Yarn Around : Culture Days in Surrey!

We are happy to participate in the activities of Culture Days in Surrey with our Yarn Around Project! We planned many activities for the whole family to enjoy: a dance workshop with violin artist Annie Brown, some finger knitting and pompom making, a percussion workshop, a story time and more !

Just DROP-IN, it’s FREE!

DATE: Saturday September 23rd

PLACE: Clayton Community Centre (7155 187A St, Surrey)

TIME: 1-4pm


*detailed schedule:


  • Finger knitting and pompom making!
  • Cozy Story time with Surrey Library!



  • FO artists lead a movement activity for with yarn for all ages!


The event is presented by Surrey SPARK Stages. Many other interesting artists will be present at the community centre on that day as well ! Food trucks, art installations, interactive performances, etc..

Don’t miss out on this celebration! And invite your friends!

Tricoter in Winnipeg!

Tricoter for Babies (0-2 years) will soon be in Manitoba for the Winnipeg International Children’s Festival!

©VanessaFortin / Dancer: Liane Theriault

“Tricoter” re-creates the spirit of a knitting circle. The dance winds and unwinds through and around parents and babies who are arranged in the round. While dancing, the yarn gets tangled in a large knot of bright colours and memories of knitting from our family history re-emerge.

DATE & TIME : Thursday, June 8th 2023 – 10:00am & 2:00pm

Friday, June 9th 2023– 12:00pm & 2:00pm

Saturday, June 10th 2023– 11:00am & 1:00pm

Sunday, June 11th 2023 – 11:00am & 3:00pm

PLACECanWest Global Performing Arts Centre (2 Forks Market Rd) Manitoba

TICKETS : 13-15$,  buy here !

We look forward to seeing you! Please spread the word to all your friends!

Thank you to our partners for making this project prossible ” The Department of Canadian Heritage and Winnipeg International Children’s Festival !

Tricoter in St. Albert !

To all our families living in Alberta, we are very excited to perform Tricoter for babies (0-2yrs) at St. Albert International Children’s Festival this year!

©Vanessa Fortin / Dancer : Liane Theriault

Tricoter re-creates the spirit of a knitting circle. The dance winds and unwinds through and around parents and babies who     are arranged in the round. While dancing, the yarn gets tangled in a large knot of bright colours and memories of knitting from our family history re-emerge.

DATE & TIME: Thursday, June 1, 2023 – 10:30am & 12:30pm

Friday, June 2, 2023 – 10:30am & 12:30pm

Saturday, June 3, 2023 – 10:30am & 12:30pm

Sunday, June 4, 2023 – 10:30am & 12:30pm

LOCATION: Forsythe Hall (5 St. Anne Street St. Albert) Alberta;

TICKETS: 7$, buy here!

We invite you to share a special moment with your little one in a world filled with play, exploration, discovery and colourful yarn!

Many thanks to The Department of Canadian Heritage and St. Albert International Children’s Festival for making this project possible !

Yarn-Around Activities !

Inspired by a residency held at the Roundhouse in 2018, we are excited to expand our project Yarn-Around in collaboration with Surrey SPARK Stages this spring and throughout the fall and winter of 2023-2024!


Here are the Spring 2023 Yarn-Around Activities:

  • Percussion workshop with Sacha Levin and pompom making :

For school groups. we will run the short workshop multiple times between 10am and 2:30pm on Friday May 26.

For weekend festival goers, families with children of all ages, come before or after your show:

May 27 – 2pm to 4pm

May 28 – 2pm to 4pm

Visit us in the multi-purpose room to your right as you enter the Surrey Arts Centre!

No tickets needed, this is a free workshop! You are welcome to come and go as you wish.

  • Tricoter performance for babies with knitters of 55yrs+ !

Volunteer knitters and crochet artists will sit in our knitting circle as we perform our project Tricoter for babies, uniting all generations together!

Surrey SPARK Stages: Pre-Show Digital Guide!

