You, you & you

Winnipeg’s Public Art Program recently unveiled a new project “You, you & you” at the new United Way building in downtown Winnipeg. This is the first time the Winnipeg Arts Council Public Art Program has partnered with a private organization.

Check out this video to find out more about the piece and hear about it from the artists themselves.

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Live/Life From 95 Screening at two festivals

You may remember Jim and Ervin from their presentation on Saturday afternoon at the Symposium, or you may just know them from around the town. These two filmmakers worked with IRCOM youth through the WAC With ART program to help them create their own music and music video. The result of that project, the music video/making of documentary Live/Life From 95, will be screening at two upcoming festivals.

They are:

The Annual Columbia Native American Indian Film & Video Festival of  The Southeast (South Carolina, USA)

Mispon Film Festival (Saskatoon, SK)

If you know anyone in those towns or going to those festivals, tell them to check out this amazing and inspiring project.

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My City’s Still Breathing, but the symposium is now over

Thanks to everyone who came to the symposium and contributed to its overwhelming success! We will continue to post updates about presenters and the subject matters related to symposium here for a while, and we would love to hear thoughts from people who were in attendance.

A legacy document will be published this spring. Please stay tuned for information.

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Siting Expositions

If you are going to be in Vancouver on November 3, you will want to check out this very cool walking tour, with audio enhancement provided by one of our presenters, Lize Mogel.

Lize Mogel is presenting as part of the session Lasting Impressions, Ephemeral Artworks in the City. She is an interdisciplinary artist who creates and disseminates counter-cartography (maps and mappings that produce new understandings of social and political issues).

Find out more about Siting Expositions in Vancouver be.

While you are in Winnipeg for My City’s Still Breathing, check out the “historical” walking tour or our Exchange District, Ginger’s Walk.


Vancouver has a unique history as a city that has hosted both a World’s Fair—Expo86–and an Olympics in Winter 2010. These events have undeniably transformed the land around False Creek. While this area has been shaped by urban settlement for over a century, the mega-events of 1986 and 2010 have left an economic, political, and architectural legacy that will be seen and felt well into the future.

Siting Expositions: Vancouver is a project by Ryan Griffis, Lize Mogel, and Sarah Ross. It is part of the publication/audio tour collection Stories in Reserve, published by the Temporary Travel Office, 2010.

Public Events

  1. Wednesday November 3, 5-7:30 pm: Audio/walking tour of False Creek with public discussion at the Roundhouse, Room C, afterwards.
  2. Thursday November 4, 4:30-5:50pm: “History Repeats Itself: One Host City After Another”- artists’ talk at Emily Carr University, Rm 301, South Building
  3. Thursday November 4, 6-7pm: Reception and launch of “Stories in Reserve,” READ Books, Emily Carr University

All events are free and open to the public. Online info:

1. Wednesday November 3, 5-7:30pm
“Siting Expositions” audio/walking tour of False Creek with public discussion afterwards.

Join Ryan Griffis and Lize Mogel on an audio walking tour around the east end of False Creek, where the impact of the Olympics and Expo86 are most visible in this transformed landscape. Participants will move through history, listening to different and sometime opposing perspectives on sites such as Coopers Park, Concord Pacific’s showroom, and the Habitat Compensation Island.

Please bring your audio player preloaded with the tour, and headphones.
Download audio files here:
MP3 format:
Podcast format:

A small number of headphone splitters will be available for people who would like to listen from a shared device.
Maps of the tour will be provided.

4pm-4:30pm: (optional) meet in the Roundhouse Lobby Cafe to download the tour onto your audio player and pick up a map.
5pm: meet at the middle of the Cambie Street bridge (eastern side) to pick up a map and begin the tour. We will walk counterclockwise around False Creek, approximately 2.9 km, ending in Cooper’s Park.
6:30pm: meet in Room C, at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre (corner of Pacific and Davie) for warm drinks and a discussion about the impact of the Olympics and World’s Fairs in Vancouver. Participants are encouraged to raise questions, perspectives and concerns not addressed in the tour and discuss the current post-Olympic changes to the area and region.

