Venue:  Silver Spire United Church
Time: Friday 8pm-10pm; Saturday 2:30pm-4:30pm, 10pm-12am; Sunday 5pm-7pm
Category:  Rhizomes
City of Origin:  St. Catharines
Price:  $20 or Festival Pass


A hybrid performance consisting of massage, music and video projections repositions touch to its therapeutic roots.


In the wake of high-profile allegations (eg. watershed accusations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein) toxic workplaces and powerful leaders who committed grave acts of sexual harassment have been exposed. Weinstein’s female victims recounted a similar act before he escalated heinous behaviour: soliciting or giving a massage. Massages By Strangers aims to reposition massage from its negative connotations (eg. gateway to physical harassment, body-rub parlours) to its therapeutic roots. The immersive environment actively engages multiple senses – touch, sight, hearing and olfactory, which encourages collective listening and progress while negotiating boundaries surrounding issues of consent and respect. Given recent seismic shifts in social attitudes around health, wellness, impropriety and rights, Massages captures an urgent mood.

Founded by Arthur Yeung and Lesley Loksi Chan, AUTOMATES is a Toronto-based collective that uses its background in visual media and music to contemplate urgent issues through interdisciplinary performances within visual media-based installation environments.

Chan’s multimedia visual work has been exhibited internationally and often explores the ambiguous ways in which the personal connects to larger cultural and political meanings through everyday objects and imaging technologies. Yeung has performed internationally with his electronic musical endeavours and collaborations and co-founded multi-disciplinary performance groups while composing film/video soundtracks.

DEPRESSION ERA (Electric Bat Records) is a Toronto-based, alternative-electronic project formed by Andrew Hercules and Arthur Yeung. Moody soundscapes mix with intimate vocals and distressed beats to form the duo’s bold and emotional sound.

“Depression Era – giving off serious Depeche Mode and early Nine Inch Nails vibes” ~@kzknowles (Twitter fan)


Arthur Yeung (AUTOMATES artistic collective co-founder & Depression Era band co-founder)
Lesley Loksi Chan (AUTOMATES artistic collective co-founder)
Andrew Hercules (Depression Era band co-founder)