let’s do it again

Here’s Marisa Gallemit, guest-blogger for Chinatown REMIXED, reporting the trials, tribulations and . . . satisfactions of making her kind of art with a rather unusual material:


it’s may again and that means:
mother’s day (gifts and flowers please)
Chinatown Remixed!

consider yourselves cordially invited.

i will be posted at HighJinx – a wonderful second-hand furniture shop – my works will hang in the picture window facing Somerset Street West. the lovely and talented Natalie Fournier will be just out front with her special brand of thought-provoking and visually arresting performance art.

i’m working with white zip-ties this time around – and attempting to capture the essence of deep sea creatures, phosphorescence, fluidity. this material means murder for my fingertips – endless burns and cuts, like paper cuts but worse – but i seem to love the challenge of pieces that involve repetitive, labour-intensive construction.

sneak peek:




so, again:
Saturday, May 12th 130-5pm
Somerset Street West
over 40 artists of all disciplines
40 local venues
music, arts, community, vittles, bubble tea and sunshine (fingers crossed)

Watch for Marisa’s video interview with Ottawa Sun entertainment columnist Denis Armstrong, Thursday May 10th. Online edition.

Web unvirtual gone viral

A thin, drawn woman of about 40 walks along Somerset Street West one morning, her face hard-set against the approaching workday. But when she meets her two co-workers at the door of the hair salon, she grins almost maniacally as the gossiping that will carry them through their day begins.

Their laughter grabs the attention of a deliveryman two doors down, who pauses from his pallets of lemons and oyster sauce long enough to light a cigarette. A sign in a window across the street advertises Vietnamese subs, and he wonders if today might be the day he finally tries one. He looks at his watch and tells himself probably not; who knows where in the city he’ll be by lunchtime?

Fiona Mantha barely notices the deliveryman as she enters the Kowloon Market to get onions, but the twentysomething woman also looks at her watch. She has already picked up some cumin and garam marsala fron the India Grocery Store near Bronson, and calculates that she’ll have more than enough time to stop on her way home at Raw Sugar Café for a cup of tea with owner Nadia Kharyati. She wants to give Nadia her recipe for curry soup. “It’s cheap, healthy and delicious,” she says.

Raw Sugar is right by Chinatown’s Royal Arch, and all the ingredients Nadia needs for the soup are close at hand—spices from Nasa Food Centre down at Booth; canned tomatoes and chick peas from Shiraz, the Persian grocery store at the corner of Percy. She’ll add her own touch to the soup with some coconut milk from Kowloon; the clerk there recommends the Aroy-D tetrapak, and so Nadia gives it a try.

The warming soup quickly becomes a popular and comforting favourite on Raw Sugar’s menu. The deliveryman sitting at a small table wonders briefly why he’s never been in before to try it, but he has little time for such thoughts: he looks at his watch as he gets up to leave. With any luck he’ll be done his deliveries by five. On his way out he passes three women in white smocks by the large, bright front window, drinking jasmine tea and chattering all at once. He thinks their laughter sounds faintly familiar.

Fiona Mantha (pic by Cindy Deachman)

When in Chinatown, you typically make a beeline for your favourite pho joint or bonsai shop, never giving a thought to the inner workings of this quarter. Next time, though, slow to a saunter and look and listen for the stories. One affects the next, and your interaction with the waitress at the bubble tea restaurant or the grocery clerk will echo and reverberate with thousands of others through this tight neighbourhood to create a larger story.

Fiona now works alongside Nadia at Raw Sugar. This is the way a neighbourhood grows.


Over the run of Chinatown Remixed, the café is showing the large-format pointillist portraits by  James Brummel, while Erika Struck hangs her black-and-white photos of wood at Shiraz.

Whimsical—and lately, darker—illustrations by painter Daniel Martelock can be found at Kowloon Market. Daniel will also be conducting a painting performance outside on the grand opening day, May 12. He’s all for audience participation, too—now’s the time to clean your old paintbrushes.

Puppeteer & filmmaker Grant Harding explores the tension between who we think we are and who we really are at the Nasa Food Centre. Meanwhile, visit the vividly-coloured abstract expressionist paintings  from Shannon Willmott at the India Grocery Store.


