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Cancelled - DNA CON at FCG


Dear DNA CON Artist, Vendors, Volunteers & Attendees,

It is with great sadness that we are having to notify you that due to circumstances beyond our control the DNA CON event which was to be held at Forest City Gallery September 1st & 2nd has been officially cancelled. We understand your disappointment and frustration at this time and wish to share with you that though this years event will not be happening we are hopeful that we can come together next year in a stronger and more unified way. Please keep following along on our social media as we are proud of the community we have been able to build together this far. We are incredibly grateful for all the time, energy and commitment everyone has put into DNA, we truly wouldn’t be here without you. Thank you.


The Disability and Neurodiversity Alliance (DNA) of Southwestern Ontario (SWO) was created to build a community of individuals who identify as autistic, d/Deaf, disabled, mad, neurodivergent, and/or as having a chronic illness, disability, long-term condition, or mental illness. Simply put, we welcome anyone who does not identify as non disabled. Non-disabled allies are welcome to join us as well.

Together we hope that the DNA community can help each other improve accessibility, reduce isolation and create new opportunities, events and community together. DNA wants to create a space for discourse between people with disability and neurodiversity. As our experiences and conditions present as a broad spectrum of life often forgotten by many, we feel an alliance would be beneficial to improving quality of life in Southwestern Ontario as a whole. As individuals with disability and/or neurodiversity we navigate the world in our own unique ways. You may even say we originated the term “Life Hack” as things are so often designed without us in mind. So many things in our lives are customized and personalized to our needs and aesthetic tastes. We modify things from our clothes to our assistive devices to fit our lives. Even the ways in which we communicated with each other act as shorthand in our communities. It is this culture we want to celebrate together collectively as DNA.

With the things that deserve celebration there remains countless issues that still need to change within our society. We can all agree there are tremendous flaws in our social and health care systems that affect all of us. The best way to start making the necessary changes is to raise our voices as a collective. After all they’re this strength in numbers, and recent statistics say we make up close to 25% of Canada’s population. Which is Canada’s largest minority population. The Disability and Neurodiversity Alliance (DNA) of Southwestern Ontario (SWO) is holding the first-ever conference celebrating our community in this area, at Forest City Gallery, September 1 & 2, 2023. Starting August 29th and running until September 7th the first ever DNA Art Show will be featuring over ten different artists with disability and/or neurodiversity. Each artist brings their unique relationship to disability and/or neurodivergence with their selected works. Having the opportunity to present them together in a single show allows outsiders to witness just how broad of a spectrum the life experience surrounding disability and/or neurodiversity. Which truly is something to celebrate.

Following the Art opening on the evening of September 1st, there will be another event September 2nd featuring speakers, performers and a vendors market shining a light on members of our community. Too often the lives and stories of people with disability and/or neurodiversity left out of the history books. It is the hopes of DNA to push back against this history of erasure with these events and start doing the work of leaving evidence for our future generations.


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