• Hamilton Arts Week 2018

    May 24, 2018 by Stephen Near

    This blog is written by Glodeane Brown, an interior design consultant with a passion for all things relating to arts and culture. She is also the founder of Culture Fancier, a blog with the aim to educate, entertain, and inspire about art, art shows and events, as well as spotlight artists and other creative people.

    Photo: Hamilton Aerial Group + Cesar Kardoba

    Hamilton has a strong, vibrant arts and culture scene and Hamilton Arts Week plans to highlight it with over 100 scheduled events between June 2-9, 2018. The festival is in its fifth year and is presented by Hamilton Arts Council (one of the oldest community arts councils in Ontario) with support from the City of Hamilton, First Ontario Credit Union, Luna Station, and The Cotton Factory. The festival is in line with the council's mission to strengthen the role of arts and culture in the City of Hamilton by making the arts accessible and relevant to the entire community.

    Many may be familiar with Supercrawl the festival that expands on the city's monthly Art Crawls on James Street N, both important events for Hamilton that build community pride and the local economy. While Hamilton Arts Week has a similar function, it differs in that it is a city wide event. It not only acknowledges arts and culture and galleries along the James Street N strip, it aims to be inclusive. Arts and cultural organizations, artists, and communities are encouraged to celebrate throughout Hamilton. Hamilton Arts Council Executive Director Annette Paiement sees it as an opportunity for the city to come together, eliminate barriers, and share cultural pride. The word "artist" usually brings to mind the visual arts. In late 2017, Hamilton Arts Council launched the I Am An Artist campaign to build awareness around the diverse disciplines of art and culture in the city, promoting a broader definition of "artist" and encompassing all makers – theatre, literature, dance, music, film and media arts, as well as contemporary craft practices, tattoo, fashion, landscaping and architecture. Arts and culture are integral to day to day living and Hamilton Arts Week is a kind of extension of that awareness campaign.

    Photo: Above: Some of the performers that will be at Hamilton Arts Week, including Bel Canto Strings, The Spirit Bear Drummers, and Lazo

    More than 50 arts organizations are joining in the Hamilton Arts Council's efforts to ignite Hamilton and build a strong, sustainable city-wide celebration that is welcoming and inclusive. The Hamilton Arts Awards will take place in the middle of Hamilton Arts Week, furthering the celebration of the city's creative talent.

    Arts and culture are thriving, and the city's revitalization is directly linked to the cultural sector. The Ontario Arts Council recently released a report showing findings from Statistics Canada. Ontario's arts and culture sector represents $27.5 billion 0r 3.7% of the province's GDP and almost 287,000 jobs. Paiement says "There is a movement to brand Hamilton as a Music City, our cultural currency is robust and steeped in history. I feel we are a Creativity City  that encompasses a broader spectrum of the arts; culinary arts, literature, visual arts, architecture and design. We are booming with creativity! Celebrations like Hamilton Arts Week, Supercrawl and Art Crawl are necessary."

    The festival kicks off on June 2, 2018 with an opening celebration at 4 pm at The Cotton Factory, 270 Sherman Ave. N. This FREE event features a Night Market, Interactive Installations and Performances featuring the Hamilton Aerial Group, TH&B Collective and more! Outdoor Screening of METRIC: DREAMS so REAL after sunset followed by a dance party and live performances in the Mule Spinner! Food presentations by Nellie James and Jonny Blonde Food Truck. 

    The majority of festival events are free and cover dance, literary events, music, theatre, exhibits, workshops, open studios, community celebrations, visual arts festivities and interventions. There's something for everyone, no matter what your area of interest.

    Photo: Hamilton Aerial Group, To The Pointe Dance project, Lisa Emmons

    Follow Hamilton Arts Council on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates and daily highlights. Use the #HAMILTONARTSWEEK to share your favourite celebratory moments.

    And check out the complete schedule of Hamilton Arts Week events.

    All photos supplied by Annette Paiement

  • Call for Board Nominations - DEADLINE May 20, 2018!

