A CHRONOLOGY: 2009 – 2013
CPAMO has been working with Community Cultural Impresarios (CCI) since January 2009 and began its public work in January 2010. Over 2010 – 2011, CPAMO has held several sessions aimed at bringing presenters together with racialized and Indigenous performing arts companies. Working with its Roundtable members (i.e., Indigenous and racialized artists), the staff and board of CCI and CCI presenter members across the GTA as well as in Ottawa, Peterborough and Kitchener-Waterloo, CPAMO has convened the following forums:
September 2009. Ontario Contact presentation. CPAMO’s Project Lead, Charles C. Smith, made a presentation at the 2009 Contact. This workshop drew close to 40 presenters and stimulated dialogue and information sharing on demographic changes, diversity in artistic standards and traditions, interesting initiatives being implemented to address these challenges and opportunities to do so.
November 2010. This was a session with presenters and CPAMO Roundtable members to plan CPAMO’s first Town Hall on Pluralism in Performing Arts which was later held at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus on January 29 and 30, 2010;
January 2010. CPAMO held its first Town Hall on Pluralism in Performing Arts at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus. This event was co-sponsored by the University’s Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Program and close to 100 individuals attended. This Town Hall included two dance performances by Kevin Ormsby of Kashedance and Sampradaya Dance Creations, a panel session, a keynote address delivered by Sara Diamond, President of the Ontario College of Art and Design and workshops;
June 2010. CPAMO partnered with the Kitchener-Waterloo Region Coalition of Performing Artists (COPA) and Magnetic North to convene a Town Hall that included a plenary and two workshops addressing pluralism in theatre. There were over 150 people who attended these sessions;
June 2010. CPAMO initiated its first of a series of six workshops on Audience Development and Working with racialized and Indigenous Communities. Held at Hart House at the University of Toronto, this event had close to 90 participants and examined demographic changes taking place across Ontario and their implications for connecting with communities;
September 2010. In partnership with COPA of Kitchener-Waterloo, CPAMO convened a performance event as part of Culture Days in Ontario. This event featured local musicians, poets and theatre artists and was held at the Conrad Centre for Performing Arts. Over 80 people attended this event;
November 2010. CPAMO held its third Town Hall in partnership with CAPACOA. With close to 50 people in attendance, this Town Hall included dance performances by the Collective of Black Artists, Ipsita Nova and Kaha:wi Dance Theatre. A keynote address was provided by Governor-General Award-winning poet George Eliot Clarke and two workshops were held with presentations in these workshops provided by Shahin Sayadi (Artistic Director One Light Theatre,Halifax), Jeanne Holmes (Chair, CanDance Network) and Sandra Laronde (Artistic Director, Red Sky Performance) which was CPAMO’s second workshop on audience development;
November 2010. CPAMO convened its third workshop on audience development. With close to 40 people attending, this workshop focused on the history of colonization and important developments in the history of Indigenous artists, e.g., the important work of Daphne Odjig, Thomson Highway, Alannis Obansawin and otherswhose practice was bothadvocacy for art created by Indigenous peoples and resistance to colonization. The session also discussed strategies on partnering with Indigenous artists and arts organizations with examples: from Harbourfront Cultural Centre and Planet IndigenUS, a multi-disciplinary arts festival coordinated through a partnership between Harbourfront and the Woodlands Cultural Centre located on Six Nations; Soundstreams work with the Thomson Highway opera, Pimweeotin, and the Ottawa Art Gallery’s ongoing commitment to present Indigenous art through development of long term relationships and collaboration with Indigenous artists and arts organizations. In addition, there was also a presentation on information gathering practices of immigrant, racialized and Indigenous communities.
January 2011. CPAMO convened its fourth workshop on audience development. Held at Markham Theatre, this full day session built on the previous ones and provided an opportunity for presenters and performers to discuss common issues and concerns related to staging performances by Indigenous and racialized artists. This workshop involved presentations by general managers of performing arts venues who discussed what presenters need to do to set up a season’s schedule, the criteria and methods they use to select performances and how performers can build a relationship with presenters. A number of performers also made presentations on how their companies create their work, the influences (traditional, modern, contemporary) on their work and how it fits into Canadian culture today.
March 2011. CPAMO’s fifth in a series of workshops focusing on audience development was held in partnership with the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Program. It focused on audience engagement studies, results and ongoing work in building audiences from diverse communities, particularly Indigenous and racialized. The session involved presentations by Creative Trust, Creative Mosaics (Scarborough Arts Council), the Neighbourhood Arts Network (Toronto), CCI/CPAMO, Kashedance and Menaka Thakker,
Values and Benefits Initiative. In partnership with CCI, CPAMO is developed a sample study of Indigenous and racialized audiences. Working with Sampradaya Dance Creations, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, the Arts and Events Planning Office of the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, Modern Times Theatre and danceImmersion, CCI will educate CPAMO volunteers who will then interview audience members from each of these arts organizations. Following the interviews, the data will be analyzed and a creative summit held with each of these organizations to discuss the sample’s findings and next steps.
