Pamila Matharu, stuck between an archive and an aesthetic (installation view) 2019. Colour HD video, 40 mins.
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Join artist Pamila Matharu for a screening of stuck between an archive and an aesthetic, a new experimental documentary recently featured at A Space Gallery as part of the 32nd Images Festival of Independent Film + Video. Mining lost and forgotten voices reverberating inside the institution, Matharu uses event documentation from found videotapes to explore what is missing from the AGO's archive. Remixing found materials that travel outside the museum, on the streets, on community-television and returning back inside the institution she asks, what exactly has or has not changed in the often-misunderstood area of “diversity programming”?

The screening will be followed by a conversation between the artist and Gabrielle Moser about the generation of this work. 


Pamila Matharu (b.1973) is an immigrant-settler of north Indian Panjabi-Sikh descent, born in Birmingham, England, based in Tkarón:to (Toronto). As an artist, she explores a range of transdisciplinary feminist issues, blurring the lines between objects, activism, community organizing, and public pedagogies. Her practices include object making (installation, collage, film/video/photography), curating/organizing, artist-led teaching, arts administration/advocacy, and social practice.

Gabrielle Moser is a writer, educator and independent curator based in Toronto. A founding member of EMILIA-AMALIA, she holds a PhD from the art history and visual culture program at York University in Toronto, Canada and is an Assistant Professor in art history at OCAD University.

This is an Accessible Event.

Venue & Address: 
E.P. Taylor Library & Archives, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West


orange cape with black and grey squares wrapped around stone
copper sequins sewn on fabric and red stitching on a white metal stand
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Please join us for Eco|Femin|Isms, a free panel discussion hosted at OCAD University on Wednesday October 24th at 7pm, at 49 McCaul Street. This will be an opportunity to discuss eco arts practices with special guests including J.P King, Eco|Femin|Isms artist Marjan Verstappen, and Alia Weston. The Panel is moderated by Vicki Clough.


Ecofeminism, with its inception during Second Wave Feminism of the 1960s and 70s, was quickly sidelined due to an apparent lack of coherent vocabulary that could serve to unify emerging environmental considerations equitably. Contemporary Feminism, while not specifically ecological in intent and practice, allows for the multiplicity of voices that inherently illustrates the intersectional ways in which environmental issues have an effect on us all. 

Eco|Femin|Isms creates space for a range of creative practices that explore our relationship to the environment. 

The Panel is hosted in conjunction with the Eco|Femin|Isms Exhibition held at the White House Studio Project. The exhibition is curated by Vicki Clough, and features artwork by Tsēmā Igharas, Elyse Portal , Dana Prieto and Marjan Verstappen. Eco|Femin|isms showcases contemporary ecological considerations as they relate to culture, politics, spirituality and materialism and provides multiple entry points for critical dialogues that are both urgent and salient in contemporary society. 


Facebook Page with further information:

Please confirm your participation here!

Event Schedule: 
Panel Discussion 
Wednesday, October 24th, 2018 — 7pm-8.30pm 
49 McCaul Street, Toronto

Exhibition Opening Day
Saturday, October 27th, 2018 — 12pm-17.00pm
The White House Studio Project
277 Augusta Avenue, Toronto
*light refreshments will be provided.

Opening Times
Sunday, October 28th, 2018 — 12pm-17.00pm
Saturday & Sunday, November 3rd & 4th, 2018 — 13.00-16.00

By Appointment
Tuesday, October 30th, 2018 — 18.00-20.00pm
Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 — 18.00-20.00
Thursday, November 1st, 2018 — 18.00-20.00

This project is generously hosted by The White House Studio Project and supported by the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.  

Venue & Address: 
49 McCaul Street, Toronto

Professor Emma Westecott Published in "Feminism In Play"

Friday, October 12, 2018 - 1:00pm

Associate Professor Emma Westecott has written a chapter entitled “Feminism and Gameplay Performance" which has been published in the edited collection Feminism In Play by Palgrave Games in Context.

