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 believes that solo exhibitions are important to artists, so we are programming solo shows for the moment.

daphne’s first year of exhibition programming concentrates on Quebec-based Indigenous artists from mainly French-speaking communities, because they are often left out of the conversations taking place within Indigenous art communities nationally and internationally.

We took the lead from an important initiative developed by the Indigenous Curatorial Collective (formerly ACC/CCA), called Tiohtià:ke Project, which brought curators from across Canada to Quebec to travel to various Indigenous communities to do studio visits with artists. Each exhibition in 2021-22 will feature a Quebec-based artist paired with a curator who worked on the Tiohtià:ke Project.

daphne beads: perler/parler

Beading and photo by Skawennati

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



Become a member: sign up here.

daphne offers 3 different types of membership:


  • Any person who self-identifies as Indigenous (Inuit, First Nations, Métis) who supports daphne’s mandate 
  • Indigenous members are voting


  • Any non-Indigenous person who supports daphne’s mandate
  • Ally members are non-voting 


  • Any organization or institution (establishment, foundation, society, or corporation) who supports daphne’s mandate 
  • Organizational members are non-voting

Any person who supports daphne’s mandate may become a member, at any time, provided they fulfill the following:

  1. Completion of four (4) hours of volunteering and/or sharing/contributing to two (2) participatory events in the same programming year.

  2. Payment of $20 annual membership fee for individual (Indigenous/Ally) or pay-what-you-can or through in-kind payment (volunteering). Payment of $50 annual membership fee for indigenous organizations or $100 for ally organizations.

Benefits of Membership

All members may participate at assemblies of the organization, benefit from and participate in, all services offered by the organization.

To learn more about memberships, please contact us at daphne.artcentre@gmail.com and indicate which type of membership you are interested in. 

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