Schedule subject to change without notice.

Download the Conference Schedule HERE

Pre Pre-Conference Workshop

Wednesday, September 27th – Sunday, October 1st, 2017

Decolonizing Through the Arts: Deepening the Reconciliation Conversation

Armand Volkas

Click HERE for more information.

Pre-Conference Wednesday and Thursday October 4th-5th

Kate Donohue:  October 4th -5th Workshops


Ghana offers an incredible array of indigenous visual arts, storytelling, music, dance and drama, and now, a rich glimpse into the soul of Expressive Arts Therapy (EXAT), the use of all the arts for healing, community building and spirituality.  Working with exciting and creative indigenous artists, dancers and musicians, Kate will delve into the experience, as well as the theory and application of EXAT through a Jungian lens.

Ellie Schimelman: Aba will introduce you to the Cross-Cultural Collaborative house (Aba House) where Kate and Aba conducted the original workshop. Cross Cultural Collaborative is a non-profit educational organization that promotes cultural exchange and understanding.
Our programs emphasize multigenerational and multicultural collaborations encouraging participants to find rewards in different forms of art. In addition, Aba will share participants’ volunteer work using their expressive arts expertise with Aba’s “Free Range children”. Participants fell in love with these talented children!

David Boamah from Kumasi will lead us into the ancient symbolism of Adinkra and we will also experience making our own adinkra cloth. David Boamah is a young man of many talents. He is a creative and thoughtful artist specializing in Adrinka cloth. He lives in the village of Ntonso, outside of Kumasi in central Ghana. Many people in Ntonso are involved in the production of the Adinkra cloth. Young boys are taught to weave the strips. The traditional Adinkra dyes are made by boiling the bark of the badie tree for two days. The stamps, each with their own particular meaning, are carved from pieces of calabash (gourds). African symbols known as adinkra are ubiquitous in Ghana. On cloth and walls, in pottery and logos, these Asante tribal symbols can be found everywhere. Michael Bortei will show us how to create sugar cane paper and adinkra cloth books. He is part of Aba house, once a “free range child” himself, he is now a creative program assistant and book manager at Aba house.

Seidu Karfo and his wife, Dominque Rada, will demonstrate ritual Ghanaian dance and drumming, and will lead us through step-by-step instructions. Seidu is an accomplished professional Ghanaian traditional and contemporary Choreographer and Dancer with 24 years experience performing and doing workshop facilitation. He is the Director of Afro Dance and Creative Arts Company, which he manages with his partner, Dominique Rada. His cultural background is a mix of Kobro (Eastern Region) and Frafra (Northern Region). Dominique is an established professional Australian/Chilean Artistic Producer and Visual Artist with 10 years of exhibition and creative project co-ordination and production experience, both in Australia and Ghana.

This workshop will offer a unique opportunity to learn about the arts and culture of Ghana, EXAT, and how these worlds are interlaced. Experiencing the arts and culture of Ghana will open you to innovative new ways to understand EXAT and apply these ideas to your personal life and work.

India offers an incredible array of indigenous visual arts, poetry, music, dance & drama. India offers a rich glimpse into the soul of Expressive Arts Therapy (EXAT), the use of all the arts for healing, community building & spirituality Kate will introduce participants to the experience, theory & application of EXAT through a Jungian lens. Kate has worked with an incredible group of India artists some of whom will participate in this workshop: Belinda Rego, Chandini Harlalka from Bangalore India and Nandita Selvanathan from Winnipeg via Bangalore.

In our workshop, participants will experience the sacredness of the Rangoli/Kolam through the authentic and delicate guidance of Chandini Harlalk, one of the teachers of the orginal seminar. Rangoli is an art form native to Nepal, India and Bangladesh in which patterns are created on the floor in living rooms or courtyards using materials such as colored rice, dry flour, colored sand or flower petals. It is usually made during Diwali or Tihar, Onam, Pongal and other Indian, Bangladeshi and Nepalese festivals related to Hinduism. Chand, Kate and Belinda Rego, another original trainer  as well as one of the trainers in the seminar will lead the group into a Rangoli dance. Each participant will be able to create their own Rangoli Mandala using the rice power.

