Our Origin Story

Indigenous artists have been dreaming of their own  artist-run centre in Montreal for a long time.  At first, we needed such a space because Indigenous arts were not being shown at artist-run centres. Happily this has begun to change. However, while we have been welcomed, as exhibiting artists and board members,  to the nearly 60 artist-run exhibition centres in the province of Quebec (at least 12 in Montreal), there remains a need for a space that is determined by Indigenous artists and their values; a place that creates a safe and generative context to present our work as well as discuss our issues, strengthen our relations, and share our cultures

daphne was founded on April 1, 2019 by Hannah Claus, Nadia Myre, Caroline Monnet and Skawennati, four Anishnaabe and Kanienkhá:ka artists based in this city and connected to its urban Indigenous communities as well as to their own families and territories, and national and international art communities.

Our name was inspired by the revered Anishinaabe artist, Daphne Odjig (1919- 2016), who also created an Indigenous artist-run space, in Winnipeg in 1971. Like her, we are making a place for ourselves and our peers to exhibit our work, to gather to take part and contribute to the important conversations that are taking place across Turtle Island.

daphne’s Mandate:
The mandate of daphne as an Indigenous artist-run centre in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/ Montreal is to promote contemporary Indigenous art and artists through exhibitions and related programming. We favour critical, respectful exchange with our various communities, peers and audiences to advance a culture of peace.


Hannah Claus
Photo credit : Elias Touil

Hannah Claus is a Kanien’kehá:ka / English transdisciplinary artist whose practice-based research engages with the idea of space shaped by language, material culture and place as transversal living concepts. She employs Onkwehonwenéha [Indigenous methodology] to critique dominant colonial narratives. A 2019 Eiteljorg Fellow and 2020 Prix Giverny recipient, Claus’ installations belong to various public collections, such as the National Gallery of Canada, the Eiteljorg Museum, the North American Native Museum (Zurich, CH), the Musée des beaux arts de Montréal, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, and the City of Montreal. Claus currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Conseil des arts de Montréal (2018 –) and has worked in varying capacities on the boards for the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective (2013 – 2018), Centre d’artistes Optica (Montreal, 2004 – 2007) and A-Space (Toronto, 1998-2001). She was hired full-time as an Assistant Professor at Concordia University in Tiohtià:ke [Montreal] in 2020. Claus was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick and has lived in New Brunswick and Ontario. Since 2001, she lives and works in Tiohtià:ke. She is a member of the Tyendinaga Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.

Caroline Monnet
Photo Credit : Sébastien Aubin

Caroline Monnet is a multidisciplinary artist from Outaouais, Quebec. She studied Sociology and Communication at the University of Ottawa (Canada) and the University of Granada (Spain) before pursuing a career in visual arts and films. Her work has been programmed internationally at the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), TIFF (CAN), Sundance (US), Aesthetica (UK), Cannes Film Festival (FR), Museum of Contemporary Art (Montréal), Division Gallery (Montréal, National Art Gallery (Ottawa), Whitney Biennial (NYC) and Toronto Biennial 2019. In 2016, she was selected for the prestigious Cinéfondation residency in Paris. Her work is included in numerous collections including Quebec Museum of Fine Arts, National Art Gallery, RBC Royal Bank, and Museum of Contemporary Art Montréal. She is based in Montréal and represented by Division Gallery.

Nadia Myre
Photo credit : Elias Touil

Nadia Myre is an Algonquin  member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinaabeg First Nation. Her multi-disciplinary practice has been inspired by participant involvement as well as recurring themes of identity, language, longing and loss. She is known for work that weaves together complex histories of Aboriginal identity, nationhood, memory and handicraft.

©Concordia University, photo by Lisa Graves

Skawennati makes art that addresses history, the future, and change from her perspective as an urban Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) woman and as a cyberpunk avatar. Her early adoption of cyberspace as both a location and a medium for her practice has led to groundbreaking projects such as CyberPowWow and TimeTraveller™.  She is best known for her machinimas—movies made in virtual environments—but also produces still images, textiles and sculpture.

Her works have been presented in Europe, Oceania, Hawaiʻi, China and across North America in exhibitions such as “Uchronia I What if?”, in the HyperPavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale; “Now? Now!” at the Biennale of the Americas; and “Looking Forward (L’Avenir)” at the Montreal Biennale. They are included in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the National Bank of Canada and the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, among others. Skawennati is represented by ELLEPHANT.

