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Those of us who participate in the Centre for Community-Engaged Narrative Arts (CCENA) believe that addressing the inequities in our world depends upon widespread recognition of the inherent value of diverse communities’ everyday, experiential knowledge: their stories. CCENA aims to learn from the stories and narrative traditions through which communities imagine themselves and their relationships with each other. With this aim in mind, CCENA seeks to support and sustain art-based community listening, remembering, and story-making. We link community members with other communities and with various media and sources of expertise in order to support them in telling their stories. CCENA works with community groups (either existing or envisioned), artists, individual community members, arts organizations, and public intellectuals on projects that

  • generate community-engaged narrative arts (stimulate new stories, new ways of collecting old stories, etc.);
  • provide a platform for the long-term sustaining or archiving of community-engaged narrative arts;
  • emphasize cognitive justice and intellectual emancipation;
  • develop narrative arts in and relevant to the Hamilton region; and
  • introduce new voices and participants to the CCENA community

We take our lead from community initiatives, priorities and needs, and we seek to collaborate with those communities, in Hamilton and beyond, to work in the service of shared memory, sustainability, and creativity. In that spirit, we seek to bring together university resources (whether financial, cultural, infrastructural, or research) with community capacities, so that we can learn and retell the stories of living well together.

You can read more about CCENA in an interview Co-Directors Daniel Coleman and Lorraine York did for Hamilton Arts & Letters: “Stories of Shared Authority“.

**New: We are currently accepting proposals for the 2023-2024 academic year. If you are working on a community narrative arts project in or around Hamilton, you are welcome to apply for funding. Please submit a short explanation (~1 page) of the project you hope to complete and a simple budget by May 1. Questions and proposals can be sent to

Information Box Group

Darrell Epp

Darrell Epp Learn More

Darrell Epp reads from his new poetry collection Permanent Smoke (hybrid event).

Calla Churchward draws the White Whale

Placing Attention Learn More

Calla Churchward draws the White Whale (Placing Attention Long Table)

Cover image Defy the Silence by Rasha Omran

Poetry Collection by Rasha Omran Learn More

Cover image from CCENA-supported poetry collection by Rasha Omran

George, resident of Stoney Creek Towers

Long Table Learn More

George, resident of Stoney Creek Towers, tells his story at a Long Tables

Images from Margaret Flood's Something Round exhibit

Canada Reads and Something Round Learn More

Images from Margaret Flood’s Something Round exhibit

Margaret Flood presents her project Something Round at a Long Table

Something Round Learn More

Margaret Flood presents her project Something Round at a Long Table

Simon Orpana and Matt McInnes’ Placing Attention broadsheet

Placing Attention Learn More

Simon Orpana and Matt McInnes’ Placing Attention broadsheet


Canada Reads Learn More

Sarah Roger, Paul Barrett, and Jeremy Haynes discuss reader engagement with Canada Reads at a Long Table

Annerie van Gemerden festivities

Cees and Annerie van Gemerden Learn More

Cees and Annerie van Gemerden honoured in special issue of Hamilton Arts and Letters magazine