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CSMN Mentee Spotlight: Brenda Darling, The Alumnae Theatre Company

Creative Spaces Mentoring Network

As we enter into a new iteration of the Creative Spaces Mentoring Network, we would like to share one final interview with mentee Brenda Darling around the topic of her experiences and learning with the 2020-2021 iteration of CSMN!

 

1. What motivated you to sign up for the Creative Spaces Mentoring Network?
Alumnae Theatre Company ‘s facility needed many upgrades and improvements from sound and lighting systems to accessibility. We didn’t even know what it might cost or how to find out. We asked the Creative Spaces Mentoring Network whether they could find someone to help us in create a request for proposal to upgrade a theatre facility.

2. Who was your mentor?
Phillip Silver.

3. Were they a part of the same industry/arts discipline as you? If not, were you still able
to learn things applicable to your situation from your mentor?
With experience that extended from theatre and opera set and lighting design, to renovation and design of contemporary theatre facilities to leading the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University, Phillip understood our situation immediately and could recommend exactly what we needed to do.

4. How did your one-to-one meetings take place? What kind of structure did your meetings have?
Due to the pandemic, Philip Silver and I have spoken for many, many hours, but we have never met except over Zoom. Our discussions were guided by the practical steps in developing a “Request For Proposal”. Often our next meeting would be arranged once I had completed my assigned research.

5. How did the knowledge gained from having a mentor, or how did your mentor directly, help you solve a challenge or issue you were having with your creative space project? Briefly explain the issue or challenge and how your mentor was a part of solving it.
To begin with, I had intended to write an RFP requesting a costing for every upgrade we’d dreamed about for our perfect facility. I hadn’t realized how much a consultant would charge for pricing our many options. Patiently, Phillip talked me through the cost implications of some of the more elaborate, most unlikely dreams. I removed them from the RFP: why pay to price something that we were definitely not going to undertake?

6. Over the last year, how much has your knowledge of creative space projects changed and how much of that would you attribute to the mentoring network? Do you have more confidence moving forward in your project?
I have gone from 0 to 99 in my ability to prepare an RFP, thanks to my mentor. Best of all, the basics of this this new skill can be used in multiple situations large or small, in or out of the arts, for many years to come. I also know it well enough that I could instruct others.

7. Would you recommend this program to someone who was in your position a year ago? If so, why would you?
This seems to be an ideal program in which to accomplish a specific challenge or project which requires practical steps to complete.

8. If someone wanted to make the best use of the Creative Space Mentoring Network, what would you recommend to them?
If the project is outside your experience or abilities, so much the better, especially if you intend to do all the leg work, and will rely on your mentor for just advice and guidance.

 

Brenda Darling, Past President of the Board for The Alumnae Theatre Company

We look forward to continuing the Creative Spaces Mentoring Network in 2021-2022!


Apply Now for Virtual Consultations in Cambridge, Waterloo, Orangeville, Guelph, and Kitchener! Part 2!

The deadline for Virtual Consultations Kitchener has been extended to Wednesday, March 31, 2021! Apply HERE for the Kitchener Sessions!

 

In addition, ArtsBuild Ontario is happy to announce that registration for all of the upcoming Virtual Consultations for LEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT Part 2 is now open! Consultations will cover the topics of Building/Renovating and Managing/Maintaining Creative Spaces and Creative Space Projects, and they will be offered to non-profit, arts, culture, heritage, faith and community organizations in the Kitchener, Cambridge, Waterloo, Guelph, and Orangeville communities. Each community will offer two days of consultations, and the dates are as follows:

  • Tuesday, April 13, 2021: Kitchener
  • Tuesday, April 20, 2021: Kitchener
  • Tuesday, May 4, 2021: Waterloo
  • Tuesday, May 11, 2021: Waterloo
  • Tuesday, May 25, 2021: Orangeville
  • Tuesday, June 1, 2021: Orangeville
  • Tuesday, June 8, 2021: Guelph
  • Tuesday, June 22, 2021: Guelph
  • Tuesday, June 29, 2021: Cambridge
  • Tuesday, July 6, 2021: Cambridge

In these sessions, participants in and near each of these areas will have the opportunity to sign up for one-hour timeslots for one of the two days with a creative space or creative space project in mind and consult with either one or both of our consultants, Randy Dalton (The Dalton Company) and Bryn Jones (WalterFedy). They will offer guidance and perspective based on their expertise and pertaining to their session topics.

