- / The Inc.

Pressure Points: Gentrification and the Arts in Hamilton

Reading Materials: 

Gentrification Glossary

Gentrification Zine

April 12, 2019 from 7:00 – 11:00 pm
April 13, 2019 from 10:30 am – 5:00 pm
Hamilton Artists Inc. (155 James St. N.)

Pressure Points is a two-day program exploring how gentrification has been unfolding in Hamilton, and the arts community’s role in that process. What are the causes and consequences of gentrification? How can individuals and organizations work collaboratively to push for sustainable alternatives and mitigate harm to existing communities? Through performances, talks, discussions, and youth-led initiatives, Pressure Points will examine the systemic roots of urban injustices and economic disparity, and forge points of solidarity between affected populations and their allies.

Free event. Space is limited, please register in advance.
Snacks and meals will be provided. Child-care will be provided all day on Saturday, for kids aged 4-14.

How to register: No registration is needed for Friday’s programs. To register for Saturday’s program, please RSVP through Eventbrite or call us at 905.529.3355.

Visiting and Accessibility: Hamilton Artists Inc. is a wheelchair accessible facility located at the intersection of James and Cannon Streets in downtown Hamilton. Our washrooms are gender neutral, but do not have automatic door buttons. Our space is within walking distance of local bus routes and Go Transit. Parking can be found along the street, or in paid lots nearby. Additional accessibility information is available here: www.theinc.ca/accessibility


DAY 1: Friday, April 12, 2019, 7:00 – 11:00 PM

Please join us for the reception and launch of Pressure Points during art crawl. You do not need to register to attend any of the events on Friday evening.

The Hanging
Red Betty Theatre presents The Hanging, an immersive and interactive short spectacle based on verbatim text collected from the Hamilton Rent Strike interviews and recordings at Landlord Tenant Board hearings in Hamilton, riddled with flights of fancy by playwright Radha Menon. Directed by Tony Sciara, this performance was developed with Lori le Mare and the Hamilton Aerial Group, supported by Hamilton Tenants Solidarity Network. Click here to learn more about The Hanging.

Performance Start Times:
7:30 PM
8:15 PM
9:00 PM
9:45 PM
Each performance is roughly 10 minutes long. Please meet in The Inc.’s ArcelorMittal Dofasco Courtyard, which can be accessed through the gallery or via the Cannon St. gate entrance. Performers will be accepting PWYC donations to support the costs of production.

7:00 – 9:00 PM
Drop-in Children’s Activities

Facilitated by Annie Webber. Children of all ages welcome. Kids must be accompanied by an adult.

Annie Webber is an artist, educator and child advocate.  Her works include animation, installation and immersive exploration of ideas, especially in community.  Annie currently lives and works in Hamilton, Ontario, and is particularly interested in engaging groups in imaginative dialogue about art, life, and the construction of identities within a city.  Perhaps most of all, Annie loves to swim.

7:00 – 11:00 PM
Zine and Reading Corner

Grab some reading material to learn more about gentrification! Participate in the Recipe Cards art activity organized by the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre youth council. All the zines and resources are available free of charge.

  • Survival Guide to Gentrification: A new zine created by youth at ReCreate Outreach Art Studio through a workshop with Sylvia Nickerson, with support from Hamilton Artists Inc.
  • Gentrification Glossary: A collaborative, community-sourced resource to understanding the theories and effects of gentrification. Developed by Hamilton Artists Inc. and GAGED Hamilton.
  • The Art of Gentrification: A zine by artist Simon Orpana.
  • Feeling Tense?: A zine by artist Sylvia Nickerson, produced by CA$INO Press and Centre[3] for Print and Media Arts.

7:45 PM and 8:30 PM
Exhibition Tours

Attend one of the two guided tours of our current exhibitions, led by our knowledgeable staff and volunteers. Winter Garden explores the politics of spaces built to house living things. What we know to be true unpacks the complexities of power structures and dynamics of dominance. Same corner, same juys, same line of work draws on the history of 155 James Street North to grapple with the changing landscape of downtown Hamilton.

Please meet in The Inc.’s James Gallery. Each tour is approximately 30 minutes long.

DAY 2: Saturday, April 13, 2019, 10:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Please join us for a full day of programming taking place at Hamilton Artists Inc. Meals and child-care provided. Space is limited, please reserve your spot through Eventbrite or call 905.529.3355.

10:30 – 11:00 AM
Doors open. Welcome and remarks.

10:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Child-care activities led by Annie Webber. Available upon registration for all children aged 4-14.

Annie Webber is an artist, educator and child advocate.  Her works include animation, installation and immersive exploration of ideas, especially in community.  Annie currently lives and works in Hamilton, Ontario, and is particularly interested in engaging groups in imaginative dialogue about art, life, and the construction of identities within a city.  Perhaps most of all, Annie loves to swim.

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
SESSION 1: The Nuts and Bolts
A brief overview of how gentrification is unfolding in Hamilton for new and long-time residents. This session will highlight the mechanisms that allow gentrification to take place, the role of the arts in that process, and the ongoing consequences for various communities.

Speakers: Shawn Selway and Sarah Wakefield
Facilitated by Kojo Easy Damptey

Shawn Selway has a BA in Religion from McMaster and an Industrial Mechanic license via the Steel Company of Canada Basic works in Hamilton, Ontario. He writes about municipal planning issues for the local civic affairs blog, and about superseded industrial equipment for the clients of his consultancy in the conservation of historic machinery.

