Cripping the Arts 2019 is three days of programming – panel discussions, co-creative workshops, exhibitions and performances – animating how Deaf, Mad, and Disability arts and activism changes how we experience art and culture as well as the ways our sector contributes, and leads to, the achievements of disability rights and justice movements.

We invite you to join us as we explore, debate, and share emerging ideas and practices that relate to themes of representation and new models of leadership, disability culture in an increasingly digital world, and working in solidarity between disability rights, racial justice, decoloniality, and Indigenous sovereignty.

Panel discussions will be live streamed for those unable to attend in person.

Cripping the Arts 2019 is co-hosted by British Council, Creative Users Projects, Tangled Art + Disability, Ryerson University, and Harbourfront Centre.



Trajectories of Access

Trajectories in Access welcomes city, provincial, and federal government representatives; arts councils; and key leaders of the arts sector to join in on the discussion of best practice in access and inclusion.

This day will presents the evaluation findings of the British Council’s Relaxed Performance pilot program, a keynote from Geetha Moorthy of South Asian Autism Awareness Centre, and presentations from Inside Out Theatre in Calgary, Conseil des Arts de Montréal and Creative Users Project. Each organization will showcase programming they have developed that highlights accessible and inclusive experiences.

Click here for the live stream of Day 1

Through A Tired Eye by Bruce Horak, at Tangled Art + Disability

Retino-blastoma, monocular tunnel-vision, extreme light-sensitivity, floaters, flashers, blepharitis, capsular opacification… Through a Tired Eye is Bruce Horak’s interpretation of how he sees the world. Using acrylic, oil, canvas, sculpture, sound and light, Horak moves art off the wall and into the space for an immersive, tactile experience. The portraits and landscapes give the viewer a unique experience of the world as the artist sees them. They can be felt and heard in a new and dynamic way. The visual cortex of the brain is stimulated as all the senses are utilized in this exhibit.

Day Two


Deaf and Disability Futures

Deaf and Disability Futures features roundtable discussions and keynote presentations dedicated to thinking about Deaf and Disability Arts culture in relation to digital transformation, representation, leadership and Indigenous resistance, racial justice and colonialism.

Click here for the live stream of Day 2 

Crip Shorts

Six extraordinary disabled performers from Canada and the UK bring their distinct creativity to this one-night celebration. Five short acts, each responding and redefining the experience of disability through performance, feature the UK “stumppeteer” Jackie Hagan, Canadian interdisciplinary creator Jessica Watkin, aerialist Erin Ball, poet Tamyka Bullen and theatrical dancers Justin Many Fingers and Brian Solomon

Day Three


Embodying the Intersections: Indigeneity, Race and Disability

A full day of soulful and political embodied exploration along the intersections through the use of movement, reflexive discovery, and engaged discussion. Audiences are invited to participate and immerse themselves at self-selected entry points throughout the day’s events.

Click here for the live stream of Day 3

Brownton Abbey

Celestial beings from queer dimensions transform Harbourfront Centre into a kaleidoscopic off-world temple as Brownton Abbey, the UK based Afro-Futurist performance party with a Space Church theme, hits Toronto.

Created by and centering on queer people of colour, especially those with d/Disabilities (s/Super Powers), Brownton Abbey features an international collective of UK and Toronto based artists. The genre defying event fuses a hyped party, performance art and the personal/political, as a catalyst to celebrate intersectional identities.

Take up space, drench yourself in contemporary ritual, and get transcendental on the dance floor.

Erin Ball getting up on a wheelchair
Erin Ball performing in Crip Shorts at Cripping the Arts. Toronto, Canada, 2019. ©

Michelle Peek Photography courtesy of Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology & Access to Life, Re•Vision: The Centre for Art & Social Justice at the University of Guelph.

External links