To all families attending one our performance of Tricoter presented by Surrey SPARK Stages on May 27th and 28th, we are happy to provide a digital guide for you to start exploring the world of Tricoter at home!

Here is a participant’s guide that can be consulted before the performance !

If you haven’t already, you can still purchase tickets through this link !

Thank you for your support!

Tricoter is visiting Surrey SPARK Stages!

We are thrilled to announce that we will be performing Tricoter for babies (0-24 months) at Surrey SPARK Stages by the end on May!

“Tricoter” re-creates the spirit of a knitting circle. The dance winds and unwinds through and around the public who are arranged in the round. This performance is delightful mix of colours, textures, movement, violin sounds and francophone traditional knitting lullabies that captures the imagination of babies. Share a special moment with your little one in a world filled with play, exploration and discovery!

Date : Saturday & Sunday May 27-28th 2023

  • May 27 | 12:30pm & 4:25pm
  • May 28 | 1:00pm & 4:25pm

Location : Program Room of the Surrey Arts Centre, 13750 88 Ave (Surrey, BC)

Duration: 35 minutes, including a stay-and-play activity for all !

Tickets: Available for 10$ here!

If you like knitting, or things that have been knitted for you, you will want to come see this!

Thank you to our funders and partners who made this project possible : Canada Council for the Arts, City of Vancouver, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, The Roundhouse and The Dance Centre.

Yarn Around Workshop

Are you a knitter? Do you enjoy textiles?

At the end on May, Surrey SPARK Stages is presenting our project Tricoter, a performance celebrating knitting and textiles for babies, toddlers and their families! This performance is designed for a small audience (20 to 30 people) to recreate the community of a knitting circle, with soft music, dance and textile play.

For this performance, our team is inviting knitters, crocheters and textile artists to demonstrate their skills around the performance circle as the show is happening. In preparation for the performance, we’re inviting interested participants to the Yarn Around Workshop to see an excerpt of the performance and gain an understanding of how we perform with and for babies and toddlers.

WHAT: A workshop that includes sharing stories, cultural experiences and knowledge by creating connection across generations. Light hospitality and refreshments will be served.

WHEN: April 20th, 1-2:30pm

WHO: 4 to 10 participants, 55 yrs old +

WHERE: Surrey Arts Centre Program Room (13750 88 Ave, Surrey, BC)

REGISTRATION: please contact Matthew DeSiena at Matthew.DeSiena@surrey.ca 

This workshop is the first step of a long-term project that will keep evolving during Fall 2023. We are hoping to reinforce our inter-generational vision by collaborating with the elderly!The second step is to register as a City of Surrey volunteer—this will be discussed further in the workshop.

For more information, please visit this page!

self checkout : post-project reflection blog!

©Jaime Hewat

Hello to the Foolish Operations community,

This is Anna Lamontagne for my second and final blog post about self checkout

March 14th to 19th was a week of collaborative creation with the group of participants who registered for the Spring Break intensive workshop of the first iteration of self checkout. My collaborator Jaime and I met six inspiring artists between the ages of 14 and 18: Baz, Ace, Navy, Maxx, Jodie and Daniel. Together, we created a group performance in less than 12 hours of work, the official title being Trouble in Cheddardise!

Today, I’m sharing with you some reflections I had during this creative process.

Thank you for your interest in my project. Enjoy!

The inherent political value of community-oriented art work 

I have been thinking about how the values I held at the heart of this project have given it an inherent political value. In other words, how community-oriented, collaborative, queer creativity is part of an effort to rewrite the way we work outside of toxic educational systems. As a queer emerging artist myself, I carry a lot of questions about queering art practices through care and unapologetic exposure of self. Via self checkout, I reflected on how my facilitation methods could prioritize dialogue as a way to challenge power dynamics and encourage knowledge sharing among artists. Therefore, this community-based artistic project acknowledged, like all others,  that the person in front of the room doesn’t necessarily have the best idea in the room! 

