Lumière/VANS in Residence Artist Announced

VANS in Residence with Lumière

Visual Arts Nova Scotia is partnering with Lumière to bring an artist in residence to Sydney! The residency will engage the participating artist, Angie Arsenault, in a five week residency culminating with their participation in Lumière. This project evolved out of the VANS PAINTS (Professional Artists in The Schools) Program, which brings artists together with a community of children or youth, and Lumière’s interest public art and art education. The VANS in Residence program builds on that, and allows for a longer-term, more in-depth experience that involves the broader community.

In this residency, Arsenault will be collecting oral histories from former labourers and their families as well as from artists and other members of local communities. She will also be recreating the illuminated garden, which is located in a coal mine Glace Bay as a symbol of resilience, in a gated tunnel beneath King’s Road. Some of her community engagement will include foraging walks through sites of former industry in Sydney, the presentation of her work at Lumière Art at Night festival and her research/creation project Company Ephemera, Class and Identity/At Home with Ghosts, which was made in cooperation with former coal miners.

Angie Arsenault with her MFA Thesis Exhibition Keeper of Industrial Memory.
Image by Christina Arsenault.

Angie Arsenault is an artist and researcher currently enrolled in the HUMA PhD Program at Concordia University where she focuses on fine art, deindustrialization and oral history. Angie is from the deindustrialized island of Cape Breton and much of her art practise and research employs memory, material culture and storytelling to examine life in and around ruination on the island. Angie’s artistic explorations generally manifest in sculpture, installation and performance, but she has recently been exploring book work. She holds both a BFA (2004) and MFA (2017) from NSCAD University where her Masters thesis project, Keeper of Industrial Memory, was awarded both a SSHRC and the Governor General Academic Gold Medal. Angie is also a trained goldsmith (VCC, 2009) and was the sole proprietor of a fine jewellery business for six years.

Lumière is a free arts festival held each September in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. This year’s festival will take place from September 27 – 29, with the signature art-at-night event held from sunset to midnight, Saturday, September 29. For more information on Lumière, visit

For more information on Visual Arts Nova Scotia or the residency please visit the VANS in Residence page or contact:
Andrea Ritchie
PAINTS Coordinator