Thursday, December 31, 2009


Community Art Apprentice Positions

Project runs: January – June 2010
Flexible/variable hours: afternoons, evenings, weekends
Remuneration: up to a maximum of $2000 (based upon $15/hour for 133 hours)

Red Dress Productions is proud to lead the 519 Community Centre’s new community engaged mosaic project. The primary goal of the project is to conceive and create a permanent large-scale outdoor public artwork at the 519. The project is aimed at community members and program participants of all ages and abilities drawn from the diverse communities that call the 519 home.

The project is conceived in three phases:

1) January-March 2010: development of ideas/design with community members through consultations, and storytelling and visual art workshops;
2) April-June 2010: mosaic build with community participants;
3) July 2010: unveiling and inauguration of mosaic.

Three equity-seeking LGBTTQ youth (under the age of 25) will be hired as Community Art Apprentices to work directly with the Lead Artists. The apprentices will be involved in every stage of project development, and will play a key role as part of the leadership team.

Roles and Responsibilities:

Youth apprentices will work with the lead artists to help run a safe, fun, and welcoming community project environment. Responsibilities will include working with the lead artists on:
o community meeting facilitation
o research
o material/supply purchase and prep
o workshop set-up and maintenance
o hands-on training and support to participants
o post-installation finishing work (seaming grout work and sealing)

Skills and Experiences:

Applicants don’t need any prior experience/training/education in community art, visual arts, or facilitation, but must be interested in community art, being a reliable team member (which includes showing up on time, with a positive, and friendly attitude) and be prepared to learn and take direction. Applicants must also:

o Openly identify as an LGBTTQ person who is under the age of 25;
o Be interested in working in an anti-oppression framework;
o Have knowledge of the 519 Community Centre and its programs;
o Be able to take direction in an applied learning environment;
o Have an ability to work with a diversity of community members;
o Be interested in learning about all aspects of community engaged art, and particularly mosaic;
o Be comfortable working as part of a team;
o Be comfortable working with people;
o Have good work habits: punctual, reliable, and conscientious;
o Have a sense of humour.

To apply:

Please submit an email application to with the following attachments:
1) a letter of interest outlining why you’d like to work on this project, and any relevant skills or experiences
2) resume
3) the name and phone number of two employment/character references to:

The subject line should be titled “Hiring Committee – Community Art Apprentice”. Emails with a different subject line may be deleted without being considered.

Application Deadline Friday, January 15, 2010
Late applications will not be considered.

Red Dress Productions actively encourages applications from members of all equity seeking groups. Short listed applicants will be invited to an interview during the weeks of January 18 – 29, 2010.


We'e very excited to bring in the new year with a community engaged project with the 519--Toronto's LGBTTQ community centre.

The 519 Mosaic is a new community-engaged, hands-on, large-scale mosaic project that is for/with participants of all ages, and abilities drawn from the diverse community members and program participants that call the 519 Community Centre home. Our goal is to create an original mosaic to be permanently installed as an outdoor public artwork at the 519 Community Centre.

519 Mosaic will be led by Anna Camilleri and Tristan R. Whiston of Red Dress Productions (RDP), along with three equity-seeking Youth Apprentices. We'll work with community members at all stages of development from concept, to design, to build. No prior experience or knowledge is required to participate (we mean it!).

Our first public meeting--open to anyone who is interested in being a part of creating a new public artwork in Toronto--is taking place at the 519 Community Centre on Wednesday February 3, from 7 to 9pm. Snacks and art supplies provided. 519 Community Centre is located at 519 Church Street, just a few doors north of Wellesley Street.
For more information visit:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The St. Lawrence Co-ops Community Mosaic | August 2009

More than 50 children and elders between the ages of 3 and 80 joined together over several months to create this community-based public artwork. The St. Lawrence Co-ops Community Mosaic--a project of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto-- was led by artists Anna Camilleri and Tristan R. Whiston of Red Dress Productions, youth apprentices Kelsey Desmond and Angelica Batalla, and community outreach worker Randy Padmore.

