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Museum of Water Ontario

Museum of Water Ontario is commissioned by Luminato Festival Toronto and produced with Artsadmin (UK). Museum of Water image by Clara Peltier.

Museum of Water Ontario

Date & Time

October 15, 2021 November 30, 2021 EDT

Museum of Water Ontario is an ongoing digital project culminating at Luminato 2022.




Museum of Water began in the UK as a collection of individually sourced contributions of water that told stories of the people and places it came from, intimate and institutional reconsiderations of this precious substance. In this latest iteration, undertaken in collaboration with a collective of Indigenous artists in the place we now call Canada, the artwork strives to simultaneously acknowledge, sit with, move with, and evolve with the layers of past and present colonial history and contexts embedded within both the water and land we rely on for survival.

This sonic cyber un-mapping is an invitation to simultaneously enter into a conversation, and gesture towards building a collective capacity and stamina for action in support of and in service to water, precious water knowledges, and water access. 

Responding to one of the most critical issues of our days, Museum of Water Ontario questions and cherishes the interconnections between the human and non-human worlds. The project will introduce an interactive and virtual experience in October 2021, which will grow and continue across 2022.

At this time, given the ongoing climate where this place now known as Canada continues to have non-generative relations with Indigenous peoples, the land, and the waters, the collective would like to encourage audiences to show their support by donating to the Indian Residential School Society.

About Um of Water (web app)

this work is a sonic sharing of water wavelengths by people in relationship with water and land.

we open as a work in progress, with the intention that we can grow this together and learn from each other over time and with water. For the moment this is a desktop experience only, the mobile version is coming soon. umofwater.com

the collective is inviting Indigenous peoples and allies to sit with water and to spend time in a practice of deep listening. as the Um of Water grows, audio recordings of this experience will be able to be uploaded and heard when visitors scroll over the digital map. this collective action of deep listening and sharing is intended to create a sonic cartographic experience that centers the voice and sounds of water – amplifying and asserting our accountabilities and responsibilities to water and to each other.

words and fonts are monuments to meaning, they simplify and they standardize, they consume and limit possibilities: written place names have been used to prop up systems of abuse.

resisting the desire to pin down and reduce oral languages, refusing these assumed wayfinders of previous maps, instead, we offer the disorientation of searching, finding your way by other means, feeling your way through sound and topography, using your senses, dissolving written words to focus on the water itself.

This is a preview of an ongoing project with future programming to culminate in June 2022.

The Collective
Elwood Jimmy
Leslie McCue
Sara Roque
Amy Sharrocks

Clara Peltier

Tone Davies

Site Developers
From Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre:
Brendan Billingsley
Amos Hayes
Rebekah Ingram
Matthew King
Peter Pulsifer

Additional Sound Contributors
Ko’khó:wa Horn-Kirby, Matthew King, Thohahènte

Production Assistant (UK)
Alisa Oleva

Mary Osborn, Artsadmin UK
Alison Wong, Luminato

Um of Water is commissioned and presented by Luminato in partnership with the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre (Carleton University), and Artsadmin UK

Design de Plume, Drawing Change, Alex Rand, Murray Richardson

Process Gallery

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