Crazy Dames + Open Space - Victoria, BC

June 20th- 23rd, 2017

Our work in Victoria with Open Space consisted of 2 workshops open to the public, and 2 workshops with private groups (Our Place Society and Artemis Place). These workshops were largely shaped by who was present, where participants were able to explore how creativity can generate new ideas on how communities design their cities and interact with their neighbours in the City of Victoria. 

More details can be found here and below. 

June 20th-6:30 pm- 9:00 pm: Tree House Project Workshop (open to the public at OpenSpace)

The Tree House Project focuses on childhood plans for tree houses and other forts envisioned as both personal spaces and realms of the imagination. Jennie asks visitors of all ages to recall childhood ambitions of spaces that never came to fruition. Often elaborate or capricious, children commonly devise plans that cannot be built due to limitations in reality, such as time, cost, and lack of space.

Through collaborative sketching and discussions, we recapture ideas that they once had for such spaces. From these sketches the artist creates tangible representations of their childhood ambitions and pursuit of autonomy through architectural drawings and scale models.

This workshop will allow participants to contribute to the project withtheir own ideas and sketches, which Jennie will respond to through the creationof works to be on display at Open Space in summer 2018. 

June 21st: Workshop with Our Place Society (a non-profit organization assisting those faced with homelessness, poverty, addiction, and mental health challenges in Greater Victoria) and City of Victoria urban design, city planning and Parks staff

This workshop introduced participants to the role of 'art-thinking' in city planning. This included a presentation and a small-group activity where participants re-imagined and reinterpreted Victoria through mapping, drawing and sculpture.
By working collaboratively with clients of Our Place, this project brought to the table different voices and points of view to advocate for appropriate, accessible urban spaces for all. 
“This is a unique opportunity for participants to share their opinions, to be creative, to engage with people outside of their daily experience and to be a part of something that values their contribution as central to the overall purpose of the project,” says Tracy Campbell, Community Relations Coordinator at Our Place Society.

June 21st: HOW TO BUILD A BLANKET FORT workshop at Artemis Place Secondary School-  a specialized learning environment for young women and trans youth aged 15-19

HOW TO BUILD A BLANKET FORT is a workshop that invites participants of all ages to work together to transform the event location into an epic version of a quintessential childhood space. The surrounding environment where the workshop is held will be used as supports/incorporated into the structure. While re-engaging with their child-like perspectives through this experience, the group will work together problem solving aesthetic, function and spatial preferences and choices.

For the final stage of the workshop, the group will use the completed fort as a communal forum for discussion about encouraging and making room for play/playfulness in the artist's studio, our daily lives and placemaking.  

June 22nd: Creative Placemaking Workshop 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm (open to the public at Open Space)

What is creative placemaking?

How can artists and communities be involved inenvisioning/changing their physical environments and making them theirown? 

We believe collaborative, artistic and social-innovative answers are increasingly needed to address many of our cities’ issues, whether it is searching for creative approaches to community engagement or developing new designs for underutilized spaces. The Crazy Dames will lead a creative, fun and interactive workshop exploring how the community could contribute to improving city spaces in creative ways, with tangible ideas for moving forward.

The workshop included an interactive presentation, which introduces the role of 'art-thinking' in city building, followed by a break-out session that focusing on reimagining a space adjacent to the location of the workshop. This included a walking tour around the site.

This workshop brought together artists, urban planners, cultural producers, students, entrepreneurs, and creatives to engage in this discussion and cross-sector collaboration.

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