The Ephemeral Library Society

Ephemera are things that are virtually useless in research most times. However, they may be useful in some pinches. They mostly occur in special library collections such as those found in archives‚Ķ You should not go into a research resource looking for ephemera, but they can give context for your understanding [my emphasis].

Reed, H. & Horalek, D. ‚ÄúReference Librarianship,‚ÄĚ February 14, 2023.

FADO invites you to The Ephemeral Library Society
DROP IN: From 5pm – 7pm
DATES: Wednesday January 10, 17, 24, 31, & February 7, 14
Series facilitated by Claudia Edwards

The Ephemeral Library Society is a weekly research social held in the Library & Research Centre at the Commons @ 401. Over six consecutive Wednesdays in mid-winter, you are invited to join FADO for performance-art themed group activities and solo study time in a community setting. All are welcome‚ÄĒfrom the newly performance-curious, to lifelong-devotees.

Each session may or may not include:

  • Opening group activity (creative exercise, performance game, screening, etc);
  • 30-40 minute quiet study period (solo research, browse the archive‚Äôs books and useless ephemera, or any work you choose to bring with you);
  • Closing group reflections and discussion.

Weekly activities will be iterative, taking shape based on the interests of participants. There is no need to prepare or attend every session: you may come and go, show up late, leave early, come for quiet time and skip games, whatever suits. There will be space for offerings and interventions from members, too.

Come with your burning questions and your soggy answers, leave with more questions than when you arrived, or join for the ride and tabula rasa that shit! This winter, FADO wants you to gather and dissolve with us each week at The Ephemeral Library Society.

Group Activities may include:

  • performance games, fluxus games, relational exercises (all activities adaptable);
  • creative prompts and written reflections;
  • facilitated group discussions;
  • screenings;
  • collage night???

Quiet Study Period (30-40 min)

  • with a group of focused peers, bring your solo research, or any work you’d like to get cracking on!
  • co-working / body doubling / parallel play at its finest.

Don‚Äôt sweat it if you’re unsure of what to work on, we’ll have activities on hand such as:

  • activate our Zoom livestream installation with creative interventions;
  • write letters for Gaza;
  • browse the archive‚Äôs books and useless ephemera;
  • Ask the Librarian: If you want to explore any topic or artist in particular, email us your research questions ahead of time and we’ll prep some materials for your visit!

Amenities / Accessibility

  • laptop-friendly space with outlets & wifi; AC/ventilation system; washrooms close by;
  • building with accessible entrance and elevators (Commons Library located on the 4th floor);
  • Reach out to if you have any other access needs, or let us know when you arrive and we’ll sort you out!

Helpful Links & Contact
401 Commons Library and Research Centre
Map: See last slide

Email us at to sign up for Society updates!

On the Table Off the Table

A performance series for the start of times

Put together by Shannon Cochrane and Francesco Gagliardi

Cara Spooner (Toronto)
Claudia Edwards (Toronto)
Jehan Roberson (USA)
Joe Culpepper (USA)
Mani Mazinani (Toronto)
Marcin Kedzior (Toronto)
Mathieu Lacroix (Montréal)
Nadège Grebmeier Forget (Montréal)
Sue Murad (USA)
Vanessa Dion Fletcher (Toronto)

PLUS limited-edition placemats designed by Lisa Kiss, with drawings by Hazel Meyer.

On the Table Off the Table is a series of commissioned performance works engaging with the table as context, stage, and trope. Aspiring to aesthetic neutrality or demanding attention as a chosen object, the table reappears throughout the history of performance, at times taking center stage, at other times hiding in plain sight.

For this series, artists working at the confluence of performance art and a range of diverse practices‚ÄĒfrom writing to dance, from sound to magic‚ÄĒwill create live work in conversation with performance traditions about, around, and on tables.

FADO Performance Art Centre‚Äôs first post(?)-pandemic live series, On the Table Off the Table also intends to provide artists and audiences with an opportunity to re-learn together how to inhabit the space of public presentation, rediscovering the solitary workstation as a place of gathering and play.


