2016 Grant Recipients Announced

We’d like to extend our warmest congratulations to the 44 artists receiving grants from CUE as part of our 2015-16 program cycle. We were able to provide a total of $29,275 to support the creation of projects in a range of artistic disciplines, and we are honoured to be able to support such a diverse spectrum of strong emerging artists.

Thanks to our funders and partners that made this possible: Ontario Trillium FoundationToronto Arts Foundation, and Platform A. Platform A is a strategic initiative of the Toronto Arts Council that sees CUE collaborating with Art StartsJumblies TheatreSKETCH, and VIBE Arts to bring high-access funding to emerging artists across the City of Toronto.

Artists living and working on the margins represent a powerful force in Toronto’s artistic culture, and in a world of widening inequality, voices from the margins are crucial to informing our cultural narrative. As such, CUE remains committed to creating accessible systems for these artists to secure project funding, mentorship, and exhibition opportunities.

With love and uprising,

Jason Samilski and Zanette Singh

Creative Directors, CUE




ANTHONY SARACINO is supported to create a visual arts series illustrating themes of religion, politics, gender, and environmental destruction with the aim to create space for arguments and counter arguments that explore transgressions within institutions of control, and their effects on contemporary thinking.

ALEXANDRE SALES-ESTRAGODINHO and AUDU DANIEL OJOCHIDE are supported to create a project entitled Change is Constant, Looking to the Future, a series of 4 collaborative paintings that explore ideas of change.

BLACK JACK LEEMY is supported to create a 5-song EP fusing genres of hip-hop, rockabilly, flamenco, grunge, reggae, doo-wop, jazz, and ska, amongst other diverse genres with the goal of enlightening the shadows in our society. The songs will be based on experiences growing up in an at-risk neighbourhood, and the systemic oppressions associated with these communities.

BEE FAHEL is supported to produce a music demo entitled Red Skies and a Blue Moon. The music will be composed with guitar and cello with the aim of taking the cello out of the traditional classical setting and introducing those sounds to a wider audience, specifically to those living on the margins.

BECK GILMER-OSBORNE is supported to create a project entitled Sorry Not SRY, a photo-sculptural installation that explores the science and contemporary cultural manifestations of the sex-determining gene, SRY, within a transgender aesthetic.

CHRIS CASTELLO is supported to produce a 3-song EP entitled The Three Day Affair, a collection of upbeat R&B songs about the beginning and end of a romantic relationship.

COCHISE BURGESS is supported to create a series of self-portraits based on the artist’s  sketches that will be transformed into screen prints.

DANIÈLE DENNIS is supported to create a project entitled Striking Scarborough. A series of piñatas will be produced in collaboration with a collective of Scarborough artists and mounted in various public locations to engage the public in the message that Scarborough is worth being celebrated.

DAVIIID JAY is supported to produce a 7-song hip-hop EP that will explore themes of judgment, interpersonal relationships, exclusions, and double-standards.

DANIEL PESSOLE is supported to create a project called Forever being between lost and found. The mixed-media pieces will, through chaotic geometric structures, illustrate our cyber footprint and online presence as an extension of ego.

ELI HOWEY is supported to produce a project entitled It Was Always the Weather, a large-scale etching accompanied by a series of comics about two non-binary trans characters in a North American city, exploring the notion of property as a means of organized surveillance and control.

ERUM KHAN is supported to produce a documentary film based on the artist’s family, examining questions around retaining cultural identity after immigrating to Canada, exploring what was gained and what was lost, and cultural assimilation.

ELRIC HICKS is supported to produce a jewelry series entitled Man Made Marvels. Rings, necklaces, and pendants will incorporate lab-created rubies, emeralds, and sapphires.

GNARLY CHARLY is supported to produce a mixtape called Out Tha Gutta, featuring songs inspired by old-school hip-hop, as well as rap and trap.

GAETAN GENESSE is supported to produce a comic book entitled Les Contes de la Modite Misère; La Vielle Plante Bleu. The story follows a punk rock drug user who hunts birds for food while squatting in the sewers of Montreal.

JAH GREY is supported to produce a series of photographs exploring themes of masculinity and masculine stereotypes as it relates to vulnerability, while illustrating the struggle of the idealized norm vs. men who don’t fit into hyper-masculine stereotypes.

JASON JAMAAL is supported to create a mixed-media triptych about the racialization of public transit in North York, Etobicoke, and Scarborough. The work will explore how poor city-planning isolates and disenfranchises communities, and the failure of elected officials to address the needs of the working poor.

JUST JOHN is supported to produce an EP entitled Renaissance Boy, a collection of stories about growing up in Scarborough. The songs will explore ideas of achieving dreams, self-empowerment, embracing difference, insecurity, and the ability of individuals to create their own reality.

KELSEY RIDEOUT is supported to produce a short film combining performance art, still photography, poetry, and audio interviews that will explore the concept of voice and it’s relationship to loss as it relates to the death of the artist’s father.

