Mixed-Media and Writing Workshops for Seniors*
This page is updated as information becomes available.
Workshop 1 – Saturday, May 7, 2022 • 12:00-1:30 pm ET, on ZOOM
Mixed-Media Collage Self-Portrait with CRISTINA PEPE
Create your own ‘selfie’! In this 90-minute workshop, participants will create a self-portrait. Some image-gathering or image-preparation work is required in advance. You will need some images, matte medium or glue, a paintbrush or foam brush, a hard surface to glue onto, a mirror and whatever art supplies you have available. The possibilities are endless! Instructions for the preparation work and a detailed supply list will be sent by email before the workshop. All levels of art experience are welcome – including none at all.
Cristina Pepe is a Vancouver-based educator and printmaker. She writes an art and culture blog, Un po’ di pepe, and loves to travel to Italy every year. Cristina is a two-time winner of the Accenti Magazine Photo Contest and a member of the Executive of the Association of Italian-Canadian Writers.
Workshop 2 – Saturday, June 11, 2022 • 2:00-3:30 pm ET, on ZOOM
Alien Nation: Immigrants and Other So-called “Outsiders" with MONICA MENEGHETTI
Photo by Belle Ancell
How do we find belonging when our authenticity lies outside the so-called “norm?" When stereotypes of us abound? When self-expression and honesty is a risk, ranging from exclusion to violence or even death? And how do we transcend these challenges with humour, gentleness, beauty and love? We'll write into these topics using a combination of journaling exercises, meditation, and an unusual type of interviewing.
Monica Meneghetti draws on decades of experience as a misfit, author, multilingual translator, instructor and meditator to offer a unique blend of rational and intuitive approaches to creative writing.
Workshop 3 – Tuesday, June 28, 2022 • 2:00-3:30 pm ET, on ZOOM
Photographs as Inspiration for Writing with VINCENZO PIETROPAOLO
A photograph is a story and, like all stories, its careful reading not only sets memories in motion, it also reveals layers of meaning that nurture the creative literary process. Participants will learn how to derive their own meaning – stories – from selected photographs. The workshop will be divided in three parts: a) how to “read" a photograph from combinations of literary texts and photographs; b) writing short descriptions of the selected photographs as the basis for a short story; c) discussion of the stories, written or that could be written.
Vincenzo Pietropaolo has published over a dozen books, combining photographs and original text, that explore social issues. His work has appeared in literary and academic journals. He is a contributing editor at POV Point of View Magazine, and a member of The Writers' Union of Canada.
Workshop 4 – Wednesday, July 13, 2022 • 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET, on ZOOM
Speaking Your Truth: How to Write about Difficult Topics with ANNA NOBILE
Sometimes the stories we want to tell are complex, very personal, involve family members, death, abuse, violence, injustice. Focusing on fiction and nonfiction, we will discuss strategies and techniques, and use writing prompts to explore entry points into those difficult topics so we can fully speak our truth.
Anna Nobile is a journalist, editor and short fiction writer. Her work has been published in numerous newspapers, magazines and anthologies.
Workshop 5 – Tuesday, August 23, 2022 • 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET, on ZOOM
Writing and Sharing Spoken Word Poems with LIANA CUSMANO
In this beginner-friendly workshop, participants are encouraged to use memory and recollection as a starting point for pieces that are vivid and relatable. With writing exercises and guidance in poem form and structure, participants will arrive at a finished piece inspired by their own lived experience.
Liana Cusmano (they/them/iel/lu) is a poet and spoken word artist. They are the author of the novel Catch and Release (2022). Twice Montreal Slam Champion, Liana is also Fiction Editor at carte blanche and Associate Editor at Accenti Magazine.
Workshop 6 – Friday, September 16, 2022 • 1:00-2:30 pm ET, on ZOOM
Writing About Family and Yourself with EUFEMIA FANTETTI
For those interested in crafting a memoir or a work of creative nonfiction, writing about family or their own lives can feel like a daunting challenge. This workshop contains multiple prompts designed to generate material. Participants are encouraged to select a family photo to use for part of the session.
Eufemia Fantetti is an instructor, writer and editor. She co-edited the award-winning anthology Tongues: On Longing & Belonging through Language (2021) with Ayelet Tsabari and Leonarda Carranza.
Workshop 7 – Tuesday, October 18, 2022 • 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET, on ZOOM
Cultivating Voice Within Immigrant-Canadian LGBTQ2S Communities with ANNA CAMILLERI
Photo: ©Zoe Black
Using foundational memoir writing practices, this workshop will offer a clear structure to create a non-hierarchical environment that facilitates tapping into our authentic writing voices, past the critic. New and seasoned writers will be invited to experiment with form and approach, and to share, listen, and take risks.
Anna Camilleri has been working with performance, image, and text for 25 years. Her book publications have been recognized with distinctions by the LAMBDA Literary Foundation, Association of Independent Publishers, and the American Library of Congress. Anna is founding Artistic Co-Director of ReDefine Arts (established in 2005 as Red Dress Productions).
Workshop 8 – Saturday, November 12, 2022 • 1:30-3:00 p.m. ET, on ZOOM
What’s So Funny? Making Mirth Out of Muck with IRENE AGUZZI
One might argue that life's maddening moments are best enjoyed when observed. But when lived, they can be unflinchingly hilarious, depending on your creative lens. In this workshop, participants will explore various tips and techniques to mine humour and be encouraged to exercise their tear ducts into funny bones. Please come prepared to share.
Irene Aguzzi has worked in communication at Montreal's Centaur Theatre Company and at the International Just For Laughs Festival. She has not starved to death despite decades working in the not-for-profit sector, and she continues to be caught snorting with laughter at the most inopportune times.
Workshop 9 – Friday, December 16, 2022 • 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET, on ZOOM
Healing, One Word at a Time with LICIA CANTON
You have a story to tell, but it’s really painful. You don’t think you can write it, but you will – one word at a time. In this workshop, Licia Canton will use a number of exercises to help you get started. She will share how writing helped her deal with trauma and depression.
Licia Canton is the author of The Pink House and Other Stories (2018) and Almond Wine and Fertility (2008). She is the director of the documentary Creative Spaces: Queer and Italian Canadian (2021), editor of Here & Now: An Anthology of Queer Italian-Canadian Writing (2021) and founding editor-in-chief of Accenti Magazine. For her work in culture, she received the Italy in the World Prize (2018). She holds a Ph.D. from Université de Montréal.
Workshop 10 – Friday, January 27, 2023 • 2:30-4:00 p.m. on ZOOM.
Self-Editing 101: Writing Concisely and Effectively with DOMENIC CUSMANO
Sometimes when we write, we use more words than we need. This is detrimental to the reader and ultimately to ourselves. Through the use of practical examples and exercises, this workshop will illustrate the virtues of writing concisely and effectively.
Domenic Cusmano is a writer, translator, and educator. He is co-founder and publisher of Accenti, an English-language cultural magazine, and Longbridge Books, dedicated to the publication of works that celebrate cultural diversity.
*Open to Canadian seniors and Canadian seniors living abroad. Limited to approximately 10 participants per workshop.
The project is made possible through the financial support of Employment and Social Development Canada as part of the New Horizons Seniors Program.