  • There will be 1‚Äď2 performances each evening.
  • Doors will open at listed times. Performances will start 30 minutes later.
  • Mask-wearing for audience is mandatory in the performance space. Exemptions respected.
  • Performers will not necessarily be masked while performing.
  • Accessible washrooms are located on the 4th floor.
  • Non-alcoholic drinks will be served, please eat your dinner before arriving.

Free. All welcome. Tell us you will be attending. Register on Eventbrite.

September 23 @ 7:00pm: Cara Spooner, Vanessa Dion Fletcher
September 24 @ 7:00pm: Joe Culpepper & Marcin Kedzior, Claudia Edwards
September 29 @ 7:00pm: Sue Murad, Mathieu Lacroix
September 30 @ 7:00pm: Mani Mazinani, Nadège Grebmeier Forget
October 1 @ 5:00pm: Jehan Roberson

Jehan Roberson’s performance is co-presented by Hemispheric Encounters, a partnership project supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Claudia Edwards

© Claudia Edwards. Grief Dances, 2020. Bureau of Aesthetics: Under Activation. Photo Tram Nghiem.


Claudia Edwards is a performance artist based in Toronto, Canada. Of Indo-Guyanese and British descent, their work explores issues of identity, memory, queerness, power, and decolonization, often through the vocabularies of embodiment, absurdism, and the queer trickster tradition. Their approach is conceptually driven, spanning relational performance, experimental dance, photography, video, text, and objects.

Curatorial works include HOTWIRE, a live art series featuring QTBIPOC artists hosted by Hub14, and serving on the Rhubarb 2020 curatorial collective. They have created works for FADO, Rhubarb Festival, Glasgow BUZZCUT and more, and have presented performances and workshops in festivals and galleries across Canada, the US, the UK, and live online. Edwards holds a BFA from Concordia University Montr√©al, 2016, and is currently FADO’s Archive & Programming Coordinator.

Bureau of Aesthetics: Under Activation


This program is an accompaniment to NADI’s exhibition, Native Art Department International: Bureau of Aesthetics, at Mercer Union from March 14‚ÄďOctober 31, 2020. 

Abigail Lim
Claudia Edwards
Deanne Hupfield
John Hupfield
Louise Liliefeldt
Lutan Lui
Nathan Roy

In the final weeks of Native Art Department International: Bureau of Aesthetics, artists Native Art Department International (NADI) and FADO Performance Art Centre are facilitating a series of performance (and other) interventions in the space of NADI’s exhibition at Mercer Union.

Created by participants working in a variety of disciplines including performance, dance, music and martial arts, these activations demonstrate NADI’s commitment to kinship and their desire to build solidarity through forms of collaboration that promote non-competition. Each performance is privately executed and the documentation of each gesture will live on the websites of [FADO Site] and [Mercer Union Site]. This approach speaks to the adaptive methodologies of artists and institutions alike to consider how the pandemic environment impacts the practice and presentation of performance art. Here, the perennially debated theories concerning liveness dissolve for a timely discussion around intimacy, kinship and support; tenets that are fully embodied within the ethos and history of performance work.

Mercer Union is a non-profit, artist-centred space in Toronto that was founded by twelve artists in 1979. The organization has a unique track record of presenting innovative exhibitions and programs with Canadian and international artists in formative and established stages of their careers. Mercer Union is dedicated to supporting the production of new and experimental work, assisting artists in realizing pivotal projects. Mercer Union has the will and flexibility to take on ambitious projects and fosters an intimate and supportive space for artists to develop and take risks with their work.

© Louise Liliefeldt & NADI, 2020. Photo Louise Liliefeldt.

Performance Yellow

This fragrance opens us to the question, has the show started? It's winter, the theatre is colder than the street and the room is filled with people and all their winter smells: wet faux leather, down, too much shampoo, and beer breath. The atmosphere is a trickster. Am I late, am I early?

Top Notes

yellow mandarin, mimosa

Middle Notes

honey, chamomile, salt

Base Notes

narcissus, guaiac wood, piss, beer