About the Book:

"Feminism in Play focuses on women as they are depicted in video games, as participants in games culture, and as contributors to the games industry. This volume showcases women’s resistance to the norms of games culture, as well as women’s play and creative practices both in and around the games industry. Contributors analyze the interconnections between games and the broader societal and structural issues impeding the successful inclusion of women in games and games culture. In offering this framework, this volume provides a platform to the silenced and marginalized, offering counter-narratives to the post-racial and post-gendered fantasies that so often obscure the violent context of production and consumption of games culture."

Retrieved from:

Westecott, Emma. "Feminism and Gameplay Performance." Feminism in Play. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2018. 251-266.

From Within an Active PoV: Feminist VR Game Making

From Within an Active PoV: Feminist VR Game Making is a research-creation project that investigates a feminist intervention in virtual reality game-making. It aims to build a generous and inclusive coalition of feminists in games by bringing feminist VR makers together and studying how, what, and why they make VR games.

From Within an Active PoV builds on the research of ReFiG, a 5 year project supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Composed of an international collective of scholars, community organizers and industry representatives, ReFiG is committed to promoting diversity and equity in the game industry and culture and effecting real change in an often myopic space that has been exclusionary to many. ReFig accomplishes this by intervening in four areas: game cultures, the games industry, informal learning environments, and formal education.

Unlike the world of commercial digital gaming, the VR ecosystem includes diverse voices: marginalized makers are visible in this emerging sector of technology (for example, CFC Open Immersion lab is open to indigenous artists and artists from the global south).  The inherent physicality of VR (which involves two audiences: the immersant and the voyeur) is also an opportunity to explore feminist approaches to game-making. From its development in the early nineties VR art has been driven by female artists, including works such as Catherine Richards’ Spectral Bodies (1991) and Char Davies' Osmose (1995). This clearly indicates a feminist interest in the ability of VR technologies to extend and reconfigure embodied experience. By featuring a living body, performance (and subsequently VR) allows women to “assert themselves as the active and self-determining agents of their own narratives” [1].

Through feminist game jams (distinguished by methods engaged and identification of participants) supported by multiple approaches to research documentation situated in OCAD University’s game:play lab, From Within an Active PoV will produce a series of VR sketches that explore, document, and instantiate a range of feminist approaches to processes of capture, design and development and interface.​ Engaging politically motivated activity in game cultures should grow from a purposeful playfulness in approach: playfulness is a much more potent force than direct conflict and offers an important means of engagement. 

​This will culminate in public exhibition and a co-Laboratory. Interested ReFiG researchers will join an open call for participation to these research jams. The jams will be documented using multiple methods (audio, video, note-taking, sketching, mapping, etc.) and the outcome shared in a range of channels including publication (academic and on the web), learning kits (for use in community and classroom) and via exhibition.

Additional Resources:
ReFig Website 
CFC Open Immersion Lab

1. Wark, Jane. 2006. Radical Gestures, Feminism, and Performance Art in North America. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press.

This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.





Photographs of immersants interacting with VR technology
Photograph of girl kneeling while playing a VR game
Photograph of two people: an immersant steps forward while interacting with VR and is observed by a second person
Photograph of a person using VR. Their right arm is extended forward as they move through the game world.
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 11:00am

President Sara Diamond profiled in Canada 150 Women

Portrait of Sara Diamond in a blue suit by a window
Monday, November 20, 2017

A new book by author Paulina Cameron celebrates Canadian leaders, champions, and luminaries who are exemplary in their fields. Canada 150 Women showcases prominent women from a variety of professional sectors who demonstrate tenacity, diversity and strength.

President Diamond is interviewed alongside former astronaut and current Governor General Julie Payette, filmmaker Deepa Mehta, Olympic medalist Silken Laumann and other acclaimed women.

The featured women share their personal stories of how feminism has changed during their lifetimes, and they talk about their own visions for Canada.

Go to CBC Radio to hear an interview with the author. The book is available at Chapters Indigo.




Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon

Art + Feminism Edit a Thon
Sunday, March 19, 2017 - 11:00am to 4:00pm

This Edit-a-Thon kicks off at 11:00 am with a conversation on contemporary feminism, ceramics, and community featuring artists Janet Macpherson and Helen Cho, and moderated by Karine Tsoumis, Curator, Gardiner Museum. 

