Catherine McKenna

Your member of parliament for


Ottawa Centre

Catherine McKenna

Your member of parliament for


Ottawa Centre

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#OwnOurOttawa Spotlight: MASC

Tell me a little bit about your organization/initiative
MASC is a charitable arts organization that has been operating in Ottawa since 1987. We support local, professional artists of all disciplines and coordinate performances, workshops, residencies and festivals in schools, community venues and senior residences. In 29 years, MASC’s work has touched over 2 million people. Everyone who works with us strongly believes in the power of the arts, and the important role it plays in our beautiful city

What do you do to #OwnOurOttawa? 
We #OwnOurOttawa by working with incredible community partners and amazing School Boards to build a foundation that supports and allows the arts to flourish in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. It’s because of these healthy relationships that we are so successful at offering unique artistic experiences for so many. By putting everything we have right back into the community, everyone benefits! Some examples of our work are:

  • MASC has a roster of over 65 artists that primarily work with students in schools. Last year 120 000 students enjoyed performances and workshops. These programs run in both French and English.
  • Your Story: Teen Authors and Illustrators and Young Authors and Illustrators are festivals that bring award winning Canadian artists to Ottawa to lead workshops for students with a case of the Book Worms! These festivals run from 1 to 3 days and involve 700 students from Ottawa and surrounding areas.
  • MASC Arts Awards is an event that dedicates the evening to students with such a passion for the arts that their teacher or principal has nominated them to receive an award so that they may pursue their artistic dreams. Art schools in Ottawa donate generous scholarships and local businesses donate prizes that turn this evening into one to remember. Winners and nominees are supported and encouraged beyond the night itself. Now in its 20th year, this event is sure to make you have all the right feels.
  • Awesome Arts en folie is an after school program that recently won a prestigious international spotlight award in the United States. A series of workshops in one neighbourhood run for approximately 8 weeks and culminate into a celebratory festival that allow participants to showcase what they’ve learned, and the professional artists to wow the crowd! Over 200 residents participated in last year’s program and this year we are introducing Festival en folie to our French Program.
  • Festival de danse is a 3 day series that invites French students across Ontario to workshop and create pieces with professional dancers. No matter the level of experience, students work with focus and professionalism for 2 days and then perform for an audience with live music. It’s fast paced, thematically moving and incredibly impressive to see what these dancers can create in such a short amount of time.

Why do you think it’s important to #OwnOurOttawa?
We think it’s important to #OwnOurOttawa because this is our city too. We want our children, grandparents and neighbours to have access to a vibrant art scene and discover the cultural richness that our local artists have to offer. We continue to expand our programs so that we can reach more people and provide deeper experiences. Ottawa is a great city with talented artists, hungry audiences, and we are proud to be part of its growth.

If someone wants to get involved or get more information, where can they go?
You can visit our website to get information about upcoming events, volunteer opportunities and information on all our talented artists. We are on Facebook Twitter and Instagram. Follow us!