Call For Submissions! NOW OPEN!

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DEADLINE: Friday, May 4th 2018

The StART Festival is seeking submissions by emerging artists working in all artistic disciplines. This includes but is not limited to visual art, music, dance, film, theatre, fiction, sketch comedy, animation, spoken word poetry, and installation art. The work will be displayed, distributed, performed, or screened at the Bus Stop Theatre in either the black box theatre or the lobby space.


This will be the START Festival’s fifth year. It will run from Friday June 1st to Saturday June 2nd at The Bus Stop Theatre.

The festival gives artists exposure to new audiences as well as the opportunity to meet likeminded peers working in other disciplines. Along with performances and exhibitions, this year’s festival also features a workshop and social events for participants.


While our eligibility criteria is pretty flexible, our mandate is to provide opportunities for emerging artists new to presenting their original work, and to connect them with resources – skills, space, and helping hands – that they may not otherwise have come by. If showing your work sounds like a thrilling next step, you’re in the right place.

We are particularly interested in helping artists that are students in some sense, whether they are enrolled in a college or university program, engaged in an apprenticeship, or participants in a less formal training program.


Please note that support material (relevant to your particular medium) is required and should be emailed to
If you have any questions please feel free to reach out! We are happy to help.


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 for more info or visit

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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).