International > Connections: Pan-global Reflections by Artists in Lockdown

Connections: Pan-global Reflections by Artists in Lockdown

Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has touched the lives of everyone around the globe in so many ways. It has had the most profound impact on the performing arts. Our theatres, festivals, and organizations have all been required to shut their doors to audiences, and left artists, producers, presenters, and everyone front of house and backstage without the platform to showcase and share their work. More importantly, the pandemic has completely disrupted the process for the creation of transformative artistic expression.

Such was the case for CAPACOA’s International Market Development efforts as a catalyst for Canada to engage in cultural diplomacy, and to facilitate collaborative, reciprocal and creative relationships around the globe. And so, CAPACOA decided to take action early on in the lockdown. It launched an International Market Development pilot project, Connections, to bring international arts practitioners together virtually to provide artists and presenters empathetic spaces for sharing their lockdown experiences, to exchange ideas, and to develop new contacts and networks. The aim was to give both artists and presenters hope for a future global reset and to position them to be market-ready for a post-lockdown recovery.

Nine cohorts of presenters and artists from Canada and other countries were convened via videoconference to exchange programming visions, to share the experiences that informed the creation of their work, and to discuss the role of the artist and presenter in their community before grappling with how we have had to pivot during lockdown to explore challenging and exciting new realms not previously envisioned. 

Canadians came together with their counterparts from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Scotland, and Taiwan. The artists ranged from across art forms, representing a multi-disciplinary breadth of work from all provinces and territories across Canada and around the globe.

As a culmination to the project, we asked each of the artists and a selection of the presenters to produce a 3-minute video to share their practice, inspiration, vision, lockdown activities, and hopes for future international exchange.  Each was recorded by the artist or presenter. Each is a personal reflection filmed by them, mostly on their telephones, and therefore, an intimate and personal “point of view” at this moment in time that is like no other.

It’s also a record of an exceptional six-month journey with our 65 artists that we now invite you to experience.

Premiered on March 25th

Premiered on April 1st

Premiered on April 8th

Premiered on April 15th

Premiered on April 22nd

Premiered on April 29th

Premiered on May 6th

Premiered on May 13th

We would like you to meet all of the international presenters/producers/curators who have been involved in these conversations, please click here.

CAPACOA would like to thank the following individuals and organizations without whom this project would not have been made possible:

With the participation of the Government of Canada.

This project is supported in part, by a contribution from Global Affairs Canada’s CanExport Associations program and by a contribution from the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Creative Export Canada Program.  

Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Project produced by 

Judi Harquail –  International Market Development Consultant & Strategist, CAPACOA

Assis Carreiro, DirectorInternational Arts and Cultural Projects, Market Development Consultant, UK

Shoshana Polanco – Latin American Specialist

Debora Staiff – Latin American Specialist

Olga Garay-English – Principal, OMGArtsplus & Senior Advisor for International Affairs, Fundación Teatro a Mil

Celso Curi –  International Cultural Advisor

Nicolas Legault  – Editing


Sue Urquhart – Executive Director

Melanie Bureau – Operations Manager

Boran Zaza – Director of Communications

Special Thanks to

Performing Arts Hub Norway (PAHN)
Danish Agency for for Culture and Palaces
Embassy of Canada to Argentina and Paraguay
Embassy of Canada in Brazil
Embassy of Canada in Chile
Embassy of Canada in Columbia
Embassy of Canada in Mexico
Embassy of Canada to Norway
Embassy of Canada to Denmark
High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom