The Public Energy Local Artist Residency supports an artist’s creative process at any stage of development.
The program is open to all artists living in Peterborough and neighbouring counties, as well as Treaty 20 Territory of the Williams Treaties. Public Energy’s Local Artist in Residence Program provides Public Energy staff time and an artist’s fee to support creative work on new projects and career development.
2021-2022 Artists in Residence:
Naomi Duvall is an actor, playwright, puppeteer and burlesque performer. She has been working on her craft since she graduated in 2012 from a 3-year professional theatre acting program at John Abbott College in Montreal. Her most recent work is the piece Dark Eyes, which she performed and recorded for 4th Line Theatre’s Festival of Light and Dark in February of this year. She has been making art in Peterborough for the past six years and has been involved in a variety of dance/theatre/puppetry shows. You may have recently seen her work in Public Energy Performing Arts’ Rewind Room in April-June of 2020.
Naomi will be developing Dark Eyes, a shadow puppet play detailing the love story of a woman and an extraterrestrial.
Jennifer Elchuk (Opal)
Jennifer Elchuk (Opal) has been active in the Peterborough community as a multi-disciplinary artist since 2006. Her current focus is creating circus and multi-art performance. She coordinates the Peterborough Academy of Circus Arts(PACA), a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching and creating circus arts locally, which she has been actively involved with since it was founded in 2014. Her art has often explored themes of human connection to the natural landscape, as well as relationship between human bodies, largely through collaborative work.
During this residency Opal will explore a new way to rig the aerial canoe, a unique circus apparatus that she designed. She will explore themes related to the concept of Storm: Weathering and Waiting Out, as metaphor for two basic coping methods in times of challenge: resisting and accepting.
Nimkii Osawamick (Odawa, Wikwemikong Unceeded Reserve, Wolf Clan) is a world renowned dance artist specializing in Hoop dance. His performance credits include the 2020 Juno Awards, the Digging Roots 2019-2020 World Tour, and international performances with cellist Cris Derksen. He performed as a dancer and a singer in Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s The Honouring and TransMigration Tour. In 2019 he was named Outstanding Emerging Artist at the Peterborough Arts Awards.
Nimkii will be working on two projects during his residency: choreography for a new music video and a filmed documentary-drama about his recently deceased grandfather.
Kate is a genderqueer writer and theatre artist originally from Newfoundland, now living and working in Nogojiwanong/Peterborough, Ontario. Kate has collaboratively devised over 30 dance/theatre performance works over the years including Performances May Be Permanent, damned be this transmigration, Insomnia, a place you’d go to find something, something that you’d left there, Unexploded Ordnance, and Festivus Rattus Rattus 2035!; projects have been presented in Peterborough, Toronto, and St. John’s. Kate is grateful to have worked with diverse theatre and dance artists including Christopher House, 4th Line Theatre, DNA Theatre, Caravan Stage Company, R. Murray Schafer, Bill James, Chartier Danse, The Nervous System, Ker Wells, Fleshy Thud, Ryan Kerr, and many others. In 2015 she received the Ontario Arts Foundation’s K.M. Hunter Artist Award for Theatre.
While in residence with PE, Kate will develop a new performance work Anxiety, examining the history of the English language and the roots of white supremacy as Kate seeks to understand her place in a modern world seemingly gone mad.
2020-2021 Artists in Residence:
Nicole Malbeuf is a performer, mover, maker and instructor based in Peterborough, Ontario. With a diverse background in fine art, fashion and farming, Nicole brings a unique perspective to her work. She is considerate of colour and composition and fascinated with texture and medium. Her work often presents stories or concepts to demonstrate dualities found in the human experience and nature. When she is not developing her artistic work, Nicole works at growing her entertainment business, Trellis Arts & Entertainment Opens New Window. Trellis aims to inspire interest and engagement in the performing arts indiscriminately across demographics of Ontario, Canada.
Outside of her creative practice, she passionately instructs adult and teen circus classes at the Peterborough Academy of Circus Opens New Window, and always thrilled to work with A2D2 Aerial Cirque Dance Co Opens New Window (Mississauga) as a company member aerialist. And when there’s time at the end of the day, she loves to putter in the garden, take dance lessons and hang out with her cat, chickens, family, friends and loving partner.
