Every year, cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal receive hundreds of migrant artists who dream of hopefully breaking into the art world. Some want to move to these places; others feel like it’s their only chance to succeed as an artist. For years, Vancouver saw its local writers leave for better opportunities elsewhere, creating a gap in the creative community and economy. Until efforts to stimulate and support them started showing up a few years ago.

Ottawa has a longstanding reputation as a city that doesn’t support its talent until they leave and gain notoriety elsewhere. Sadly not everyone returns after finding success, which means the city is losing more than gaining.

What efforts are needed in Ottawa to support its local talent and help them find and invest their creative voices locally? How are Black artists and others of the Global Majority included in those efforts?


Ladane Ali, Coordinator, Mentorship, International Development & Policy, CMPA

Ladane Ali decided she wanted to write when she realized how much “acting” she had to do in the corporate world. She found her freedom and voice in writing. But sadly, the comedy scene in Ottawa was very much male dominated, and she decided that instead of quitting, she will find a new avenue to create her art. She strongly believes that a city without a vibrant art scene is devoid of a soul and that artists do not have to move mega cities to create, they just need to establish more communities and institutions that can nurture creativity.


Allan André, Multi-disciplinary Artist

Allan André is a Canadian multi-disciplinary artist of Haitian descent based in Ottawa Canada. André’s work has been featured in exhibits in New York, Orlando, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. In 2014, 2016 and 2019, André won the Ottawa regional championship for Art Battle Canada’s nationwide speed painting competition. In July 2016, 2019 and 2022 André won the Art Battle National Championship earning him the title of Canada’s best speed painter.

Allan’s installation work has also been featured twice at Ottawa’s “Nuit Blanche” a city wide dusk till dawn exhibition. In 2015 days after a “Black Lives Matter” message was defaced on Ottawa’s legal graffiti Tech Wall, along with artist Kalkidan Assefa he created a tribute to Sandra Bland. He’s also competed and won on CBC’s art competition show Crash Gallery.

Allan hosted a series of local art socials featuring live art and music with Dj Unique 1 at Grounded Kitchen Coffee and Bar every Thursday during the summer, fall and winter of 2017. Allan has mentored youth for Youth Ottawa’s Artistic Mentorship Program (AMP).

André’s philosophy is that life is art, he states: “We live in a collective masterpiece” and that “We all are artists who leave our signature on the canvas we call the human experience by challenging our own spheres of influence in a way that will ripple through future generations.”

Jinesea Lewis, Actress

Jinesea Lewis is multi-talented tv/fim and theatre actor as well as improviser, stand-up comedian, sketch comedy artist. With 6 years of performing experience, Jinesea can be found on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Bell TV and the Hallmark Channel.

Ludmylla Reis, Multidisciplinary Artist

Born and raised in Pindorama ( Brazil ) and an immigrant in Turtle Island ( Canada ), Ludmylla is a multi-disciplinary artist exploring the private with the public through imagination. With degrees in advertising, acting and directing, they've navigated live and digital storytelling for over ten years.

Maurice Moore, Multi-Platinum Singer, Songwriter, and Producer

With credits for penning and producing for stars such as H.E.R, Chris Brown, and NCT, Maurice Moore is poised for a breakout year. As a SOCAN Black Canadian Award winner, his emotive vocals and storytelling, reminiscent of R&B greats like Usher and Craig David, have captivated fans and publications alike, including Billboard, The Fader, BET, and CBC.

Nancita Kapi, Singer-Songwriter

Nancita Kapi is a creative yet passionate singer-songwriter that creates music from the heart. From a very young age, she understood her mission, to set her life to lyrics so others could be inspired. Driven by faith and passion her desires propelled her to the artist she is today. Nancita Kapi is also the Director of her Label called : Nancita Kapi Music and is a music and film producer. She has co- produced most of her songs and has co-produced a French Series with Fibe Tv1 called : “La Richesse de la Santé” that premieres in the spring of 2023.

Nancita’s innovation and style has wowed many audiences.


Events in that series