Bridging the Gap

Saturday May 30th at 2:15pm

Advocacy can be one of the most effective tools an arts group or groups can employ to secure recognition and financial support from all levels of government, but it requires a good deal of effort and skill to achieve real success. Cultural representatives must develop good communication and negotiation skills to deal with municipal staff and members of the government, and often have to educate government officials on the benefits of the arts before any progress can be made. By focusing on common goals, artists and arts groups can often achieve more than by acting alone, but making a good presentation and working collectively towards shared goals takes ambition, talent and collaborative determination. This panel will explore some of the dos and don’ts of arts advocacy as well as different ways communities can approach advocacy in a respectful and mutually beneficial ways.

Presenting Panelists: Maurice SwitzerKatherine Carleton, Roy Mitchell Moderated by Katie Bevan

Emerging ideas

Thursday May 28th, 2015 @ 2:15pm

Critical thinking and art discourse among emerging artists and “Youth” are constantly shifting and evolving in relation to the skills and interests of the next generation of artists. Through increases in accessibility and interactivity with technology many young artists today have been able to gain the skills they need earlier and position themselves for a successful career faster than their more experienced counterparts. Yet many emerging and youth artists face obstacles when attempting to interact with established artists and arts spaces. What lessons can other artists learn from the experiences of today’s youth? What roles can emerging artists play within the current art scene and how can established organizations better engage with the youth in their communities? How can young artists find their own niche while staying true to their hopes and dreams?

Presenting Panelists: Lora NorthwayMaggie FlynnHolly Cunningham Moderated by Linda Albright

Indigenous perspectives in “Canadian” Art

Friday May 29th at 10:30am

Art in Canada is thousands of years old, beginning with a strong tradition of Indigenous creation, which was followed by the advent of the Canadian nation-state and the subsequent waves of immigration from across Europe and around the globe. Contemporary Indigenous art reflects the state of Indigenous discourse in relation to the dominant Western settler discourses that have eclipsed the continent and imposed “Western” philosophies. The artists in this panel discuss current messages within Indigenous art in Canada, including the interplay between the differing ideologies of Western and Indigenous thought and the potential roles that Indigenous artists play as agents of change.

Presenting Panelists: Jules KoostachinChristian ChapmanRebeka Tabobondung, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Alejandro Ronceria   Moderated by Sid Bobb

Artist Advocacy – The Success of a Regional Movement (Presented by CARFAC Ontario)

Friday May 29th at 2:15pm

Internationally, the artist’s position as an essential part of economy is under scrutiny like never before. In New York, artists groups like WAGE are calling into question the ethics of an ever-expanding art market that fails to adequately financially support and recognize the individual creator. Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) is a New York-based activist group that focuses on establishing a sustainable model for best practices between cultural producers and the institutions that contract their labour. In Berlin, the discussion about artist fees has been ongoing for years. For visual artists, Berufsverband Bildender Künstler (bbk), has requested payment for artists showing in solo and group exhibitions and created guidelines for fair payment. How does this international sentiment compare to the Canadian artist-fee movement and how can Canada  continue to take a leadership role in informing the global art community?

Presenting Panelists: Kristian ClarkeFriederike LandauJudy Gouin Moderated by Leesa Bringas Sponsored by CARFAC Ontario

Rural Renaissance

Friday May 29th at 2:15pm

Although many rural regions of Canada have healthy and vibrant art scenes, working in the periphery can be challenging for many arts groups. But these challenges often inspire determination, strength, and resilience resulting in exceptional talent and projects to develop in communities that at first glance may seem below the capacity to produce them. This is perhaps best illustrated by the performing arts sector, which relies heavily upon patronage and audience attendance to thrive. By exploring the current state of regional theatre and addressing the power and importance of regional performing arts, we will discuss strategies for sustaining and growing the arts in rural and remote communities.

Panelists: Elisha Barlow, Rod Carley, Bruce Pitkin Moderated by Carri Johnson

Creative Community Building

Thursday May 28th, 2015 @ 2:15pm

Northern Ontario as well as most other rural areas of Canada must work hard to establish and maintain cultural resources in order to survive. This is not a want but a necessity as rural life depends greatly on the cultural sector for tourism, entertainment and raising the quality of life. Without a vibrant arts, culture and heritage scene, a community slowly dies, leading many municipalities to consistently invest in the cultural sector to keep their communities healthy. But the cultural sector must also take responsibility for their community’s prosperity by using municipal investments to achieve their goals and engage both new and established audiences. How are different cultural groups making an impact in their own communities and across Canada? What challenges do they face in attracting new audiences? How can rural communities better engage with the public through collaborations and partnerships?