2. Thursday November 4, 4:30-5:50pm
“History Repeats Itself: One Host City After Another”

Public lecture at Emily Carr University, Rm 301, South Building
Ryan and Lize will present Siting Expositions: Vancouver and Stories in Reserve, and discuss their related work.
Presented by ECU Interdisciplinary Forums

3. Thursday November 4, 6-7pm
Reception and launch of Stories in Reserve
READ Books, Emily Carr University

Please join us for refreshments and a look at Stories in Reserve, Volume 1, the first in a series of guide books featuring original guided tours by artists, activists, historians and storytellers that span from polemic narrative to experimental soundscape. Volume 1 presents three soundscapes that take reader-listeners on journeys within the territory known as North America. Tours include:

  • America Ponds by Sarah Kanouse, about a National Wildlife Refuge and Superfund site in Southern Illinois;
  • Dentimundo by Ricardo Miranda-Zuniga, presents interviews with Tijuana dentists who see patients from both sides of the border;
  • Siting Expositions: Vancouver by Ryan Griffis, Lize Mogel, and Sarah Ross, which examines the impact of two mega-events on the urban waterway of False Creek.

The Siting Expositions project, Stories in Reserve, and these public events are made possible by the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, the Graham Foundation, the Roundhouse Community Art and Recreation Centre, Emily Carr University, the Read Bookstore at ECU, and many friends in Vancouver.

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Jim Agapito on the CBC Weekend Morning Show

Are you an early weekend riser? Because if so, you should tune into the Weekend Morning Show on CBC.

One of our presenters, Jim Agapito will be on from 7:30AM – 8AM on Sunday, October 31st to talk about My City Is Still Breathing and his presentation of Live/Life from 95.

IRCOM, located at 95 Ellen Street in downtown Winnipeg, is a transitional housing complex and delivers social and recreation programs to newly arrived refugees and immigrants to Canada. Jim Agapito and Ervin Chartrand, worked with the youth over an extended period and together developed a project that reflected an artistic style and content that was relevant to the youth. The filmmakers brought in Wab Kinew and Dammecia Hall who mentored the youth in hip hop writing and dance as well as other professional artists and craftspeople to create a high quality rap video and documentary of the process.

To find out more about it, tune in on Sunday morning, or visit our website.

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Due to a travel conflict, we have had to make a slight schedule change.

Larry Beasley’s keynote address will now take place on Saturday, November 6 @ 8:30 am. (NOT on November 5 as originally posted)

Mark Kingwell’s keynote address will take place on Friday, November 5 @ 8:30 am.

You can find the full schedule and all other information on the arts for all website.

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

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Why did we call the Symposium “My City’s Still Breathing?”

What does it mean for a city to breathe?

Those of us who live in cities know that the concrete and glass of our urban surroundings add up to more than the sum of their parts.  Our cities have moods, humours, opinions, personalities. They suffer from illnesses, they  burst forth in jubilation, they move from ennui to optimism with the changing of the weather. Our cities are alive, and therefore, it is no wonder they are breathing.

We chose the lyrics of The Weakerthan’s  Left and Leaving , written by John K. Samson, as the title of this symposium because it is our belief that it is the art of a city that makes it breathe. The title reflects the precarious situation we are in as city dwellers:  The use of the word “still” implies the breathing continues, but is not guaranteed forever. It is both a declaration of pride in our city, and acknowledgement of the threat we face if we devalue our arts and artists. Without that constant breath of art and creativity, a city would be still; never growing, never progressing, never bringing in ideas and sending out discoveries.  As a life-long Winnipeg artist, John K. Samson is especially in-tune with the delicate breath of a city like Winnipeg. It goes in and out, like clockwork. Perhaps we even take it for granted. But to neglect our artists and our artwork is to risk the cessation of the breathing of our cities, and ultimately the richness of life held therein.

Left and Leaving by John K. Samson

My city’s still breathing (but barely it’s true) through buildings gone missing like teeth. The sidewalks are watching me think about you, all sparkled with broken glass. I’m back with scars to show. Back with the streets I know. They never take me anywhere but here. Those stains in the carpet, this drink in my hand, these strangers whose faces I know. We meet here for our dress-rehearsal to say ” I wanted it this way” and wait for the year to drown. Spring forward, fall back down. I’m trying not to wonder where you are. All this time lingers, undefined. Someone choose who’s left and who’s leaving. Memory will rust and erode into lists of all that you gave me: some matches, a blanket, this pain in my chest, the best parts of Lonely, duct-tape and soldered wires, new words for old desires, and every birthday card I threw away. I wait in 4/4 time. Count yellow highway lines that you’re relying on to lead you home

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