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.


“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke


About Sunshine in a Jar:

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


Photo by John Davidson

Current Bio:

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.

She is on the steering committee for the Northumberland Festival of the Arts, works with the SONG and SONGtech programs, sings in the Safe Harbour choir, and has been an active volunteer with Northumberland Players. Jessica has lived in Cobourg for over 10 years, working in Northumberland as Vice Principal at East Northumberland Secondary School in Brighton, as Principal of Colborne Public School and then Dr. GJ MacGillivray Public School in Courtice. In August, she began a new position: 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 podcast exploring creativity for writers and artists.

Upcoming Book:

  • The Thing With Feathers (book of poetry), Fall 2021, Piquant Press.

Available Books:


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