Participants taking a group photo

May 11, 2018 – Twenty-two leaders of presenting networks gathered in Ottawa on May 8-9 to learn from one another and to address key issues impacting the performing arts presenting sector.

Meeting participants in breakout sessionsFacilitated discussions enabled participants to assess the degree of maturity of their activities and the state of renewal that some are experiencing. Some of the recurrent themes included:

  • Community engagement
  • Business and social model renewal in presenting
  • Support to artists and disciplinary development
  • Inclusive collaborative booking models
  • Export strategies
  • Leadership, succession, coaching and mentoring

Upon examining the various reconciliation initiatives undertaken by most organizations, there was a sense that the presenting community is well engaged on the path of building renewed and respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. However, there was also consensus on the need to go much further. We need to become better allies and advocates for those who continue to face obstacles built into the structures and systems that were built to support presenting sector.

Meeting participants during an open forumThe following is a stark reminder that nothing can be taken for granted, and it was received by all participants as a compelling call for activism…

In 1996, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples provided a blue print to make reconciliation happen. The Commission’s report affirmed that renewal would require a twenty year commitment. Yet, when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission began in 2015, most of us had already forgotten about the recommendations of this previous commission. It is incumbent upon us to ensure that another commission will not be required in fifteen years from now.

We wish to thank Tara Mazurk, Terri-Lynn Brennan, Laurie Gillis, Kevin Korchinsky and Michele Emslie for their facilitation of the meeting’s sessions. We also want to acknowledge the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Read the 2018 National Network Meeting Summary


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CAPACOA unites the Canadian performing arts presenting and touring sector, representing more than 150 presenting networks, presenters, agents and other stakeholders.