Jenn Cole

Jenn Cole develops theatre-dance piece “Swim” about living waterways, working with artistic collaborators, elders, and outside eyes. “Swim” asks the questions: what happens when the locks come down, the salmon nation returns to Michi Sagiig territory and the museums smash apart, unarchiving all of our “stuff?” How will such an event change our relations?

Swim! activities are also part of Artsweek Shift2, and Public Energy’s Erring at King George project slated for 2022.

Jenn Cole (Mixed Ancestry Algonquin Anishinaabe) is a performer, Associate Artistic Director at Nozhem First Peoples Performance Space and an Indigenous Feminist Performance scholar in Gender and Social Justice Studies at Trent University. She has performed in dance, film and installation work in Nogojiwanong, Minneapolis, Washington DC, and Toronto. Select performances include: (forthcoming) Swim!/Arriving Again with Urpi Pine and Kerry Beebee, Erring 2; (2020) She’ll Sing Them Home, dance road trip film/artistic ceremony with Cara Mumford; Necessary Gestures winter garden movement film with Cara Mumford, William Kingfisher, Bennett Bedoukian, Kerry Beebee; Jiimaan Alternating Currents; Being Salmon, Being Human Dramaturgy for Martin Lee Mueller, Elisha Macmillan, and Torgier Vassovik (Sami); (2019) Gitigaan: Dances for Gardens Artspace InSites Festival; Enewendewin Artspace; Shapeshifter: Red Card Dancer/dramaturgical collaborator for Cara Mumford; Traplines Small Dance for Small Spaces Festival; (2018; Dumoine River Art for Wilderness Residency CPAWS-ON; Listening to Kashtin with my Mom Gatherings book launch, Imperial Pub, Toronto and Unnsettling Activisms book launch. Jenn was Indigenous Advisor for last year’s Precarious festival. 

Artsweek SHIFT²/Precarious3 Festival Project “Swim!” by Jenn Cole is looking for participants.

Swim! is not dancing together in the same spacetime continuum at the moment. Instead, we are creating solo (or bubble) choreography for and with audiences through Canada Post.

We envision a time when salmon return to the watershed in Michi Saagig territory, where the locks come down and Odenabe, the river who bubbles like a beating heart, takes her former place. Maybe some stuff gets broken. Maybe the museums come apart at their seams and Michi Saagig Anishinaabeg can swim and bring some of their stuff home. Maybe grannies come to pick watershed plants for tea with their friends. Maybe our hearts all beat a little stronger. We invite you to deepen your relationship to Odenabe from your homes, from the river or canal edges, from your imaginations.

Audiences will receive mail from Swim! artists, including prompts for accessible movement and vocal practices. Participants can choose to maintain their privacy in their practice or are invited to share their results, shaping Swim!’s eventual live performance.

Send your mailing address to dancers at by May 27 to participate.

If you do not have a mailing address but would like to participate, please let us know in your email.

Swim! A Glimpse

Jenn Cole speaks about Swim!

As part of Artsweek SHIFT2, Swim! will also be sharing a video glimpse into their rehearsal process, and Jenn Cole will appear on Trent Radio to discuss Swim! as a work in progress.

Find out more about Swim! here.