Nandita Selvanathan is born and brought up in Varanasi, a home of age old spiritual traditions and practices. Nandita learnt Sanskrit chants from Vedas and Upanishads as well Kirtan (ancient musical meditation ) from Yogis and from her ancestors while growing up in India. Nandita will bring some mythological stories from India which are traditional yet universal in nature. She will lead the group of participants to learn simple yet profound age old practice of Sanskrit chants which will uplift your mind, body and soul. Participants will learn  how to write few of these simple Mantras under her guidance.

Belinda and Chand will share India Mythic stories and then each participant will be able to create a “leather” puppet to use in the enactment of their myth. The Togalu Gombe Atta or Shadow Puppet Theatre  is an ancient and living art tradition from South India, whose antecedents can be traced back to over 2000 years. Each region boasts of a distinct  style and flavour . The craft of making the puppets and the various aspects of the performance is a tradition that has been handed down through generations of the family of the puppeteers. In Karnataka they are called the Kileyekathas.

The stories that were enacted were from the great myths, mainly the Ramayana, Mahabharatha  and Bhagwath Purana  and were a ritualistic part of the cultural and religious traditions of the community and the village. They were a means of propitiating  the Gods and bringing them down to earth, as it was believed to have the power to bring rain, cast away evil spirits, and even aid a soul to reach heaven. To take on the role of God was sacrilegious and so it had to be transmitted through a medium and from a safe distance, so the shadows puppets were projected on a screen and allowed the puppeteer to speak as a God or demon

Kate will introduce you to Kattaikkuttu Sangam, a social mission driven performing arts organization that uses the integration of liberal education and the performing arts to promote and contemporize Kattaikkuttu and ensure sustainable careers for its professional performers. It combines Kattaikkuttu’s traditional artistic knowledge and communicative power with sophisticated craftsmanship and perfection in order to address multiple audiences: rural, urban, national and global. The founders Hanne and Raj will share their school via the internet and this will be a mesmerizing experience. Following this India banquet, participants will explore through a Jungian expressive arts lens, paths of inspiration for their lives and work.

Armand Volkas: October 4th-5th Workshop

The facilitator will apply his Healing the Wounds of History approach—action methods using drama and expressive arts for containment, exploration and healing, from the collective and historical to the individual level, to address the memories, emotions, “ghosts” and soul wounds of our past.

Healing the Wounds of History is a creative and therapeutic process in which experiential techniques are used to work with people who share a common legacy of generational, historical, ancestral or collective trauma. Founded in 1989 by Armand Volkas, Healing the Wounds of History has worked with multiple individual cultures carrying collective trauma. In addition, Armand has brought together descendants of Jewish Holocaust survivors and Nazis, Palestinians and Israelis, Japanese, Chinese, Koreans on their legacies of WWII, Armenians and Turks, Turks and Kurds, Tamil and Singhalese, Kosovar Albanians and Serbs and other polarized groups to transform the pain of shared historical legacies into constructive action.

In two all-day sessions, the facilitator will use techniques culled from drama therapy, psychodrama, sociodrama, Playback Theatre and expressive arts therapy to help conference participants integrate and metabolize the feelings, images and dreams that are stimulated by the question, “Whose story are you carrying?” Participants will share in the, often profound, experience of hearing each other’s stories and bringing them to life—the goal being to create community, connection and the opportunity to heal collective trauma by honoring the dignity, drama, and universality in our stories. No previous theatre experience is necessary. Shy people are welcome.

Leah Fontaine: October 4th-5th Workshop

Spirit Mending, will provide participants a new lens and perspective on the historical trauma that has affected the lives of all Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. This workshop will give participants an opportunity to explore how historical trauma theory and the Indigenous ethos can be viewed together to better understand, interpret and appreciate Indigenous art. Through their individual art-making, participants will experience restorative impacts and explore potential applications in their work and communities.

