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*Featured images (clockwise from top left): Children’s painting in our booth at Multicultural Festival 2022; Bead Art Painting Courtesy of the artist, Marissa Magneson; Last Fall’s Promise by Andrew Cheddie Sookrah; 2022 featured artist and visitors participating in our booth at Multicultural Festival 2022 

Multicultural Festival 2023

September 23, 2023, 9:30 am – 2:30 pm

Location: Aurora Town Park, Multicultural Festival (located in the Community Zone)

As part of Culture Days 2023, we’re back at the Aurora Multicultural Festival for another year of fun and immersive programming, for all ages! Visit us in our booth in the Community Zone for a variety of drop-in activities led by a curated selection of arts professionals.  


Bead Art Painting, Courtesy of the artist, Marissa Magneson

9:30 am – 12:00 pm
Bead Art Painting: Exploring Métis Floral Tra


Artist Marissa Magneson will introduce traditional Métis floral beadwork characteristics and then invite people to create their own painting where each dot represents a bead. Bead Art Painting is a contemporary Métis artform founded by Christi Belcourt in the 1990’s. The style pulls from Traditional Métis Floral beadwork.  


The Gazers Collection, Elsa Hashemi, calligraphy-painting art, acrylics on canvas, 40 x 48 in

12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Gold-Sheet Calligraphy a
nd Contemporary Expression Workshop


Artist Elsa Hashemi will familiarize people with ‘Gold-sheet Calligraphy Writing’ and how to use gold adhesives and gold sheets to create a beautifully designed calligraphy-painting art inspired by Iranian calligraphy (Khoshnevisi). She will motivate them to create their own background on cardboard and design an abstract use of alphabets and poems in a contemporary way. Students create what they really feel about written words, literature and the alphabet; not technically, but emotionally 


Last Fall’s Promise (2020), Andrew Cheddie Sookrah, acrylic on wood panel, 36 x 36 in

9:30 am – 2:30 pm
Artist-in-booth: Andrew Cheddie Sookrah

A raw colourist with bright and confident brushwork, Sookrah’s compositions express his adoration for the Canadian landscape and the natural, unified elements within. He has travelled as far North as the Arctic / Yukon, as West as Haida Gwaii, and East as Newfoundland. Too the booth, Sookrah will bring creations from his latest Canadian backcountry excursions to Nahanni National Park Reserve and Gros Morne National Park and demonstrate on some works in-progress throughout the day.   


Drop by the booth to meet the artist, watch him paint, and learn more about his journeys across Canada through his scheduled artist talks:  

  • 11:00 am: Colossal Canyons & Deep Roots: Nahanni National Park Reserve  
  • 1:00 pm: Soaring Above & Floating in Fjords: Gros Morne National Park 



About the Artists

Marissa Magneson is a Cree-Métis artist, photographer, educator, and workshop facilitator. She has a BFA honours degree from York University (Toronto, Canada) and a Master’s degree in Canadian and Indigenous Studies from Trent University (Peterborough, Canada). Her re-search explores Indigenous methodologies using beadwork as visual storytelling. Marissa’s work is rooted in decolonizing education, strengthening community and cultural reclamation. In her collaborative work with various organizations, Marissa works towards photographing, consulting, educating, and creating programming in meaningful ways. Marissa would like to acknowledge her maternal grandmother, Elaine Jessop, whose life-long work on Indigenous women’s rights inspires her own journey. 

Marissa is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at York University in the Faculty of Education where she is researching “Beadwork as Pedagogy: A Bridge Towards Cultural Reclamation and (re)Conciliation.” 


Elsa Hashemi is a visual artist whose main focus is Photography, Video-Installation and Calligraphy, currently working in a Center where she teaches Canadian culture and takes newcomers and visitors for a tour to Art and Culture sights in Toronto. She has also been working with StreetART Toronto as a Photographer, documenting the murals and events in the city. She teaches visual arts and documents artists’ artworks while creating portfolios and catalogues for them. Her artistic practice mainly involves conceptual art, portraying the concepts she has always been concerned about, like Migration, Being a Woman, Immigration, and Quarantine in the past years. Through her images and her calligraphy-painting art, she always tells stories of people, believing that realities in life mostly get too complicated that we could form them through stories.  

Elsa has been awarded by the Toronto Art Council and Neighbourhood Arts Networks as the recipient of the Space Award, Mentorship Award, and Newcomers Award in the past few years; and has been part of 20 group exhibitions besides her 4 solo shows in Toronto.  


Andrew Cheddie Sookrah  is a Canadian artist living and working in Toronto and an elected member of the Society of Canadian Artists (Honourary), the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, the Ontario Society of Artists and the Portrait Society of Canada and has been an active member of the Arts & Letters Club of Toronto for 27 years. 
Andrew was born in Guyana In 1956. At an early age, he was recognized for his artistic expression and at 16 started working as a designer and illustrator at Ace Advertisers (Georgetown, Guyana) where he was quickly moved into the role of art director. In 1974, Sookrah immigrated to Canada and attended multidisciplinary continuing education programs at the Ontario College of Art (OCA), George Brown College and Ryerson. He is the founder and creative director of Engine Room Creative and has been a fine art instructor for the past 15 years. 
His body of work includes landscape painting, portraiture, figurative, and ceramic sculpture. He has twice won the McMichael Gallery Plein Air competition (2016 and 2017) and was finalist for both Landscape Artist of the Year Competition and Art Battle Toronto at The Artist Project (both in 2020). He recently completed several painting expeditions to various locations in Canada, including the Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories, Gros Morne Newfoundland and the Arctic.   


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