SESSION: Digital Design Thinking / Focus on Monetizing Creative Content Online is on May 12

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.

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. 
Keynote by Santee Smith
Thursday, May 12 at 12:30pm 


a headshot of a women

Santee Smith – Concept/Artistic Director/Producer/Performer


Santee Smith, Tekaronhiáhkhwa/Picking Up The Sky, is a multidisciplinary artist from the Kahnyen’kehàka Nation, Turtle Clan, Six Nations of the Grand River. Transformation, energetic exchange and creating mind-heart connections through performance is her lifelong work. Santee trained at Canada’s National Ballet School; holds Physical Education and Psychology degrees from McMaster University and a M.A. in Dance from York University. Premiering her first production Kaha:wi – a family creation story in 2004, one year later she founded Kaha:wi Dance Theatre which has grown into an internationally renowned company. Santee approaches her life and work in a sacred manner and the importance of sharing our gifts with others. Through her Onkwehonwe’neha creative process, Santee’s work speaks to identity and humanity, role and responsibility of artists in community. She is a sought-after teacher and speaker on the performing arts, Indigenous performance and culture. Smith is the 19th Chancellor of McMaster University.

Digital Design Thinking / Focus on Monetizing Creative Content Online
Thursday, May 12 at 2:30 PM 

Panelists:  Alleah Erica Clarke, Laurence Lemieux, Neena Jayarajan,  and April Britski

Moderator: Kevin A. Ormsby

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.


a woman smiling , wearing a colourful jacket and a pink shirtAlleah Erica Clarke is a Business Strategist and Development Coach who founded AJ Cultured,  a rapidly growing organisation that provides a wide range of services for small business owners. She is a business developer that holds a portfolio of companies including Culturnique, a full-service and digital design firm, and Alcreance, a bookkeeping and accounting firm.  Having been a solopreneur herself, she understands the responsibilities and struggles of solopreneurs that strive to see their visions through. AJ Cultured and its sister companies allow Alleah Erica to guide solopreneurs to where they want to be, help propel their organisations to higher heights and newer sights, hold businesses accountable for their growth, and ultimately influence change. Alleah intends to create a powerhouse of small business development assets and organisations, becoming a facilitator and agent of change in business, culture, art, and community.

a photo of a women wearing a black shirt As artistic director of Citadel + Compagnie for nearly two decades, Laurence Lemieux has established herself as a leader within Toronto’s dance community. Her multi-faceted experience as a dancer, choreographer, teacher and presenter has guided the company’s mandate of community outreach and engagement and given rise to C+C’s distinctive artistic voice. (Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic) 

a woman smiling , wearing a black shirtNeena Jayarajan is an independent dance theatre artist with extensive experience in Bharatanatyam and Odissi dance techniques.  Her primary training was under the tutelage of Dr. Menaka Thakkar, and Sujatha Mohapatra.  She served as the Assistant Artistic Director of Menaka Thakkar Dance Company for 7 years,  as well as assistant teacher at nrtyakala for  20 years.  She currently is an Associate Artist at Nova Dance involved in both creative and organizational roles.   Neena completed her MA in Dance from York University and was a 2016 recipient of the Chalmers Arts Fellowship Grant. She made her theatrical debut in Theatre Smith’s Gilmour’s Metamorphosis.  Neena currently sits on the board of CADA west and The Dance Current Magazine and is currently on her own choreographic journey of exploration using her classical roots to fuel a contemporary outlook.  

a woman with glasses wearing a black shirtApril Britski is the Executive Director of CARFAC, Canada’s national association for visual artists. She has worked and volunteered as an arts administrator since 1998, and joined the staff of CARFAC National in 2005. She is a co-founder of Artists’ Legal Services Ottawa and the Visual Arts Alliance, and she has served on several boards of cultural policy and artist-run organizations. April’s primary responsibility at CARFAC is the development and implementation of organizational policies and strategies related to artists’ legal and economic rights. She is actively involved in all of CARFAC’s advocacy efforts, including CARFAC’s Artist’s Resale Right campaign, as well as building Imprimo, a new digital platform for visual artists. She assists with negotiating collective agreements for visual and media artists under the Status of the Artist Act, as well as other national voluntary agreements with presenters. Originally from Saskatchewan, April currently resides on the traditional unceded territories of the Coast Salish Nations including the Kwikwetlem, Musqueam, Skxwú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh Peoples.

a headhsot of a man wearing a white short with a blue cardigan Kevin A. Ormsby, Program Manager, CPAMO 

Program Manager of Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO), Kevin is also the Artistic Director of KasheDance, movement coach and Arts Marketing Consultant. The Ontario Arts Council’s Chalmers Fellowship recipient (2017), KM Hunter Dance Award Nominee (2016), Toronto Arts Council’s Cultural Leaders Lab Fellow (2015) and The Canada Council for the Arts’ Victor Martyn Lynch – Staunton Award 2014 recipient for outstanding achievement by a mid career artist, he has many interests in the creative practice and administration in dance. He has honed his passion for dance, advocacy, writing and education while performing with various companies and projects in Canada, the Caribbean and the United States.

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:

If you have any questions email: 

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!

Call for Submission: Gathering Divergence Fall 2021

The Gathering Divergence Multi-Arts Festival and Conference has been a powerful, positive and supportive convening of arts practitioners geared towards sharing strategies in the engagement of indigenous, racialized, deaf, disabled and mad, women and other historically – marginalized artists and communities. This year, Gathering Divergence Multi-Arts Festival & Conference Fall 2021 | Art in the Time of Healing: The Importance of IBPOC Arts in Planetary Renewal will explore the role of IBPOC artists and organizations in the time of healing and renewal as our society emerges and reopens from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Held over three days, the festival and conference will feature panel discussions, showcase performances, workshops and networking opportunities for arts organizations, artists and arts sector professionals asking the same questions about anti-black racism in the arts, digital technology, its intersections with one’s artistic / organizational practices all grounded within the EDIP (Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity towards Pluralism). The sessions will be aimed at investigating systemic challenges, providing professional development while building organizational and artistic capacity. We aspire to explore the many ways in which the arts and healing will support cultural impact, civic engagement and deeper understanding of emerging digital frameworks with a focus on planetary renewal.

