Welcoming our new Artistic Director!

Posted by

Big news!

We are excited to announce that local multidisciplinary artist CAROL KAJORINNE is our new ARTISTIC DIRECTOR!  

After working with CAHEP for a number of years as an arts educator, Carol will expand her role on our team to oversee the artistic growth of our community and school-based programs.  Carol is an energetic and thoughtful collaborator with an abundance of community arts knowledge and skills that will be of great benefit to CAHEP.  We can’t wait to see what unfolds under her creative leadership!


A message from Carol:

I am ecstatic and honoured to deepen my relationship with the community organization during this time of growth through sharing my own spirit, connections and strength. CAHEP is a heart and community driven organization, and I am grateful for this opportunity to learn, stretch, share, and deepen my skills and knowledge through this important work. I look forward to working collaboratively with the community that surrounds CAHEP.

Carol’s Bio

Carol Kajorinne (HBFA) is an emerging, multidisciplinary artist living in NW Ontario on land that has been in her family for five generations. Located just north of Thunder Bay, over the past year Kajorinne was enthused to be the Public Programming Coordinator with the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and has been working as an arts educator since 2010. In 2012, she was awarded an Ontario Arts Council (OAC) Northern Arts grant for the “Preserving Harold Project,” which was part of a two-person exhibition “Preservation | Desire to Fill” at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery in 2015. Since 2012 Kajorinne has been an Assistant Program Coordinator with the Community Arts and Heritage Education Project and in 2015 was awarded an OAC Artists in Education grant for her “Clay Smithing” in-school projects. She is a founding member and Secretary of the local Thunder Giant Metalsmith Guild (2013) and is an active, founding member of Satellite Studio Artist Collective, which in 2014 received an OAC Visual Arts Project grant for “4 By 4,” and in 2015 designed the “Art Bus” for the City of Thunder Bay.  In 2015, Kajorinne became an active core team member of Youth Social Infrastructure Collaborative, engaging people across the province in conversations that ignite social change and cultivate shared knowledge in effort to build a resilient and equitable youth sector.

Artist Statement
My heritage and the lands my ancestors and I have inhabited for five generations is a vital part of my experience, and greatly influence my artistic practice. In addition to heritage and preservation, I explore themes of life cycles and rebirth – how we are all comprised of the same elements and are vulnerable to the currents of change.  My artworks are emotionally driven, comprising of various mediums including metal, found objects, photographs, and light. These mediums facilitate my exploration of life and family, its internal rhythm and connections. My physical involvement and methods selected are integral to my practice, and provide deeper meaning to my work. Light, for instance is a theme I once painted, which now is a medium I manipulate – as I use a torch or forge. The method of blacksmithing relates to themes of rebirth and connection, as all elements (water, air, earth, fire) are required when transforming steel. I began exploring themes surrounding ancestry, preservation, life cycles and rebirth through a documentary process in “Self Portrait as a Sauna Stove” (2010), and later in the “Preserving Harold Project” (funded by the OAC in 2012-13). I learn blacksmithing from Dave Hanson of Duluth (MN), through the local metalsmith guild I help found, as well as through attending conferences and workshops.



Important announcement from CAHEP’s Board and Staff!

Posted by

As we begin to enter a change of seasons, from fall to winter, CAHEP is announcing a transition of our own!

After 3 years of leadership with CAHEP and 10 years with the organization, Alana Forslund will be departing from her position as Executive Director.  In January 2017, Alana will begin her new role with Ontario Arts Council as their Northwestern Representative.   Alana extends tremendous gratitude to all involved with CAHEP, who collectively and continuously inspire the organization’s programs. Although she is stepping away from CAHEP, Alana will remain rooted in Thunder Bay, and looks forward to supporting many individuals, groups, and organizations in the Northwest through her new work with OAC.

