Artistic director hopes to inspire artists, form national arts network
By Natalie Hamilton

A British Columbia organization is hoping to ‘Kickstart’ the dreams of aspiring artists and instigate a national arts network through an upcoming event.

Kickstart Disability Arts & Culture presents the Kickstart 5 Festival of Disability Arts & Culture Sept. 5-8 at Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews, in Vancouver.

Artistic director Emma Kivisild tells posAbilities Today she’s excited about many aspects of this year’s festival.

“The best possible outcome would be for people with disabilities to realize they can make art and there’s a community to support them,” Emma says.

“We’re all at different places in our process.

“I would love to have a national disability arts network but it’s more important people realize they can make art, talk to each other and help each other.”

Emma says festival organizers have made a concerted effort this year to focus on collaboration and artists helping each other at their respective crafts. “We’ve put a lot of emphasis on workshops and people working together.”

The workshops include digital soundscape composition, collective theatre, singing for the terrified and aerial dance.

Solo-performer David Roche, comedian Big Daddy Tazz, renowned dancer Luca “LazyLegz” Patuelli, singer/songwriter Christa Couture, theatre group Joe Jack et John and the Swamp Angels Choir are on the roster of performers.

“Our priority has always been to present authentic, non-sentimental expressions of disability,” Emma says.

Emma is particularly excited about the cabaret. The cabaret provides entertainers with four minutes each to perform before an audience. It’s an opportunity for budding performers who may not be ready to carry a whole show themselves or don’t have enough material to take the stage, Emma explains.

For the festival schedule of events, click here.

Click here to purchase tickets.

Kickstart Disability Arts & Culture is a not-for-profit organization based in Vancouver. Kickstart presents and produces work by artists with disabilities and promotes artistic excellence among artists working in all disciplines, the organization’s website states.

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