The Best of Awards


We know that a city is more than just buildings, roads, political decisions, pools, telephone poles, and parks. We know that it’s all of the little things that make this city great, or better yet, it’s all the little things that so many people we know do for us, knowingly or not, every day that make this city great. We think it’s long overdue that we help celebrate those people and we hope you’ll help us.

We want to have a big awards ceremony…really big actually. So, we’ll make the awards and host the party, all you have to do is find someone to nominate and show up to help us celebrate.

Here’s how it will work: You make a nomination below, we’ll mail you two invitations (one for you and one for the person you nominate), and then you both show up for our awards party on Thursday, May 8th, 2014 at 6:00PM.

**Don’t forget: The nominator is responsible for bringing the nominee to collect their award.

Submissions are now closed. Thank you to everyone who made a nomination for The Best of Awards! We’ll be in touch soon and see you on Thursday, May 8th at 6pm (CIVIC Space – 411 Pelissier Street, Windsor)

Archival Tendencies (Lossy Practices) at Modern Fuel


Since last spring, we’ve been building towards a new series of work for a show at Modern Fuel in Kingston, Ontario. The show, entitled, “Archival Tendencies (Lossy Practices)” is a collection of installations that play with the notions of archiving and our relationship with it. We came up with 6 pieces that we wanted to create for this show — it all started at the Queen’s University Archives in Kingston, Ontario.


We were lucky enough to be given a tour by Jeremy Heil, a technical services archivist for Queen’s University. He shared with us an amazing amount of knowledge about the process of archiving, different types of archives, and the storing process for the archives.


Some of the storage units.


Justin engulfed by boxes and boxes of archives.


The trip to the archives sparked our minds and we started to research…a lot. Notes upon notes began to accumulate so we thought it would be best to take a break.


We decided to visit Modern Fuel and scope out the space and get an idea spatially of what we could create in the gallery. By the end of our short trip to Kingston, we had a good feeling about what we wanted to do and a set of 6 pieces that we wanted to make.


It became apparent from early on that we didn’t want the exhibition to challenge current modes of archiving, but instead articulate different ways we could be viewing arching on an individual and societal level.


Soon after, we started to accumulate the materials we needed. The first piece we started to build was “What Fails With Time?” — this is a text piece that is made out of salvaged wood.


Andy and I found an ad on Kijiji for free salvaged wood in Kingville. The textures and colours were so amazing, we grabbed as many pieces as we could. The wood used to be an old barn that was recently torn down.


More planks.


The second piece is “The Archive of Wishful Thinking”. This series of magnetic letters allows for participants to spell out things that they hope to remember, but is also constantly in flux because the next person can add on, erase, or re-write the statement.


We spray painted the letters gold so they would have a nice contrast against the black magnetic paint they would be sitting on.




Up close.


For another piece, we decided to cut out physical versions of the flagging system we use online when we want to remember a specific site or want to archive it as important to us.


Lots of cutting involved.


Staking and packing.


Our infamous jigjaw was brought back to work.




Makeshift clamps.


Cutting out the letters.


Cross-country collaborating with Justin on this one — a perforated booklet  filled with posters that are suggestive of things we should make an effort to remember…or not.






“Solid State Storage” is 3 banker boxes made from styrofoam and concrete. The original idea was to have them made of solid concrete but the weight would have made them almost impossible to haul all the way to Kingston. We decided to make the base from styrofoam so that some of the weight could be eliminated.


The cement adheres really well to styrofoam so this made applying the layers really easy.


Filled to the rim.


Packed and ready to go.


Alongside the banker boxes, we wanted to create an object that destroys records in a slow, gruelling manor, so we thought a humidifier hooked up to a filing cabinet would do just that.  We used the hand-held saw to cut out holes so the tubbing could connect the humidity directly to the filing cabinet.



First hole.


The saw melted the plastic right off.


The first hole made in the filing cabinet.


We decided to make one hole in the top and one along the side.


Side by side.


With everything packed and ready to go, we made our way up to Kingston and started a long week of install.




As we unloaded and starting to put things up, the space seemed overwhelmingly chaotic and reminded me a lot of what the space looked like from our exhibition in Halifax two years prior.


Building a shelf for the booklets.


Superglue is an amazing thing.


Hanging the magnetic panels.


First piece up.


Andy looking for the right letters.


Still searching.


In the future we will want to remember ________.


Final touch-ups and sanding for our banker boxes.


The secret cemented file.