Sarah Wakefield is a professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto.  Her current research evaluates the Neighbourhood Action Strategy, a partnership of the City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Community Foundation that seeks to improve neighbourhood health through participatory community development.

Kojo Easy Damptey is an award-winning singer/songwriter born and raised in Ghana. His music strands genres from hip-hop, highlife music, soul music and funk. He fuses these different genres of music to create what he calls Afro-Soul. Kojo is recognized as an interdisciplinary scholar practitioner, his work revolves around music, communication, African culture, African politics, International Development and social movements. He holds a B.Eng in Chemical Engineering (McMaster University) and an M.A in Interdisciplinary Studies (Royal Roads University).

12:30 – 1:15 PM
Lunch (Vegetarian, vegan, halal, and gluten-free options available)
Recipe Cards: A Participatory Art Project by the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre Youth Council

1:15 – 2:45 PM
SESSION 2: Stakes and Strategies

How have individuals and local groups responded to gentrification? This session will introduce possible solutions, as well as a range of creative actions and strategies that could be used to resist both the root causes of gentrification, and its harmful effects.

Speakers: Danielle Boissoneau, C.A. Borstad Klassen, Stephanie Cox, Danica Evering, and Erika Morton
Facilitated by Tara Bursey

Danielle Boissoneau (pronounced buzz-no) is Anishnaabe kwe (pronounced aw-nish-naw-bay kway) from the shorelines of the Great Lakes. She is a mother, a writer, a seedkeeper and a changemaker. Danielle has recently returned from an Indigenous Storytellers writing residency at Banff Centre for the Arts in Treaty Seven territory.

C.A. Borstad Klassen is from Hamilton. After studying music and planning, they returned to Hamilton, working at the Social Planning and Research Council for nearly 6 years. They coordinated the Neighbourhood Action Evaluation and consulted in program evaluation before starting their current role as the Community Based Research Coordinator at McMaster University.

Stephanie Cox graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Degree in Social Justice and Peace Studies and Political Science. She has consistently been a grassroots community activist both locally and internationally. After obtaining her BA Stephanie proceeded to law school where she focused her efforts on community access to justice, practicing in the areas of immigration and migrant justice as well as housing and income advocacy, at non-for-profit legal clinics. Stephanie is currently a Staff Lawyer at the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, funded through Legal Aid Ontario, providing representation to low income individuals precariously housed, spearheading capacity building in the community, and combating systemic issues relating to housing in the City of Hamilton locally, provincially, through community development initiatives and litigation in the Superior Court of Justice.

Danica Evering is an artist, educator, and writer from Cobourg, ON. Her MA in Media Studies from Concordia questioned social practice through interviews with artists and creative analysis of her field work. She was a founding member of Publication Studio Guelph, and helped develop the Benčić Youth Council, a radical arts education program in Rijeka, Croatia.

Erika Morton works at the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton (SPRC). She is the Project Coordinator with the Street Youth Planning Collaborative (SYPC) and the Youth Housing Support Project (YHSP) which involves working with the community to prevent and end youth homelessness in Hamilton.

Tara Bursey is an interdisciplinary artist, independent curator, writer and arts worker with an interest in social history and social justice, working class identity and printed matter. Currently on leave from her role coordinating exhibitions and programs at the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre, she is the Interim Manager of Education at the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

3:00 – 4:30 PM
SESSION 3: Collective Power

Facilitated by local artists, this session will encourage reflection and conversation through small group activities. How can we leverage our resources and collective power to help mitigate the harm of gentrification? How can we advocate for a city that truly includes everyone? This session will help us to imagine new or different ways of engaging with the neighbourhoods we inhabit.

Artist-facilitators: Michael DiRisio, Irene Loughlin, Simon Orpana, and Nea Reid

Michael DiRisio is an artist and writer whose recent work explores labour, social histories and the construction of value through photo, video and installation-based projects. He has recently participated in residencies in Castellví de la Marca, Spain and Reykjavik, Iceland and his forthcoming exhibition Archiving Unrest will be at the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre in spring 2019.

Irene Loughlin is an artist and cultural worker. Her art practice and research interests centre upon investigations of performativity, feminism and resistant, ecological and neurodivergent perspectives within contemporary art. She creates visual imagery that comments upon our contemporary emotive discourse.

Simon Orpana is an artist, researcher and educator whose work investigates the intersections of culture, economics and politics in the contemporary world. His work has appeared in numerous journals and book collections, including Zombie Theory: A Reader (2017). He is co-author, with Rob Kristofferson, of the graphic history Showdown!: Making Modern Unions (2016).

Nea Reid is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and activist. Galvanized by social justice, Reid’s evocative work aims to create opportunities for communities to come together within and across constructed divides. She is the recipient of several awards including Hamilton Arts Awards for Community Arts and Education, CCTA Galaxy Award, MMVA, World Shorts, and the CBC “Reel Black Award". Her work as the founder and artistic director of Hamilton Youth Poets and Louder Than A Bomb Canada has enabled her to directly impact the lives of many budding youth poets; providing a platform for self-expression and growth. A passionate advocate for young voices, Reid believes in putting art, culture, and the tools of storytelling into the hands of young citizens.

4:30 – 5:00 PM
Wrap-up & closing remarks.

Contact Information:
Mashal Khan, Communications and Outreach Coordinator
community@theinc.ca or call 905.529.3355

Many thanks to our funders and programming partners: