Land Acknowledgement

CAFKA acknowledges that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Attawandaron (Neutral), Anishnaabeg, and Haudenosaunee peoples. The Region of Waterloo is situated on Block 2 of the Haldimand Tract, land promised to Six Nations, which includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. The Haudenosaunee Confederacy, also known as the Six Nations of the Grand River, were granted this land to enjoy forever as part of the 1784 Haldimand Treaty with the British, after the Six Nations were dispossessed of their land in Upstate New York following the American Revolution. The Haldimand Tract was reduced to less than five per cent of this original territory in the over 200 years since, primarily through the loss of land to encroaching settlers. The Haudenosaunee Great Law emphasizes collective responsibilities and rights, and with this the principle of the “Dish with One Spoon” – a treaty extended with the Anishinaabe and the British – which stipulated that the land was to be shared equally, collectively and with the utmost attention paid to peaceful relations and the conservation of lands for future generations. As an organization composed of individual artists, arts workers, and community members with diverse backgrounds and histories, it is always our responsibility to learn, acknowledge, respect and uphold the treaties made with Indigenous nations, and respect the right to land and life on unceded territories whose traditional caretakers continue to resist colonial violence today.

Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021, Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area (CAFKA) is pleased to announce the CAFKA.21 biennial, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost. In line with ever evolving public health directives, the biennial will take place as a series of activations throughout the course of the summer, bringing  contemporary art to primarily outdoor public spaces across Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge.

CAFKA.21’s theme, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, is an invitation to reflect on our everyday practices, our values, and our hopes – particularly as we navigate a global pandemic and rethink our place in the world, and in our communities. The theme likewise asks us to reflect on the things that could, and perhaps should, be left behind. The biennial addresses pressing social questions and illustrates how we can collectively and creatively overcome the challenges and entangled issues laid bare throughout the course of the pandemic. CAFKA.21 artists, organizers, volunteers and supporters have worked tirelessly to produce innovative embodied experiences that transcend the confines of our screens and can be accessed in a safe, socially distanced manner in addition to hybrid virtual encounters. This year’s biennial program maps the places where we can connect with art: outdoors, in parks, along urban walkways, and on public transit lines, among others. In response to our current collective reality, we encourage audiences to live in the moment and to treasure the memories we make as we move through these extraordinary times. Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost features over 17 artist projects commissioned and presented by CAFKA as well as our curatorial partners, including performance, photographic and sculptural installations as well as interactive media.

As CAFKA celebrates its 20th anniversary as the longest running public art forum in Ontario, we intend to highlight legacy installations from past biennials and special projects that are still publicly accessible throughout the region alongside this year’s program. CAFKA’s mandate has always focused on bringing thought-provoking artistic interventions to the spaces people frequent in the region, and this year is no different.

Installations and themes explored throughout the biennial will be activated by a robust series of events and public programs including commissioned performances, screenings and artist talks as well as through the CAFKA Summer Reading Series – White Elephant Edition beginning June 8th. Drawing from artist Shary Boyle’s commissioned work, White Elephant (2020), CAFKA’s program committee has designed a series of book clubs, discussion groups, and public lectures that seek to interrogate racism and white supremacy, drive community dialogue on issues of social justice, and facilitate working strategies to actively dismantle ongoing systems of oppression. CAFKA invites active participation in these programs of learning and unlearning, and is encouraged by the possibility of transcending geographic boundaries through international dialogue with participants.

COVID-19 Restrictions: Please consult individual artist and program pages on the CAFKA.21 website for additional information and accurate dates as programming necessarily shifts in line with public health regulations.

We are grateful to our funders and donors for supporting the 21st CAFKA biennial. Visit Our Supporters page for a full list.

To learn more about the organization, it’s history and mandate, please visit our organization’s website:

Our Team

Glodeane Brown | General Manager

Caitlin Sutherland | Program Manager

Shannon Muegge | Exhibition Coordinator

David Botros |  Audiovisual Technician & Videographer

Christina DiPaola | Education & Public Programs Coordinator

Board of Directors
Sharl G. Smith (President & Board Chair),
Conan Stark (Vice-Chair), Lauren Weinberg (Secretary),
Tara Cooper, Faryal Diwan, Brubey (Wanzhi) Hu,
Žana Kozomora, Rita M. Palacios and Ginger Whitney.

Read profiles of our staff and board.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Receive weekly updates about CAFKA.21 exhibition, upcoming programs and events.