Skawennati has been active in various communities. In the 80s she joined SAGE (Students Against Global Extermination) and the Quebec Native Women’s Association. In the 90s she co-founded Nation to Nation, a First Nations artist collective, while working in and with various Indigenous organizations and artist-run centres, including the Native Friendship Centre of Montreal and Oboro. In 2005, she co-founded Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), a research-creation network whose projects include the Skins workshops on Aboriginal Storytelling and Digital Media as well as the Initiative for Indigenous Futures. Throughout most of the teens, she volunteered extensively for her children’s elementary school, where she also initiated an Indigenous Awareness programme. In 2019, she co-founded centre d’art daphne, Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal’s first Indigenous artist-run centre.

Born in Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory, Skawennati belongs to the Turtle clan. She holds a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal, where she resides.




daphne beads: perler/parler

Beading and photo by Skawennati

For the summer and autumn, until November 30, daphne beads: perler / parler will be in person. Please join us at daphne on Thursdays from 7-9pm.

In the great tradition of gathering around a kitchen table to bead and talk, daphne hosts a virtual beading night each week, hosted by daphne co-founders Skawennati & Hannah Claus.
When we first envisioned these evenings, we imagined us all together, sitting around a big table, with plenty of beads on hand to share. Because of the pandemic, these evenings have gone virtual. But we can still share ideas and expertise! The point is to meet and talk art in a relaxed atmosphere while perhaps making something beautiful in the process. We will periodically have special daphne beads nights, with invited artists. Watch our social media for details!

Everyone is welcome!

Every Thursday 
7-9pm EST

Join us for our weekly on-line gathering, a chance to bead and visit, in English, French and a little bit of Kanien’kéha! Please register by emailing us at daphne.artcentre@gmail.com and we will send you a
Zoom invitation. The event info can be found on our Facebook page.


Support & Donate

 Miigwech! Niawen'kó:wa! Ekosani! Thank you! Merci!

We are so excited to introduce you to our new gallery at 5425 av Casgrain. Our spacious new, light-filled galleries, workspaces and offices are on the ground floor. Your generous donation has allowed us to purchase furnishings to make this space comfortable and welcoming.

We have purchased: sofa, desks & desk chairs, a long table & chairs, club chairs & small tables, lamps, kitchen & dining wares, & for the exhibition area: a tool chest  with tools to fill it, shelving to hold the audio visual equipment all of which complement the items generously donated by Prefix Gallery. 

Your donations have allowed us to purchase all these things (and more)!

Your support will help daphne to meet our objective of creating a safe, welcoming exhibition and meeting space where strong, supportive relationships can be built. 

Any size donation is welcome!

Here are some of the things your donation will allow us to purchase (watch our social media for updates!) :

5$ - buys a mug for tea (to sip when you visit)
10$ - buys some brilliant beads (for our weekly beading sessions)
25$ - buys a hammer and nails (to put up some art)
40$ - buys a nice lamp (the better to see the beads!)
50$ - buys an ergonomic stacking chair (and we’d like 30!)
100$ - buys a table (for our meetings and our feasts)
250$ - buys a tool chest on wheels
500$ - buys a desk and a proper chair (for our Executive Director!)
1000$ - buys a cozy couch
2000$ - buys a computer plus software
5000$ - buys track lighting (very expensive!)

Please go to our GoFundMe page to make a donation!

You can also support daphne by becoming a member - see our membership page for more details.

Nia:wen! Miigwetch! Merci! Thank you!

We gratefully acknowledge your support!

GoFundMe campaign donors
Conseil des arts de Montréal
Canada Council for the Arts
Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec


Upcoming Events

Nuit Blanche - printmaking tutorial with Martin Akwiranoron Loft

Join us at daphne for a short printmaking tutorial by Martin Akwiranoron Loft. This will be a hands-on demonstration of the relief printing method, and an opportunity to print your own work of art. Martin will discuss safety and aesthetics, and you will get a printing block, carving tools, sketching paper, pencil and paper to produce your work. Drop in for this activity on Saturday, March 2nd between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. We are accepting donations for this activity. Spaces are limited, first come first serve, the gallery will be open so those waiting can see exhibits by Greg Staats: nahò:ten sa’tkahton tsi niioháhes? / what have you seen along the way? and Martín Rodríguez: Ehécatl, as the wind blows in all directions.