Presenting Panelists: Nadia KurdStéphane GauthierKaren Bachmann Moderated by Amanda Burk

Critical concepts in Architecture, Installation Art and Social Agency

Thursday May 28th, 2015 @ 10:30am

At its lowest common denominator, architecture can be seen as the creation of forms for the purpose of function – an art gallery must have rooms to display art, a school must have classrooms in which to teach, and so on. However, thinking of architecture only in this manner fails to recognize the direct impact the built environment has on the public realm and the quality of life of its citizens, and it limits our ability to use architecture as a vehicle for social change. Working in the realm of art activism and immersive environments through site-specific art many festivals, and public events look towards artists and architects for answers on increasing engagement. Through design, architecture can (and does) affect the social context around it, by addressing the social, political, cultural, historical, and geographic contexts in which it is built. This panel will engage in the discussion of the current state of art installation practices as both art form and through the lens of contemporary architecture. How is meaning constructed in architecture? How do we utilize architecture’s social agency as a vehicle for change within the social sphere? Where is the future of art installation heading?

Presenting Panelists: Max MerrifieldKenneth J. (Jake) Chakasim,  Nathan Jensen Moderated by Cesar Forero

Planning for Future Success

Thursday May 28th, 2015 @ 10:30am

Municipal cultural planning has laid the groundwork for numerous regions of Canada to engage in and foster Arts, Culture and Heritage through both municipal policy and support for grass roots initiatives. Although the benefits of cultural planning are obvious, many plans lack an effective implementation strategy and often overlook the more literal constraints of limited financial resources, the potential for duplication of activities, and the burn-out of staff and volunteers. Considering these aspects, what work is being done on the ground within communities to build sustainable cultural infrastructure with or without ongoing funding? How can cultural representatives and municipalities work together to build a better future for their communities? What strategies can be employed to facilitate this process?

Presenting Panelists: Dee AdrianEmily TrottierTeri Souter Moderated by Councillor Mark King

Urban Outreach in the North

Friday May 29th at10:30am

Not surprisingly, urban centers tend to hold the majority of resources both physically and creatively. With high populations critical mass is achieved and opportunities for collaboration, skill-sharing, and education are easy to find. This is almost always the opposite in rural areas where geographic sprawl is a tangible obstacle in addition to socio-economic constraints, and often a resentment towards the larger centres develops. The obvious answer is to increase the sharing of cultural resources between urban and rural centres but how can cultural animators from larger centers engage in rural communities without imposing their own regional ideologies or exacerbating regional tensions? How can effective partnerships develop based upon mutual respect and understanding while geographic and social barriers divide regions and arts representatives?

Presenting Panelists: Patrice JamesCesar ForeroMandy McNeilStephanie Draker Moderated by Clayton Windatt

Michael Cywink

Michael Cywink is a band member of the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve on Manitoulin Island. He is presently the Art Coordinataor with the newly established Wiikwemkoong Art Gallery. He is also an alumnus of the Museum Studies Program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Michael is an independent curator. Previously he was the curator for the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation in M’Chigeeng, Manitoulin Island, as well as a First Nation’s ccultural consultant with Walt Disney Imagineering / Disney’s America theme park project in Glendale, California. He has interned at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec, The Museum of American Indian, Smithsonian, Washington DC, the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico and at Walt Disney Imagineering, Glendale, CA. Throughout the 80′he was a counselor / contract street worker in Toronto working with agencies such as Central Toronto Youth Services, Under 21 Covenant House, The Toronto Boy’s Home, Native Men’s Residence and Kinark Homes – Peterbourgh. In addition he is also contracted with the school boards in Ontario under the Aboriginal Artist in the Schools Program, Ontario Arts Council implementing “Cultural Appreciation From a First Nation Perspective”. He is a curator, artist, author, muralist and a 1 of a kind guy. He will be speaking on ‘Achieving Artistic Endeavors, Encountering the Crown 1764, and Certificates of Authenticity”.