    May 7, 2018 by Stephen Near

    The Hamilton Arts Council is seeking dynamic, hard-working individuals committed to furthering the reach and impact of the arts in the Hamilton region to join our Board of Directors.

    The role of the Board of Directors is to advise on policy, planning and strategic direction, and assist with the leadership and promotion of the Hamilton Arts Council’s Mission, Vision and Values in accordance with its bylaws.

    We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and experiences. Previous service on a not-for-profit board is considered an asset, as is experience as a practicing artist and/or cultural worker in the Hamilton region.

    Responsibilities of HAC Directors include, but are not limited to:

    • attending six annual board meetings

    • contributing to one of four Board committees by attending monthly meetings

    • acting as a vocal and positive ambassador and advocate of the Hamilton Arts Council’s Mission, Vision and Values and promote them to our stakeholders

    Interested candidates are asked to fill out our online application form at HAC Board of Directors: 2018 Application. DEADLINE for applications if May 20th, 2018.

    Questions about this call for nominations and the Hamilton Arts Council Board of Directors can be directed to Annette Paiement, Executive Director, at


    May 1, 2018 by Stephen Near

    The Hamilton Arts Council Artist Residency Program is a 3-month rotating artist residency in The Cotton Factory. This valuable opportunity provides artists from a wide range of disciplines and career levels to build their practice. Participating artists are encouraged to use their time to experiment, develop new ideas and learn new skills in addition to forming meaningful ties with their fellow artists in residence and Cotton Factory tenants. The participating artists will be required to deliver an artist talk and open house during the final week of their residency.

    The Cotton Factory is a creative community in the heart of lower Hamilton. This former industrial building from 1900 is a prime example of adaptive reuse. It has been transformed from a cotton mill into a creative industries complex, with space for workshops, galleries, office space for creative professionals and studios for artists.

    The Cotton Factory continues to demonstrate, ongoing commitment to fostering emerging artist practices as well as their continued contribution to Hamilton’s flourishing contemporary art community.

    The studio is located on the second floor of the Storehouse Building at the Cotton Factory (270 Sherman Avenue North, Hamilton)



    Hamilton Arts Council: Artist Residency at The Cotton Factory

    The Cotton Factory has generously donated a studio space for the Hamilton Arts Council to facilitate an artist-in-residence program. This residency program provides a valuable opportunity for artists from a wide range of disciplines and career levels to build their practice and engage with a flourishing hub of artistic activity. We are seeking applications for this rotating self directed artist-in-residence program. The dates and deadlines are listed below.

    The successful applicant will be expected to use the space a minimum of 2-3 days per week and perform an artist talk or workshop in conjunction with a culminating open studio, open to the public.

    Two artists will be selected for each term and are expected to share the studio space.

    * Please note you must be a member of the Hamilton Arts Council in order to be considered for this opportunity.



    Please provide the following information:

    • Letter of intent/ project proposal (500 words max)
    • Short Biography (100 words max)
    • Artist Statement (350 words max)
    • Curriculum Vitae (3 pages max)
    • 10 images (max) in JPEG format or links to youtube or vimeo files

    Next Residency:

    • July – September 2018                              Deadline:  May 4, 2018   [Extended]
    • November – January 2019                         Deadline:  September 7, 2018

    Results will be communicated shortly after the deadline. Due to the high volume of applications we receive, only the successful applicant will be notified.

    Please send applications in a single email to

    Please include Cotton Factory Residency Application in the subject line of your email.

    The Hamilton Arts Council Residency Program as well as the accompanying speakers series,  is made possible through project from th Ontario Arts Council and The Cotton Factory.

  • European Artist in Residence Program Recipient - Tor Lukasik Foss

    April 17, 2018 by Stephen Near

    The Hamilton Arts Council is pleased to announce artists Tor Lukasik Foss has been awarded the Hamilton Arts Council’s European Artist in Residence Program taking place in September, 2018. 

