Lectures and Talks


Judy Martins and Penny Berens

Duration: 1 Hour
Date: Wednesday, September 29, 19:00-18:00
Location: Online via Zoom
Maximum Participants: 90

The MVTM is excited to welcome guest curator Miranda Bouchard and new tapestry work by renowned textile artists Penny Berens and Judy Martin.

The naturally-dyed, slow-stitched textile works of Judy Martin and Penny Berens inspire ways of seeing, sensing and reflection that are simultaneously outwards, at our surroundings; and inwards, at the landscapes within us.

Martin and Berens render time visible and touch tangible through the hand-stitched marks that accrue, map-like, across the surfaces of layered fabrics, forming worlds within their works. Martin explores inner immensity, recording and reflecting upon the mutable nature of emotions, thoughts and dreams. Berens looks outwards at and to nature, creating work informed by experiences with and within her ever-changing environment. In the Middle of the World ushers audiences into the liminal space between earth and air, ground and sky, mind and body, knowing and sensing, static and shift. The earth provides material and metaphor; the world is Mother and muse, subject and symbol. It is central to the artists’ ways of seeing, making and understanding.

Stirred by and searching for both meaning and feeling, the artists commune with and convey the gravity of vulnerability, bravery and humility. These works of stitch, natural fibre and plant-based colour speak of the intimacy of human connection that many are seeking out and leaning into amidst these turbulent, socially-distanced and tech-driven times; of connections to tradition and the environment, and the urgency to renew them before it’s too late; and of the importance of knowing and accepting one’s location in the world.

Tracy-Mae Chambers

Duration: 1 Hour
Date: Thursday, September 30, 18:00-19:00
Location: Online via Zoom
Maximum Participants: 90

The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum is pleased to present Hope and Healing, a one day in situ installation by Ontario Métis artist Tracey-Mae Chambers

Hope and Healing. We must remain hopeful to heal. There is still so much that connects us to one another. Has the pandemic made that more apparent to everyone? I have been building as many temporary installations across Canada’s outdoor spaces as is possible. They are constructed with red string. Red is the colour of blood, the colour of passion and of anger. It is the slur against Indigenous and represents danger and power. It can also represent courage and love. This is the focus of my work. These installations are detailed and temporary. They will be created photographed and then removed on the same day. There is no waste. The very same string is used in the next installation. Although painstaking it is worth every ounce of effort. I have included photos of a few I have built. I can build anywhere. The challenge of an unknown environment to build in is part of the point. I must adapt. We all must.

I want to illustrate the temporary nature of our lives, of our struggles and our achievements. The string represents the connectivity between each other and our environment. I hope to exhibit them all in one gallery at the end of the project. Each installation promotes discussion with the people who see it being built.

Installation: Friday September 10, 2021, 10am

Donald Stuart and Murray Gibson

Duration: One Hour.
Date: Saturday, September 11, 19:00 to 20:00.
Location: Online via Zoom
Maximum Participants: 90

The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum is pleased to host this online event featuring two of Canada’s finest and renowned craftsmen.

Master artisan and member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, Murray Gibson’s tapestries represent an exploration of female literary figures who are textile practitioners, and how their practices affect the fates of others (often men) or of themselves.

One of Canada’s leading gold and silversmiths, Donald Stuart’s works are inspired by outstanding Canadian women. Homage is a collection of 40 framed neck-pieces created by the artist as a celebration and tribute to Canadian women, past and present.

Both of these artists are currently exhibiting at the MVTM.


Susan Fohr

Duration: One Hour
Date: Saturday, September 12, 19:00-20:00.
Location: Online via Zoom
Maximum Participants: 90

Learn about the fibreshed movement, and efforts across North America to build resilient communities, healthy ecosystems and equitable economies through the local production of textiles. Susan Fohr will be speaking about the ways in which the Upper Canada Fibreshed is building networks between farmers, makers, and educators in southern Ontario.

Susan Fohr is a maker and museum educator based in Toronto. She is on the board of the Upper Canada Fibreshed, and developed her love of textiles working at Black Creek Pioneer Village and the Textile Museum of Canada.

Deborah Dunleavy

Duration: 45 Minutes
Date: Saturday, September 18, 14:00
Location: By RSVP
Maximum Participants: 90

Storyteller, Author, Playwright, Librettist, Lyricist

Deborah Dunleavy is an award-winning Literary Artist with over 30 years of professional experience in creating, producing and touring her programs both nationally and internationally to Scotland, Ireland, China and Singapore. 