 

Here is what an attendee thought of the Virtual Consultative Session Part 1 for Cambridge:

“Great mix of some onscreen sharing and just being in dialogue. I really, REALLY appreciate the one-on-one consultation opportunity and working with both presenters in tandem. I think this enriches the conversation to play off of each other versus having silo conversations.”

– Kenn Norman | The Fashion History Museum

 

For more information on how to apply, please visit https://www.artsbuildontario.ca/learning/workshops/.

 


CSMN Mentee Spotlight: Hartmut Steinke, Heart Comonos

The Creative Spaces Mentoring Network provides you with the unique opportunity of one-to-one mentoring with an experienced professional in the arts. In the following post-program interview, hear how 2020-21 mentee Hartmut Steinke, Executive Director of Heart Comonos learned from the program in many different ways.

heart comonos logo

1. What motivated you to sign up for the Creative Spaces Mentoring Network?
I first heard about the Creative Spaces Mentoring Network from my friend, Andreja Kovac, who is the Director of Crane Creations Theatre Company. Our project, Heart Comonos, is integrating the arts together with a number of sectors and partners including youth programming, therapeutics, spirituality, social innovation and community development with a neighbouring focus. Ultimately, we see the development of a community cultural hub in Cooksville-Mississauga. Heart Comonos comes from the Latin ‘together as one’. We are creating safe and inclusive spaces for people to connect, learn and collaborate for personal and community wellness. This is especially vital given the added stresses of the present COVID challenges. Andreja felt that this ArtsBuild mentoring would be a great experience for us to move our idea forward to reality and she was so right!

2. Who was your mentor? Were they a part of the same industry/arts discipline as you? If not, were you still able to learn things applicable to your situation from your mentor?
Olinda Casimiro, who is the Executive Director of the Art Gallery of Northumberland in Cobourg, is very knowledgeable and experienced in the sphere of the arts. She also brings a strong background in business and economics as well as understanding the kind of networking that is needed across sectors for a successful project. She has shared many insights and made many recommendations along the way which have been strategic in guiding our project forward.

3. How did your one-to-one meetings take place? What kind of structure did your meetings have?
Olinda and I meet via Zoom on average once or twice each month. Generally, I send Olinda a bit of a summary of what we are focusing on, and we then have conversations which include her helpful insights and experience. Our meetings are informal and very enjoyable, and it really feels like we are friends!

4. How did the knowledge gained from having a mentor, or how did your mentor directly, help you solve a challenge or issue you were having with your creative space project? Briefly explain the issue or challenge and how your mentor was a part of solving it.
A couple of situations quickly come to mind. Early on, we thought we were ready to do a feasibility study and Olinda recommended a possible resource. It turned out that the person she recommended asked us some very strategic questions which actually correctly turned our attention to a different planning focus for our project. This has significantly changed the approach we are taking with our partners and with our engagement with the community.
Olinda has also kept a laser focus on the kinds of municipal and other stakeholder voices and representation that we need to have around the leadership table. Ultimately, we need the participation of citizens, organizations, and institutions each functioning in their most appropriate roles.

5. Over the last year, how much has your knowledge of creative space projects changed and how much of that would you attribute to the mentoring network? Do you have more confidence moving forward in your project?
Without a doubt, this is a valuable learning experience. Collaboration across many sectors is the best path for creating a relevant and sustainable project.

6. Would you recommend this program to someone who was in your position a year ago? If so, why would you?
Absolutely I would recommend this program! Olinda ‘feels’ our project and at the same time brings a level of experience and objectivity that is so helpful.

7. If someone wanted to make the best use of the Creative Space Mentoring Network, what would you recommend to them?
I would suggest keeping your mentor well informed about your thinking, questions, plans, activities, progress, and challenges. It is a gift to have someone coming alongside to offer their wisdom and perspectives.

Hartmut Steinke, Executive Director of Heart Comonos

Interested in applying to our Creative Spaces Mentoring Network 2021-22 iteration? Learn more about the program here!


LEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT

LEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT

LEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT began as a two-part workshop and webinar series. Offered in the communities of:

  • Cambridge
  • Guelph
  • Kitchener
  • Orangeville
  • Waterloo

The series covers 4 key areas that support creative space capital projects:

  • Alternative Financing
  • Community Engagement
  • Building/Renovating
  • Maintaining/Managing Creative Spaces

Part 1 began with workshops in several of these communities. However, as the health and safety of our participants is of the utmost importance, and in light of concerns regarding workshop attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic, ABO has decided to change these workshops into one-on-one virtual sessions to complement the webinars.

