Thanks: City of Nanaimo
Year: 2023

Art Agora

Art Agora was conceived during the Covid-19 pandemic, at a time when there was an increased sense of isolation within the community. There was a shrinking of physical spaces that enabled spontaneous conversations, planned gatherings or serendipitous meetings. Our longing for connection was channeled through devices and mobile apps that were designed for us as consumers. There was a lack of digital spaces where we could come together and connect with one another as fellow citizens and residents.

Art Agora was a new digital commons with the objective of bringing together residents of Nanaimo through shared creativity. This project was commissioned by the City of Nanaimo through a collaboration between Nanaimo Parks Recreation and Culture and the Temporary Public Art Program.

A series of monthly activations (from March to August) engaged residents of Nanaimo in a creative project. Each of these projects brought out a unique perspective and a different craft. The best projects were showcased on Art Agora's website.

1. Nana-IMO

What does living in Nanaimo mean to you (in 20 words or less). Share a handwritten note as a picture.

The program was kickstarted by the Mayor of Nanaimo who sent in the first submission!


Participants: Jessica Gibson, Agnes Provost, Cecilia Francisco, Erin Tzvetcoff, Angela West-Roots, Judy Villeneuve, Skyla, Tyler Sawchyn, Laura Sawchyn, Linda Lagrotteria, Amol Walia

2. Culi-near-y Delights

What would you make if you were cooking for: a stranger, your favourite person, your neighbour, or your pet? Share two pictures: the final dish and the handwritten recipe. 

Participants: Judy Villeneuve, Jeff Bellinger, Margaret Graham, Lois S

3. En-light-ened Island

Make an arrangement of candles (readymade or handmade by you). Look into the flames for 5 mins and reflect on thoughts and emotions you experience. Capture on a handwritten note. Share two pictures: the lit candle setting and the handwritten note.

Participants: Margaret Graham, Tracey Burke

4. Book-warmth

What book would you give to someone you think needs it? Make a bookmark and tell them why. Share a picture with both the book and the bookmark with your thoughts.

Participants: Judy Villeneuve, Margaret Graham, Agnes Provost 

5. Arbour City

A "Painting Scavenger Hunt." Find meaningful/iconinc/historical locations in the city and paint them. Share a picture of your painting.

Participants: Judy Villeneuve, Margaret Graham, Erin Tzvetcoff  

6. Being in Nanaimo

Choose a person, animal, or plant you discovered in Nanaimo. Share their picture and another with a handwritten note on what they mean to you.

Participants: Margaret Graham, Ashley Faulkner, Judy Villeneuve

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