Rooted in the Region: Agriculture and the Arts in Southwestern Ontario

Image: Anahí González

Sunday 18 September 2022, 2-5pm
Blyth Festival Theatre’s Harvest Stage
FREE shuttle bus to and from the event, departing from and returning to Western University
This event is FREE and open to the public. RSVP by 5 September 2022 is required.

Join us for “Rooted in the Region: Agriculture and the Arts in Southwestern Ontario,” a celebration of art and agriculture highlighting Indigenous, settler and migrant worker voices.

“Rooted in the Region” will combine conversations among farmers and artists with a meal and live music, taking place at the Blyth Festival Theatre’s fully accessible outdoor Harvest Stage. The Blyth Festival Theatre, located in a small farming community between Lake Huron and London, Ontario, has great historical relevance to the arts and agriculture, as the site of the germinal community-based theatre production “The Farm Show,” which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2022.

“Rooted in the Region” begins with appetizers sourced from local seasonal ingredients, catered by Chef Charles Catchpole (Anishnaabe, Couchiching First Nation) of Charger Foods and Gitigaanes microfarm. We will also highlight the importance of corn – in Southwestern Ontario across the hemisphere – with a corn roast by London-based artist and gardener Ron Benner whose long-standing interdisciplinary art practice focuses on the politics of food cultures and foodways across the Americas. While we eat, we will enjoy live music by the Farms Music Band Association from Leamington, ON, a band formed by temporary farm workers and community members who blend their musical talents to play and share their Latin music and culture. Throughout the event, there will be presentations by artists including Anahí González, Laura Rojas and Camila Salcedo, and by local farms and food initiatives.

Worldwide, unsustainable agricultural practices and food insecurity are urgent problems. Such complex problems cannot be resolved by any single discipline alone—it requires collaboration. More than that, it requires imagination. “Rooted in the Region: Agriculture and the Arts in Southwestern Ontario” aims to bring together diverse perspectives on issues of food security and global food systems on a local level. We believe that the arts can imagine—and therefore help to achieve—food security, food justice, and food sovereignty.

“Rooted in the Region: Agriculture and the Arts in South-Western Ontario” is curated by Amanda White and Zoë Heyn-Jones, an initiative of the Creative Food Research Collaboratory, currently based at the Centre for Sustainable Curating in the Department of Visual Arts at Western University.

Contact information:
Instagram: @creativefoodresearch

Centre for Sustainable Curating
Department of Visual Arts
John Labatt Visual Arts Centre
Western University
London, Ontario
N6A 5B7