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Thunder Bay festival gives voice to artists with disabilities

A festival opening in Thunder Bay today will celebrate the work of artists living with disabilities.

Over the next few days, the Tangled Art + Disability tour will showcase visual art, film and dance

A playful choreography that traces the courtship of a most unlikely couple, will take place at Thunder Bay's Finlandia Club on Friday night. The performers include musician Mark Brose and dancer Sahara Morimoto. (http://tangledarts.org/)

A festival opening in Thunder Bay today will celebrate the work of artists living with disabilities.

The Tangled Art + Disability tour will give artists with disabilities the opportunity to share their own stories, said organizer Cara Eastcott.

"Creating this space that is specifically for this voice that we don't hear of is really important because it brings it to the surface, it sheds light to those stories," she said.

Eascott said the Toronto-based collective is building connections with arts groups in Thunder Bay — and it hopes to be more involved in the community in the future.

The tour kicks off with an artists talk at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery tonight.
Janna Brown, a multidisciplinary artist, is giving a talk at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery on Thursday night, where her exhibit "Still Echoes Resound" is on display. She says her project helped her to work through her own experiences with trauma, and the mental health system. (Steve Kean/Supplied)

Multidisciplinary artist Janna Brown will speak about her exhibit "Still Echoes Resound." The display features intricate miniature works of embroidery. The project helped her to work through her own experiences with trauma, and the mental health system, she said.

"It was healing."

The experience allowed her to express her story in her own way, she added — one that focused less on the painful aspects of her story, and more on how she's chosen to live now.

Over the next few days, the Tangled Art + Disability tour will showcase visual art, film and dance.

Here is a full list of events taking place as part of the three-day festival.

According to the group's website, Tangled has been presenting the work of artists with disabilities in Toronto, for Toronto audiences, for 13 years. Tangled launched its touring and outreach project this year. In addition to Thunder Bay's events, Tangled will bring the Toronto Street Level photography exhibition and panel to London, and its Disability Arts Cabaret to Ottawa.

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