June 2011. Workshop on Toolkit to Promote Pluralism in the Arts. To capture these experiences and others, CPAMO is developing a toolkit for presenters and artists to refer to as they move forward with implementing the knowledge, values and new approaches they have learned to embrace cultural pluralism in the arts.This toolkit will address issues related to the following areas:
1) Employment and Professional Development, e.g., staff recruitment, training and promotional opportunities for individuals of diverse backgrounds;
2) Programming and Curatorial Decision-making, e.g., assessing productions from diverse communities as well as the collaboration with, and between these communities in programming development and promotion;
3) Community Engagement, e.g., making connections and building constructive relationship with organizations and community groups from Indigenous and racialized communities;
4) Audience Development, e.g., marketing and outreach in diverse communities, and various means of effective communications; and
5) Governance, e.g., the development and involvement of governance diverse communities in organizational decision-making, as well as the cultural pluralist awareness and practices of people in governing positions.
Town Hall at IMPACT 2011. CPAMO participated in the planning and implementation of the MT Space biennial IMPACT Theatre and Performing Arts Festival held in September 2011. As part of this project, CPAMO presented two showcases.
Criteria for Co-Commissioning New Work – Fall 2011:
A) Workshop One – October 2011. Beginning with a presentation by Mimi Beck of the CanDance Network which regularly co-commissions work, this workshop will involve all presenters and performers in a discussion on what is needed to develop guidelines and criteria for the selection of presenter-performer partnerships and the co-commissioning of performer works by presenters. The guidelines and criteria for presenter-performer partnerships will determine the purpose of the partnerhships, the role to be played by performers and presenters, the desired outcomes and timeframes for implementation. Regarding co-commissioning, this session will develop the application/selection process, including criteria, for the co-commissionining of performers work and the intentions of presenters to present the work within their communities, share it with other Ontario presenters and promote the work in other national and international forums. Once the criteria for co-commissioning performer work has been established, the presenters and performers will agree upon a jury to review and select the work.
B) Workshop Two – November 2011. Beginning with a presentation by Patty Jarvis of Prologue to the Performing Arts, this workshop will discuss the importance of arts education in schools and the importance of such education to building communities. Following the presentation, this workshop will pair presenters and performing arts organizations based on the guidelines and criteria drafted at the first session and including ideas related to arts education in schools.
C) Workshop Three – December 2011. Beginning with a presentation by Skye Louis and Leah Burns of the Neighbourhood Arts Network/Toronto Arts Foundation, this workshop will focus on the importance of community engagement as an integral component of building audiences amongst Indigenous and racialized communities. The workshop will also provide opportunities for presenters and performers to begin to share the results of their work, network with each other and receive information on other similar collaborative projects within Canada and from other countries. The latter will be provided by CPAMO Project Lead, charles c. smith, based on research into ‘best practices’ of audience development with Indigenous and racialized communities.
October 2012 – June 2013. CPAMO Project Lead met with several artists and arts organizations in the Ottawa community and began workshops to develop plans for seminars, workshops and performances involving Indigenous and racialized artists in the Ottawa region;
April 2012. CPAMO supported a MASC (Multicultural Arts in Schools and Communities) and Coalition of New Canadians for Arts and Culture (CNCAC) performance.
June 2012. CPAMO Project Lead made a presentation at the CARFAC annual meeting to address matters of concern to Indigenous and racialized visual artists.
June 2012. CPAMO launched Pluralism in the Arts in Canada: A Change is Gonna Come, edited by CPAMO Project Lead and published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. This launch was part of the Community Cultural Impresarios’ annual meeting.
September 2012. CPAMO convenes its first Town Hall on Pluralism in the Arts in Ottawa. This Town Hall featured panel presentations by Jerry Longboat of Circadia Indigina. Cathy Sherpetyci of the City of Ottawa Cultural Office and Brian Ray of the University of Ottawa. The session focused on Indigenous arts activities, the development of the City of Ottawa Cultural Plan and demographic changes in the National Capital Region.
September 2012. CPAMO co-sponsors the One World Dialogue Peace Art Exhibit at Shenkman Centre for the Arts Ottawa.
October 2012. CPAMO co-sponsors the Flato Markham Theatre’s full day conference on Diversity in Dance. This conference featured as panelists CPAMO Roundtable members from Little Pear Garden Theatre Collective and danceImmersion.
November 2012 – February 2013. CPAMO co-sponsored and participated in the delivery of 9 data management workshops – 8 in Toronto and 1 in Ottawa. These workshops were sponsored by Creative Trust and co-sponsored by the Neighbourhood Arts Network of Toronto and delivered by Young and Associates.