“Make a Mark (Notating Importance)” is a grid of 175 flags cut out chip board that are suggestive of flagging or noting space or places that are important and should be archived. It’s the physical version of the digital flag system.




“Solid State Storage”


Cranking up the humidity.IMG_2437(1)

And it’s on!


Feeling the humidity come through.


Making sure it’s properly sealed.


Placing the “Authorization for Destruction of Records” applications on top.


What record would you want to destroy?


The files to be destroyed.


First record to be destroyed — one of my memories.


“For Unsafe Keeping (Time-Limited Archiving System)”


“Expressions of Power (A Ready-to-Distribute Set of Positions in Relation to Time)”


Ready for the opening.


Title wall.


Magnetic letters.


The director of Modern Fuel, Kevin Rodgers, fills out a file for destruction.


Conversations and concrete boxes.




In the next room over from the main exhibition space is Christine Dewancker’s show entitled “All You Ever Wanted”.


Christine Dewancker’s (above) practice examines the physical and psychological effects of the spaces we occupy: how constructed environments inform our experiences and relationships with one another, what produces public consciousness and how this is created and reproduced by our everyday activities. Her recent series ALL YOU EVER WANTED began with conversations with residents in the spring of 2013, in which discussions were carried out regarding sites of development and potential in Kingston neighbourhoods. The title phrase evokes subjective desires, and offers an optimistic gesture of totality. When placed in a physical environment, it proposes various readings of that space while also embodying an impossible idea that can never be fully realized.


Playing with memories.


Things we hope to remember.


I got to give a mini tour of the show and speak about the pieces and process we took to make each one.


Thank you to everyone at Modern Fuel for being so supportive and helping us make this happen.

“Archival Tendencies (Lossy Practices) runs from October 19th – November 30th at Modern Fuel in Kingston, Ontario.


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We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

Day 3 & 4: Glaciers and Wreckage


Over the weekend, we took a trip out to the Bow Glacier to see first hand where Calgary’s only water source begins. The three hour drive proved to be rather scenic with beautiful mountains in the background.


Anticipating the scary scenario of encountering a bear, we equipped ourselves with a bear bell and bear spray. Both those items became useless when we spotted a bear and her cub on the side of the Trans Canada Highway. The black bear was so uninterested in us taking photos, she never looked up at us and just wandered back into the forest. I guess they’re not as scary as we thought.


Josh getting his first glimpse of the Bow Glacier.


After spending a few minutes staring at the glacier, we realized that we still had to hike to the top.


About an hour later, we arrived to the top of the waterfall. Seen above in the top right, this waterfall is spilling glacier water directly down into the Bow Lake and eventually feeding the Bow River. It’s pretty amazing to imagine the distance the water travels; from the glacier all the way to the homes and gardens of Calgarians. The theme of time, flow, and repetition keep coming up in our research.


Yesterday, Randy Niessen, the Programming Coordinator at TRUCK Contemporary Art in Calgary and the Project Implementation and Development Lead for WATERSHED+, took us on a bike ride to see what’s left of the damage that the flood left behind.

Above: The 10 foot mark on the meter next to the bridge is how high the river rose in this area.


Trees completely ripped out of the ground.


Temporary fences mend the completely eroded trail.


Josh observing the wreckage. Behind him, once cemented stones have been completely ripped out of the ground.


This part of the trail is now completely gone.


A lot of sites throughout Calgary are still under repair. However, it’s quite amazing to note that the majority of flood issues were taken care of during the first week after the flood.


This bridge collapsed as the water rose and began eroding it. A cargo train was crossing over at the same time and it took search and rescue crews 12 hours to back the train safely off the bridge. They’re still working on its reconstruction.

More soon.

Watershed+ Residency Day 2: Ralph Klein Park


Day 2 of our residency in Calgary we visited Ralph Klein Park, which will be our home base for phase 2 and 3 of this residency. The structure was a massive investment in the environmental future of Calgary and showcases some pretty incredible building techniques.


The main hall inside RKP is an interactive exhibition that highlights information on Calgary’s watershed.


The Bow River is the largest river flowing through Calgary.


We All Live Downstream From Someone Else.


Tristan uses the interactive iPad that shows information as you point to certain spots through the park.






The exhibition hall.


The schedule for all the workshops, tours and classroom lessons happening every month.


Interactive lights.


Each rock along this wall was hand washed. This building holds over 5 million of them.


One of the classrooms where grade school and high school students come to learn and interact with the things they find in the ponds.