Martin Akwiranoron Loft was born and raised in Kahnawá:ke, Mohawk Territory, and has been a professional artist for over thirty years. He is a photographer, printmaker, and craftsperson and was a founding member of the Native Indian Inuit Photographers’ Association (NIIPA, 1985-2000). NIIPA is an influential Indigenous artists’ organization that presented Visions, the first international Indigenous photography conference and touring exhibition. Martin has exhibited his photography, traditional crafts, and prints nationally and internationally at the following venues: The National Museum of the American Indian, The Museum of Civilization in Quebec, The Royal Ontario Museum, The Iroquois Indian Museum, The Mashantucket Pequot Museum, The McCord Museum, and The Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic, which recently hosted the “On the Paths of the Iroquois” exhibition.

See more Nuit Blanche Programming

daphne breathes - Indigenous art meditations 2024

Join us in-person at daphne for an artist talk from Martín Rodriguez on his current exhibit "Ehécatl, as the wind blows in all directions", followed by a guided meditation. Exploring themes presented in Rodriguez’s work, the meditation will be led by Lauren Karonhiaronkwas McComber (Kanien'kehá:ka, Bear Clan), owner of Lotus + Sage Holistics, a holistic wellness business located in Kahnawà:ke.

daphne breathes is designed to bring community together around art, and foster wellness through art and mindfulness. Participation is open to Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

The first talk will be presented on Saturday March 2nd at 2pm ET @ 5425 av Casgrain, Unit #103 Montreal, QC H2T 1X6.  Please note, a maximum of 15 spots are available. Sign up through the eventbrite.

The artist talk will be about 30-45 minutes, including a Q&A, and the meditation will be between 15-30 minutes. The artist talk will be filmed. Yoga mats & light refreshments will be available.

Vernissage / Opening - Saturday, February 3, 2-5pm

daphne is pleased to announce the opening of two solo exhibitions with artists:

Greg Staats: nahò:ten sa’tkahton tsi niioháhes? / qu’est-ce
que vous avez vu en chemin? / what have you seen along the way?

Martín Rodríguez: Ehécatl, comme le vent souffle dans toutes
les directions / Ehécatl, as the wind blows in all directions

 exhibition on view at daphne - 3 .2. 2024 - 6. 4. 2024

Greg Staats Artist Statement

I’m interested in diverse layers of communication; paradoxically, of the wordless as an entity—by which I mean, torn from the Skarù:reˀ language of my traditional belonging, I am presented with a void in my practice. Yet I carry a reciprocal responsibility to knowledge, so returning to Six Nations as a participant in the land and an observer of its latent meanings, I have acquired a new enthusiasm through a de-essentialized process—of image gathering and being in a state of constant reflexive return. The dissociation brought about by my dilemma becomes a wandering with purpose that allows the gleaning of images and events as evidence stored within the land. Once this evidence is picked up, I then decode and present what a wordless trauma would look like.

Dissimilar images can also reveal unexpected affinities, as if they shadowed one another.

I exist within the process of transforming belonging by way of selecting more complex images that challenge essential thinking. The images here are of deep personal connections to family, land, and systemic deficits that continue to exist. Working through personal condolence countervails the dragging of an ancestral presence, which casts a traumatic shadow. The idea is to recognize that trauma precipitates a transitional stage of change.

(Kanien'kéha translation by Wilhemina Beauvais)

Ne kenón:we’s ne nia'te tsi ní:ioht tsi taktháren, takté:ni nahò:ten kén:tons, ne iah teiowén:nonte tsi ní:ioht ne óia'k thikaia’tó:ten — ne kí:tons tsi é:ren iontia'tenhawíhton tsi nonkwá:ti ne akahronkhátshera
 Skarù:re? tánon tsi niionkwarihò:ten, thénon ki’ tióto'ktetsi watió'te. Ne ki’ sháka kháwi tsi wakaterihwaién:ni ne nahò:ten aonkaterién:tarake, tho ki’ionsáke ne Six Nations wa’katiá:taren akkaén:ion ne ohóntsa tánon nahò:ten kén:tons.Sénha onke’nikonhrá:reke tsi iah kwahk tekari'wanóntha tsi nakaié:ren —akaró:ron thénonaiontkátho tánon tiókonte tsi thénon taierihwa’será:ko. Tsi iá:we wahentó:ren’ne, é:ren wahéhte, thénon ki’ nontié:ren tsi wátons aieró:roke ne thénon aiontkátho tánon tsi niiá:wenskarihwahní:rats nahò:ten ká:ien ne ohóntsake.

Nónen tenhonnéhkwe nahò:ten karihwahní:rats, thóne ónen tenkté:ni nahò:ten kéntons, tánon entekhé:ion ne iah teiowén:naien tsi naiá:wen’ne tho naióhton.

