Open Sesame: Art, Books and Objects

About Us

Open Sesame is many things: It is a gallery that exhibits contemporary art. It is a shop that sells thoughtfully designed housewares, stationery, jewelry, accessories, and toys, with numerous items for children.

It is a source for distinctive books, magazines, and zines. It hosts artist Ellie Anglin's Kitchener-Waterloo Zine Library. It presents workshops on various topics. And it is a performance venue that hosts concerts in many genres. 


Open Sesame is located at 220 King Street West in Kitchener, next to Zehr Square.


We are open Tuesday–Saturday 11am–6pm.

Contact Us

519-954-7722 |


Connect with us on Facebook (best way to find out about our events and exhibitions) and Instagram at @OpenSesameShop, and on Twitter at @OpenSesameKW.



Event Booking

For more information about Open Sesame's concerts & community events, or to inquire about booking your band or using the space, please contact Candy and Elsa Jayne at


Exhibition Proposals

Open Sesame is a commercial gallery, book, and design shop that features affordable, cutting-edge, contemporary art by artists from across the Waterloo Region, Southern Ontario and beyond. We are interested in contemporary practices by professional artists in a broad range of media.

All proposals must be submitted as digital files and include:

Please gather the above materials and email to Sarah Kernohan at




Lauren Weinberg

Lauren Weinberg

Open Sesame founder Lauren Weinberg is a former arts journalist who lived in New York and Chicago before moving to Kitchener-Waterloo. She holds an MA in design history from Parsons School of Design. When she's not at Open Sesame, Lauren spends her time with her two young daughters, pretending to be a sea monster.








Sarah Kernohan

Sarah Kernohan

Exhibit Curator

Open Sesame curator Sarah Kernohan is a visual artist and arts administrator who received her MFA at the University of Waterloo in 2015. Sarah served as Artistic Director at CAFKA (Contemporary Art Forum of Kitchener and Area) from 2010–13. She has worked with many other local cultural organizations, including the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Inter Arts Matrix, NUMUS Concerts, and the Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound.

Sarah received a BFA in Drawing and Painting from OCAD. As a practicing artist, she has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, and is the recipient of several awards including the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, the University of Waterloo President’s Scholarship, and grants from the Ontario Arts Council. Open Sesame is currently accepting proposals for solo exhibitions. 


Elsa Ruck

Music Programmer

Elsa is a First Nations singer-songwriter who lives in Kitchener and loves her city. She fulfills many roles at Open Sesame including music programming, social media, and retail. Elsa studied music in Saskatchewan at Briercrest College and received her Bachelor of Arts at Wilfrid Laurier University. You can find Elsa performing her original music around KW and Southern Ontario on a regular basis under "Elsa Jayne". In her spare time Elsa makes Harry Potter music in her band, "The Lovegoods".

You can find Elsa's music at 

Candy Young

Candy Young




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