Timothy Hunt on Chinatown Remixed 2012: Sorting things out


We’re so thrilled to present our very first guest blogger, Timothy Hunt, a Chinatown Remixed artist who, once in a while, seems to have some fun. Timothy collects “junk” and works his priceless parts (!) into masks. Here, he takes us through the process of pulling everything together into one coherent work. Although Tim’s take is unique—a recognizable object assembled from cast-offs, his process is not so different from any other artist worth his salt.

Thanks for letting us re-use your blog, Timothy. Now, here’s the man himself:


“I’m very pleased to have been selected to participate in this year’s Chinatown Remixed. I have been paired up with the award winning Zen Kitchen, home restaurant of Dave and Caroline of The Restaurant Adventures of Dave and Caroline which aired on the W network. My work will be on exhibit for 3 months starting on May 12th for the opening of the festival.[This three-month exhibition period is longer than the usual for the Chinatown Remixed: most shows will be up for one month until June 12th .

“With Chinatown Reimixed coming up, I have been hunting and gathering and sorting through my materials for my show at Zen Kitchen, May 12.


“I am working on a series of tribal masks for urban culture and in order to get the creative juices flowing, I need a critical mass of objects to draw from.


“Once I have the items sorted into somewhat recognizable categories I can begin to lay things out and start to piece them together.


“The masks change a lot during this process; objects gravitate to one another, grouping together by size, colour, shape and texture. Once a piece feels “right”, it is time to drill, screw, rivet, solder and wire things together.”




See more on Timothy Hunt’s blog.

more to come . . .

Some Assembly Required…

Empress Avenue, simply begging for some action — well, she’ll have to wait until May 12th.
Image courtesy of Google Street View.

Here we are, at the corner of Empress Avenue and Somerset Street West. Doesn’t look like much now, right? But on Saturday May 12th, this will be the bustling HQ of Chinatown Remixed! Nowhere else in this fine city will you find the Burundian Messenger Sacred Drums, the Success Lion Dance Troupe, and Mike Essoudry’s Mash Potato Mashers - all on one stage. Juno-nominated DJ Rise Ashen with his crew of dancers, as well as the Ottawa Sui Yi Multicultural Arts Academy & the Jiahua Arts Troupe will definitely get the street bumpin’.


Oh, and did we mention life-size “remote control” robots at the Dalhousie Community Centre? We have them, too.

Hours before the party, Morris Rothman, our volunteer Stage Manager, will be dashing up and down Empress Avenue (which we’ll close to motor traffic).

The Latest Artists get their robot on!

Morris will also be there taping down electrical cords, erecting tents, and setting up barricades.
The guy’s talented, but only has two hands, and sure could use some help.

Other gigs on May 12th include pumping up balloons, getting your creative ya-yas out  chalk-drawing sidewalks, picking up or dropping off equipment, and handing out maps along the festival route. In exchange for your volunteer sweat, we’ll give you a FREE Chinatown Remixed TOTE BAG plus an INVITATION to our Opening Day after-party.

If you would like to volunteer an hour or two (or more!) of your time to this artistic whirlwind in Chinatown, click here to get involved.

By the way, that’s Morris below at last year’s Remixed, grinning just before he scarfed down a few tasty bits of artist Greta Grip’s knitted food. He was later brought to hospital for yarn extraction. Well, how was he to know?

Morris in ‘say cheese’ mode only minutes before his meal. “Don’t know how Greta did it, but that knit food of hers sure tasted great!” he was heard to say after the escapade.

Here we are. AGAIN. So watch out.

During the few weeks leading up to our GRAND OPENING on May 12th, we’ll be telling stories of the many people who are making our Chinatown REMIXED happen. Such an amazing art festival it’s become, hasn’t it? And in such a short time—our 4th year now.

Today, we start with artist Wei Zheng who designed our fab poster, invitation and map. Here’s the poster.

Design: Wei Zheng





Look… do you see an Asian temple? Can you spy a tiny Thai girl wearing a traditional headdress? A unicorn? A dragon? Like a Salvador Dalí painting, Wei Zheng’s image is filled with many humorous and hidden secrets.