KAMIKA PETERS is supported to create 3 mixed-media panels using acrylic paint, casting resin, and wool. As an abstract manifestation of the artist’s inner self, the work will illustrate conversations of spirituality, aura, coming of age, the complexity of navigating the binary, and the disillusion of linear livelihood.

KATELYN GALLUCCI is supported to produce a project entitled Mapping the Future.The visual piece will incorporate natural dyes and experimental photography techniques, and aims to investigate the desire to collapse time and create a clear path to the future.

MAANII OAKES is supported to produce a series of oil paintings illustrating displacement from traditional territory, and the cycles of animal and plant life, with the goal of preserving land-based teaching and traditional knowledge in spite of attempts to assimilate the far north, specifically James Bay.

MASCOT is supported to produce a 9-song hip-hop EP entitled Background Act. The music will stem from the roots of boom bap, and lyrical content will discuss subjects of poverty, mental health, homophobia, and self-worth.

MICHAEL MORALES is supported to create an album entitled Sincerilly, a collection of rap, spoken word, and vocal music produced in collaboration with artists from Toronto, Philadelphia, and Brazil.

NATHAN BAYA is supported to produce an album entitled Reasons to Grind. The collection of songs will illustrate the artist’s “reasons to grind” such as financial instability, the struggle to support a family, and the pursuit of education.

NOMADSLAND is supported to produce a dance video featuring outcasts of Toronto’s dance scene. The artist will produce an original soundtrack to accompany the choreography.

PARKER DIRKS is supported to create a project incorporating silkscreen and ceramics as a reference to the fragility of social constructs and the human tendency to mirror systems of oppression and capitalism, while examining the artist’s relationship to masculinity.

PIERRE PHARAOH is supported to produce an EP entitled Dipped in Gasoline, a concept album sonically and narratively set in medieval times, incorporating soundscapes of old-world battles along with medieval instruments such as a Hurdy-Gurdy. Themes of love, money, betrayal, jealously, and trust will be explored.

PHILLIP SAUNDERS is supported to create a visual art series entitled Visual Implications of the 12 Zodiacal Archetypes. Drawing on the artist’s work in astrology, the series will serve as a visual platform for the viewer to understand the implications of astrology and its many elemental correspondences as they relate to us as human beings.

SAMPREETH RAO is supported to produce a short experimental documentary using the transience of nature as a metaphor for the impact of age and responsibility on the lives of young people. The film will follow a young musician on a series of hikes through a forest.

SHANTEL MILLER is supported to continue work on a visual art series entitled Side Profile. The work will explore perceived identity as it relates to postmodern blackness through depicting images of young black men. The work aims to evoke critical thinking on our perceptions of the black figure.

SHELDON KEEN is supported to produce a spoken word mixtape with the underlying message of “think before you do”. The artist will produce hardcopy CDs accompanied by visual art.

STAR is supported to create a zine entitled Everything & All at Once, a collection of short stories and visual art exploring topics such as gender, sexuality, class, power, identity, and expression through both a personal and political lens.

SUVIANA is supported to produce a spoken word EP entitled Adolescence featuring stories of adolescent life with the intention of sharing this material with youth in the artist’s community.

TAMIR is supported to produce an EP entitled The Hudson. The collection of autobiographical songs are inspired by the artist’s experience in public school, and will serve as a document of personal evolution and self-discovery.

TEDDY OSEI is supported to create a large-scale collage in the form of a timeline that will depict significant historical events such as the Dessert Storm war, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, 9/11 in New York, and other events relating to civil rights, scientific discoveries, and more.

YAEL DE GALE is supported to create a series of illustrations of traditionally styled pin-up models, intended to subvert associations with these kinds of images, in which women of colour are rarely featured. The images will incorporate themes of hip-hop, Afro punk, Afro futurism, nature, pop culture, social media, sex, and spirituality.

YASMINE IBRAHIM is supported to produce a solo album entitled No Squad in the Wild. The lyrical content will illustrate struggles in the artist’s community, and experiences with LGBTQ identity.

YUNG KOFI is supported to create a project entitled A Young G’s Perspective, a series of paintings and drawings exploring world issues such as racism, sexism, poverty, and capitalism, and is intended to speak out against the colonization and assimilation of African peoples.


BEXK is supported with a Materials Bursary to purchase a sewing machine and develop work in fashion arts.

CECILIA TEKLA SYDOR ESTABLE is supported with a Materials Bursary to develop visual artwork for a children’s book.

DENISE BOATENG is supported with a Materials Bursary to purchase materials and develop work in fashion arts.

JUAN SAAVEDRA is supported with a Materials Bursary to develop the story for a graphic novella, as well as the accompanying visual art.

MOHAMED YUSUF is supported with a Materials Bursary to purchase a camera and develop a practice in photography.