Part 2: Virtual Consultative Sessions


Part 2, covering the topics of Building/Renovating and Managing/Maintaining Creative Spaces and Creative Space Projects, will offer free Virtual Consultations in the areas of Kitchener, and Waterloo. These consultations are intended for non-profit arts, culture, heritage, faith and community organizations looking tor guidance to build, renovate, manage and/or maintain manage creative space for a creative space project. Each community will offer two days of consultations.

Dates

  • Tuesday, April 13, 2021: Kitchener
  • Tuesday, April 20, 2021: Kitchener
  • Tuesday, May 4, 2021: Waterloo
  • Tuesday, May 11, 2021: Waterloo
  • Tuesday, May 25, 2021: Orangeville
  • Tuesday, June 1, 2021: Orangeville
  • Tuesday, June 8, 2021: Guelph
  • Tuesday, June 22, 2021: Guelph
  • Tuesday, June 29, 2021: Cambridge
  • Tuesday, July 6, 2021: Cambridge

In these sessions, participants in and near each of these areas will have the opportunity to sign up for one-hour timeslots for one of the two days with a creative space or creative space project in mind and consult with either one or both of our consultants, Randy Dalton (The Dalton Company) and Bryn Jones (WalterFedy). They will offer guidance and perspective based on their expertise and pertaining to their session topics.

Registration

We welcome registrations from organizations in or around each of the catchment areas, as well as outside of these catchment areas. While city-based organizations will have priority, we will open consultations to those outside of each community if time slots are available.

 

Kitchener Virtual Consultations:

Tuesday, April 13, 2021, & Tuesday April 20, 2021

Registrations closed.

 

Waterloo Virtual Consultations:

Tuesday, May 4, 2021, & Tuesday May 11, 2021

Register for a session HERE.

Registration closes Monday, April 19, 2021 (NEW DEADLINE!)

 

Orangeville Virtual Consultations:

Tuesday, May 25, 2021, & Tuesday June 1, 2021

Register for a session HERE.

Registration closes Tuesday, May 4, 2021

 

Guelph Virtual Consultations:

Tuesday, June 8, 2021, & Tuesday June 22, 2021

Register for a session HERE.

Registration closes Tuesday, May 18, 2021

 

Cambridge Virtual Consultations:

Tuesday, June 29, 2021, & Tuesday July 6, 2021

Register for a session HERE.

Registration closes Tuesday, June 8, 2021

 

Registration Note: You will be asked for a brief summary of your project, and 3-5 questions that you would like to ask the presenters so we can inform them ahead of time.

 

Part 2: Building/Renovating Creative Spaces

Whether a new build or a small to medium size renovation, navigating the construction of a creative space is a complex and non-linear process. Randy Dalton of The Dalton Company will offer virtual consultations on the topic of building/renovating creative spaces. Using local examples to offer strategies on the concept, feasibility, design and construction phases of your project, these consultations are designed to support creative space managers in successfully executing building projects on budget and on time.

About Randy Dalton

With over 30 years of experience in the building industry, Randy Dalton is the President of The Dalton Company and is the principal in charge of delivering projects for arts organizations using the company’s Alternative Approach to Building. Randy has experience managing high profile and complex projects, which require attention to detail and a thorough understanding of the unique needs of both arts and non-profit organizations. He possesses a complete knowledge of site operations and the management expertise to ensure that performing arts projects are efficiently and effectively executed.

About the Dalton Company

Led by CEO Andrew Dalton and President Randy Dalton, The Dalton Company is a building service firm based in the GTA that is committed to exceeding expectations and maintaining long-term relationships with its clients. Originally founded by Peter D. Dalton in 1940, The Dalton Company began and remains as a family-owned business that continues to successfully manage building projects. The Dalton Company strives to adapt and evolve in the constantly-changing landscape of the building industry. As such, they have developed an Alternative Approach to Building, based on the core values that the company was established on. These core values are Integrity, Commitment, Accountability, Responsibility and Experience. This Alternative Approach to Building caters to the Canadian building service market by building trust through collaboration in the early stages of building projects. The Dalton Company particularly specializes in planning, building, and renovating for the residential high-end and commercial sectors. From concept and pre-construction to final occupancy and closeout documentation, The Dalton Company offers a vast array of services.