“I mixed up lots of interesting graphics,” she explains,“to give everyone all the good things they yearn for―happiness, family, spring. And all these things are appearing from out of a girl’s hair!”

For Wei Zheng, a third-year Algonquin College student and artist, the hook-up with Chinatown’s art festival happened utterly by chance. Out of 75 envelopes containing project requests by various organizations, all first sussed out by Algonquin’s School of Media & Design, Wei randomly chose one: from Chinatown REMIXED.

A perfect match, we think. All the good things everyone yearns for.


Check out more of Wei Zheng’s work. (Here’s another secret of Wei’s. She made the Z logo for her website with a potato print.)

Hey, also — if you’d care to tack posters around a neighbourhood or two, please get in touch with us at: ottawa.chinatown.remixed@gmail.com. We’re here.



Chinatown Remixed runs on volunteer power. Without our volunteers, we simply wouldn’t exist. Like to help out with this year’s festival? Please contact us at:


In exchange, we’ll give you fashionable Chinatown Remixed bling. How about that?

Volunteer In Advance: TALK UP this one-of-a-kind ART Festival/TAPE posters around
town in early May/TWEET about us/FRIEND US on Facebook

Volunteer On Opening Day:
 SET UP tents/BLOW UP balloons/PICK UP tables & chairs/
SELL Remixed bling /HAND OUT maps/TEAR DOWN tents/RETURN equipment



Chinatown Remixed Art Festival is Ottawa’s one-of-a-kind, month-long celebration of art on Somerset Street West. Also known as Chinatown.

The Chinatown Remixed Collective promotes contemporary art in Ottawa’s Chinatown, a multicultural village with an Asian flavour. We provide alternative spaces to typical gallery venues, giving a platform to artists. Both established artists and emerging artists are encouraged to exhibit. We promote Chinatown’s singular community with its vibrant, eclectic mix of residents, businesses, churches, community centre, health centre and the university college. We adapt to our community’s ever-changing diversity of backgrounds, including Vietnamese, French, Chinese, Korean, Aboriginal, Lebanese, Indian, Romanian, Italian, Ukrainian, Cambodian, Thai and South American. We also promote multiculturalism within the arts, embracing artists of various ethnic roots.

REMIXED Collective Members


Don Kwan, Maya Hum, Aileen Duncan, Genevieve Betournay, Kristina Corre. Yvon Villarceau.


Don Kwan, Maya Hum, Yvon Villarceau, Genevieve Betournay, May-Jun Li, Adrienne Gardner, Nico Davis, Aileen Duncan, Beth Greenhorne, Rossana Rebeccani, Deidre Gardner, Kristina Corre.


Don Kwan, Adrienne Vicente, Beth Greenhorn, Robert Parungao, Rossana Rebeccani, Aileen Duncan, Nicole Devlin, Deirdre Gardiner, Felix Troll Hythlodaeus, Geneviéve Bétournay, Andre Gardiner, Kim Moss, Kristina Corre.


Don Kwan, Adrienne Vicente, Beth Greenhorn, David Narbaitz, Eliza von Baeyer, Robert Parungao, Rossana Rebeccani, Shirley Fang

2013 :

Don Kwan, May-Jun, Beth Greenhorn, Grace Xin, Jenn Farr, Andrea Stokes, Julie Cruikshank, Shirley Fang.

2012 : 

Don Kwan, Julie Delaney, Cindy Deachman, Cynthia O’Brien, Deborah Margo, Grace Xin, Andrea Stokes,  Julie Cruikshank,  Shirley Fang.


Don Kwan, Deborah Margo, Grace Xin, Julie Cruikshank, Julie Delaney, Andrea Stokes, Cynthia O’Brien, Marilyn Warrender.

2010 : 

Don Kwan, Cynthia O’Brien, Grace Xin, Marilyn Warrender, Tom Evans.

2009/2008 :

Don Kwan, Cynthia O’Brien, Emily Watkins, Grace Xin, Natasha Beaudin, Pamela Lawler, Tom Evans.,  



Sponsors & Supporters 




















Artists & Venue

Download the REMIXED Map 2017