The species in this tank were directly extracted from the water outside.


Hadi used a camera to magnify the tank so it can be seen on a larger screen.


Algae growing strong outside.


This dragonfly didn’t want to leave.


This storage room will soon be transformed into a wood shop that we can use if we choose to build something larger than our studio.


Walking around the building.


Ralph Klein Park from the other side.


Hadi and Josh look for fish and frogs.


Walking through the lower deck.


Home of a cliff swallow. They repetitively spit mud until their home is complete!


Hadi mentions to us that when the water rises, this whole lower level gets flooded.


 Sentinels is a land art sculpture by artist Beverly Pepper and can be seen from almost every point of RKP.


There are 5 different cells of water at RKP. Each body of water meanders in a snake-like pattern until it reaches the next cell. The building itself stands on cell 5.


The top floor of the building is where the artist studio can be found.




Artist In Residence Studio.


Nick and Minty are currently the occupants of this space.


Talking with Nick and Minty was great. We discussed their residency, the work they’ve bee doing and how they’ve liked working at RKP. They’ve come all the way from Glasgow, Scotland.


The studio. So much great natural light and open space.


Their library.




Some of their earlier notes!

Today, we’re heading about 3 hours out of Calgary to visit the Bow Glacier. It’s the starting point for Calgary’s water source and the beginning for this particular watershed.

More soon.

Watershed+ Residency Day 1: Getting Acquainted


We have finally arrived to Calgary, Alberta after a delay in travel due to the insane flooding that has happened in the area. The city seems as though nothing even happened, but our minds will soon be changed. Upon arrival we were given a schedule filled with people to talk to and things to see for the next week.


We started our day at the Water Centre. There’s such a huge amount of people that work that this place, it reminded me a lot of Chryslers back in Windsor.


Tristan Surtrees, Watershed+ Residency’s lead artist, started our morning off by giving us a brief history of the Water Centre, its architecture, the types of people that work there, and the impact that this type of facility can have on a city like Calgary.


Our first official meeting at the Water Centre was with Sylvia Trosch, who is the Lead for the Outreach at City of Calgary Water Resources. We had a great conversation with her about how it’s important for the citizens of Calgary to understand the watershed, especially in light of the recent flooding.


Tristan and Sylvia survey a map of where the watershed extends to. The Bow Glacier is the starting point for Calgary’s water source and is our destination spot for Saturday.




Sylvia gave us examples of booklets that she created for Calgarians to begin understanding better ways of conserving water and most importantly, understanding the water cycle.


There’s also a kid friendly version.


After our meeting with Sylvia, Tristan gave us a manual for Watershed+ that is full of valuable information on Calgary, its watershed, and how artists have been interacting with it.







Here is a grid of images related to Calgary’s water infrastructure.


One of the incredible things about Calgary’s rivers is how much they bend and turn. The results are some pretty incredible arial shots of the city, making it look like someone’s doodle/sketch pad.






Information on how the residency is run. We are lucky enough to have been chosen to take part in the first ever version of this residency.


Watershed+ brand image and logo graphics.


More old construction photographs.


Concept sketches.


Joshua hard at work.


Uploading, scanning, capturing.


The water bottle for the water resources in the Water Centre…WATER.


Rachel Duckhouse is a fellow artist-in-residence who has been in Calgary for almost 6 months. Her residency has been extended until October, so her studio has been relocated from Ralph Klein Park to Spark.




As we walk up to Rachel’s studio, she points out to us that the Spark Science Centre offers younger children their own studio space where they are encouraged to build, destroy, collaborate, and think through new ways of problem solving.


All projects are open-ended with the intention that on the next cycle, a new group of kids will be able to come in and re-imagine something someone else has made.


Real tools develop real skills.


Dissembling stuffed animals only to re-sew them back with new parts.


This is the workshop that Spark has given Rachel access to if she need to cut or build anything larger than her studio. They have a really amazing laser cutter set up in there.




The second meeting of the day was with Twyla Hutchison, who is 1 in 2 planning engineers for the City of Calgary. She shared with us a lot of amazing information about the flood that occurred in June and how her research and emergency planning from all these years past was crucial in the evacuation of a lot of Calgarians. She leant this book to Rachel for her research.


Flipping through all the data.


Rachel shares with us the body of work she’s created during her residency.




The body of work she created in Calgary is based off of the way water flows, whether it be in the rivers, through the sanitation plants, or even the homes that were affected by the flood.