 Without the initial intention of directly engaging in activism, I relied on my instincts, sensibility and the strong reverberations of my teenage years to conduct the project. I trusted the fact that I was queer enough not to fall into queer baiting – marketing technique in which one hints at, but then does not depict 2SLGBTQIA+ representation. This may sound simple but in fact, it is not at all ! I can only hope that doubts make me smarter, because they really won’t go away… Ah, the queer imposter syndrome! Bottom line, I did not identify myself extensively with the participants, nor did I ask them to: I trusted the project and the values placed beforehand. self checkout was a queer creative safer space because I was at the head of it, and because I had put a lot of thoughts into its structure.

Impossible not to mention… This month the US news has exploded with anti-trans reforms that I can barely read about. The timeline of these events overlapped with the timeline of the self checkout activities, intensifying the social and political significance of the project. I felt the intensity of it. The relevance of queer creative spaces such as self checkout is beyond question. I wanted this project to elevate queer and trans creative voices, and it did so in troubling and dangerous times. At least, without any guarantees other than my own, I can say this: this project has raised my voice and I hold it within me as a catalyst for revolution.

During the process at Collingwood Neighbourhood House!
©Jaime Hewat

Complicity and leadership 

I am twenty-two years old, so I am officially in the young adult age range myself. Being up close and personal with 14-18 year olds reminded me that my teenage years are not far away after all, whether I like it or not!  I was able to connect with the interests of the participants, build a warm and friendly relationship with each of them, and poof! Before I know it, I have my hands on a Fruit by Foot and a giant screen to play Mario Kart. These connections were very refreshing and rewarding for me, full of complicity and laughter. My energy, enthusiasm, sense of humor and casualness have found a new echo.

That said, I am aware of the teenage paradox: wanting to be treated like an adult before having the maturity to assume all the responsibilities that come with it. It’s not always easy to navigate this paradox for those around them. It takes confident and smart leaders to lead a group of teens for three hours in an empty room! Unpretentious, humble leaders. And then, more specifically for Jaime and myself in the context of self checkout, leaders who are on the same page about the importance of elevating emerging queer and trans voices.

As the majority of self checkout participants will soon be making early career decisions, I wanted to make this experience a positive one, that would hopefully inspire them to pursue in the field of performance art. I saw in each of them a unique potential that has renewed my entire perspective on the future of the performing arts. I close this project on a very optimistic note!

Group picture at the closing night! From left to right : Jaime, Jodie, Anna, Maxx, Navy, Ace, Bay, Daniel.
© danielle Mackenzie Long

All in all, the project was a huge success in every way I could think of. It was my first time directing young artists, directing a group piece, organizing an event, coordinating a team of volunteers… blah, blah, blah, so many new things I’ve learned in the past few months! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for self checkout and Trouble in Cheddardise!

If reading this has made you want to chat with me about self checkout and the possibilities for development, please do not hesitate to write to me! Let’s have coffee! I also invite you to visit my personal instagram page, @lamont_anna_gne, to see my upcoming projects!

A big thank you to the organizations that supported the project: ArtStarts in Schools, the City of Vancouver, Collingwood Neighbourhood House, QMUNITY, Foolish Operations, Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre and What Lab.

And a special thank you to people who offered precious help during the project: Ry Forsythe, Julie Lebel, Jaime Hewat, Audrey Sides, Alyssa Favero, Jarin Schexnider, Danielle Mackenzie Long, Ryan Jackson and the one Home Hardware Employee who spent an hour brainstorming with me on how to hide cereal boxes under the seats of folding chairs. 

Introducing self checkout and Anna’s mentorship with Julie!

Hello, dear Foolish Operations community!

Anna Lamontagne here! You may already know me as the communications associate for FO, but today I’m speaking from a different position! I’m writing on behalf of my personal art practice, with the goal of sharing with you my process and vision for the first iteration of my most recent project : self checkout.

