Overhead image of Tsema's STAGES 2021 Installation
2 women stand on Tsema's 2022 STAGES installation
Installation view of Tsema's STAGES 2022 Installation
Image credits: Karen Asher

Plug In ICA’s STAGES biennial 2021 presents:

Tailings Pool

A temporary public art project by Tsēmā Igharas

September 17 – October 3, 2021

Pool Party | September 17, 6 -11 pm

Artist Talk with Tsēmā Igharas | September 18, 3 pm

Offsite at 87 Higgins Ave, Winnipeg, MB

This is the third iteration of the STAGES biennial presented by Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art. This year’s exhibition focuses on a Tailings Pool, a temporary public art project by Tsēmā Igharas, which will take place offsite at 87 Higgins Ave from September 17 to October 3, 2021.

An inviting, shimmery turquoise pool of water or a festering cesspool of toxicity?  That is the question being offered by Tsēmā, whose work satirizes our insatiable consumption of natural resources. Hiding in plain sight, making it all seem safe, are bodies of water that mining companies dot the landscape with to hold or ‘sanitize’ their work.  More commonly, in our suburban environment, we see retention ponds, pools of water that capture the pollutants and a feeble attempt to make safe what is unsafe.  Tailings Pool is an invitation to ponder our relationship with reality and fantasy, how we hide what we don’t like with what we wish it could be.  Tsēmā’ s Tailings Pool will invite the audience to a ditzy, kitschy, campy pool party that will be an active exploration of how we engage with the uncomfortable and how we make what causes discomfort and dress it up to our projections.

To celebrate the launch of Tailings Pool, Plug In ICA will host a Pool Party on Friday, September 17 from 7 to 11 pm at 87 Higgins Ave. Poolside performances will take place throughout the evening. Guests are invited to arrive in beachside attire.

Please join us at the 87 Higgins location the following day, Saturday, September 18 at 3 pm for an artist talk by Tsēmā Igharas. 

What to expect: Proof of vaccination will be required for entrance into both events. Events will be outdoors and dependent on the weather and current COVID restrictions. Visit for up to date protocols. 

Tsēmā Igharas is an interdisciplinary artist and member of the Tahltan Nation. She uses Potlatch methodology to create conceptual artwork and teachings influenced by her mentorship in Northwest Coast Formline Design at K’saan (2005/06), her studies in visual culture, and time in the mountains. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2011) and graduated from the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design program at OCADu showing her thesis work, LAND|MINE that connects materials to mine sites and bodies to the land. Tsēmā has won the 2018 Emily Award for outstanding ECUAD alumni; is 1/25 2020 Sobey award winners; has shown and performed in various places in Canada and internationally in Sweden, Mexico, USA and Chile.


We are on Treaty 1 Territory. Plug In ICA is located on the territories of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.

Plug In ICA extends our heartfelt gratitude to the artists we work with, our generous donors, valued members, and dedicated volunteers. We acknowledge the sustaining support of our Director’s Circle. You all make a difference.

This exhibition was curated in collaboration with Plug In ICA’s Executive Director, Allison Yearwood and the artist, Tsēmā Igharas.

STAGES 2021 is generously supported by: Alpha Masonry; Bob Brown of Leon A Brown Ltd; Bosk Construction; Dan Scherger at Building Projects & Concrete Supply.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We could not operate without their continued financial investment and lobbying efforts. For this exhibition we would like to acknowledge the generous support of Manitoba 150.

Thank you to The Winnipeg Foundation for their ongoing support.

Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all, and enable us to continue to present excellent programs.

Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at or by contacting Angela Forget at

For more information on public programming and exhibitions contact Luther Konadu at

For general information, please contact: or call 1.204.942.1043.