I would like to nominate InSitu Multi-Art Festival, “The Lost Museum”, for The Web Excellence Awards, under the category Art. This year, due to COVID-19, the InSitu 2021 Organizing Committee pivoted InSitu Multi-Arts Festival to an online event. The Lost Museum project, a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is a virtual museum celebrating art and performance through the themes of “Lost,” introducing viewers to unknown works inhabiting the Small Arms Inspection Building (SAIB). The project currently features the work of 50+ artists, performers, cultural producers, builders, filmmakers, and designers from Mississauga and the GTA’s creative communities, along with the contributions of 250+ students. The launch of The Lost Museum, March 26th, 2021, brought together a virtual viewing audience of 600 people, and has now engaged a diverse group of 2,800 people through meaningful engagement with the arts.
The Lost Museum’s 9 collection rooms – The Alchemy Lab, The Lost Library, The Healing Room, The Umbrellatorium, The Dressing Room, The Preservation Portal, The Space Between, The Lost Letters Office, and The Atelier of Abandoned Spaces – are each created by local and emerging artists and students in response to the overarching theme of ‘Lost’. Works include paintings, images, dance, music, theatre, video, photography, stories, poetry, interactive gaming, and more. Viewers explore the Museum through video, guided by the performances of Outreach Artists/Curators, who introduce and guide them through the curated collections.
Led by Artistic Co-Directors Jill Hollingsworth and Heather Snell, The Lost Museum involved the contributions of an eclectic and diverse group of individuals. Thank you to Noelle Hamlyn, Cathleen MacDonald, and Colleen Snell, as well as The CreativeHub 1352 Organizing Committee and Board of Directors. The Lost Museum is produced by CreativeHub 1352, and backed by the foundational support of Heritage Canada, McKenna Logistics, Humber College, Ontario Trillium Foundation, and the City of Mississauga.
The Lost Museum, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, created space for students to engage in meaningful educational programming in the arts. Through the leadership and contributions of The Lost Museum’s Artistic Co-Directors, Organizing Committee, and Outreach Artists, The Lost Museum project created an accessible virtual site for community engagement, providing students with an opportunity to develop their skills, portfolios, and publicity. The Lost Museum promoted curiosity and imagination, giving students free reign to confidently voice their ideas, emotions, and aspirations, supported by the mentorship of a diverse group of Outreach Artists. I encourage you to visit The Lost Museum website, at https://thelostmuseum.ca/, to experience the true magic of the project, transcending disciplines, hierarchies, and age boundaries.