Ne ó:ia’ ní:ioht tsi aiontkátho óni enwáton ne aontotáhsi ne iah tetísahrhá:re ne teskontié:rentsi ní:ioht ne iotahsá:tare.

Ónen ki’ tho í:ke ne takté:ni tsi akerá:ko ne wentó:re naiontkátho kwah wentó:re tsi enhsanonhtonniónhwe. Ki tsi ensatkátho ne ki’ ne tsi ní:ioht tsi teiakwá:neren ne kahwà:tsire, ohóntsa tánon tsi tió:niote sótsi ken’ niwá:’a tánon shékon iónhnhe.

Watio'tátie ne í:i tsi wakanitenrátskon tewakniotátie tsi kháwe tsi ken’ rón:ne’s ne ronatohétston, iakohteronhkwén:ni tsi watahsatáhrha. Ne ki’ kéntons aieién:tere’ne ne thénon aontaiontónrnekené:ne thénon tewatteniónhe.


Greg Staats acknowledges the support of: The Ontario Arts Council and The City of Toronto through Toronto Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Recent Events

Curator Talk with Guy Sioui Durand

daphne will kick-off the first of our 2024 curator’s talks on Saturday January 20th at 2pm.

Join us for the talk with independent curator, Guy Sioui Durand.

Guy Sioui Durand is a Wendat (Huron) based in Wendake, Québec. He is a sociologist (Ph.D), art critic, independent curator, renowned speaker, performer, author and teacher. His specialty is in Contemporary Indigenous Art and Contemporary Art. On one side, he focuses on the subject of the decolonization of minds by the rewilding of our imaginations and the renewal of relationships. On the other hand, he suggests that we must change the world through art, and art through living Indigenous art.

          Guy Sioui Durand (photo Martin Loft)

This event is part of our Kaié:ri Year 2 Programming, with funding from the CAM’s Indigenous Arts Project Support. This event is the first of a 4-part series of Curator Conversations. These talks will introduce our members and audience to curators who will talk about their approaches to curation that directly considers and reflects on their experiences of Indigenous art practices and their own Indigeneity.  We believe it is important to hear the curator's voice and have them tell their story to reinforce the knowledge, creativity, and intellect rigour they bring to this work.

daphne beads: perler / parler
Artist talk with Jean Marshall

November 30th from 7-9pm at daphne

Jean Marshall is a bead worker, quiller & aspiring hide tanner. Making her own materials to sew with is important because it is how she (re)learns the life ways of my Anishinaabeg ancestors, utilizing knowledge keepers and participating in the continual reciprocity of knowledge transference. She creates to connect with community, as developing relationships is integral to her arts practice. She is interested in our (re)connection to the land, water & traditional food ways. It is a process of ‘coming back home’. This is what she has chosen to do with her life; to become a master hide tanner and pass down this knowledge. She is also the founding member of the Anemki Art Collective.

On November 30th join Jean in conversation on her efforts to revitalize moose hide tanning in her community.  She will discuss how community & identity are integral to her arts practice as a beadworker. 

On November 30th, Jean Marshall  will give an artist talk at daphne beads: perler / parler at 7-9pm.

naabidoo’igan: daphne's 1st annual Indigenous Beadwork Artist Market and Silent Auction

December 1st from 3-7 PM and December 2nd from 11-5 PM.

Silent Auction: Saturday December 2nd, 2023 from 5-8 pm

December 1st from 3-7 PM and December 2nd from 11-5 PM.

Silent Auction: Saturday December 2nd, 2023 from 5-8 pm

Silent auction items on view from Monday, November 27

Audie Murray, Artist-in Residence

October 9 - November 3, 2023

During the residency at daphne, artist Audie Murray will be creating multiple feet of chain links out of glass beads. This chain will eventually be exhibited alongside her current body of work exploring the ways in which we share out practices with audiences, especially when based in cultural knowledge and personal experience. Using a variety of mediums and processes to conceal and protect, these visual abstractions act as a point of sovereignty for the artist. Through the construction of this chain, Audie will be reflecting on her relationship with beadwork which can feel constraining and heavy. This piece will mark a transformational exploration in the artist's studio practice.

daphne acknowledges the support of the Conseil des art de Montreal for this  artist residency.

daphne operates on unceded lands. We are proud to be a part of this urban island territory, known as Tiohtià:ke by the Kanien’kehá:ka and as Mooniyang by the Anishinaabe, as it continues to be a rich gathering place for both Indigenous and other peoples.


site design by Sébastien Aubin