Welcome to Sunshine in a Jar

Arts & Creativity with Jessica Outram

Sunshine in a Jar is a labour of love. Engaging in the arts is an act of presence, mindfulness, and tuning into the self. Creativity helps us to hear our own voices and to share our voices with others. We can reconnect to the freedom of being a child again through improvisation, creative exploration, and through living our questions.

About Sunshine in a Jar:

Engaging with the metaphor “sunshine in a jar” began nearly 20 years ago when it first appeared while writing a poem. Continuing to explore the phrase throughout a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Community Development at OISE through Arts-Informed inquiry deepened the relationship. The metaphor still inspires me today.

Photo by John Davidson

About Jessica:

Jessica Outram is Cobourg’s 4th Poet Laureate. She is a Métis writer and educator with roots in the Georgian Bay Métis Community. Since 2019, her mandate has been to honour and nurture Cobourg’s culturally dynamic community. Jessica not only encourages the reading and writing of poetry, she also aims to enrich our shared human experience with heartfelt contributions.

As Poet Laureate, Jessica curates a weekly email series, Poetry Present. Since July 2021, Jessica has also featured a local poet in “Cobourg Now” by sharing one of their poems and writing an accompanying letter in Letter to a Poet. In 2021, Jessica shared monthly prompts and collected poems in an evolving eChapbook, Cobourg Present, that grew to 120 pages of poetry featuring 37 poets. Jessica is a member of the Ontario Poetry Society and the League of Canadian Poets.

Jessica is also a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada. Her play Once Upon a Rocking Chair has been produced twice to sold out audiences. In 2022, Piquant Press releases her poetry collection, The Thing with Feathers. She is currently working on two books for children inspired by Georgian Bay and her family’s stories.

She is involved in the Northumberland Festival of the Arts, has worked with the SONG and SONGtech programs, sings in the Safe Harbour choir, and has been an active volunteer with Northumberland Players. She is a member of the Spirit of the Hills Arts Association and the Cobourg Poetry Workshop. In November 2021, she was a juror for the Art Gallery of Northumberland’s 43rd Juried Exhibition.

Jessica has lived in Cobourg for over 10 years, working in Northumberland as Vice Principal at East Northumberland Secondary School in Brighton, then as Principal of Colborne Public School and Dr. GJ MacGillivray Public School in Courtice. She currently works as Principal of Indigenous Education, supporting all schools K-12 in Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board.

As the owner of Creativity Coaching Canada she works with artists and writers to nurture their life’s work. Jessica has studied watercolour, acrylic, mixed media, and photography. She regularly offers creativity workshops that focus on attention and ways of noticing using the arts from a variety of forms, time periods, and locations.

Jessica is co-host of Hummingbird, a weekly podcast.

The Short Bio:

Jessica Outram is Cobourg’s 4th Poet Laureate. She is a Métis writer and educator with roots in the Georgian Bay Métis Community. Jessica is co-host of The Hummingbird Podcast, a weekly podcast about identity, healing and wellness, the spirit of place, and the pull of mystery.


I’m a proud citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario with roots in the Georgian Bay Métis Community from the Verified Métis family lines of Solomon and Berger/Beaudoin. It’s an honour to have the position in my family as the story keeper for our history. Georgian Bay and my family are a main source of inspiration. Writing about life by the water, the history that was hidden for so many years, and the ways of our grandparents helps me to better understand our family story. What a blessing to meet so many cousins through this blog!

Upcoming Books:

  • Bernice and the Georgian Bay Gold (children’s novel), Second Story Press. Spring 2023.

Available Books:

Creativity Coaching

Creativity Coaching Canada is an expression of gratitude for living a life of creative abundance. I want to share what I’ve learned with you. Visit the site to learn more about opportunities for individuals and groups.

Arts and Creativity are a way to peace, joy, and healing. Everyone is naturally creative. Sometimes people forget how to notice where it lives inside them. I can help.

The Hummingbird Podcast

A weekly podcast about creativity, arts, literature, and life. Dive into poems as we reflect on creative practice, projects, and passion. If you’re looking for more creative energy in your life, join our Hummingbird community. Each week we use poetry as a portal to chat about creativity, arts, literature, and life with co-hosts Catherine Graham and Jessica Outram.

Listen on your favourite platform.

Blogging Since 2007

Include in your visit to this site some time exploring the blog. Creativity, arts, and writing are ways to relax, recharge, and reconnect. Over the years it has become like a digital scrapbook cataloging the journey of creative energy over time.

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