Upcoming Panels May 10-13 & Conference Schedule!

Registration is open! May 10-13, 2022. Gathering Divergence Multi-Arts Festival & Conference Spring 2022. Behind the text images of a workshop and a person speaking with images projected on the screen behind him.

The Gathering Divergence Multi-Arts Festival & Conference
Moulding The Future:
Rethinking Strategies for the Arts Sector Now

May 10 – May 13, 2022
Via Zoom and Small World Music Centre (Toronto) 

This year, Gathering Divergence Multi-Arts Festival & Conference Spring 2022 | Moulding The Future: Rethinking Strategies for the Arts Sector Now will address emergent ways of rethinking the sector as we emerge out of the pandemic, focusing on the responsibility of the sector to strategize, implement supportive systems that benefit IBPOC artists / organizations and the Arts Sector at large.

The festival / conference focused on varying topics within the Arts sector grounded in the transformative change through a cross-sectoral understanding of Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity. Through panels, workshops, exhibitions and showcases encouraging divergence across arts practices, collaboration and professional development shaped within the sensibilities of art making and networking of IBPOC artists and organizations.

Our programming will feature the following panels:

Organizational Development and Pivoting
(Tuesday. May 10)
There is no doubt that the racial reckoning is re-centring our focus on the need for understanding the need for social justice. Covid 19 has impacted the Arts sector and in turn the organizations within the creative economy. In acknowledging, strategizing and implementing equitable change systems, Arts organizations are being prompted to focus on resources geared towards organizational development, sustainability with a particular focus on how the pandemic  forced organizations to “pivot” into the next generation of the arts across Canada and the world.
Digital Design Thinking / Focus Monetizing Creative Content Online
(Thursday, May 12)
Traditional models of Theatre going and performance are being forced to evolve with the contemporary reality of digital technology which is now at the forefront of everything we do. How are the Arts responding and adjusting to this new reality?  Part resources, part strategy, digital design thinking and integration into the performing arts is required. Highlighting once again the inequitable distribution of resources across the disciplines, practice and socio-cultural realities.
The Importance of Amplifying / Making Space for Indigenious / Racialized Artistic Directors within the Arts Sector
(Friday, May 13)
The city of Toronto’s Artistic community has seen a shift in creative leadership resulting in some key organizations being led by IBPOC directors. Leading with a sensibility of not replicating oppressive systems of creative endeavours that will impact IBPOC artists, we invite some of the Artistic Directors to convene in a conversation on artistic leadership from an IBPOC perspective highlighting both continued challenges, areas of creative potential and programming for a diverse city.

Plus workshops and performances by Jody Chan, Liliona Quarmyne, Robert Ball, Anqi Li, Randell Adjeli, Nickeisha Garrick, Little Pear Garden, Rhoma Spencer, Pam Mordecai, Pam Mordecai and Modern Times Stage Company artist: Rafeh Mahmud.

The full schedule is available here.

Registration:  Tickets: $15 a day or PWYC
Day 1: Tuesday, May 10 via Zoom | 9:30 am – 2:00 pm
Day 2: Thursday, May 12 via Zoom | 12:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Day 3: Friday, May 13 in-person and live stream via Zoom | 11:00am-5:30 pm
Location: Small World Music Centre
Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw St, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5
Pleas note we have a limited number of Pay What You Can (PWYC) tickets to enable price accessibility for low income individuals to attend.

Covid protocols: People attending the event in Small World Music Centre need proof of vaccination or negative test within 24 hrs before the event. Masks are recommended in Artscape common areas. No food or drink in common areas and hallway.

Register online: https://the-gathering-divergence-spring-2022.eventbrite.ca

If you have any questions email: info [at] cpamo.org

As you know we have been fundraising for both — our last Gathering Divergence in December 2021 and for our upcoming Gathering Divergence in May 2022. Help us showcase more IBPOC artists and arts administrators by contributing today!

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