 And now, it is with great enthusiasm, that we announce the hiring of our Interim Executive Director, Stacey Hare Hodgins.
Stacey joined the CAHEP team this fall as the Coordinator of our youth-focused Speak Up Arts Program at the Churchill Hub.  As our new Interim Executive Director, she looks forward to continuing to cultivate meaningful relationships with the artists and participants who shape CAHEP’s programs.Stacey brings her passion for collaboration and commitment to equity to CAHEP, honouring the incredible work that preceded her.  She has experience in creative program development and coordination, arts administration, grant-writing, research, and advocacy.  Drawn to places where art and social justice intersect, where a collective of voices can make visible what otherwise goes unnoticed, Stacey is ignited by artmaking that can help transform our lived experiences.  After more than a decade in social work, she is now happily immersed in community engaged arts education.  In her own time, Stacey loves to write, collage, paint, and sing.  Get in touch with her to brainstorm, dream, and share ideas at cahepdirector@gmail.com.

From the CAHEP Board: “The CAHEP Board of Directors is pleased to continue working with Stacey. Her passion for CAHEP and her current work with the organization will be invaluable to us in this time of transition.  Although we are sad to see Alana go, we wish her well and thank her for her leadership of CAHEP these past 3 years.”

Wishing you all a warm winter season!  We thank you for your continued support and look forward to welcoming the new into CAHEP and its programs.


The Little Book of Self-Care

Posted by

We’ve got a new project in the works that will become a part of our Tiny Winders: Mini art pop-up shop.

The Little Book of Self Care is a chance for folks to share the best ways they take care of themselves.  It can be done through a drawing, image, single word, a sentence, a list, a poem, or a story. We’ll be developing images inspired by all of your contributions!

Why Self-Care?
More and more we’re seeing self-care discussions take place with our program participants, our artists, non-profit colleagues, and the community.  We thought it was time to build something that will combine art with our own favourite self-care tactics, and share it widely.

How Will It Work?
We’ll be building a page just to showcase what people are sharing, and in the future, be creating a little book of self-care that will be available for sale, and the proceeds will go right back into supporting our inclusive arts programs for children and youth.  Finding even more ways to take care of your well-being (both short and long-term), and nurturing the creativity in others?  We think it’s a win/win situation!

If you’re up for the challenge, please fill out the form below. Take care 🙂

Powered by Typeform

Announcing the 2016 Artists in the 5th theme…

Posted by

After much deliberation (because let’s face it, as artists, we can be a little indecisive), we’re ready to announce the 2016 theme for Artists in the 5th: In-school arts programming for grades 4-6.

Every year, we work in collaboration with artists to decide on a theme that will be the jumping off point for the program.  All of the projects created through the program will be presented on stage at our community celebration at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium on Wednesday February 24th, 2016.

Thanks to all of the folks who took a moment to vote on the posted themes.  We’ve taken one of the top themes, and added a little twist to it.

Ready for it?

Our theme for the year is…
Theme Announcement copy

Why Water’s Wisdom?

Water has been on our minds lately.

From travelling with the Train of Thought, where we spent time with artists and wisdom-keepers who were collecting and honouring water across the country, to having many conversations about caring for water with community members, artists, and just yesterday, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell.

And…we live on the shore of the largest freshwater lake (in area) in the world, Lake Superior.  The deep waters of the Lake hold stories, life, and so much importance in our community.

From water we learn respect, strength, calmness, how to keep moving and how to stay still, survival, transformation, and how to make and adapt to change.  It can make us feel so big and so very small.

Water is our future.  Keep moving.  Make ripples.  Spark change.

What has water taught you?

If this theme excites you as a local artist, there’s still time to join our roster.  We’ve extended our submission deadline to September 3rd.  Fill out our online form to be considered for the program, or get in touch with us to make an oral application to the program.

So looking forward to seeing the dance, drama, craft, literary art, music, new media, and visual art  (whew!) collaborations that take place between local artists, educators, and students across the City.



Artists in the 5th!

Posted by

84 - Holy Cross - Keri Arthur - Claudia Otto

A new year of Artists in the 5th is approaching, and we can’t wait to see what happens!

From November to February, artists will be visiting classrooms to collaborate with educators and students from across the City, creating fabulous projects in dance, drama, music, literary arts, new media, craft, and visual art.

This year, we’re asking for your input on the annual inspiration theme that will be used by local artists working with over 500 students in grades 4-6.   Please take a moment to pick your favourite theme, or add your own idea!  

What should our Artists in the 5th (in-school arts programming for grades 4-6) theme be for 2015-2016

The chosen theme will be announced on Friday August 21st at 3 pm on our website and our Facebook page!

