ABO is pleased to share the appointment of Kristian Clarke, Executive Director of the Dancer Transition Resource Centre, as ABO’s new Board President. A long time arts sector advocate, Clarke brings with him decades of knowledge and experience in the sector and we are thrilled to have him lead the Board of Directors through the next few years.
Joining Clarke, as the Vice President, is Chris Plunkett, VP of Global Communications coming from OpenText located in Waterloo. During another period of growth, we are thankful for Plunkett’s experience and knowledge of the tech sector locally here in KW.
ABO extends a heartfelt thanks to Past President, Chris Loreto, Principal with Strategy Corp, after serving for 9 years on the board. In 2012, Loreto joined the Board of Directors and soon began serving as President. Under his leadership Loreto led a fulsome strategic planning process and developed our first Strategic Plan in 2014. Three years later, he led a refresh that continued to support our ongoing initiatives and provided direction to new opportunities.
ArtsBuild would like to gratefully acknowledge the contributions of our outgoing board members for their contributions to our organization.
Will Chow served on ABO’s board for the past 4 years. Chow brought with him expertise in finance and capital infrastructure and we were fortunate to have his insight and participation as a mentor in our Creative Spaces Mentoring Network.
Randy Dalton was been a long-standing board member of ABO since 2012. Dalton was a tremendous support in our LEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT program, bringing his decades of capital infrastructure to the program as well as financial contributions.
We would also like to thank the rest of our Board Members that continue to support our work; Bill Ralph, Treasurer; Nisha Dhaliwal, Director; and Zainub Verjee, Chair of our Advisory Committee.
ArtsBuild Ontario (ABO), through Board Chair, Chris Loreto, would like to announce that Executive Director Patricia McKinna, has departed ABO to begin her new role as Executive Director at the Siminovitch Prize. The Board of Directors thanks Patricia for her contributions to ABO and wishes her well in her new capacity. Alex Glass, Program and Assistant Executive Director, will be assuming the role of Interim Executive Director, effective immediately. Details regarding a call for a permanent Executive Director will be released in the fall.
Ms. Glass has been an integral part of the team at ABO since January 2015, having held roles in marketing, communications and programming, and most recently as Program and Assistant Executive Director. In this role, she has successfully launched new programs under funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts and Province of Ontario. In addition, she has provided leadership to our creative hub space at 44 Gaukel.
Lindsay Golds, former Executive Director will be working directly with Alex and the board of directors to assist with this transition.
ABOUT ARTSBUILD ONTARIO
ArtsBuild Ontario is the only organization in Ontario dedicated to realizing long-term solutions for building, managing and financing the sustainable arts facilities needed in Ontario communities. We are a non-profit arts service organization that provides organizations with training, tools and resources that support the development and management of creative spaces such as theatres, galleries, concert halls, museums and other creative spaces.
Back in November 2018, we traveled to Montreal with Trinity St. Paul’s, Faith and the Common Good and the Toronto Arts Council to explore how sacred spaces are working with arts organizations to transform their facilities into thriving spaces that serve the creative community. Montreal marks the third location of our research of faith and art spaces, a project supported by the Metcalfe Foundation and led by Kendra Fry of Trinity St. Paul’s/Faith and the Common Good. We traveled to Philadelphia and New York City prior to Montreal, and while these cities provided us with operating models from two very different American communities, Montreal offered examples of faith and creative spaces in a Canadian context.
We visited a number of churches in Montreal, but these three locations really stood out to us.
A heritage church built between 1888-89 and a National Historic Site of Canada, St. James United Church has opened up their space for arts organizations to rent. Responding to high rental prices in downtown Montreal, St. James is opening their doors to the arts at a lower rate. They recently provided overflow space for Place des Arts with a remote screening of Yo-Yo Ma’s live performance next door. While they are still growing a creative rental audience, they offer Daweson Hall – a former Sunday School – as a rental space for arts groups, including a dinner theatre. St. James has also opened up The Churchill Suite which offers 5,000 square feet of office space specifically for cultural, social and arts organizations. Other rental spaces include the Sanctuary and outdoor Public Square located at the front of the church.
