Community Engagement

The residency portion of the Imagined Monument project presents an opportunity to explore the social uses of Greenbank Road.  My intention is to spend this residency period collecting personal narratives and stories from the citizens that make use of this space. This will be accomplished through a series of organized and informal events which include workshops, storytelling opportunities, citizen lead tours of the area, and other socially engaged processes of research. Using these tools, I will facilitate a community conversation about the social, political, and aesthetic experiences of the citizens who live and work in this area. I will explore the narratives that emerge from the discussions, as well as document the narratives through traditional processes such as audio recording and video.


The goal of the residency is the collection and exploration of socially rooted narratives that define the area. Through the process of gathering this information, I intend to engage the citizens that are sharing their stories in the co-creation of the final work of art. My intent is not simply gathering this information, but making this an opportunity to explore the relevance of these narratives through community engagement. The core principles of the residency program will be accessibility, participation, and collaboration, with the goal that citizens will see themselves and their stories reflected in the resulting artworks.


Workshops: Scheduled workshops will provide the opportunity for individuals to detail what is significant about the Barrhaven community to them and identify stories that are centred on Greenbank Road.


Storytelling Events: These events will provide both professional and amateur story tellers the opportunity to share stories related to the community. The standard format of the story telling event will be that any story teller is welcome to take the stage and share a true story about an experience on Greenbank Road. The time will be limited to 5 minutes in length and the story must be true (or closely resemble the truth). These events will be open to the general public.


Citizen Lead Tours: Different from traditional guided tours, these tours will be participatory and encourage everyone attending to share their experience of the locations visited. Lasting approximately an hour, the tours will be led by someone from the community who can share local mythology or fact-based stories. The aim is for participants to share stories of interest to them, of historical buildings along the route, childhood memories related to the visited sites, or to share some forgotten histories of people lives in the neighbourhood.


Share your story: Citizens of the Barrhaven community are encouraged to share their stories of the area directly with me by emailing their stories to imaginedmonuments@gmail.com.


A note on research ethics:

As a professional artist and researcher, I understand the necessity of conducting ethical research. The proposed residency program involves community members sharing their stories, an act which this project depends on and that I am thankful for. No shared stories will be published with the author/storyteller’s name attached, unless permission is provided by the storyteller. Stories that have been shared can be removed from the project at any time at the request of the author/storyteller.