What is the overall concept? 
Gathering  Divergence Multi – Arts Festival and Conference offers an interactive space where arts organizations, artists and attendees dedicated to advancing performance, advocacy and pluralism in the arts can share, dialogue on common interests, purposes and strategies towards a better more equitable and inclusive arts sector.

Why are we doing it?
We believe systemic change is more effectively achieved through collective, creative action, and seek to create, support and learn through open-source resources, toolkits and strategies to understand how we are influenced, relate to anti-black racism and digital technology in and out of our artistic practices and administrations.

What we hope to achieve?
We hope that everyone arrives at a better understanding of the many ways in which we support, create from and within the Arts sector as indigenous / ethno-racially identified artists with a pluralist lens.

Deadline: November 1, 2021 by 5pm

When & where is the event?
December 8-10, 2021

Location: Online / We may be able to offer a hybrid online and in-person events depending on public health guidelines.

What we offer:

•  Opportunity to display / showcase / facilitate a workshop to a wide range of artists/ audience, publicity, copy of performance. (No more than 15 minutes in length)

•  Visual Arts / Workshop RFP’s MUST include:

  1. Set up requirements 
  2. Estimated time for set up and striking of work
  3. Whether assistance is needed or included

•  Compensation Range:

  1. Dance / Theatre  / Music Honorariums $400 – $1000 (based on the number of artists)
  2. Literary Readings up to $300
  3.  Exhibition fees for Visual Artists will be based on CARFAC Standards 
  4. Workshops $250 (1 hour maximum, all disciplines)

Required for consideration:

•  Brief explanation of how your proposed work relates to ONE OR BOTH of the Conference’s Themes:  

  1. IBPOC Art supporting healing, the arts role in planetary renewal, art / healing / the environment 
  2. Workshops specific to the needs of the IBPOC Artists / Arts  Organizations and the Festival / Conference’s theme
  3. Digital Applications, Support and Thinking 

•  Works where the major contributors / artists or otherwise self-identify IBPOC

•  Works created by IBPOC artists and Organizations

•  Artist / Organization Website URL, Social Media Info

•  Biography (150 words)

•  Headshot / Company Image 300 dpi

•  Links to previous work(s) or work proposed. 

•  Visual Arts submissions MUST include:

  1. set up requirements 
  2. estimated time for set up and striking of work
  3. whether assistance is needed or included

Selection Process: 
Administered by a Selection Committee: CPAMO Board member(s), Program Manager, Executive Director, and Pluralism in Organizational Change (CPAMOPOC) members. The committee will consider the following:

  • Artistic Merit and with overall connection to CPAMO’s mandate and objectives
  • The Focus on the Gathering’s themes
  • Viability (overall programming cost, # of artists proposed, range / breath / depth of the submission)

What should I put in the submission subject line?
“Submission: The Gathering Divergence Fall 2021″
Please make sure to also include a link to your folder with the required support material.

An important notice: CPAMO operates in a Cloud-based platform. Documents MUST be submitted via (Google Drive, Box, One Drive, Dropbox etc.)

Where to send your submission?

Successful applicants will be notified by Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Join us on Oct. 1 for a special session on “How do we begin again?”

On the left: How do we begin again? Impact 21 conference. Online and free. Register and join the conversation September 29th – October 9th. Beneath the text there is an image with several dancers.  On the right logos of CPAMO, Art of Festivals and Mass Culture. Beneath it: Rethinking the application process/systems of support. Oct. 1st 2021. 11am-1pm, panel/ breakouts. 2pm-4pm conversation/exploration. At the bottom: Hosted and co-instigated by impact21. Performance info Eventbrite:

State of Emergence 
Rethinking the Application Process & Systems of Support
October 1, 2021 via Zoom

11:00 am – 12:00 pm | Panel & Breakout Groups
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm | Conversation/Exploration
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm | CPAMO Publication launch

New funding models need to include investing in artists and humans rather than investing primarily in constantly producing. As the diversity of artists’ presentation and processes increases, current funding models are still rooted in a colonial structural approach and favour presentation culture, revenue generation in the arts. Often successful and sometimes not, the application and funding models have become a game of the haves and the have not. It’s results impact both the wellbeing and validation of an artist’s creativity. Are there shifts required in the application process that can mitigate the challenges faced by many with the application process? Artists and organizations in Canada are faced with a historical dependency on grants. The competition for funding and the lack of investments into funding is suggesting a reformation of the application process. As we examine the idea of how we continue in our practices, funding structures need to be revised by the artists’ and organizations’ ideas and experiences at the center.

  • Ever wonder how a grant is developed, structured and priorities placed in them?
  • With the focus on digitization, should video components beyond support material be considered?
  • Should hybrid application processes be implemented? 
  • How can the process of applying, assessments and feedback support artists for the future imaginations of the application process?

In this session we will discuss accountability in funding organizations, developing relationships beyond titles and returning to a focus on storytelling rather than art for commodification and how we sustain such processes moving forward. The session encourages ideas around radical shifts rather than incremental change and seeks to explore challenges but also invitations to possible radical shifts through critical discourse to implementation. 


This session is part of Impact 21 Festival for full performance festival schedule:

The session is in partnership with Mass Culture and Art of Festival’s “State of Emergence“.