All projects will be displayed publicly at our Arts Fiesta event at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium on Wednesday February 24th, 2016!

Photo taken by Laura Paxton of Flashback Photo, 2015.



The Importance of Play

Posted by

art of community

On January 24th, 2015, Ruth Howard, the inspiring Artistic Director of Jumblies Theatre  (Toronto), travelled to Thunder Bay to partner with CAHEP and collaborate with over 20 local artists and community organizers.  In this one day workshop, called The Art of Community, artists were provided with the opportunity to learn, create, collaborate, and dream.
Together at the Baggage Building Arts Centre, we had the chance to discuss community arts, learn about the amazing work of Jumblies Theatre, work together on some wonderful hands-on projects, and find ways to integrate art into conversation and community.

At CAHEP, we feel it’s important that arts educators receive the opportunity to get together, learn, and create.   We hear more and more from both established and emerging artists that they would like more chances to meet others working in the field, play together,  learn from each other, and find new sources of inspiration.  Sometimes the best ideas for projects with children and youth come from creating our own work, and talking with other community-engaged artists.

One of the main activities during the day started with simple large sheets of brown paper.  Throughout the day, Ruth worked with us to add bursts of colour, written word, and sculpture until these blank sheets were transformed into tiny collaborative communities.  We created topographical maps, wrote about what makes our hearts beat, what builds a stronger community, and sculpted tiny homes from bits of paper.
At the end of the day, local musician Lise Vaugeois joined us for an improv music session where people played music, reflected through spoken word, sang, danced, and drew.

We all left feeling a little lighter and fuelled with inspiration.  Our hearts were filled with song, and our heads full of ideas for new projects, collaborations, and partnerships.

Didn’t get to jump on board for this workshop and live inNorthern Ontario?  Have no fear; this is only the beginning of an exciting partnership with Jumblies!  We’ll be jumping on board their Train of Thought project this May (seriously, check it out!), as well as bringing Jumblies back for a more intensive three day workshop in Thunder Bay this fall.  Stay tuned, folks.  Send us an email if you’d like to hear more!

A tremendous thank you to Ruth and Jumblies Theatre, the Organic Garden Cafe for nourishing our bellies with a wonderful catered lunch, our building host, the Baggage Building Arts Centre, Eleanor Albanese for hosting Ruth in her wonderful home, and Jumblies’ funders for this initiative: Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts, and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation.  CAHEP would also like to thank our own operating funders, Ontario Arts Council and the City of Thunder Bay for supporting our organization, making it possible to bring opportunities like this one to Thunder Bay.






Meet the artist: Carol Kajorinne

Posted by

Here in Thunder Bay, we have a wonderful and diverse community of artists.  As a part of our blog, we’re offering a glimpse into the creative worlds of Northern Ontario artists who teach in the schools and community.

To start, we’d like to introduce you to Carol Kajorinne.  She’s a new generation visual artist who has been working with CAHEP for the past four years.   She has the ability to take almost anything (fabric, recycled materials, and metal…just to name a few), and turn it into art with the children and youth she works with!  She has been active in our Artists in the 5th program, and most recently has played a key role in our Neighbourhood Arts Engagement Program, building relationships with children at Community Action Group in the Blucher Picton Windsor neighbourhood using art.

Recently, Carol and her partner Kriev, were awarded a CEDC grant to start-up their own metal-working studio, Pike Lake Forge!

Her generous spirit and imagination continue to breathe life into our City’s creative community!

Thank you to Carol for giving us a peek into her life as an artist in Thunder Bay.

Artists in the 5th 7

CAHEP: Tell us a bit about yourself. What inspired you to work as an artist in the schools/community?

Carol: I grew up on Pike Lake, on the same land where my Mummu (my late great grandmother) grew up. My family and I would often walk or boat down to Mummu’s camp where we would play canasta, sauna and swim.

I was always an artistic child, I recall being asked in grade one to draw Franklin the Turtle for classmates. And although I was always artistic, I was a well rounded student, and could do anything I put my mind to – which made it confusing to know what field I should study.

