What’s New

A Cultural Braiding Workshop


Date: Wednesday, September 27th
Time: 6:00PM – 7:30PM

Debbie Eisan is an Ojibway Anishinabe kwe from Batchewana First Nation, and was born in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. During her 36 year military career, Debbie served numerous tours of duty, highlighted by her involvement in the close out operation of the United Nations Base in Rwanda, Africa. In 2004, Eisan was the recipient of the National Aboriginal Women in Leadership Foundation Award of Distinction, and in 2012, she was presented the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for her work in advocating and bringing Cultural awareness for Aboriginal people serving in the Canadian Forces.

Now working as the community Events Planner at the Mi’kmaw native Friendship Centre in Halifax, she organizes and plans a myraid of events that are of benefit to individuals and groups within the larger Halifax community. It is an extensive and growing list, be it veterans, the homeless, seniors, youth, mothers, fathers and students. Her reach also extends to those who are incarcerated, bringing them culture and spirituality as well as traditional foods.

Deb is a member of the Indigenous Council of Elders at Dalhousie University and a member of the Advisory Committee for care and Compassion to the Minister of Veterans Affairs. As a devoted wife, mother and grandmother of five, and a former board member of Indspire, Deb believes that Indigenous youth must be given the chance of success through Education and maintaining connection to their grass roots.

Originally from Zambia, Martha Mutale began performing poetry on 2007. She is a former 2016 Hali Slam participant, event organizer, former co-founder of Poets for Progress and was also a 4th Wall participant with the Michaelle Jean Foundation in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Martha was also a featured artist at this years StART Festival.


Volunteer with the Mayworks Halifax Festival!

Interested in Volunteering with the Mayworks Halifax Festival of Working People & the Arts?

Please email info@mayworkshalifax.ca for more info or visit http://mayworkshalifax.ca/

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The Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council’s goal in organizing the First Annual Mayworks Halifax Festival back in 2009 was threefold. First, it wanted to build bridges between workers’ organizations and artists’ organizations throughout the Halifax region. Second, it wanted to create a fun, entertaining festival that would engage people in both a cultural and political way. Third, at all times its goal in the labour movement is capacity building, training new activists and creating new coalitions.

The Mayworks Halifax Festival has grown so successful over the years that, just like in Toronto, a non-profit arts society has since been incorporated to manage and operate the festival with continued support from the Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council and other local unions and labour organizations. Today the festival is an eagerly awaited annual event by activists, artists and socially engaged audience members throughout the region.

Mayworks Halifax gets even better and bigger every year!


Indigenous Art Journal – APPLY NOW!

VA160210_DSC6505.jpgArtist Tamara Himmelspach’s studio during the 2015 Indigenous Residency in Visual + Digital Arts.


The Indigenous Art Journal program will provide a platform for emerging and experienced Indigenous writers to contribute to the critical dialogue around global Indigenous visual arts practice.  This program endeavors to carve out space in a field whereby Indigenous artworks are often discussed external to key cultural contexts and histories imperative to their creation and understanding.  Indigenous art writers, art historians, curators and artists can explore critical art and social discourse, approaches and methodologies to writing about Indigenous art practice, and the issues and concerns that inform Indigenous artists work, lives, and communities.  Participants will bring those stories that need telling and current works in progress, to share and collaborate on reviews and articles for future publication.

Under the guidance and mentorship of the program faculty, and drawing on the collective knowledge of the participants, we will explore topics including: sovereignty, reconciliation, colonization and decolonization, Indigenous knowledge, resistance and resilience, contemporary relationships to tradition and material processes, identity, and how these concerns manifest physically and aesthetically in contemporary art practice.  Through the mobilization of our collective efforts, we will draft and envision the development of an Indigenous Art Journal for future online and print publication.

What does the program offer?

