Sharing stories on cities, arts and culture.

Creative CityMakers

Why Ottawa for Arts and Culture?


This event was an Alumni Mixer with Special Guests working in Arts and Culture in Ottawa. There was live co-creation of art; see Jamaal Jackson Roger’s poem, ‘The Bear‘, here.

Come eat, drink, and find out why Ottawa is a hotbed for Arts and Culture – and how to get started in it!

Special guests include (and more added every day)

Jamaal Jackson Rogers
Jamaal (a.k.a. ‘Just Jamaal The Poet‘) is an award winning Poet Laureate, arts educator, creative entrepreneur, and performance artist. He has brought his work to audiences locally and internationally and his defining moments are when he makes intimate connections with his participants during his workshop exchanges and performance sets. His topics range from emotional maturity to social justice, from parenting to the human condition. He resides in Ottawa, Canada, using the capital and his performance studio, THE ORIGIN ARTS & COMMUNITY CENTRE as his launch pad to teach, mentor and advocate for the arts.

Elizabeth Winkelaar
Elizabeth Winkelaar is a dancer and artistic associate with the propeller Dance Company. Her background is in social justice and human rights and through this activism she found dance as a powerful medium to reach audiences with new ideas and Aesthetics. Liz has also worked on several choreographies, including Spasticus that was presented at the Great Canadian Theatre Company of 2016.  Liz sees herself as a teacher, mentor and lifelong student. She feels that collaboration is the best way to bring together exciting new ideas and create art.

Blazej Marzak
A photographer currently residing in Ottawa, Blazej has participated in several projects and collective exhibitions in the UK, and internationally, including Origins; PhotoUK- India at the British Council in New Delhi, Documenting Britain at Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow and Celebrating Europeat Kaunas Photography Gallery in Lithuania.

Jordan David
Jordan David (a.k.a. JFUN) is a singer/songwriter, musician, performer, collaborator, disc jockey, event curator and event producer. Jordan has written and recorded music that has been funded, supported and recognized by the Arts Council of Ontario and City of Ottawa. The Love Machine, a project for which he was a principal songwriter and bass player for was awarded $50,000 by local radio station Live 88.5 for excellence in stage performance and songwriting. Jordan has toured extensively through Ontario, Quebec and Eastern Canada.

Current projects that Jordan is involved with include: the Ottawa Jazz Festival (Media Coordinator), Ottawa Children’s Festival (Communication Specialist), Morning Jam (Co-Founder, Event curator, Resident Disc Jockey), Music.Art.Ppl (Co-Founder, Event curator, Resident Disc Jockey), Charlotte Ottawa (Resident Disc Jockey). Jordan is dedicated to producing events in the City of Ottawa that provide a platform for artists from various backgrounds to share work and collaborate in safe spaces.

Chris White
Chris White co-founded the Ottawa Folk Festival in 1993.  He produces and publicizes events through Folkzone, a production company he created with music industry veteran Mark Delorme. Chris produces and hosts “Canadian Spaces” on CKCU-FM, a folk music program that features live performances, interviews and local and national music community news. Chris received the Helen Verger Award at the 2012 Ottawa Folk Festival for his “significant, sustained contributions to Canadian folk music”.

Jacqui du Toit
An international theatrical and movement storyteller, Jacqui is also the co-owner of Origin Arts and Community Centre, one of the first fully black owned art studios in the capital city of Canada. Jacqui has worked extensively as a professional actress, storyteller and dancer for the past 10 years.

Rolf Klausener
Rolf is creative director of Arboretum Festival, and the singer/songwriter for art-folk music project, The Acorn. A multi-disciplinary communicator, Rolf is also the creative marketer for the National Arts Centre, and has built a reputation on deft creative strategy, an conscientious design style, astute copy writing, and a lifelong dedication to the arts.

Tim desClouds
Tim desClouds is an Ottawa-based artist, born in Montreal and raised in Ottawa. He has been an educator, artist, and arts advocate for well over 35 years. He has served on both the Ottawa Art Gallery and Gallery Saw Board of Directors. Tim recently retired from a 30-year teaching career at the Ottawa-Carleton School Board arts high school, Canterbury HS. Tim’s artwork is represented by Galerie St Laurent and Hill in Ottawa. He has created numerous public art works throughout Ottawa-Gatineau, and his work has been acquired for numerous corporate, private, and government collections throughout North America.

Ann Nguyen
Ann Nguyen (a.k.a. Brooklyn Motorino) was born in Sai Gon and grew up in the upper Mekong delta in southern Viet Nam. She moved to Canada as a teenager. In her photography, Ann focuses on the apparent tension in the everyday scene. Her esteemed series, ‘Rush Hour on a Sunday Afternoon’, portrays modern angst, amplified on supposedly calm Sunday afternoons. It’s the anticipation of another week rolling by, pushing papers at a day job, and the lamentation of lost time. Ann works primarily in medium format film, and iPhone digital.

Megan Piercey Monafu
Megan is the founder and artistic director of CSArt Ottawa, an art subscription connecting local artists with local patrons. Megan is also a playwright and theatre director, who recently returned to Ottawa after completing an MFA Creative Writing (playwriting focus) at the University of Guelph in Toronto. Megan wrote and directed A Little Fire (TACTICS/Arts Court 2016), Mabel’s Last Performance (Best Female Performance 2014, Atlantic Fringe Festival Award), and Grain of Salt redux (Ottawa Fringe 2014). Recent projects include directing This is the August with Young Prince Collective from script development workshop through to successful run at SummerWorks 2016, and writing two plays, one set in the social housing system of Ontario, and the other in the virtual reality world of Silicon Valley.