Irèni(Irene) Stamou is a Canadian choreographer and dance artist. For over three decades, Irèni has created and performed a body of work consisting of 30 choreographies. A graduate of Concordia University/Montreal: Bachelors of Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance 1989, Irèni received the award for outstanding achievements in choreography. She founded her dance company Métaspora Danse( beyond dispersion) 1994-2004, performing as a soloist and creating group choreographies presented in Canada, Europe, New York City and Costa Rica. Her first performances started at Tangente Danse Actuelle where she performed the core of her work for 16 years. Irèni also performed at The Canada Dance Festival, Festival de la Nouvelle Danse, the Multicultural Festival in Ottawa, Dancing on the Edge, Vancouver, Guelph Dance Festival, L’Agora de La Danse, Montreal, and the Ottawa Dance Collective. Irèni received Artist in Residence projects in Lille France (Danse a Lille), Le Usine C, Montreal, Estudio Los Almendros, and Nosara Retreat in Costa Rica.
Irèni received between 1994 and 2004 project-based grants from The Canada Council, The Montreal Arts and letters, Multiculturalism Canada, and The Montreal Arts Council. In 2004 at 40 years old, Irèni decided to start a family and moved to join her partner in Southern Ontario. Irèni performed Tenfold (for peace) at The Art Gallery of Windsor in 2005.
Between 2006-2017 Irèni lived mostly in rural Costa Rica, being a mom, practicing sustainability and studying the Healing Arts. Irèni has received numerous certifications in somatics, yoga therapeutics, aerial yoga and bodywork. In her Costa Rica residencies, Irèni researched somatic improvisational movement for sustainability and longevity, a process that helped her with spinal issues and identifying blockages in the body-mind. Following this exploration, Irèni was one of the winners at The Choreographers festival for her choreography Mia Zoi “One Life,” a solo for Daniel Marenko, a cancer survivor. She travelled to Nicaragua, where she performed and taught workshops for homeless children at La Casa de Tres Mundos. Irèni taught somatic seminars at the University of Costa Rica for the Theatre and Dance departments. Recent choreographies include Body stories; Quartiers Danse Festival Montreal 2015. Oresteia, the Spanish adaptation of the ancient Greek play by Aeschylus with The National Theatre of Costa Rica 2017.
Irèni relocated to Peterborough /Nogojiwanong, Ontario, in 2018 with her family. Irèni participated in the 25th anniversary of Public Energy ‘s community project Transcendence, a choreography by Bill Coleman. She created new choreographic work and collaborated with local dance artists, Anne Ryan and Janette Fronz: SoulStories 2019, and Bonestories with the dancer Dreda Blow 2020, presented at The Theatre on King Small Dances for a small space festival / Public Energy production.
Common Threads Collective
Common Threads Collective is a diverse group of newcomer and non-newcomer artists. The spark for our initial formation was a powerful newcomer story developed and shared by Reem Ali, NCC’s Workplace Integration Liaison. CTC’s creative process during the Public Energy artistic residency involves designing and delivering workshops in our various fields of expertise, prioritizing newcomer participants, although also open to non- newcomer community members. This work, and the skills and connections forged in the community, will then become the basis for a larger presentation Land(ing).
Over the course of the residency CTC artists will document the workshops, continually sharing and discussing our creative findings, building a shared vision for the final project. We will explore links between workshop outcomes and the original newcomer story, and discuss possible approaches to animating this story with community participants, using skills and ideas developed during the Public Energy residency.
The Public Energy residency will provide us with creative material and direction, and forge connections between artists and community members, offering invaluable preparation so that we can move into the production stages for Land(ing) with a deep and complex understanding of the communities this project is serving. The residency will culminate in a filmed documentary of the process, and an artist talk.
2019-2020 Artists in Residence:
Melissa Addison-Webster is a performance artist. As a Queer woman living with disabilities who is also settler, she has a varied career in the Disability and Integrated Arts fields. Melissa’s practice endeavours to create more understanding, harmony, and respect across society combining her passions of spiritual and social change, She has studied Expressive Art Therapy, (Haliburton School of the Arts), has an Honours Degree in History (Trent) and an Honours Degree in Social Work (Lakehead). Melissa performed at the 8 to 8, From the Floor (Peterborough) and the FFIDA Dance Festival (Toronto). She has collaborated with The Theatre Centre (Toronto), Picasso Pro (Toronto), Propeller Dance (Ottawa), and Michelle Silagy (The School of Toronto Dance Theatre). As a Crip arts advocate, Melissa has made presentations about her arts practice at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery Sunday Series (Toronto) and H’Art School Able Artist (Kingston). She has facilitated dance classes at York University, the Regional Ontario Contact Improv Jam and through her private social work practice. Most recently she presented Appendages Revisited at Artsweek Peterborough in collaboration with the Brain Injury Association Peterborough Region.