December 2012. CPAMO convenes a volunteer recruitment session at the Daniel’s Spectrum in Regent Park. This event attracted 12 CPAMO artist members who stationed booths to meet with potential volunteers. Close to 40 potential volunteers attended this event.
January 2013. CPAMO delivers report on pluralism in dance to the Canadian Dance Assembly (CDA). This report recommends that the CDA establish an Advisory Council on Pluralism which is adopted by the CDA Board.
February 2013. CPAMO co-sponsors the weekend long Winter Festival coordinated by Circadia Indigena as the first First Nations artists gathering in the National Capital Region (Ottawa). This event featured storytelling, music, dance, video/film and panel presentations by Indigenous artists such as Ron Naganok, Leanne Simpson, Louise Proffet-Leblanc and others.
Winter – Spring 2013. CPAMO convened four workshops aimed at providing information on: (i) marketing and communications; (2) alternatives sources of revenue generation.
March 2013. CPAMO convened a session on community engagement featuring a keynote presentation by Sandra Laronde of Red Sky Performance and panel presentations by Robert Daly, Pan Am Games, Nadia Caidi, Professor of Information Management at U. of T., Jini Stolk of Creative Trust and Bea Pisano of Aluna Theatre.
April 2013. CPAMO co-sponsored tha alucine Latino Film Festival.
April 2013. As part of the Canadian Dance Assembly National Dance Awareness Week, CPAMO convened the Diversity in Dance Program featuring 10 dance artists/companies: Red Sky Performance, Sampradaya Dance Creations, Sheyenne Productions, Little Pear Garden Theatre Collective; Sashar Zarif, Olga Barrios, Kashedance, Lucy Rupert/Nova Dance, Roshanak Jaberi, Jasmyn Fyffe.
Aprll 2013. CPAMO establishes Advisory Committee to contribute to its project proposal Strengthening Voices: Advancing Pluralism in the Arts Through Collaborations and Resource Sharing. Some of the members of this Advisory Committee include: Jeff Melanson of the Banff Centre, Tim Jones of Artscape, Kathleen Sharpe of Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, Patty Jarvis of Prologue to the Performing Arts, Mimi Beck of CanDance Network, Carol Beauchamp of Theatre Ontario, Cindy Yip of Little Pear Garden Theatre Collective, Charmaine Headley of Collective of Black Artists.
May 2013. CPAMO coordinated a panel on pluralism in theatre with Theatre Ontario. Convened at Theatre Ontario’s annual meeting, this panel featured the following speakers: Yvette Nolan (former Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts); Ravi Jain of why not theatre; Trevor Schwellnuss of Aluna Theatre; and Soheil Parsa of Modern Times Theatre.
May 2013. CPAMO co-sponsored the Red Revue of the Association of Native Development in the Performing and Visual Arts. This event featured a performance and cd release by Cheri Maracle.
June 2013. As part of the first Welcome Ottawa Week coordinated by the City of Ottawa and the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership, CPAMO convened a volunteer recruitment event and a Town Hall on Collaboration in the Arts. The volunteer recruitment event featured panelists Will Coukell of Volunteer Ottawa and Gabriel Jean-Simon of Business for the Arts. With a focus on Collaborations in the Arts and Resource Sharing, the Town Hall featured dancer/choreographer Natasha Bakht as the keynote and Lisa Zanyk of the City of Ottawa as a panelist.
June 2013. CPAMO co-sponsors with Luminato an artist meet-and-greet session featuring Long Shen Dao, a Chinese reggae band from Beijing contracted by Luminato, and the showing of the film Rasta: A Soul’s Journey that featured a journey of discovery by Donisha Williams, grand-daughter of Bob Marley.
June – August 2013. CPAMO works with the CDA to recruit members to the CDA Advisory Council on Pluralism.
September 2013. CPAMO sponsors the IMPACT Festival 2013 coordinated by MT SPACE in Kitchener-Waterloo.
Regular meetings with Roundtable. The CPAMO Roundtable meets quarterly and has contributed to the development and implementation of CPAMO Town Halls and workshops. Serving as advisors, facilitators, workshop leaders and performers, the Roundtable members have offered a significant gesture to engaging with presenters. Their quarterly meetings have given them the opportunity to focus on collective and individual opportunities and growth.
Newsletters and List-serve. CPAMO has put out sixteen newsletters as a service to the over 360 individuals on its List-serve. These newsletters provide information on CPAMO activities, activities of Indigenous and racialized performing arts companies, research on contemporary issues and links to talks and lectures related to pluralism in society and in the arts.
Website and Social Media. Through its website and social media, i.e. Facebook and Twitter, CPAMO regularly promotes the work of the members of its Creator’s Roundtable and other artists and organizations engaged in promoting pluralism in the arts.
Funding for these initiatives has been provided through various sources including: Canada Council’s Equity Office, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council, the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Program and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture.