Speakers announced for Centering Artists in the Arts Ecology!

On the left many circles in different colours and sizes creating a circle in the middle. Text on the right Centering Artists in the Arts Ecology: An explorative and interactive session, July 29, 2021, 1-3pm via Zoom

Artists are the key component of the Arts sector, however they have an external relationship with key decision making processes impacting their careers. They depend on funding, presenters, galleries, other organizations etc. who, at times, focus more on artistic output (performance, showing) than input (support, artistic process, studio access).

Bringing artists and arts workers together in a digital and generative way, the session will join us in both a discussion, and an exploratory process animated by digital tools such as Jamboard. We aspire to have a collective visioning that aspires to elicit change to the arts sector together.

  • How different would the arts sector work if artists were realigned to the centre of the Arts Ecology? In what ways do artists inject life into the sector?
  • How does an artist centred vision co-create a different perspective to funding that differs from the current model?
  • In what ways can we ensure that an artist centered vision is not limited by the current cultural narrative but grounded in the values for funding we are aspiring to?
  • How do we arrive at a new place of creative emergence shifting the artists from the periphery to the centre?
  • What could be involved in this shift?


Sid Bobb

A member of the Sto:lo Nation, Sid Bobb is an indigenous arts leader and inter-disciplinary artist who lives and works in and out of Nipissing First Nation. Combining his cultural knowledge and experience as an artist, Sid has been committed to bringing indigenous stories and culture to the forefront. Sid’s artistic practice moves through and between the spiritual, familial, communal and professional. Along with his wife and colleague Penny Couchie, he is a co-founder of Big Medicine Studio and Aanmitaagzi, a leading indigenous multi arts company.  With Aanmitaagzi, Sid has been art-making, story-telling and dancing towards their collective imaginings.

Sally Kim 

Sally Kim has dedicated her career to building cultural capacity in Edmonton. In her various roles at the Edmonton Arts Council, Sally has participated in and overseen the development and implementation of two separate 10-year cultural plans for Edmonton. As the Associate Executive Director, she currently leads the following areas for the EAC: equity and inclusion, Indigenous relations, partnerships and human resources. Prior to her time at the EAC, Sally worked to promote the Festival City brand for Edmonton Tourism; was the producer and general manager at The Works Art & Design Festival; as events coordinator for Alberta Scene at the National Arts Centre; and supported ancillary events for the Folklife Festival at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

Sanjay Shahani

Sanjay Shahani is an arts professional with 25 years experience in the field. Sanjay has worked at the Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Trillium Foundation and Canada Council for the Arts. He is the Executive Director of the Edmonton Arts Council (EAC), and led the development of Connections & Exchanges: A 10-Year Plan To Transform Arts and Heritage In Edmonton, which was approved by Edmonton City Council in 2018. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at the National Arts Centre.

Patti Pon 

Calgary Arts Development President & CEO Patti Pon (she/her/hers) is a veteran community and arts champion. Her extensive track record of leadership and service in Calgary include staff leadership positions at EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts (now Arts Commons), Alberta Performing Arts Stabilization Fund, and Alberta Theatre Projects, and volunteer positions with Calgary Foundation (board), Calgary Stampede (committee), the Asian Heritage Foundation of Southern Alberta (founding board member), imagineCalgary (steering committee), and CKUA Radio Network (board). In 2021 Patti was the first woman of colour to be appointed to the board of the Calgary Stampede. Patti has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal as well as the 2013 Harry and Martha Cohen Award, recognizing significant contribution to Calgary’s theatre community.

Facilitated by Ella Cooper. 

Ella Cooper is an award winning cultural leader, producer, facilitator, photo-video artist, educator and programmer based in Toronto. She has been working in the arts and culture sector for over 20 years. Her creative work uses photography, film and visual arts to explore the diaspora, the creation of positive representations of the Black body in Canada, new representations of motherhood, arts for social change, community storytelling, contemporary dance, children’s programming and hybrid identities through multi-racial feminist lens.

She is also the founder of Black Women Film! Canada a not for profit organization and leadership initiative supporting the development of Black women filmmakers. In 2020, Ella received the Tiffany’s Hometown Hero Award, she received Editor’s Pick in Canadian Art Magazine for her latest solo show currently on tour and was recognized by Chatelaine Magazine as ‘30 Black Women Making Change Now’. In 2019, she was nominated for a Mayor’s Arts Cultural Leadership Award and in 2017 selected as one of Toronto Arts Council’s Cultural Leader Fellows. Ella also enjoys being a senior writer for CBC Parents and has a children’s show in development for CBC Kids under her new production company Brown Rabbit Studios.

Join us on July 29, 2021 via Zoom
Free to attend! Register today! 


Zoom link is sent automatically after registration, if you haven’t received it please email info@cpamo.org 

Accessibility: this session will be via Zoom and will have Otter.ai live transcribe available.

A collaboration between:

Logos of CPAMO, Mass Culture and Art of Festivals