RDP is very proud to have worked with the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto (CHFT) on this community-engaged public art work. Hats off to CHFT Executive Director Tom Clement for being a tireless proponent of safe and affordable housing, and healthy communities through engagement in the arts.

Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto (CHFT) is a member-supported organization representing more than 45,000 people living in more than 160 non-profit housing co-operatives located in Toronto and York Region.

Unveiling & Reception of St. Lawrence Co-ops Mosaic

We talked, brainstormed, and told stories about diversity, environmentalism, urban development, the changing St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood, co-operative housing, community development, and how this might be reflected visually. We produced individual and group sketches. Anna Camilleri produced the design based upon a shared vision.

Postcard design by Tariq Sami.

CHFT Community-Engaged Mosaic Launch

Not sure how to get this link to go live, so here it is:

In the Workshop

Contributors include Philip Conlon, Tina Conlon, Rosemary Copeland, Gianna Cordari, Edith Ginsburg, Maria Moreno, Delana Munroe, Lynda Stokes, Cassandra Padmore, Hussein Ahmed, Ahmed Ahmed, Kevoni Clarke, Timioni Langoya, Tajahn Gumbs, Daniel Hatton, Cyril Hoferica, Maleeka Black, Tahnee P. Duncan, Lemme Shafi, Tavaree Daniel-Simms, Sabry Shafi, Amal Absiy, Ayub Ismail, Wedad Shafi, Zyiad Mohammad, Shelby Desmond, Yusuf Abdullah, Hassen Ahmed, Tan Truong, Tandra Truong Verge, Gabriela Beltran, Kim, Ryan, Dylan, Greg Villamar, Steven Awahware, Maysam Abukhreibeh, Karen Lam, Hamsa Ismail, Jerrom Ogenrowt, Rebecca Tekle, Blane Bessesse, and Nasir Robertson.

Seriously Messy Business

The St. Lawrence Co-ops Community Mosaic, a project of the Co-op Housing Federation of Toronto in partnership with Red Dress Productions, thanks the citizens of Toronto and Ontario for their support through the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council, St. Lawrence Community Recreation Centre, and the OWN Housing Co-operative.

Special thanks to Tom Clement, Maria LaVida, Esther Forde, Frank Roias, Dave Hains, Rob Haas, and the OWN Housing Co-operative Board of Directors.
At times, the workshop buzzed with the energy of as many as twenty participants. While we worked, we talked about subjects ranging from soccer tryouts, Amharic, Palestinian Arabic, and racism, to Rihanna and Chris Brown. At other times, we turned up the radio, and practiced dance moves in between tile nipping.

Turtle Island

The compass/Turtle Island motif is an element that is carried through all four 32" x 60" panels that constitute this public artwork.

Apprentice at Work

After School

Some participants--many of whom are students at Market Lane Public School--worked on the mosaic every single time the workshop was open during after school hours.

Week 1

This is the first of four panels that we worked on, affectionately called the "learning board."

Technical Drawing: St. Lawrence Co-ops Mosaic

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bleecker Street Co-operative: Scape, September 2007

Artists Anna Camilleri and Tristan R. Whiston led Scape, the second Bleecker Street Co-operative community-engaged project. Individual and group sketches were produced during a series of creative brainstorms; with this, Camilleri produced Scape’s design. Volunteer participants collaborated over several months to create this large-scale public artwork.

Scape participants include Angelica Batalla, Hamish Broadwater, Rhonda Brown, Noelle Campbell-Smith, Richard Carrier-Bragg, Mary Deacon, Nic Di Santo, Rudi Garcia, Irene Gonzales, Liliana Grosso, Dorian Johnson, Brian Latoski, Joe Leggiero, Morgan MacKinnon, David Matthews, Rob Papp, Coco St. Louis-McBurney, Keisha St. Louis-McBurney, Cecelia St. Louis, Marcus Rak, Janet Rowe, Zaayon Russell-Smith, and Miriam Verhaar.

Bleecker Street Co-operative Homes was founded in 1991 and has been honoured with multiple awards for social inclusion and innovation.

