Prismatic Arts Festival

The Talk




The TALK: 6 sessions will bring together artistic leaders and key stakeholders in the culture sector to tackle some of the most pressing issues in the Canadian professional arts community

Free arts performances following conference events each day.

Accommodations at Atlantica Hotel – click on link to book your room at our discounted rate.



THE ETALK: Building Strength through engagement, exploration and equity


#1 As the World Turns: New Trends in Public Arts Funding (Sept. 18, 9:30am to 1pm, Room 401 Dal Arts Centre)

Public arts funding in Canada and elsewhere in the world is in the midst of changing to better serve artists, audiences and communities. This session will bring together artists and public arts funders from various jurisdictions to explore the factors that are driving changes to funding, to understand the different approaches to new funding models, and to discuss how artists have experienced these changes.

Moderator: Chris Shore (Executive Director – Arts NS)

Panelists: Claude Schryer (Senior Strategic Advisor – Arts Granting, Canada Council for the Arts), Marcel McKeough (Executive Director – Culture & Heritage Development, NS Dept. of Communities, Culture and Heritage), Claire Hopkinson (Director and CEO – Toronto Arts Council), Meena Natarajan (Executive and Literary Director – Pangea World Theatre, Minneapolis, USA)



#2 Outer Limits: Ensuring that No Artist is Left Beyond the Margins (Sept. 18, 1:45pm to 4:15pm, Room 401 Dal Arts Centre)

Are efforts to promote and support diversity in the arts leaving the behind artists who are at the outer edges: the most vulnerable, the most isolated, the least supported? What responsibilities do fellow artists owe to our colleagues to ensure that they are not left beyond the margins? How are funders and service organizations serving and supporting these artists? What are effective strategies to ensure that no artist is left beyond the margins? This panel will discuss the ways that we can best support marginalized artists in our communities.

Moderator: Nikki Shaffeeullah (Artistic Director of the AMY Project)

Panelists: Tamar Dina (Founder and Director of Music Liberatory- Halifax), Liliona Quarmyne (Dance Artist- Nova Scotia),), Rahul Varma (Artistic Director of Teesri Dunya Theatre – Montreal) , Santee Smith (Dance Artist, Artistic Director of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre – Six Nations / Toronto) Paul Vienneau (Photographer, Musician and Writer – Halifax), and Paul Wong (Visual and Media Artist – Vancouver)



#3 Are You Being Served?: Are Service Organizations Meeting the Needs of Indigenous and Culturally Diverse Artists? (Sept. 19, 9:30am to 12:30pm, Room 401 Dal Arts Centre)

Prismatic invites representatives from national service organizations and artists’ associations to discuss the role that service organizations can and should play in promoting and supporting Indigenous and culturally diverse artists. What role do these organizations currently play in the Canadian arts ecology and what roles are these organizations expected to play in the next 50 years?

Moderator: Majdi Bou Matar (Artistic Director –IMPACT International Theatre Festival– Kitchener-Waterloo)

Panelists: Sara Meurling (Executive Director – Professional Association of Canadian Theatre (PACT)), Sue Urqhart (Executive Director – Canadian Arts Presenting Association (CAPACOA)), Nancy Morgan (Executive Director – Theatre Nova Scotia), Arden Ryshpan (Executive Director Canada Actors Equity Association)



#4 Arrested Development: Are Touring Opportunities Influencing the Creative Process? (Sept. 19, 1pm to 3:30pm, Room 401 Dal Arts Centre)

Festivals, showcases and touring play a vital role in linking arts to audiences, but are these presenting formats (and the constraints that they present) influencing the creative process? Are artists self-censoring to make work more “tourable”? Are larger shows restricted for touring and showcase opportunities? What obligation do presenters have to take on challenging shows? Are there other ways to connect arts to audiences?

Moderator: Hugh Neilson (Managing Director – Great Canadian Theatre Company (Toronto))

Panelists: Shara Weaver (Co-Director – Propeller Dance (Ottawa)), Sarah Garton Stanley (Associate Artistic Director – English Theatre – National Art Centre (NAC)), Franco Boni (Artistic Director – The Theatre Centre (Toronto)), Norman Armour (Artistic and Executive Director – PuSh International Performing Arts Festival (Vancouver)), Lee Bolton (CAPACOA), Jorge Requena (Founder of The Mariachi Ghost and film maker – Winnipeg)



#5 A Different World: Promoting Equity and Diversity in Canadian Arts Education (Sept. 20, 9:30am to 12:30pm, Room 401 Dal Arts Centre)

Canada’s public and private schools play a key role in training young artists, transmitting Canadian and global arts history and practices, and providing the foundation for the next generation’s artistic work. What role do Canadian schools play in promoting equity and diversity in the arts? How are arts education programs promoting diversity and equity through their hiring and admissions policies, their programs and course work, and strategic planning?

Moderator: Roberta Barker (Associate Professor, Theatre Studies – Dalhousie University – Fountain School of Performing Arts)

Panelists: Gideon Arthurs (CEO – National Theatre School of Canada (Montreal)), Richard Taylor (Theatre Artist and Community Development – Halifax), Shahin Sayadi (Artistic Director, Onelight Theatre – Halifax)


Session 6 Dragon’s Den: Canada Council Information Session on New Funding Programs (Sept. 20, 1pm to 3:30pm, Room 401 Dal Arts Centre)

Prismatic welcomes representatives from Canada Council to walk participants through the process of applying for funding under the new funding programs. Emerging artist will be able to better understand the new online application processes. Established artists will be able to explore how the new programs can support their artistic work and organizational programming. All participants will be able to provide feedback to Canada Council on their experiences using the Portal.
**This session is free and open to the public**



Registration for eTALK is now open:
$35 single session (lunch not included)
$90 day pass (includes lunch)
$180 conference pass
$75 festival pass
$225 conference and festival pass (access to all Prismatic events)