professionals, please contact us at




CNCAC Curator and Artist
Petra Halkes

How has your journey as Curator been in Canada?
Actually, I was trained as a teacher in The Netherlands, but I always loved art, and have been painting in oils since I was about 14. When my children were small, we lived in Carleton Place, where I began organizing a range of activities for children, from art and drama classes to a nursery school. I also presented puppet shows for preschoolers!

I went back to school to get a BFA with the intent of gaining more credibility as an art teacher, but the theory classes at University of Ottawa opened up a world of ideas for me. While continuing to paint, I studied at Carleton University for an MA in Canadian Art History, and then went on to get a PhD in Cultural Analysis at the Amsterdam University, mostly through correspondence. I began writing reviews and articles for magazines, through which people began to get to know me a bit and I was invited to curate several exhibitions. I also applied many times for exhibitions of my own work, and was lucky a couple of times. 

Naturally, I have a special interest in exchanges and cooperative projects with artists from The Netherlands.  I have curated several exhibitions with Dutch artists in Canada and one for the Dutch Armando Museum in Amersfoort (2002), which included five Canadian artists.  Presently, I am organizing an exchange between the Enriched Bread Artists of Ottawa and a similar studio group in The Hague for 2013 link

What is RIA (Research in Art)?
I have always loved organizing events, but found the lack of exhibition spaces and the ever-increasing competition in Ottawa rather frustrating. At one point, I began dreaming about what I could do if I didn’t have to depend on institutions and money. What could I do with what I could rely on, such as my enthusiastic and supportive partner, Rene Price, and our centrally-located home. The house has some nearly empty spaces even though we rent out part of it for income, and use it for work as well.

I began organizing Salons in 2006. Every month or so, an art professional or amateur is invited to give a slide presentation about a project he/she has been involved in, outside the Ottawa area. It’s a nice, informal way to get to know about something that we don’t have a chance to experience in person. Artists who are new in town are also invited to give presentations about their work. More recently, I have added other activities, including discussion evenings  about key words in contemporary art, Reading Out Loud sessions to read and discuss a specific text, and an Artist Project Room where local artists get an opportunity to exhibit and discuss their projects with peers. link
Do you have any advice for New Canadian artists?

Not really! It would be rather presumptuous of me, since circumstances and backgrounds are so different for all of us immigrants. I would love to say: “follow your passion and the money will follow,” but I can see from my own children’s lives how difficult and precarious a path this is at the present time.

I never had great expectations of money or fame, but I do get great satisfaction from sharing my passion for art with others. I still work for money, but I am old enough to receive a cheque from the government each month, which allows me to do things without pay quite often. I feel privileged to be able to do this, and it is a lot of fun!


Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) offers advice through their website on how to manage your career as an artist. Useful and practical advise for Film and Broadcasting, Heritage, Life Performing Arts, Music and Sound Recording, Visual Arts and Crafts, Writing and Publishing, Digital Media, and Cultural Management.

Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) published a Teacher's Guide and Activity Kit for Careers in Culture pdf

Contact us

Do you have information, articles, events, publications or comments on the CNCAC Newsletter?

We would like to hear from you.

Contact us at

Learning Opportunities

Basic Digital Photo Editing at the North Gloucester Library, Jan 22; St. Laurent Library, Jan.29; Ruth E. Dickinson Library Feb.6; Rosemount Library, Mar. 21 info or call 613 580-2940

University of British Columbia offers 3 Courses ONLINE Feb. 28 to Apr. 18 $800 save $100 if register by Feb. 1  info or email

1. Creative Placemaking: Acquire the knowledge, skills and inspiration required to investigate, develop and implement creative placemaking projects in your community.
Instructor Sue Harvey, Vancouver, Canada

2.Creating Culture Plans: Acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to develop, implement and evaluate culture plans.
Instructor: Pru Robey, Artscape, Toronto

3. Foundations of Cultural Planning: an overview of the history, principles and practice of cultural planning in an international context, with particular emphasis on its application and benefits in contemporary urban and community environments in both developed and developing worlds.
Instructor Colin Mercer, Bristol UK

Grants & Jobs

GRANT OPPORTUNITY The Ontario Trillium Foundation is accepting grant applications from not-for-profit organizations. Deadline Mar. 1 info

GRANTS Ontario Arts Council by date info

GRANTS City of Ottawa Arts and Culture Funding info  

Enriched Bread Artists (EBA) is seeking an Administrator. Deadline Jan. 4 infoemail


St. Brigid's Centre is looking for a full time Programming Manager and also looking for a full time Operations Manager. Send cover letter and CV. Deadline Jan. 14 at 5:00 p.m. websiteemail


Arts Express is looking for Children's Theatre and Visual Art Instructors, GTA (Great Toronto Area). Deadline Jan. 20 infowebsite or email


Navilus Gallery, Yorkville, is looking for an intern. Deadline Jan. 30 call Taylor Sullivan at (416) 921-6467  infowebsite, or email


CALL TO ALGONQUIN ARTISTS & ARTISANS: The City of Ottawa's Light Rail Transit Project is seeking an Algonquin artist or artisan to collaborate with on this project. Little or no experience in large-scale artwork necessary. Deadline Jan. 17, 4 p.m. info


CALL FOR NEW MEMBERS Blink Collective is seeking new members. Submission deadline: Jan 10 info


AUDITION CALL The Ottawa Choral Society is seeking additions to their symphonic chorus. For an audition email or info


CALL TO PLAYWRIGHTS The 2013 Herman Voaden Playwriting Competition is accepting submissions. Deadline: Jan. 15 info


CALL TO ARTISTS The Trinity Gallery is receiving proposals for the Arteast juried exhibition Mozaic. Deadline Feb. 13 application or email

JOB OPPORTUNITY The Ottawa Art Gallery is seeking a Communications and Marketing Officer. Deadline Jan. 7 info

Art and Culture

Spotlight, City of Ottawa website for current events link

Artengine, Ottawa based website with art and culture events link

Apt 613, Ottawa website with information on art and culture link

Akimbo, Toronto based, Canada's online source for visual art information link

Jamelie Hassan, At the Far Edge With Words at Carleton University Art Gallery, Jan. 14 to Mar.17. Conversation with artist Jan. 15 at 7:00 p.m. free entrance

OWAA The Ottawa West Arts Association, presents Halcyon Days from Jan. 5 to Mar. 1. open daily,  7 a.m. to 9 p.m. info

TRINITY ART GALLERY at Shenkman Arts Centre presents Michael Parkin: A World in Motion: Mobile and Kinetic Sculptures and Michelle Bishop: Holding the Dark both closing on Jan. 8, info