My Father operated his own Backhoeing and Hauling company, so I grew up helping around the shop, was familiar with tools, and in high school I took tech classes. Unfortunately at the time, I actually had trouble with my hands and I could use a pencil, computer and do simple tasks but anything that took strength was impossible. And by that time I had already decided I would pursue a career as an artist. So many of my classmates had to do the hard hand work for me (like cutting tin with snips). The experience of basically losing the ability in my hands, made my gift a little more present in my mind, and encouraged me to do what I can, while I can, with the body I have. Now, I work with the heaviest material out there: metal! It keeps me active, healthy and focussed.

Although I participated in a “Young Artists as Mentors” program at my neighbourhood Willow Springs Creative Centre (funded by the OAC), before attending the Fine Arts program at Lakehead University, it was my energetic friend Martha who convinced me to teach. After graduating from Lakehead, I assisted her with a class at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and have taught since. Looking back, now that I love teaching, I chuckle and realize that I already was a teacher in grade one. I never liked doing things for others. Instead of drawing Franklin for someone, I’d say, “I won’t draw it for you, but I’ll teach you how.”

CAHEP: Who’s your art hero?
Carol: I never really think of any one particular person as being my hero. I also never have had a favourite colour. But if I have to narrow it down, I’d say the artist who has impacted me the most is Bob Marley. His music has lived long past his life, and has been something created in extension from himself – his music is almost like a being on its own. As for visual artists, I love artists that are led by emotion, so Emily Carr’s work amazes me, it’s very alive. And as for a metalworker – Samuel Yellin is fantastic and is one of the most respected smiths from the USA.

CAHEP: What do you love most about what you do in schools & the community? 
Carol: I love sharing some of the tips I learnt in University. Simple things that anyone can grasp, but often never consider. While teaching I feel like I have a chance to share some skills that will improve technique and the way people create, and also the way we think about creating. One of my favourite simple mediums to create with is pencil crayons. Everyone always keeps the colours separate, when really you can blend them a lot like paint. Another fun project I’ve done through CAHEP was working on mylar – the students were encouraged to think about a drawing as a 3D object that you can build off of, flip over and draw from the reverse side, and simply layer imagery through mixed media collage.

CAHEP: Where do you turn for inspiration when planning an arts education project?
Carol: I often turn to the classroom educator for some ideas of what they have in mind, what they have done in the past, what they wish they could do, and what they think the learners would enjoy and most benefit from. We usually brainstorm together and I draw some ideas from there. I enjoy working in a three-dimensional mediums and incorporating recycled fabrics, papers, and packaging, which can influence the project. I try to ensure the students and educator are learning a new creative technique, or a new way of applying a familiar art form to their repertoire.

2050-12-31 23.59.59-263

CAHEP: How do you create a balance between your own creation and your arts education work?
Carol: I am a sculptural thinker, and so I bring my sculptural techniques into the classroom. It keeps me excited and is something students rarely do. I’m also currently developing a way for my partner Kriev and I to bring blacksmithing into the classroom. This new endeavour will keep us focussed on our career and medium of choice, and will encourage youth to keep blacksmithing alive.

Visual Art - Carol Kajorinne - G&W 2web

CAHEP: When you’re not engaging children and youth in the arts, what are some of your favourite pass-times?

Carol: Playing music – I haven’t done enough of it in the past couple of years. But I do play piano and love to sing. Sauna is a must, and of course swimming. And my favourite thing to do is all three at the same time with Kriev, my niece, and nephew. I love nurturing their young musical talent and making songs and sounds in the sauna. I also love spending time outside, on the lake and going for walks. Otherwise, all I do is work with steel, and drown myself in transforming Pike Lake Forge into an operating business.

CAHEP: Can you share a photo of a space that inspires you?
Carol: Here is a picture of me working with a Power Hammer. Kriev and I (aka Pike Lake Forge) were lucky recipients of a Business Starter Grant from the CEDC, and are currently shopping for one of these of our own! This picture was taken in our mentor Dave Hanson’s shop near Duluth. I met Dave when I took his Blacksmithing course at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais.

I use a power hammer to forge Leaves. Leaves for hooks, towel racks, toilet paper holders – anything. I enjoy watching the metal move and find it fascinating how in order to forge a leaf, you first forge a bud before spreading the leaf. Then you hand chisel the leaf veins and shape the leaf to give it life. I foresee exploring plants deeper through the method of forging.

