Critical MassA Centre for Contemporary Art
Welcome to Critical Mass!
We believe in Art for All!
Critical Mass is a not-for-profit contemporary art organization based in Port Hope, Ontario, on the traditional territory of the Mississauga Nations. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work, create and present art on these lands that the Williams Treaties First Nations have been and continue to be the stewards and caretakers.
We believe that art changes how we see the world and our place in it. We bring contemporary art experiences to Port Hope so that everyone in our community can have the opportunity to see the world anew.
This year, we’re grateful to have the investment from Ontario Trillium Foundation to support 3 exciting projects! Two Seed grants have allowed us to pilot an Artist-in-Residence program, and develop a Sound Art Walking App. A Resilient Communities grant has also afforded us the opportunity to support our organization’s ability to stabilize through this pandemic, reimagine how we deliver our programming, and adapt our space to offer safe art experiences for the community!
Stay connected for updates to our residency line up and programming schedule, artist talks or spotlights, community engagement activities and challenges. Or have a look back on some of our past projects, and check in for artist calls, volunteer opportunities and membership updates.
What’s On & Featured
What's On in December!
December’s calendar is a full one! Celebrate the end of 2022 with us at one of our nights of projected artworks, sign up for a drawing & animation workshop, and join us for an ‘early’ NYE illuminated event and 8pm countdown at the CN Rail Trestles!Read more
4th Annual Pumpkin Parade, Nov 1
You’re invited to the 4th Annual Pumpkin Parade! This free event takes place on the night after Halloween and gives the community an opportunity to show off their creative designs and display their jack-o-lanterns for all to see one last time!Read more
Snapshot of What's On in September
September is one of the busiest months in Port Hope for events! Here’s a look at what we have planned for September! Come meet and co-create an idyllic cardboard version of Port Hope with our final artists and residents for the 2022 season – The Department of Illumination! You will find them weekends at the Little Station, and out at signature events such as Fall Fair and Cultivate.Read more
Snapshot of What's On in August
August is Arts Month in Port Hope! We’re delighted to showcase Port Hope based artist Oli Goldsmith for our August Artist in Residence. To register for a workshop rsvp at email@example.com.Read more
June Artists in Residence
NEL2R’s residency project will explore the coalesence of posthumanism, digital intimacy, and contemporary environmental-social discourse. Machine-learning and AI meets installation & performance art, created with Port Hope archival data, community anecdotes, folklore, and more!Read more
Life of a Small Town
Call for Board Members
We’re currently recruiting Board Members to help lead our organization in the next phase of growth.Read more
Until Dec 20
Port Hope Arts Impact Survey
We’re considering some big ideas for making contemporary art more prominent in Port Hope, and we really want to hear what sort of arts activities and programming you would like to see, do, and experience!Read more
Illuminights – Nov 25, Dec 2 & 16!
Critical Mass Art: Port Hope is lighting up the town this winter with ILLUMINIGHTS! This winter series of outdoor projection art installations will feature three artists, in 3 locations, on 3 nights. Curated by Artengine, ILLUMINIGHTS presents works that reflect on the fluid relationship between ourselves, change, and the technology that surrounds us.Read more
Free Film Screening, Nov 1
At sundown, enjoy a free screening of Colin Carvey’s Long Halloween, a funny, black & white silent slasher film by Two Blue Shirts Productions! Projected on the Little Station, at the Pumpkin Parade.Read more
Boxtopia! Saturday, Sep 3rd
Join us Saturday, September 3rd in Memorial Park (from 10 to 3) to help our artists in residence kick off their residency with a BIG cardboard community build! What does your idyllic town look like? Let’s build it together!Read more
Port Hope Borderlines
Multi-media artist Jessica Thompson uses sound to create new meanings of place. On May 28th, she led a soundwalk in downtown Port Hope. She will return on June 26th for a Borderlines workshop.Read more
Greta Grip – Life of a Small Town
Call for Volunteers
We have an exciting year planned and need helping hands for a variety of roles!Read more
Tracey-Mae Chambers: Hope and Healing Canada
RAIN DATE – Wednesday, December 15th – Hamilton-based Métis artist, Tracey-Mae Chambers will spread her message of Hope and Healing with red yarn installation on the front lawn at Port Hope Town Hall. Residents are invited to watch and to engage with Chambers as she works on her art installation throughout the day.Read more
The ‘All Aboard’ Exhibition kicks off a Silent Auction during the Pumpkin Parade in the Little Station. Come see the whimsical small world — a cardboard version of Port Hope, created by The Department of Illumination, and then bid on your faves! Proceeds to be split between Critical Mass and DOI.
During their September residency, Krista Dalby and Nella Casson of the Department of Illumination hope to spark our imaginations through the theme of train travel and will engage the community to help them build an idyllic model scale cardboard version of Port Hope.Read more
Jenn Goodwin – Procession of Hope
Jenn Goodwin, developed a procession to lead the community into spring and encouraging us to reconnect with each other, ourselves, and our bodies.Read more
Lee Jones – Life of a Small Town
Call for LOCAL Artists!
August is Arts Month in Port Hope, and we have an artist residency opportunity available for a local artist, curator, or artist collective.Read more
Nov 26 – Dec 18
2021 Candlelight Festival
We will host a nocturnal spectacle outside the Little Station in Lent Lane on November 26th. Join us for a projected and live-typed textravaganza An Eye For An Ear featuring local writers, poets and artists. PLUS, drop in to the Little Sation toget a behind the scenes glimpse at a whimsical winter artist workshop. Artist and puppet-maker, Kelly Kirkham will be working on creating a lot of puppets for her upcoming show Sightseer at the AGN, Jan 8 to Feb 26, 2022.Read more
That’s a wrap! 2021 AIR Pilot Program
AIR Wrap Up Celebration Event
That’s a Wrap! Critical Mass celebrates the artists of our pilot Artist-in-Residence program, and our funders Ontario Trillium Foundation and Municipality of Port Hope who made it all possible. Join us Saturday, Oct 23rd at 5:30 p.m. for an early evening picnic to recap the highlights!Read more
Mast Year Collective – July 2021
During their residency, Mast Year Collective will explore how food – from making, to sharing, to eating – is entwined and grounded in our physical environments both past and present.Read more
2021 Artist-in-Residence Line Up
We are excited to announce our 2021 artist in residence line up! Made possible with funding from Ontario Trillium Foundation.Read more
Brian Hoad – August 2021
During his residency, Brian Hoad will explore personal narratives from his time coming-of-age in Port Hope, considering themes of memory, nostalgia, and an interest in how people connect with their envionment, both now and throughout history.Read more
Susan Campbell – June 2021
During her residency, Susan Campbell will be mapping the evolving cultural palimpsest of what our community values and preserves. How we talk to one another through messages, notes, posters, and official signs can be mapped from our environment.
Lucas Morneau – September 2021
During their residency, Lucas Morneau will explore the cultural environment in sports (hockey in particular), and reclaim the racially charged and homophobic pejoratives often used to attack a player’s “manliness”.Read more
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