Following the discussion, participants are encouraged to form breakout groups and spend the afternoon ensuring a gender inclusive history within Wikipedia’s vast database.


You can register here.

Venue & Address: 
Gardiner Museum. 111 Queens Park, Toronto ON


The Fem-LED research project at OCAD University’s Super Ordinary Laboratory examines the barriers and enablers for female leadership in Interactive and Digital Media (I&DM) and, more broadly, in the Information Communications Technology (ICT) sector. In the course of this project, we realized that the issue was not that female leadership has merely been increasing at a slow rate. Alarmingly, we realized that female leadership, and female inclusion overall, has been declining in these environments for the last three decades.

Interactive and Digital Media includes a variety of content development sectors including Film, Video Games, TV, and Web/App Development. The gender violence that we have come to associate with gaming content and game-makers’ working culture is not an outlying issue; rather, it should be understood as the most notorious of everyday, ongoing outputs and conditions across ICT sectors. As Entertainment or other communication media evolve, we see the same gender difficulties across these domains. Silicon Valley, a major hub of entrepreneurialism and innovation in ICTs, is also rapidly becoming infamous for its anti-women culture. Now this culture is spreading geographically. There are countermovements that value diversity in workplaces and are aware of gender bias as a contemporary problem that must be addressed in order to ensure growth and accountability for equitable gender access and experience in ICTs. A public discourse is growing in recognition that we must confront these barriers to women’s success and, encouragingly, that there are many actions that we can take to forge an alternative future that acknowledges, supports and reaps the benefits of full integration of female innovators in the field.

Our results show that concerned people and organizations must take consistent action across spheres of education, industry and beyond for the culture and climates of ICT & I&DM industries to improve in regard to women.  Currently, ICT & I&DM work environments and outputs are inhospitable to women, fail to properly train them, create life/work imbalances, fail to celebrate and promote women, and miss out on opportunities to make media content and ICT outputs more inclusive. For these reasons, it is imperative that the findings of this report are disseminated widely to, and supplemented by, ICT & I&DM stakeholders, including industry leaders and workers, as well as: members of community groups dedicated to girls and women’s training; leaders and teachers in educational organizations at the primary, secondary and post-secondary levels; and public and private media leaders.  In fact, we encourage the broadest possible dissemination of these findings to the general public.

Success will depend on broad and dispersed efforts, across all related sectors, to encourage ongoing attention to gender-related problems. Remedies are necessary in: educational curriculum and hiring practices; media reporting; industry and governmental hiring and promotion practices in ICT and I&DM sectors; and in public conversations regarding fair and compassionate treatment of women in homes, social spaces, schools, community and at work.



Bodystorm Workshop

On August 21st 2015, The Mission Business Inc. (TMB) - a Toronto-based foresight, design, and innovation consultancy - delivered a workshop intended to surface, circulate, and capture stories from female tech, internet, and digital media entrepreneurs in Ontario. This was one phase of a project, called fem-LED, run by the Super Ordinary Lab inside the Ontario College of Art and Design, and was enabled by support from the Ontario Media Development Corporation.

Purpose of the workshop was to:

  1. Explore the causes of low female participation in information communications technology (ICT) and interactive and digital media (I&DM) leadership with a community of female entrepreneurs and leaders.

  2. Diffusing and contextualizing research from other phases of the Fem-LED project.

  3. Exploring new iterations of The Mission Business (TMB) professional services that deliver value to organizations focused on innovation in the realm of human resources (HR), rather than product development and thought leadership marketing.

At a high level, the purpose of the workshop shared by TMB and OCAD-U researchers was to create a sense of community within a network of female entrepreneurs working in the ICT / I&DM industries in Ontario, and to explore with that group the causes of women dropping out of leadership positions in Ontario companies.

The group of participants who attended the workshop were brought together in the context of a speculative narrative designed by TMB, in order to give all of the women in attendance permission to share stories during the course of the workshop’s proceedings. This narrative introduction was delivered by Dorothy “Dot” Drummond, the CEO of a fictional company called 4Corp created by TMB for workshops and online education programs. 4Corp’s products and services set the company in a futuristic context, but it faces the same challenges that ICT / I&DM companies in Ontario have today, as highlighted in other phases of the Fem-LED research project.

