Artists: Melissa Addison-Webster, Kay’la Fraser, Fraser McDonald, Wes Ryan, and members of the Brain Injury Association Peterborough Region

These are Horizon Days and The Brain Injury Association of Peterborough Region (BIAPR) have partnered to present Cognitively Nuanced, a multidisciplinary exploration of lives lived with traumatic brain injury (TBI). A workshop series delivered prior to Artsweek invited members of the BIAPR to navigate Peterborough through verse, comedy, and sculpture and to create works that reflect their experiences. Through poetry, dance, visual art, and photography, members share what it is like to move within and access Peterborough’s urban spaces.

Exhibition Opening – painting, sculpture, photography, and performance

1 p.m.–3 p.m.

Saturday, September 22

Brain Injury Association Peterborough Region (BIAPR)

158 Charlotte St.

On Saturday, September 22, the Brain Injury Association Peterborough Region opens its doors to exhibit works of painting, sculpture, and photography. A soundscape of members’ voices and abstract sounds will form the backdrop in the gallery space while audiences engage with a brain-map of Peterborough. The event will also feature short performances that share what it is like to live with TBI. Artworks from the exhibition will be displayed in the street-facing windows of BIAPR for the duration of Artsweek.

Appendages in Relation to the Body (Revisited) – dance performance

Tuesday, September 25, 2 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

Thursday, September 27, 2 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

Peterborough Square Courtyard

360 George St. N

What props us up as we move along? This performance highlights the grace within pedestrian movement and challenges perceptions of how bodies are ‘supposed’ to move. Featuring Wes Ryan’s comic celebration of TBI, The Helmet Duet, and an original piece choreographed by Melissa Addison-Webster and members of the BIAPR, Appendages reveals that it’s impossible to remain static on a planet in motion.

Brainstorm (cliché title subject to change) – poetry reading and chapbook launch

1 p.m.–1:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 26

Peterborough Downtown Farmers’ Market

Charlotte St.

BIAPR members perform pieces of spoken word, individually and as a group, outside the BIAPR on Charlotte St. during the Peterborough Downtown Farmers’ Market. Created over a series of workshops lead by award-winning artists Fraser McDonald and Kay’la Fraser, the poems explore a number of themes related to life with TBI. A chapbook of the poems will also be available for purchase.

Artsweek in partnership with These are Horizon Days and the Brain Injury Association Peterborough Region.


Artist Biographies


Melissa Addison-Webster

Melissa Addison-Webster is a performance artist.  As a Queer woman who lives with disabilities, she endeavours to create art that questions various forms of domination and power.  Melissa understands the connection of body, mind, and spirit and celebrates the evolutionary aspects of the creative process.



Fraser McDonald

Fraser McDonald is a teacher, an award-winning performer, writer, and musician, as well as a certified mindfulness and meditation teacher.  He facilitates writing and empowerment workshops and leads meditation retreats in classrooms, community organizations, arts festivals, and other venues across Canada.  He is a former Toronto Grand Slam Poetry Champion, has competed at the US and Canadian Nationals, and has performed on stages across North America.


Kay’la Fraser

Kay’la Fraser is a passionate, dedicated, and award-winning spoken word artist, published poet, arts educator, and yogini based in Peterborough, ON.  Through public performance and education, program development and outreach, Kay’la strives to create an accessible and inclusive space in which beings are entertained, inspired, and challenged.  Kay’la firmly believes that art is a powerful form of expression, as well as a catalyst for change. Her work bridges the gap between social and economic barriers in order to usher us to a place of healing, acceptance, and transformation.


Wes Ryan

Wes Ryan is a genre-mashing performer, playwright, spoken word artist, workshop facilitator, and aspiring academic living in Nogojiwanong / Peterborough.  In 2007, Wes experienced a sudden attack of gravity and acquired traumatic brain injury. The following spring, he performed a duet with his helmet. In 2017, Wes launched These are Horizon Days, an integrated performance arts company with the belief that it is through our shared narratives that we stitch together niches of resilience into tapestries for change.

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