The Bow River.


Rachel encapsulated her project aims for us while we toured her studio. She has been thinking through the many ways of representing the movement of water in rivers and around objects. This has been accomplished mostly with ink and paper, but also with plasticine and slices of transparent plastic. Awesome stuff.

Tomorrow we have another day of exploration ahead of us. Stay tuned!

Windsor is Forever with Jason Sturgill


Photo by Jason Sturgill from Art is Forever

Tattoos have been a long-lasting part of our cultural history, revealing glimpses of where we’re from, where we’re going, and who we think we are. Windsor is Forever is a new community-driven art and tattoo project that will give residents of Windsor an opportunity to make a permanent mark, on themselves.

Conceived by Portland-based artist, Jason Sturgill, Windsor is Forever will kick off on this Thursday, February 27th with Sturgill taking over CIVIC SPACE hosting events, doing archival research, and speaking with members of the community. Residents are encouraged to come meet Sturgill at CIVIC SPACE from February 27th to March 3rd to talk about their favourite places, landmarks, and people in the city. Sturgill will also be looking for Windsorites to give him guided tours of their favourite  places so that he has source materials for open sketch night where the tattoo designing will begin. That sketch night begins at 7pm on March 4th, with Sturgill co-hosting ACWR’s Sketch Night at CIVIC SPACE with local artist Dave Kant. This work will lead to the end goal of creating a series of Windsor-based flash tattoos ready to be inked onto members of the community.

Then, on March 7th, CIVIC SPACE will be turned into a FREE tattoo shop for the day, hosted by local tattoo artist Dave Kant of Advanced Tattoo. Residents that want to receive a tattoo will be asked to choose from the flash sheet that have already been designed.

Anyone eager to receive their Windsor tattoo or just interested in sharing a story is encouraged to fill out the form below with an explanation on why they believe Windsor is Forever! 

*Please note that since the tattooing is only happening for ONE day, we have a limited number of spots open. So if you’re interested, please sign up below ASAP!

*We’ll be in touch by the afternoon of Tuesday, March 5th if you’ve been selected to receive a tattoo, along with an approximate timeframe for your appointment on Thursday. We’ll do our best to accomodate as many people as we can!



Regret/Resolve: Exhibition Planning

Yesterday morning Rosina and I went to the Art Gallery of Windsor for the install of BCL’s piece that is going in the Border Cultures: Part One (Homes, Land)  along with some other great artists. The show is opening next week on January 25th.


We spent the majority of the remainder of day planning for the Regret/Resolve Exhibition that’s happening January 31st at 7:00pm.

_MG_3712(1)Sara, Rosina and myself each took a wall and started pinning the t-shirts in different variations so we could get a sense of what could work in the space.


Rosina making a second row.


I decided to go with a more uniform shape, but it seemed to try and “hide” the fact that these were T-shirts.


Rosina’s more organic approach.


We almost had a full house which was great for working through our list of to-dos! Kevin, Josh, Sara, Rosina and myself hung out during the day, with Justin joining us at night to add some more input.

Kevin made some great renderings of the space, along with his own creative options of how the exhibition should look.

The most minimalist version.


Some song lyric manipulations.

We changed our gears and began to focus on the North Bay publication that we have recently begun to work on.

Diligent Joshua and Kevin.

Drawings, printouts, writing, brainstorms.

Rosina takes a stab at a chapter title for the publication: Street Etiquette for Strangers.

Meanwhile at the front of the storefront, Paul Anderson hosted his first Building Electronics Workshop. He had a full house of curious and attentive guests.

Taking notes.

Overall, it was a very fun and productive day!

More soon.

1W3KND: Amber Ginsburg & Siobhan Rigg

Another weekend gone, which means Civic Space hosted another two great 1W3KND collaborators: Amber Ginsberg and Siobhan Rigg.

Not only did they leave us with another great chapter to add to the final publication, but also left some very animated mind-maps.

Amber and Siobhan have been collaborating for many years virally but their participation in the 1W3KND residency was the first time they were able to collaborate in the same physical space! It’s very cool to have been able to provide a place for them to do so.

More brainstorming.

Mundane acts/put this here.

Here’s a preview of the writing Amber and Siobhan did.

The drawings Siobhan and Amber made are their preliminary sketches and ideas. The finished product will come when the final 1W3KND publication is made.

Next week artist collective VSVSVS will be heading down from Toronto to spend the weekend collaborating with London based artist Julian Majewski.

More soon!