Women and Games

Game studies is the relatively new and multi- and inter-disciplinary academic field of studying games, game design, game players and their role in society and culture more broadly.

To date the themes addressed by feminist game studies can be sketched as work on gendered activity in digital games and feminine preference in play style and game characteristics. Other key studies look to gender equity in game making and to the wider context of access to games. From Brenda Laurel's work in the early 90s (Yates & Littleton, 1999) onwards (long pre-dating any such thing as games studies); critics, commentators and the academy have offered theories and observations on the difference in play habits, styles and consumption of digital gaming exhibited by women and girls. Yet much of the work that has been carried out, seemingly in isolation in the U.K., U.S. and Europe, has cycled through repeating debates on representation, equity and access. For example, some research points to specific gender preference in play style whereas Jenson’s and de Castell’s (2008) work shows that these differences can be more about novice players than about gender. Jenson and de Castell (2008) urged researchers to "rethink the assumptions and presumptions of work on gender and gameplay.." in a call to acknowledge the always situated context of gameplay and game research in order to frame a solid foundation for future work, whether theoretical or practical.

Images from the "BodyStorm" workshop
Friday, November 14, 2014 - 2:45pm to Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 2:45pm
Lab Member: 
Suzanne Stein
Prateeksha Singh
Mithula Naik
Jill Sharrock

Cathy Daley

Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 4:00am to Sunday, June 1, 2008 - 4:00am

Cathy Daley is a Toronto-based artist and Instructor at OCAD, who mines contemporary vocabularies of glamour, fashion, popular culture, to examine the iconography of femininity as it exists in cultural imaginary, personal memory, and fantasy. Building on persistent cultural images inspired by ballerina tutus, the garb of fairy-tale princesses and Barbie doll couture, her large scale pastel-on-velum drawings investigate childhood memories of what it means to be female in Western culture and explores cultural representation of the feminine and the body. She often incorporates the iconography of cartoons, street signage, Hollywood cinema, fairy tales, and mythology into her work.

“These drawings constitute a virtuoso performance... [and] reflect a contemporary post-feminist ambivalence toward fashion, critiquing the garment industry’s wrapped-and-bound feminine ideal and the notion of woman as spectacle.” - Roni Feinstein, Art in America

Venue & Address: 
Edward Cella Art + Architecture 10 E. Figueroa Street, Suite 3, Santa Barbara, California

Cathy Daley

Cathy Daley at Birch Libralato Gallery
Saturday, November 24, 2007 - 5:00am to Saturday, December 22, 2007 - 5:00am

Birch Libralato Gallery in Toronto presents new work by Professor Cathy Daley.
"For the past number of years, I have been exploring the iconography of and representation of women in popular visual culture. In this new body of work, employing the medium of black pastel, I have drawn partial views ' a woman wearing a scarf, the edge of a coat lapel, the contours of a billowing checked skirt, the mystery of a darkened room, a string of pearls. These various sized fragmented images are positioned in various relationships to one other, suggesting some larger context. Some are abstracted to schematics; others are like stills from a film, suggestive of narrative. The exhibition will also include a new series of collage work that combine images extracted from fashion magazines juxtaposed to, and/or embedded within drawings of furniture and architectural structures."
-- Cathy Daley

Venue & Address: 
Birch Libralato Gallery 129 Tecumseth Street, Toronto, Ontario

Dialogues on Feminism and Technology

Dialogues on Feminism and Technology
Friday, September 27, 2013 - 10:00pm to Monday, December 16, 2013 - 9:45pm

A Roundtable Discussion

Introduction: Sara Diamond and Paula Gardner

Moderator: Anne Balsamo, The New School

Brenda Laurel, California College of the Arts Graduate Program of Design.

Janet Murray, Georgia Institute of Technology

Kim Sawchuk, Concordia University

Shu Lea Cheang, Multimedia Artist





Venue & Address: 
Auditorium, Room 190 100 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario