Lainie Towell gets her mojo back

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Lainie Towell, left, and Dr. Lee know a thing or two about African beats. Photo by Jonathan Lorange.

After almost four years away from dance, Lainie Towell (aka, the Artist Formerly Known as Sufi Girl) returns to the studio with a 10-week African dance course based on a new vision she calls “dance where you are.”

“Dance when you are broken open, dance when you tear the bandage off, dance when you are perfectly free,” explains Towell, borrowing the words of Persian poet Rumi.

Four years ago Towell stepped away from her artistic passion after life-changing events gave her first-hand experience in the issue of immigration marriage fraud. Then she became unemployed when the board of directors for Le Groupe Dance Lab shut down the legendary Ottawa company.

“The most difficult period of my life was so intertwined with my passion—dance,” explained Towell. “I felt I had no choice but to step away from it all.”

Why return now? “I realized that my work as an artist is and always has been to give people the opportunity to engage fully with what it means to be human through our bodies, our thoughts, our feelings, and our spirits,” Towell said.

“I am interested in creating participatory experiences for audiences. As a performer I love transforming the street into a stage because it is intimate and direct.”

“I feel alive when I dance,” Towell continues. “I am an artist and it is my job to promote dance. Additionally, my role is to encourage and lead people to experience their creativity through life-embracing activity.”

Encore: Dance Where You Are

10 weeks of African Dance for the Body and Soul

Live Drumming with Dr Lee Percussion

Sundays: January 22 to March 25 (6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.)

Fee: $175

Studio Mouvement, 69 rue Eddy, Vieux Hull

819.205.0979 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. /


Open Ottawa Libre offers rich collaboration

Monday, September 12, 2011

Open Ottawa Libre

Wednesday, September 28, 2011
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Arts Court Theatre, 2 Daly Ave.


In conjunction with conference: GuerillaLIVE launch of edition #29 from 7 to 11 pm

Be one of the 120 innovative thinkers and community leaders from within from within digital media and cultural industry sectors, government policy makers, artists, scientists, engineers, gamers, animators, broadcasters, educators, and community activists that will come together to answer this question:


What do we need to do to create a place that sparks opportunities for creative thinkers to collaborate and innovate for a better Ottawa?


This full-day facilitated session will focus on transformative collaboration, led by CT labs. The day is designed to maximize participant input and networking opportunities. Some open spots have been set aside for this event to encourage collaboration and cross-sector pollination.


To Register, or to learn more about the benefits to participants, our keynote speaker Allyson Hewitt, the day’s agenda or local and international success stories, visit This is a zero-fee event.

OOL is an initiative of the City of Ottawa’s Cultural Services Branch, sponsored by the Regional Innovation Centre for Ottawa and Eastern Ontario, the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI), Carleton University, CT Labs, Corner Portal, Artengine, Arts Court, The Ottawa Art Gallery and the Shenkman Arts Centre.

City to host cultural plan renewal open houses

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

These open house meetings are a great opportunity to learn about and give input to what is being proposed for Ottawa’s next 5-Year Action Plan for Culture. Copies of the Draft Action Plan will be available. All open houses will be conducted in both official languages.

Monday, September 19,
new City of Ottawa Central Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive (corner of Woodroffe), 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 21,
Greely Community Centre, 1448 Meadow Drive, Greely, 6:30 p.m.

Monday, September 26, La Nouvelle Scène, 333 King Edward Avenue, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, September 29, Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre, 102 Greenview Avenue, Britannia Park, 6:30 p.m.

Monday, October 3rd Jean Pigott Hall, Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 5th Richcraft Theatre, Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Boulevard, 6:30 p.m.

OAG expansion looks promising

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Rarely do we post media releases in this blog. In this case we felt it was warranted becaues the news is at once so encouraging and enlightening.
Here's the text of a release issued today by the Ottawa Art Gallery:

The Ottawa Art Gallery Expansion will finally move forward!

Ottawa, July 7, 2011 – The Financial and Economic Development Committee (FEDCO) for the City of Ottawa has voted in favor of the expansion of the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) in the downtown core, adjacent to Arts Court and its redevelopment. This decision was a long time coming and was reached through collaborative work with the City. After operating under difficult conditions in one of the smallest municipal art galleries in Canada, the OAG is very pleased with the outcome of this report. We are hoping for a unanimous decision by the full City Council on July 13.

• WHAT & WHO: The FEDCO has voted in favor of the OAG Expansion and the Arts Court Redevelopment Projects, pending a final vote from the full City Council. The project will be led by a steering committee with equal representation of the OAG Board, the Arts Court Foundation and City representatives. This will ensure strong leadership, sound and timelydecision making, progress and sustainable development for all parties involved.

• WHEN: The final vote will take place on July 13, by the full City Council at City Hall. The new building would be functional by fall of 2014.

• WHERE: The OAG requires a new building of 30,000 sq. ft net to showcase the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art as well as contemporary art. The new location proposed by the City is in the downtown core, adjacent to the redeveloped Arts Court building.

• WHY: The OAG has been operating under less than ideal conditions for years and has been lobbying for appropriate space and amenities for ten years.


ORGANIZATION                        POPULATION                   SQ. FEET                      CITY FUNDS

Ottawa Art Gallery                      900,000                              12,000                           $351,750

Varley AG, Markham                  300,000                              15,000                           $670,000

Kelowna Art Gallery                   147,739                               15,758                           $457,193

Art Gallery of Kamloops             86,376                                 20,853                          $429,000

Mendel AG, Saskatoon              230,000                               25,000                          $1.9 m

Windsor Art Gallery                    216,473                               60,000                          $450,000

Museum London                        350,000                               70,000                          $1.5 m

Art Gallery of Hamilton              500,000                                88,650                          $1m