Residencies offer structured programs where artists, curators, and other arts professionals come together to create work and discuss pertinent themes. Through peer interaction, discussion groups, studio work, formal lectures, and studio visits from world-renowned visiting artists and curators, participants gain new ideas and insights that can be applied to creative exploration and professional development of their work.

Who should apply?

Indigenous curators, art writers, art historians, and cultural thinkers are welcome. Applicants should have an exhibition/publication record, training in visual arts, or equivalent experience and recognition from their peers or communities.


Enrollment to this program is limited to individuals of Indigenous descent (status, non-status, Métis or Inuit in Canada and Indigenous peoples from around the world).



We’re Hiring!

StART is hiring a Co-Producer and an Associate Producer for the 2017 festival. Please feel free to reach out if you’d like to know more, we’d love to chat with you about these opportunities and answer any questions you may have. Reach us at startfesthalifax@gmail.com.

Co-Producer – StART Festival

Flexible part time until spring 2017 (dates TBD)

$400 honorarium

Deadline: 5:00 pm Friday November 4th

To apply: Please forward your resume and cover letter to Yalitsa Riden and Alanna Griffin at startfesthalifax@gmail.com.

The StART Festival seeks a passionate, dedicated, and resourceful Co-Producer. The ideal candidate is an emerging arts administrator, event manager, producer, or curator in Halifax with some experience coordinating arts events and an interest in leading the StART Festival to the next level.


The Co-Producer will manage all aspects of the StART Festival’s development, including grant writing, curation, promotion, sponsorship, budgeting, and other logistics. The Co-Producer will also liaise with applicants, artists, technicians, venue staff, and patrons.

The Co-Producer will work collaboratively with producing partner Yalitsa Riden and will delegate to and mentor the Associate Producer.

Associate Producer – StART Festival

Flexible part time until spring 2017 (dates TBD)

$200 honorarium

Deadline: 5 pm Friday November 4th

The StART Festival seeks a passionate, dedicated, and resourceful Associate Producer. The ideal candidate is a post secondary student or emerging administrator in Halifax with an interest in pursuing a career in the arts, preferably as a producer, event manager, or curator.


The Associate Producer will support all aspects of the StART Festival’s development, including curation, promotion, sponsorship, budgeting, and other logistics. The Associate Producer will also liaise with applicants, artists, technicians, venue staff, and patrons.

Applicants are not expected to have extensive experience in any of these areas, but the ideal candidate will be a quick learner. This opportunity is designed to be a flexible learning experience, and the specific allocation of responsibilities will be determined in collaboration with the successful candidate, keeping their strengths and areas of interest in mind.

About StART

StART works to support emerging creators. Running a 3-4 day festival as well as various outreach activities (past events have included workshops, a mentorship program, and free programming at the library) StART seeks to actively make space for young makers and artists.

Featuring upwards of fifteen artists, the festival creates a hub of activity that allows emerging artists to connect with engaged audiences. Drawing emerging artists in a community of peers working in different mediums, the StART Festival is a hotbed of creativity.

New Workshop! March 23rd at Dalhousie

Writing Grants, Drafting Budgets, Making It Happen

Writing Grants, Drafting Budgets, Making It Happen
A Case Study on Grant Writing and Getting your Show Off the Ground

March 23 12:30 – 2:30 pm


Presented by the Fountain School of Performing Arts in association with StART

A couple years ago, Gill Clark and Karen Gross got together and began planning how to make Gill’s show a reality. This past January, Let’s Try This Standing premiered at the Neptune Studio. As two recent graduates from Dal Theatre, we want to share with you the moments between an idea and a production. We’ll open up the meetings, drafts, and budgets. We’ll give you a chance to ask questions, hear about the challenges, find out what strategies worked for us, and test drive your own idea.

The workshop is geared towards emerging artists who are interested in making a show happen or grant writing. This workshop is suited for first time grant writers. There will be space for questions, and a chance to work in teams to practice putting together a mock application.

Continue reading “New Workshop! March 23rd at Dalhousie”