Last September, Julie Lebel emailed me to recommend I take a look at ArtStarts’  Creative Sparks Grants for Emerging Artist program. She wrote: “maybe for one of your projects, like the one with Qmunity? Just a thought!” Qmunity, if you don’t already know, is an amazing non-profit organization based in Vancouver, working with and for the queer, trans and Two-Spirit communities. I joined their volunteer team in the past year, and more specifically the team helping the Youth Program (ages 14-25). Together with danielle Mackenzie Long, we offered a creative movement workshop at one of the weekly Youth Group Drop-In in the Spring of 2022. The workshop was well received and I kept in the back of my mind the intention of further developing this avenue.

So, here we are! In September, Julie pointed me towards the ArtStarts call for projects. I brainstormed (with my mom, the very first advisor for this project!) and developed the outline of what would become a few months later self checkout, a performing arts project offered to youth between 14 and 18 years old who identify as members or allies of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in Vancouver. I received very valuable support from Qmunity and Foolish Operations, without which my efforts to obtain resources would not have been possible. Thank you!

As of today, the majority of the project’s activities are still to come. However, I wish to share with you the sum of my preliminary thoughts, as an offering to open the conversation : 

self checkout : what is it?

self checkout is a project that combines performing art forms with expressions of queer identity to give 2SLGBTQIA+ youth and their allies (ages 14-18) the tools to foster their own creative ideas. The workshops allow imaginative minds to brainstorm together and generate ideas through dance, theater , writing prompts and more! The project allows a small group to take this process further by engaging in an intensive creative process during Spring Break 2023 (link to registration form here!)! The intensive focuses on the collaborative creation and planning of a culminating project. The outcome is determined by the ideas and interests of the youth, and supported by myself and my collaborator Jaime Hewat. A presentation for family and friends will take place!

The core values of the project are care, community, celebration of queer narratives and visibility for young emerging queer artists in the performing arts community. 

Expectations are malleable and will be determined through ongoing dialogue with project participants. As an emerging artist, I am learning to cultivate my own ambitions while modulating my expectations of the outcome. In this way, I am not risk-averse, but rather inclined to constantly try new things. 

My personal desires for this project are to challenge my skills as a creative leader and to strengthen my ties to my community and the values we share. To participants, I wish first and foremost fun! And perhaps a creative spark (or two!).

The interests that led me to develop such a project are sustainability in art,  collaborative art practices with a marginalized community to which I identify, the legitimization of alternative creative methods on the periphery of existing institutions, and, of course, performing arts and the contribution of the queer imaginary to the field. 

The overarching question that has emerged from this project to date is: what are the responsibilities and methods of those working to ensure a safer space for queer youth?

Julie Lebel has been a very valuable mentor in the development of the project, notably in the planning, promotion, administrative work and revision of documents. I also recognize that my position in communications support for Foolish Operations and my close relationship with Julie provided me with the necessary tools to develop this project! Thank you Julie!

To this day, I still don’t know the future of the project and I spare myself the speculation! I let the project work me as much as I work it. I will write a second blogpost to update you in the next few weeks! If reading this made you want to discuss with me about self checkout and development possibilities, feel free to write to me! Let’s go for a coffee! If you can think of anyone you know who might be interested in the project or who might want to register, please spread the word!

I encourage you to visit my personal instagram page, @lamont_anna_gne, to learn about upcoming activities for self checkout. Registration is now open until March 8th for the Spring Break intensive! Here is the link to the registration form!

Many thanks to the organizations that supported the project: ArtStarts in Schools, City of Vancouver, Collingwood Neighbourhood House, QMUNITY, Foolish Operations, Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre and What Lab.

And finally, a special thank you to some of my fellow supporters during the implementation of the project: Ry Forsythe, Julie Lebel, Jaime Hewat, Audrey Sides, Alyssa Favero, Sam Jin Coates, Maxx Sadler, Sarah Cavanaugh, Han Hugussen.