Managing/Maintaining Creative Spaces

After the completion of a building project, managing a space proactively and sustainably should be an ongoing consideration for arts leaders. In these virtual consultations with Bryn Jones of WalterFedy, participants will learn how to identify their facility needs and explore best practices for managing the implications of long-term operations in their consultations. Using pertinent examples from the sector, Bryn Jones will provide consultations on practical and efficient methods that art leaders are using to manage their spaces and assets, addressing questions around topics such as energy efficiency, managing hazards and more.

About Bryn Jones

Bryn Jones, M.A.Sc., P.Eng., is a senior associate and team leader for the asset and facilities management group with The WalterFedy Partnership and a Professor of Building Systems Engineering in the School of Engineering & IT at Conestoga College. Bryn has over 15 years of engineering experience in building systems engineering and asset management within the arts and public sectors. Bryn has collaborated with ArtsBuild Ontario for the past 6+-years working through, and helping develop, the Asset Planner for the Arts program, as well as the Creative Spaces Mentoring Network program.

Bryn works with client organizations and strategic partners to design and execute integrated asset management strategies from the ground up, as well as evolve currently in-place programs. Bryn specializes in facility condition assessments, data management, strategy development, and financial analysis to support decision-making and infrastructure capital spending for building owners and managers while balancing cost, profit, and risk.

Bryn’s overall goal is to educate building owners, managers and the next generation of building professionals to improve the success of capital projects.

About WalterFedy

WalterFedy is an award-winning architecture and engineering firm with strong roots in the Waterloo Region as well as Southwestern Ontario. Since its establishment in 1951, WalterFedy continues to adapt and evolve to serve their clients in the best way possible. WalterFedy specializes in energy management, architectural engineering, asset and files management, project management and more. They are proud volunteers and sponsors in the regions of Waterloo, Hamilton-Niagara and beyond, for supporting communities is at the forefront of their minds. Their recent projects include warehouse renovations at McMaster Innovation Park, condo development at Batavia Place, and providing architectural, structural, and engineering services for the residential development of Lexington Park Real Estate Capital Inc., and the building of a galvanizing plant for Corbec Inc.

Webinars


For LEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT webinars, please refer to ABO’s Webinars webpage.

This program is presented in partnership with the Community Forward Fund, Cobalt Connects, the Dalton Company and WalterFedy

LEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT is generously supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation

 

Sustainable Creative Spaces

In 2013, ArtsBuild gathered and shared insights from eight communities in Ontario. At each stop, Sustainable Creative Sessions were opportunities to engage local leaders, arts organizations, municipalities, funders and other decision makers in a conversation about the successes and challenges of building, managing and financing sustainable creative spaces.

ArtsBuild has completed all eight sessions. See below for each of the cities and to read the reports from each community. Participants and readers are able to share experiences within each community as well as learn about ArtsBuild’s innovative new programs that can be applied to the facility needs in communities like yours. We thank everyone who took the time to participate in each of these community engagement sessions!


On Sale Now: Past ABO Webinars! Get $10.00 Off Regular Price

Starting today, all of ABO’s webinar recordings go on sale. Get them for $10.00 off for a limited time only! This includes the Creative Spaces Online Training Series and all of the Learn It | Build It | Manage It webinars. Keep reading to learn more about each series.

Creative Spaces Online Training Series

This training series is designed to support arts managers in building the core skills necessary to support capital projects and ongoing operations in creative spaces. Delivered by topic experts working in the sector, each module focuses on a topic area identified as the most integral to capital projects by ABO’s network of 2,500+ arts organizations.

The topic areas are:

  • Strategic Planning and Partnerships
  • Financial Management and Capital Projects
  • Campaigns and Community Engagement
  • Operational Planning Before, During, and After a Capital Project

Each webinar recording is currently on sale for $30.00 + HST each, or $100 + HST for all four!

Learn It | Build It | Manage It Webinars

In this webinar series, ABO joined with industry experts to prepare professional development on the full cycle of capital project work. From beginning to end. There were two webinars on each of the following topics:

  • Alternative Financing for Capital Projects
  • Engaging Community in Capital Projects
  • Building Creative Spaces
  • Maintaining Creative Spaces

All sessions include examples of projects within the arts sector, along with any additional content provided by the presenter. Each webinar recording is currently on sale for $30.00 + HST each, or $100 + HST for all four!