Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba

Vision: The full inclusion of artists and audiences with disabilities into all facets of the arts community.


a) To advance the education of artists with disabilities by providing courses, instructional seminars, and workshops in various artistic disciplines, and on topics such as grant-writing, portfolio preparation, and photography documentation;

b) To advance the public’s appreciation of the arts by producing public art exhibitions, presentations, and performance arts events, and by providing a forum for qualified artists to exhibit, present, or perform their artistic works through participation in such events;

c) To promote health by providing artists with disabilities with appropriate facilities and services adapted to accommodate their specific needs; and

d) To undertake activities ancillary and incidental to the attainment of the above charitable purposes.

Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba originated in March 2008 as a disability art piece, The SPARK Initiative, by Susan P. Gibson of Winnipeg. The art piece consisted of two community gatherings, at Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA) and the Independent Living Resource Centre (ILRC) in Winnipeg, featuring an artist video, general consultation and sharing circle. Gibson described her creative process as “moving people instead of paint, clay or ink.”

Participants at the sessions identified the need for an organized alliance of artists with disabilities covering all arts disciplines. The SPARK Initiative grew into the SPARK Arts and Disability Network, spearheaded by Susan Gibson and co-founder and freelance curator Marie Bouchard, formally bringing together artists with disabilities and stakeholders with an interest in promoting accessible arts in Manitoba.

In Spring 2008, a volunteer Steering Committee was established, comprised of visual, performing and literary artists at varying levels of professionalism, arts administrators and other professionals. The Committee identified SPARK’s vision, mission and goals, and began outreach into the community.

SPARK incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in May 2011 and held its first Annual General Meeting in June 2011. It now operates as Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba (AANM).


102-329 Cumberland Av.
Winnipeg, MB , R3B 1T2

204-336-ADNM (2366)