    The vision of this residency program is to build and strengthen cultural connections between Europe and Canada by providing an opportunity for Hamilton artists to work in Europe and meet local artists in the vibrant Estonian arts scene. The program is a partnership with the Hamilton Arts Council, the Estonian Artists Association and funded through the generous support of The Cotton Factory. The residency provides an opportunity for professional and artistic development through access to facilities to create new work; Access to local artists through the Estonian Artists Association; and includes two speaking engagements in Tallinn and at Tartu University.

    Photo Credit Darin White 2015

    TOR LUKASIK FOSS is a native Hamiltonian artist whose creative practice spans over two decades and encompasses visual art, performance, and creative writing. In the last decade his practice has investigated social anxiety particularly as it relates to public and private space. Lukasik Foss has used storytelling and song writing as both intimate and public actions, particularly stories and songs that stem from myth, folklore, and religion.

    His multidisciplinary practice investigates the eccentricities of the public sphere, everything from municipal signage to the concert stage. He exhibits work both individually and as part of TH&B, an artist collective of which he is a founding member (along with Ivan Jurakic, Simon Frank, and Dave Hind). Lukasik-Foss performs under the pseudonym ‘tiny bill cody’ and has released four Cd’s of original songwriting over the last two decades, He writes regularly for “Hamilton Magazine”, is a founding member of the Hamilton Seven, a story telling collective seen most notably at the 2017 Hamilton Fringe Festival. He has also been awarded the 2007 K.M. Hunter Award for Visual Arts, 2008 Visual Arts Award from the City of Hamilton, a 2009 Hamilton Music Award (Best Male Artist) multiple Ontario Arts Council Mid Career Visual Arts Grants and a 2014 Canada Council Project Grant. He lives with his family in central Hamilton and works as the Program Director for the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

    Photo Credit KJ Bedford 2009

    Our partners on this unique residency are the The Estonian Artist’s Association (EAA) and The Cotton Factory.

    The Estonian Artist’s Association (EAA) is the legal successor of the Soviet Estonian Artists’ Association established in 1943 and is an umbrella-organization uniting 19 professional unions of artists and art historians. Fixed on October 1, 2002 there are 965 professional artists and art historians in the EAA. Most of the Members of the EAA have graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts.

    Photo Credit The Cotton Factory

    Located in the heart of lower Hamilton, The Cotton Factory has been transformed into a creative industries complex, with space for workshops and small manufacturing, office space for creative professionals, and studios for artists.  Though the complex is now fully leased, the community and uses of the complex are always growing and evolving. Over 60 tenants currently call the facilities of The Cotton Factory home for their artistic or creative practice. Among them are photographers, designers, curators, painters, potters, textile artists and woodworkers. Areas of the building have also been used for a wide variety of television and movie productions.

    Stay tuned for more news about this one-of-a-kind residency.


    March 20, 2018 by Stephen Near

    Our annual Culture Guide will be turning five this year!

    In 2014, the Hamilton Arts Council amalgamated our popular Theatre Guide and Gallery Guide and revamped both publications into the Culture Guide as a way of promoting and celebrating all arts across the city and highlighting achievements in music, visual arts, literature and the performing arts in the Hamilton region.

    Published annually, the Guide tells the stories of the artists, performers and musicians that call Hamilton home. In past years, we featured original articles on important cultural events like the City of Hamilton Arts Awards, the monthly James Street North Art Crawl, and our very own Hamilton Arts Week. We've also done feature stories on arts education, our local music scene, the profile of international artists, and the importance of public art in the community. As well, each Guide has included a series of handy directories of local arts organizations and a calendar of events throughout the year.

    A one-stop source for keeping all Hamiltonians informed on what is happening on the cultural front, the Culture Guide continues to be a signature program for the Hamilton Arts Council and we're very pleased to be celebrating the fifth year of this important publication as we enter into a year of exciting programming including the I Am An Artist campaign and Building Cultural Legacies.

    To mark this year's Culture Guide, we're looking at redesigning both the look of Guide and the contents but we want your feedback as artists in the community on what you'd like to see.

    Take our short survey and help us design our new Culture Guide!