Scape (detail)

5' high x 18' wide

Bleecker Street Co-operative, Mosaic: A Community Tribute, September 2006

Mosaic: A Community Tribute is a community-engaged project based in Bleecker Street Co-operative, led by artists Anna Camilleri and Tristan R. Whiston. More than 90 participants between the ages of 2 and 86 worked together to create this public artwork. We talked about community, activism, diversity, inclusion, environmentalism, co-operative housing, celebrating youth and elders, and how this might be reflected in visual language. Participants produced over twenty-five individual and group sketches; with this, Anna Camilleri created one design based upon a shared vision. Then we cut, smashed, and nipped thousands of pieces of tile. 141 square feet. 18’ wide x 8’ high. 1000 volunteer hours.

We gratefully acknowledge the citizens of Toronto and Ontario for their support through the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council. A special thanks to Bleecker Street Co-op members, staff, and board of directors.

Mosaic: A Community Tribute Participants

Mosaic: A Community Tribute contributors include Arrow, Maricel Abe, Ryan Abe, Jaeda Allain, Hipolito Alvarado, Jenn Atkins, Shaquille Baptiste, Sheenique Baptiste, Angelica “Superstar” Batalla, Jessica Barardi, Tristan Barardi, Samantha Bautista, Samantha Bowen, Denzel Brooks, Anna Brooks, Rhonda Brown, Dustin Buell, Harly Campana, Michael Campana, Enrique Campos, Richard Carrier-Bragg, Shannon Daugherty, Essie Dauswell, Mary Deacon, Christina Delacruz, Eddie Delacruz, Kathleen Dinwoodie, Richard Domingo, Lynn Forestier, Diane Frankling, Kumar Gananasegaram, Christine Godog, Irene Gonzales, Rowesa Gordon, Liliana Grosso, Paula Grosso, Matthew Guzman, Robbie Haas, Erica Hamilton, Ryan Hayward, Alexandra Highcrest, JP Hornick, Hadi Jalali, Jonah Jay, Jessie Jay, Lee Jarvis, Dorian Johnson, Quinn Johnson, Rosario Kerekes, Leah Krangle, Marshall Ling, Morgan MacKinnon, Roland McAllister, Tony McKay, Marsha Michael, Keyano Miller, LeeAndra Miller, Meta Missaleboo, Hector Moscoso, Thien Myint-Yea, Ali Najafi, Alex Naszados, Hong Ngo, Sherril Olson, Rob Papp, Sandi Parker, Alison Parrott, Alana Revell, Jesse Reyes, Katherine Ross, Stephanie Ross, Alex Rowlson, Concepcion Saavedra, Marianne Joyce Saavedra, Lee Shields, Alex Simmons, Joshua Simmons, Eva Sin, Kayenne Lava Sin-Liu, Diane Sun, Coco St. Louis-McBurney, Keisha St. Louis-McBurney, Les Tager, Daniel Tefferi, Ronnie Thompson, Alicia Thorton, Miriam Verhaar, Tyler Verhaar, and Viviana Verhaar.


Finishing Work

Mosaic: A Community Tribute, 2006.
8' high x 17' and 6" wide

This is both my first large-scale public artwork and my first community-engaged mosaic with over 100 volunteer participants . . . steep learning curve.

I'm doing fine tile and seaming grout work. This artwork is permanently in stalled on an exterior wall of Bleecker Street Co-operative, overlooking Winchester Park in Toronto's Cabbagetown.
--Anna Camilleri

Technical Drawing: Bleecker Co-op Mosaic

Still Breathing Fire | Vancouver Production

Never Man's Land | Toronto Production

January 31-February 10, 2008

Alchemy Studio Theatre

Writer & Director: Tristan R. Whiston

Producer: Anna Camilleri

Where time is burning and the island is shrinking.

Will Peter finally grow up?

Red Dress Productions gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, and the Lesbian and Gay Community Appeal Foundation.

Never Man's Land Xtra article

Tristan R. Whiston

Photo credit: Christopher Cauley

Sounds Siren Red | Toronto Production

Red Dress Productions' first full theatrical production (followed by a workshop production of Sounds Siren Red at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto, in spring 2005).