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival in Edinburgh invited Deborah to be a featured Canadian storyteller at their 2019 event where she performed the Storytelling Oratorio “Isobel Gunn”. The work was initially funded by a Creation Grant from The Canada Council of the Arts.

Her storytelling journey has taken her from Labrador to Vancouver Island where she has won the hearts and minds of her listeners. The Arthur Child Heritage Museum hosted Deborah as storyteller in residence and she was a regular storyteller on North Country Public Radio in New York State.

She is a prolific song crafter with five award winning children’s recordings to her credit. Deborah is a recipient of numerous awards from The Canada Council for the Arts, The Ontario Arts Council, and Storytelling Toronto.



West Carleton Fibre Guild 2021

Over the past 18 months, the West Carleton Fibre Guild has been meeting virtually via Zoom. Despite a lack of in-person workshops and hands-on sessions, COVID-19 lockdowns haven’t stopped members from working on creative projects of all kinds. This video features a selection of projects produced during the pandemic.

West Carleton Fibre Guild

The West Carleton Fibre Guild (WCFG) began in the mid-1980’s with a small group of weavers and spinners. The guild has since expanded to nearly 40 fibre enthusiasts from West Carleton, Kanata, Ottawa and beyond.

The guild meets once a month and has regular study groups for those looking to further improve their fibre arts skills. Monthly guild meetings usually include a presentation and/or hands-on workshop activity, as well as show-and-tell, and help with any fibre –arts issues. Guild members have many areas of expertise, including:

  • Weaving
  • Spinning
  • Knitting/crocheting
  • Bobbin lace
  • Beading/embellishment
  • Silk Fusion
  • Wet and Dry Felting
  • And much, much more!

Ottawa Valley Weavers’ and Spinners’ Guild

The Ottawa Valley Weavers’ and Spinners’ Guild was created in 1949 by a handful of Ottawa area weavers. Originally called the Ottawa Valley Weaver’s Guild, the group eventually expanded to include spinners and today has over 200 members.

The objectives of the Guild are to promote interest and education in weaving, spinning and related fibre arts and to encourage a high standard of craftsmanship and design.

We offer a wide variety of workshops in spinning, weaving, felting, dyeing and basketry.

Members may take advantage of our workshops, equipment rentals, a fully equipped weaving and spinning studio, nine monthly newsletters and an extensive library that includes hundreds of books, magazines and videos which cover topics such as spinning, weaving, knitting, dyeing, design and beyond.

Monthly meetings featuring guest speakers, demonstrations, show and tell, and sales of equipment and supplies. We have weekly networking meetings during which our members congregate to work, socialize and share expertise.

Since 1980, we have had an annual Sale and Exhibition at the Glebe Community Centre in Ottawa. In early November, the Centre is transformed into a textile gallery and boutique where we sell wearable woven, knitted and felted pieces, household goods, hand spun yarns, supplies for spinners and weavers, and textile art. The Sale and Exhibition helps to promote and showcase the work of the guild’s many talented members.

The Guild welcomes all levels of interest in traditional and contemporary weaving, spinning and other textile arts and crafts. No experience is necessary for our introductory workshops, just a keen interest and a desire to learn. Come to a meeting and see what we’re all about!

Website: OVWSG.com

Ottawa Valley Guild of Stitchery

The Ottawa Valley Guild of Stitchery is a non-profit organization established in 1974. Membership is open to anyone interested, beginners included, in furthering the practise  and knowledge of the art of embroidery. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month, September to June. Guests are welcome to attend to see what we’re all about. For more information visit our website at www.ovgs.ca

Out of the Box Fibre Artists

Out of the Box Fibre Artists is a local art group whose members share a love of texture, colour and creativity.

Through our monthly meetings, learning events and other shared resources, we inspire each other to make beautiful works of art from fabric, textiles and mixed media.

To learn more about us, visit our website, check out our Facebook or Instagram pages

The Ottawa Smockers’ Guild

The Ottawa Smockers’ Guild began in 1985 and has been meeting regularly at the McNabb Community Centre, 180 Percy Street, Ottawa. We meet at 7:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month from September to June.

Among the skill learned at the monthly meetings were lattice smocking, duplicate stitch, heirloom sewing, battenburg lace, shadow work, picture smocking, counterchange, and holiday candy canes,

We have always done service projects which varied from smocked bibs and bonnets that were supplied to a number of hospitals – for sale in their boutiques, and smocked preemie gowns for the neo-natal units and for the bereavement packages.

We welcome anyone to our meetings who would like to try the traditional art of smocking. Unfortunately Covid 19 has forced us to postpone our meetings until a better time but our website, www.ottawasmockers.org, is full of the things we have done and will joyously announce when we are open again.