Pique fosters experimentation and conscious social engagement at its winter edition
December 9, 2023 marks the return of Pique winter edition, as it once again transforms the Arts Court into a vibrant hub for its renowned building-wide celebration, spotlighting underground and avant-garde music and art from across Turtle Island. With performances by DJ Kookum, RegularFantasy, poolblood, Amanda Lowe Warnakulasuriya, and Naïka Champaïgne and special guest curators Crip Rave and Kingsley Swim, Pique promises to be a destination for uncovering groundbreaking and future-oriented artists.
This edition of Pique will be an occasion for experimentation and celebration as always, but with an added emphasis on conscious socio-political engagement. With programming focused on dancefloor accessibility, imagining post-carceral futures, and facing the climate emergency, this edition of Pique asks audience members to not only envision a world that is more fair and inclusive, but also the journey towards it, from the demonstration to the dancefloor.
The all-ages festival will present more than 20 artists across 10 stages and exhibition spaces, including groundbreaking audio/visual performances, interactive performance art, media art installation, and more. As always, tickets to Pique are financially accessible to all community members, at a sliding scale of $25-50 suggested, or pay-what-you-can by registration. Tickets are available on our Eventbrite page.
The Pique winter edition is the result of a confluence of curatorial perspectives, with meaningful contributions from this season’s guest curators: Crip Rave, a Toronto-based collective centering Disabled bodies and minds; and Kingsley Swim, local hip hop community innovator and entrepreneur.
Crip Rave takes over Club SAW for a party that centres Crip, Disabled, Deaf, Mad and Sick body-minds within a safer and more accessible rave space. The program features sets by Regularfantasy, Venus in Foil, DJ Crip Time, Arthritis Kid (live), and VJ Annie Socoria, and will accommodate a range of abilities through audio-responsive visuals, “access doula” support, and access to the nearby Breathing Room for destimulation. The program will be available for free remote access through the Pique live stream and joinable in virtual reality through VRChat presented by BreakVRC. Kingsley Swim’s curation will take place throughout the building-wide event, and will feature performances by DJ Kookum, Naïka Champaïgne, and Eazy Finesse.
Palestinian-Canadian musician and sound therapist Jeena presents a sound healing for Gaza, holding space for rest as resistance. Bring your own blanket or mat, and come be washed in an ambient-experimental sound bath with accompanying visuals on the big screen.
The SHHH!! Ensemble and composer Frank Horvat present a “screening” of their new work “An Auditory Survey of the Last Days of the Holocene” for 7.1 atmos spatialized audio, followed by an open conversation led by the composer and artists about the climate emergency and individual action.
Local artist and activist 4theworld will present a site-specific intervention at the Arts Court's jail cells, which have been preserved since the building's original function as a courthouse linked to the former Ottawa jail. This installation aims to immerse visitors in imagining post-carceral futures and mobilizing them to take part in calls to action, with thanks to the Criminalization and Punishment Education Project (CPEP) Carceral Studies Research Collective, and the Journal of Prisoners on Prisons for presentation support.
Local artist, educator, and community leader Amanda Lowe Warnakulasuriya shares a stage with Toronto-based alt-indie songwriter poolblood. Plus, immersive experimental presentations by audio-visual duo L CON + Emma Ongman and sound artist Bénédicte will transport the audience to a world of the artists’ design. Later on, sonic world-benders Monsieurmadam and Osita stir up the dance floor with live visuals crafted by Ajeebsir.
The Pique Art Market is back and is bigger than ever. Taking over two floors of the Ottawa Art Gallery, the night market will feature more than 40 local artisans, makers, indie labels/publishers, and community groups.
Shoppers can browse handmade items such as art prints, ceramics, jewelry, zines, wearables and more by local and out-of-town artists and collectives. A full list of vendors can be found here.
Providing the soundtrack for the Art Market will be DJs Mona Monet, RHOZE and DJ Nebula, presented in partnership with Black youth-run skill-sharing collective Pass the Vibes.
Tune into Pique from anywhere at youtube.com/debasertv or thisispique.com. Broadcasting live from the Crip Rave party in Club SAW, catch live performances and DJ/VJ sets by Regularfantasy, Venus in Foil, DJ Crip Time, Arthritis Kid, and Annie Socoria.
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As always, Pique is all-ages and pay-what-you-can. Radically inclusive, safer, and more accessible, Pique’s programming is designed to cultivate shared understanding, joy, and social impact. The event site is accessible, with automated doors, accessible gender-neutral washrooms, and elevator access to all levels. Our EQUIPE harm reduction team will be on-site to support audience members, and our staff and volunteers are trained with harm reduction strategies to support audience members throughout the event.
︎︎︎ Venue accessibility info
Tickets are available on Eventbrite on a sliding-scale of $25-50, and audience members are also invited to register for our pay-what-you-can program for subsidized tickets. Tickets are general admission and offer access to all of the event spaces and stages, subject to capacity.
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Building-wide and site-specific, Pique takes place at the newly redeveloped Arts Court, the former Ottawa Courthouse that is now home to several contemporary art and performance organizations, including Debaser HQ. Produced in partnership with the Arts Court and City of Ottawa in collaboration with Arts Court resident organizations SAW, Ottawa Fringe, Digital Arts Resource Centre, Ottawa Art Gallery, Produced by Youth, Ottawa Music Industry Coalition, Possible Worlds, Asinabka Festival, the Canadian Film Institute, Artengine, and the Ottawa Dance Directive, Pique brings together music and arts communities for a community-engaged event like no other.