By the way, Pike Lake Forge is named in honour of my Mummu, and is my effort to “keep Pike Lake alive”, no matter where I am.

Carol.Power Hammer

Get in Touch!
If you’re a Thunder Bay or Northern Ontario artist who works in schools or the community and would like to share your work on our blog, please send us an email!


The Magic of Collaboration in Arts Education

Posted by

One of the many wonderful things about community-engaged arts education is the magic that happens when people come together.  There is nothing like collaboration between artists to put a smile on our faces.

In June this year, we developed a night of hip hop culture called Street Sounds.  In partnership with Evergreen a United Neighbourhood at Minnesota Park in the Simpson Ogden neighbourhood of Thunder Bay, arts programming was offered to more than 250 participants of all ages.  Local hip hop artist, Shibastik, and two dancers, Nicole Armstrong and Kaitlin Khubyar provided workshops in culture, lyric, music, art, and dance.
Street Sounds - an impromptu dance squad with hip hop artist Shibastik and dance artist Nicole Armstrong.

Shibastik, facilitated a hip hop performance and workshop for children and youth who attended the event.  He really knows how to work a crowd, and offers positive, thought-provoking hip hop performances that celebrate culture and tradition while positively addressing challenges of today’s society (We really recommend you check him out when you get a chance).


And what would a hip hop show be without the chance to bust-a-move?  While the children and youth of Simpson Ogden have some pretty fantastic moves all on their own, we thought we’d bring a little something extra along.  Local hip hop dancer, Nicole Armstrong, and breakdancer, Kaitlin Khubyar, joined us at the park and offered Hip Hop Dance 101 to anyone interested. Learners absolutely ate it up!  Before we knew it, people of all ages and abilities were stalling, stepping, and spinning like they’d been doing it their entire lives.


We also extended the invitation to local youth to contribute to the night, and we were blown away by what they brought.   People stepped up to become lead DJ’s/sound-people, film-makers, and photographers.

By the end of the night, everyone was really feeling the power of music and dance.  People had come out of their shells and were ready to celebrate what they’d learned.  The evening took an unexpected turn, and while Shibastik had already performed his set, he came back up for a second performance.  The children and youth who’d been learning to dance decided to get right up front as the performance unfolded.  They took turns leading a dance squad using the moves they’d learned (and of course improvising with a few of their own) while the park resonated with the inspiring beats and words of hip hop.

And that in itself, is pure magic.


Some feedback from the night:

“Your words brought tears to my eyes..you have a beautiful mind…chimeegwech” (To Shibastik)
“Love this music.  Keep up the awesome job.”
“Awesome performers.  Such positive role models.”
“Street Sounds was great!”

Here are a few more inspiring moments from Street Sounds:
















Monday Inspiration

Posted by

Happy Monday everyone!  We know that Mondays can sometimes get you down, so we thought we’d share a little arts education inspiration to help boost your creative spirits.

In April this year, local Thunder Bay artist Derek Khani worked with Grade 5 students at Ecole Franco Superieur to create some wonderful, whimsical stop-motion videos for our Artists in the 5th program. Students sculpted, drew, and created some pretty elaborate sets and characters, then designed and filmed their own stories. We love seeing what happens when great minds come together to create art!

So many incredible videos were created.  Check out Johnny and the Whale and a re-telling of the classic Three Little Pigs.

Artists in the 5th 2014 – Johnny and the Whale from CAHEP ThunderBay on Vimeo.

The Three Little Pigs from CAHEP ThunderBay on Vimeo.

Arts Education in Thunder Bay

Posted by

We’re so excited to have our new website up and running.  A tremendous thanks to Shout Media for working with us in developing and designing the site.

As a part of the new CAHEP site, we’ll be posting blog entries from time to time.  We look forward offering a behind-the-scenes look at current and past programs, community arts, speaking to arts educators’ experiences working in schools and the community, and showcasing some of the projects created through our programs.

If you’re an arts educator who has something you’d like us to share on the blog, please send us an email and we’ll see what we can do!

For now, here are a few photos from our 2013-2014 programming year, which was an absolute blast!