Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Profiles in Innovation in Arts and Culture

By Brandon Moore, Communications Coordinator

Do you know an individual or a collective whose leadership, activism, and service has contributed to the development and strengthening of arts and culture in Ontario through innovative and practical initiatives?  We recognize these accomplishments with the Sandra Tulloch Award for Innovation in Arts and Culture.  With the nomination deadline coming up on December 19, we reached out to past recipients of the Sandra Tulloch Award to find out what practical initiatives in their work and in their communities that are exciting them.

Claire Hopkinson, Director and CEO, Toronto Arts Council (Sandra Tulloch Award 2005)

I’m really excited about our upcoming Toronto Cultural Leaders Lab, which we hope will invigorate and inspire exceptional arts and cultural leaders, and propel their thinking and activities to the next level.  The program is an exciting new partnership between the Toronto Arts Council and The Banff Centre to launch a unique leadership exchange program for Toronto arts and cultural leaders.

The Cultural Leaders Lab will build a network of diverse, innovative leaders from across the City, from organizations of all sizes.  Participants in the Toronto Cultural Leaders Lab will be involved in an innovative learning process that will span two years, in addition to alumni activities following completion of the program.  The program will create the space for a deep examination of Toronto’s arts ecology, and the refinement of the skill sets needed to support a vibrant future for the arts.

The Lab will kick off in April 2015 with an intensive one-week retreat at The Banff Centre, followed by bi-monthly events in Toronto in 2016. The application deadline is coming up on November 10.

Peter Honeywell, Executive Director, Ottawa Arts Council  (Sandra Tulloch Award 2006)

The realization of a centrally-located professional arts complex has been part of the Ottawa Arts Council’s vision since it was established in 1982. After numerous attempts to move the project to reality, the stars aligned in 2014 with construction slated to begin in December 2014.

I consider myself very fortunate to be working with a remarkable group of partners as we embark on building a purpose-built facility for the Ottawa Art Gallery, a theatre for the University of Ottawa, and redevelopment of the Arts Court complex. I know there will be challenges, frustrations and compromises to deal with over the next three years, but the center will provide for increased arts presentation and vastly improved accessibility for generations to come. It’s an exciting time to be part of this major arts development.

Janis Barlow, Principal, Janis A. Barlow & Associates (Sandra Tulloch Award 2009)

It never rains but it pours.  The fall is a busy time for everyone including your erstwhile theatre consultants whose clients inevitably postpone work over the summer until everything collides with deadlines in the fall.  And, in an election year, when you volunteer as a manager of an ArtsVote campaign, wow, it can get crazy!  I am 60 years old and still find myself pulling all-nighters!  (Believe me, I am grateful I still can.)

I am currently working on business plans for the Royal and McPherson Theatres in Victoria, BC (with Jenny Ginder) and the Gravenhurst Opera House, as well as business and facility development plans for a new facility in Austin, Texas, and an historic complex of theatre venues in Binghamton, New York.  I also volunteer as a Co-Chair of the Performing Arts Centre User Group Committee working with management of a future four-venue theatre centre in St. Catharines where I live.  All of this, in the midst of the Niagara ArtsVote campaign of surveying 333 candidates in 13 municipalities.

The great thing about working on a lot of projects simultaneously is that you see patterns emerging.   I am excited about my community planning workshops and seeing more and more people hungry for ways of articulating why all cultural institutions—public museums, galleries, archives, libraries and theatres—belong in every community.  I am excited to hear them say they feel that theatre is vital, but admit they don’t know how to talk about it.   I am excited when they respond enthusiastically to a comparison between public service theatres and public service libraries—everyone understands the difference between a library and a bookstore and hardly anyone ever asks, “say, when is this library going to grow up and be financially self-sustaining?”  I am excited to see people in theatre proudly acknowledging the public service they provide, the community benefits that accrue from their work and the critical role of government investment in our sector—just like in any other sector or industry.

Angela Rebeiro C.M., retired as Publisher, Playwrights Canada Press (Sandra Tulloch Award 2001)

Since retiring from Playwrights  Canada Press in 2008 as its publisher, I’ve been doing a lot of volunteer work. At Community Matters in St. Jamestown, I coach applicants for Canadian citizenship to help them pass the test they must take to become citizens.  I also coach others to improve their English, and still others to read and write for the first time in their lives, in any language.

In January 2014, the Toronto Transit Commission Board appointed me to a second three-year term on the Advisory Committee for Accessible Transit, and December 2014 completes my third two-year term as secretary on the board of Friends of Toronto Public Library, which also includes volunteering to work in its second-hand bookstore, located at the Toronto Reference Library. The winter of 2014, I presided at many Citizenship Ceremonies, which I found more than interesting, and very rewarding.

Honouring innovators with the Sandra Tulloch Award for Innovation in Arts and Culture

Nominate an individual or collective for the Sandra Tulloch Award for Innovation in Arts and Culture

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