Anne White is a Nogojiwanong/Peterborough-based artist, learning how to live and work respectfully on land and waters governed by the Williams Treaties. With a background in physical, collaborative and devised theatre, she makes live performance works, frequently developed and performed outside of traditional theatre spaces.
Anne’s work explores institutional structures of power (social, cultural, historical, technological, etc.) and how these structures constitute our spatial, temporal, aesthetic, embodied and emotional experiences of a place. By making these structures of power visible through art, we can explore strategies for questioning and subverting them.
She has her BA (Honours) in Theatre Studies and History and has trained with Zuppa Theatre Co., Adam Paolozza, and Quote Unquote Collective, among others. She is a recent recipient of Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program and has been commissioned by local festivals including Artsweek (2018). Anne is a co-founder of the arts collective Ring O’ Rosie and regularly collaborates with artists from other disciplines.
2018-2019 Artists in Residence:
Roshanak is an Iranian-Canadian artist and activist based in Toronto. She creates inter-disciplinary dance works that are thought provoking, emotionally driven and politically charged. The stories and lived experiences of racialized women motivate her artistic inquiry, as do her frequent travels and unique collaborations with artists, scholars and activists. She has spent the last two decades cultivating her practice which now focuses on the intersection of art and social justice. Roshanak is interested in re-envisioning traditional dance aesthetics, integrating multiple art forms and experimenting with different avenues to creation. Her work is grounded in a research informed artistic practice that reflects her commitment to ethically and authentically share the stories, experiences and cultures she draws inspiration from. Roshanak’s work has been supported by all three arts councils, and has been presented in Canada, US, and Europe.
Brandy creates contemporary performances through the body: active as a dancer, choreographer, aerialist, writer, arts advocate, community cultivator, space maker, Artistic Director, educator and curator. Her performance works have been produced and performed in Canada, Europe, India, South Africa and the USA in theatres, urban environments, festivals, museums, art galleries and isolated landscapes.
She has lived between Canada and India for the past 17 years training, collaborating and creating (both explicitly and implicitly) in the traditional Indian performing languages of Seraikella and Mayurbhanj Chhau (dance), Kalarippayattu (martial art) and Rope Mallakhamb (aerial rope). In Canada she works with western approaches to aerial rope, the bridge discipline of Axis Syllabus, post contemporary dance/circus practices and psychic/shamanistic explorations to create performances.
She founded Anandam Dancetheatre as an umbrella structure for her performance projects (www.anandam.ca) and is its Artistic Director. She is a founder and Co-Director of Collective Space (an alternative performance and rehearsal venue in Toronto’s west end), Founder and Co-Artistic Director of CCAFT (Contemporary Circus Arts Festival of Toronto), developer of Anandam’s Audience In Residence Program and curator/co-producer of the Body Brake dance series at Theatre Passe Muraille. She is a driving force in the evolution of contemporary circus practice in Toronto as a choreographer, performer, curator and festival director working from values of experimentation, discourse development, curiosity and collaboration.
2017-2018 Artist in Residence:
Brian Solomon is of Anishinaabe and Irish descent, born and raised in the Northern Ontario community Shebahonaning-Killarney. Solomon is passionate about helping people relearn about their forgotten bodies, and take back the space those bodies occupy. Solomon’s residency was supported by Trent University and the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies.
Nogojiwanong Rite of Spring is a site-specific dance performance created by Brian Solomon and members of the community during his residency. The performance wass a re-envisioning of the 1913 early modern ballet, Rite of Spring, via a contemporary Anishinaabeg lens, featuring Igor Stravinsky’s seminal score reimagined by Melody McKiver. It was performed by community members and professional dance artists, taught via an open rehearsal/workshop process over the duration of Brian Solomon’s six-week artistic residency with Public Energy. It took place on a downtown Peterborough parking lot that is an Anishinaabe burial site.
During Brian Solomon’s six-week residency at Public Energy, he taught a series of workshops with the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies. He also lead an additional six movement workshops for community organizations in Peterborough, including: Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre, Yes Shelter For Youth And Families, LOFT Downtown Youth Space, and the New Canadians Centre in partnership with Voice of A Nation.