Victoria McIntosh: October 4th-5th Workshop

The Annishinaabe People were the creators of visual and symbolic art – the silent language. It was an approach to sharing the teaching, the stories and legends, the dreams, and most of all, the visions that were given to the “Sham ah” (Annishinaabe word meaning to feed). The Artists had a special place as healers, because the creations of symbolism and the artwork itself represented a response to the surroundings of nature, which had a spiritual purpose. The Artists were the closes to that realm of the spirit world, as time meant nothing while the process of creating was happening. Join Victoria McIntosh in this exploration of the silent language.

(Day One) Lower Fort Garry and The Signing of Treaty 1: October 4th Workshop
Explore Western Canada’s history from an Indigenous perspective surrounding the making of Treaty No. 1. In 1871, Representatives of the Crown, Anishinaabe, and Muskegon Cree Peoples made a commitment to each other establishing the first of the Numbered Treaties in Western Canada. Insight into this ongoing relationship will be explored through activities that deepen the appreciation of the Indigenous spiritual, ceremonial, and oral traditions that influenced Treaty-making. The day will include a Pipe Ceremony and tours of Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site.
(Day Two) The Turtle Lodge: Giigewigamig Traditional Healing Centre: October 5th workshop

Friday October 6: Education, Transformation and Social Change

AM Speaker – 9AM: Elder Dave Courchene
PM Speaker – 1PM KC Adams

Saturday October 7th: Healing, Transformation and Social Justice

AM Speaker: Jade Harper
PM Speaker: Fyre Jean Graveline
The Healing Arts, imbedded in Indigenous spiritual life since time immemorial, can contribute to us becoming fully human, by returning people to a state of balance, and peace within ourselves, our families and communities, and within our shared world. heARTs for eARTh is an evolving, holistic model of healing that actively supports multi-layered engagement in peaceful struggles for Transformation, Social Justice, and Social Change. heARTs for eARTh can free us to use the power of our creativity in ways that reconnect us spiritually with Ancestral and Elemental Energies, respond directly and compassionately to the pain of All Our Relations, re-kindle our Interdependence, and recognize Resiliency for and with our Mother Earth, who sustains us all. Through poetic use of metaphor, spiritual teachings, and multiple original images, an organic, fragmented, yet whole picture, will offer many directions, many pathways, for one shared Healing Journey.
Honouring Our Elders: 7:30 PM Hotel Fort Garry Ballroom – $20.00
African Drumming: Casimiro Nhusi and Jay Stoller

Join us in the creation of a community mandala throughout the conference week.

The 6,000 year old Mandala process emerges with geometry and grace.  It is the dreamers’ search for completeness and connection. Let us bring our harmony and love to this universal piece to create our intention for healing and moving forward. This is a call to action to make your mark on the community mandala.  It will be a 12’x12’ gesso-ed canvas. Paints and materials will be supplied however you may want to make your own personal mark and bring something special to add to this inspired representation of IEATA Conference 2017.

Following the sage guidance of Judith Cornell in Mandala: Luminous Symbols for Healing p. 2

We will create a mandala:

  • to focus and open the heart to the healing power of unconditional love
  • because it has a calming and relaxing effect on mind and body
  • to bring joy
  • to make the invisible visible
  • to reveal unity between human existence and the cosmos
  • to give form and and expression to an intuitive insight into spiritual truth

Sunday, October 8th: Closing Presentation and Ceremony

AM Speaker: Niigaanwewidam Sinclair
Storying the Revolution: Anishinaabeg Arts and Re-Creating the World

The Anishinaabe (also known as the Ojibway, Chippewa, Saulteaux, and Bungi), among many descriptors, are the “spontaneous people.” No where is this better seen then in artistic practice, with critical and creative traditions that date back millennia and have always sought to create expansive, principled, and ethical expressions of life. In this brief foray through history and space, join critical and cultural theorist Niigaan Sinclair on a trip through Anishinaabeg oral, written, and enacted traditions to see how the Anishinaabeg are – and remain – contemporary, political, and intellectual spontaneous people.

Closing Ceremony: Planetary Dance with Daria Haplrin and Tamalpa Institute.

A Community Dance for Healing, Transformation, Social Justice and Social Change