About Critical Mass


WHO (we are)



Artist: Vivian Wong + Community

Critical Mass: A Centre for Contemporary Art is a Port Hope-based not-for-profit arts organization, led by a volunteer group of curators, artists and art supporters dedicated to bringing contemporary art experiences to the community we live in.

WHAT (we do)

Artists: Chrissy Poitras, Kyle Topping, Jennie Suddick (Spark Box Studio)

Critical Mass seeks out, creates and brings inclusive, socially-aware and engaging contemporary art experiences to Port Hope. We believe that active participation in the arts will help redefine and shape the cultural vibrancy of our community, and have a positive impact on our collective health & well-being.

We believe that art is for everyone! It shapes our individual and collective experiences by stirring our feelings and redefining how we see ourselves in the world. With that belief at our core, Critical Mass is committed to offering programming that is accessible, inclusive, and serves the diversity of our region.

Each year, we choose a a curatorial theme to guide our projects. This year’s theme is the Natural World.

WHY (we do it)

Artist: Clelia Scala

At a strategic planning session held in June 2017, Critical Mass’ board members asked ourselves to explain WHY contemporary art is important to us. These were the answers that emerged and that shape our core values:

Art allows us to experience a beautiful life
– Art gives us a richness and quality of life. 

Art challenges us – Art provides us with a new lens, to see things in a new and different way, and tests ourselves to challenge the way we see the world. Art erases boundaries and influences you.

Art reshapes the I/we – It is participatory; it involves sharing and connection, and a sense of belonging.

Art hits you in the feels – It stirs your guts, and makes you feel something.


Identity: Art is a way of expressing who we are and how we are seen – we allow individuals to share in our experiences and see themselves as part of something bigger.

New Views: Seeing new perspectives in art can shift what we see in the world – we help our audience explore their world and their place in it.

Beauty: Life is better with the beauty of art – we want our community to appreciate the richness that the art brings to the world.

Impact: Art can stir our emotions – we offer projects designed to evoke emotion and leave an impression.