Women Make Media Art: Panel Discussion

Pre­sented by the Media Arts Net­work of Ontario and the Ontario Arts Council

Thurs­day Novem­ber 27, 2014 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM
In per­son at YYZ Artist Out­let 401 Rich­mond Street W. Suite 140, Toronto
and every­where via remote web broad­cast at mano-ramo.ca
FREE Admission


From film to video, inter­ac­tive and dig­i­tal art­works, and gam­ing, the media arts have pro­vided a dis­tinct space for inno­va­tion by Cana­dian artists for decades. With­in the Cana­dian and inter­na­tional con­text women have been at the fore­front of exper­i­men­ta­tion and inno­va­tion, despite bar­ri­ers and chal­lenges that exist. To high­light these achieve­ments, and dis­cuss access and future pos­si­bil­i­ties for women artists work­ing in the sec­tor, we have assem­bled a group of prac­ti­tion­ers to share their visions for a media arts land­scape that is more sup­port­ive of all genders.


Dean­na Bowen, inter­dis­ci­pli­nary artist
mer­ritt kopas, mul­ti­me­dia artist & game designer
Cheryl L’Hirondelle, inter­dis­ci­pli­nary artist, singer/songwriter and new media curator
Cather­ine McK­in­non, Fes­ti­val Direc­tor-Toron­to Inter­na­tional Deaf Film and Arts Festival


  • The YYZ Artist Out­let is wheel­chair acces­si­ble (ramp is on Rich­mond Street West at the front entrance) and the build­ing has acces­si­ble washrooms
  • ASL inter­pre­ta­tion will be provided
  • Please avoid the use of scents as we would like to offer a scent free environment
  • Child and atten­dant care will be avail­able upon request. If you require these ser­vices, please inform MANO by Novem­ber 20th
  • Please let us know if you have any oth­er accom­mo­da­tion requests

Con­tact: membership@mano-ramo.ca or 416–516‑1023

This event will be video­taped and photographed

This event will be con­ducted in Eng­lish only

Pan­elist Bios

Dean­na Bowen is a descen­dant of the Alaba­ma and Ken­tucky born Black Prairie pio­neers of Amber Val­ley and Camp­sie, Alber­ta. She is a Toron­to based inter­dis­ci­pli­nary artist whose work has been exhib­ited inter­na­tion­ally in numer­ous film fes­ti­vals and gal­leries. She has received sev­eral grants in sup­port of her artis­tic prac­tice. Cur­rent works have been shown at the Images Fes­ti­val of Film, Video & New Media, Gallery 44, the Kas­sel Doc­u­men­tary Film & Video Fes­ti­val, Ober­hausen Film Fes­ti­val, Nash­er Muse­um of Con­tem­po­rary Art at Duke Uni­ver­sity and Pier 21: Cana­dian Muse­um of Immi­gra­tion. Bowen recent­ly mount­ed Invis­i­ble Empires at the Art Gallery of York Uni­ver­sity and is at work pro­duc­ing a site-spe­cif­ic inter­ven­tion for the upcom­ing exhi­bi­tion Traces in the Dark at the Insti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary Art at Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia. Bowen teach­es video art and ethno­graphic doc­u­men­tary pro­duc­tion in the Depart­ment of Arts, Cul­ture & Media at the Uni­ver­sity of Toron­to Scarborough.

mer­ritt kopas is a mul­ti­me­dia artist & game design­er inter­ested in play as a utopi­an project that con­tains a cri­tique of the present and the seeds of poten­tial futures. Some of her most well-known games include LIM, HUGPUNX, and Con­sen­sual Tor­ture Sim­u­la­tor. She is cur­rently edit­ing an anno­tated anthol­ogy of Twine games titled VIDEOGAMES FOR HUMANS to be pub­lished by Instar Books in 2015.

Cheryl L’Hirondelle is a com­mu­ni­ty-engaged Indige­nous (Cree/Metis/German) inter­dis­ci­pli­nary artist, singer/songwriter and new media cura­tor orig­i­nally from the land now known as cana­da. Her cre­ative prac­tice is an inves­ti­ga­tion of the inter­sec­tion of a Cree world­view (nêhiyaw­in) and con­tem­po­rary time-space. Her cur­rent projects include: a music album and sev­eral media-rich instal­la­tions from song co-writ­ten with incar­cer­ated women and detained youth; an inter­na­tional songwriting/mapping and media-rich instal­la­tion project where she ‘sings land’; and a nomadic performative/collaborative light tipi instal­la­tion. Cheryl was a past new media advi­sor and cura­tor, juror and award win­ner for imag­i­ne­NA­TIVE Film + Media Arts Fes­ti­val (2005–2014), received an hon­ourable men­tion in the net.art cat­e­gory of the Web­by Awards (2009) and is a mem­ber of OCADU’s Indige­nous Edu­ca­tion Advi­sory Coun­cil. She con­tin­ues to curate, exhib­it and attend artis­tic res­i­den­cies nation­ally and inter­na­tion­ally. http://cheryllhirondelle.com

Cather­ine McK­in­non is a co-founder and Fes­ti­val Direc­tor of Toron­to Inter­na­tional Deaf Film and Arts Fes­ti­val, TIDFAF, since it’s incep­tion. She is inter­na­tion­ally known for her work in short films, tele­vi­sion, films, doc­u­men­taries and fea­ture films. At the 2003, World Film Fes­ti­val in Mon­treal, Que­bec, Cather­ine was nom­i­nated for the Best Cana­dian Stu­dent Direc­tor, an award spon­sored by Kodak for her short film, “I’m Not From Hear”. The film went on to win 5 awards and screened in sev­eral of Cana­dian Fes­ti­vals, as well as in Unit­ed King­dom, Fin­land, Rus­sia, and the Unit­ed States. In the fall of 2009, Cather­ine co-pro­duced her biggest career project, “The Ham­mer”, which won 8 Fes­ti­val Awards based on a biopic of a real life UFC Fight­er, Matt “Ham­mer” Hamill. www.thehammerfilm.com

Pre­sented by

The Media Arts Net­work of Ontario/Réseau des arts médi­a­tiques de l’Ontario (MANO/RAMO) is an arts ser­vice orga­ni­za­tion whose man­date is to devel­op and fos­ter a uni­fied and respon­sive provin­cial net­work for Ontario media arts orga­ni­za­tions and the inde­pen­dent artists they rep­re­sent. MANO/RAMO cur­rently rep­re­sents over 50 orga­ni­za­tions in Ontario.

The Ontario Arts Coun­cil (OAC) is an arm’s‑length agency of the Ontario Min­istry of Tourism, Cul­ture and Sport. OAC’s grants and ser­vices to pro­fes­sional, Ontario-based artists and arts orga­ni­za­tions sup­port arts edu­ca­tion, Abo­rig­i­nal arts, com­mu­nity arts, crafts, dance, Fran­co-Ontar­i­an arts, lit­er­a­ture, media arts, mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary arts, music, the­atre, tour­ing, and visu­al arts. In 2013–2014, OAC fund­ed 1,737individual artists and 1,095 orga­ni­za­tions in 223 Ontario com­mu­ni­ties, for a total of $52.1 million.