Part of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), Bourgie Hall is a former church turn into a 444 seat concert hall. Formerly the Victorian Erskine and American Church, it was designed by the architect Alexander Cowper Hutchinson in the Roman Revival style in 1894. Bourgie Hall is located beside the MMFA and is renowned for its chamber music performances, presenting their own programs and other chamber orchestras. The MMFA opened Bourgie Hall in 2011 as a response to a need for chamber music performance space in the City. The renovation of the former church also increased the MMFA’s exhibition space by 20%.
St. James the Apostle Anglican Church reopened its doors as St. Jax Montreal in December 2016. The 154 year old church closed in 2015 and remerged as both a church and community space. During the closure, pews were removed and the Sanctuary was fitted with new lights and a sound system. St. Jax currently has a 200 person parish and rents to other churches, community groups and organizations – including arts organizations. Through a space rentals program, the church created a stream of earned revenue to offset staffing costs and facility maintenance. Spaces in the church available to rent include the Sanctuary (used for banquets, conferences or smaller gatherings), Shatford Hall (equipped with a stafe, mirrors and used as rehearsal space), Basement, Chapel and Gardens.
The churches we visited in Montreal proved to be facing many of the successes and challenges our faith spaces and arts organizations are facing here in Ontario. While many churches are experiencing declining parish numbers, there remains an opportunity for faith spaces and the arts to support one another. Bourgie Hall is a unique example of how arts organizations can repurpose faith spaces – leveraging the former church’s natural acoustics to create a state of the art chamber music performance venue.
As we continue to answer the needs of our arts organizations with relevant programs, tools and resources, ArtsBuild Ontario looks forward to continuing our research of faith spaces and creative places, and how partnerships and/or adaptive reuse of faith spaces can serve our organizations with space solutions.
ArtsBuild Ontario (ABO) was thrilled to take part in Arts Day on the Hill 2018 with the Canadian Arts Coalition this year! Over 100 arts advocates across Canada came together on Tuesday, October 2 to discuss how we can continue to support arts and culture in our communities. Over 100 meetings were scheduled with Members of Parliament, Senators and Ministers.
The Canadian Arts Coalition’s Messages
The Canadian Arts Coalition had five messages to share with the Government of Canada this year:
Thank you: The Government of Canada’s support encourages investment from the private sector and from other levels of government, helping to maintain a stable and vibrant creative sector.
$30 million annual increase to the Canada Arts Presentation Fund (CAPF): to be phased in over three years. By addressing CAPF, we can take advantage of economies of scale through domestic market opportunities (improves ROI) and enhance export readiness.
Continue investing in Canada Council for the Arts: Continued investments through the Canada Council for the Arts, and Canadian Heritage programs, strategically support the creative value chain with positive social and cultural returns.
Invest in the Canadian Arts Training Fund and Young Canada Works: with an additional $10 million annually for the Canadian Arts Training Fund, and an additional $500,000 for the Young Canada Works to support diverse artistic proactive and support emerging arts administrators.
Help in motivating individual donors through the Canada Cultural Investment Fund: This could take the form of an administrative increase to the Endowment Incentives program to grow the number of Canadians who make charitable donations.
Advocating for Creative Spaces
ArtsBuild Ontario spoke to the importance of all five speaking points, but also spoke to the valuable investments made in the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund (CCSF), creative hubs and cultural infrastructure in both central and rural Ontario communities.
In Budget 2017, the Government of Canada invested $300 million over 10 years in CCSF to further support creative hubs and other cultural spaces. The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund is part of suite of art programs administered by the Department of Canadian Heritage that complements funding delivered by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Our #ArtsDay Team
ArtsBuild Ontario’s Alex Glass was teamed with Lesley Bramhill of the Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal/Canadian Dance Assembly, Janita Grift who is an individual arts administrator/arts advocate, and Robert Steven from the Art Gallery of Burlington. Our team met with Marwan Tabbara, MP for Kitchener-South – Hespeler; Senator Donna Dasko; Zachary Sykes on behalf of Frank Baylis, MP for Pierrefonds-Dollard; and The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of Democratic Institutions.
We would like to thank the Canadian Arts Coalition for organizing this important and vital day of advocacy for arts and culture!
It’s back! We’re excited to announce our Learning Series is returning this fall with new webinars and a workshop to support arts organizations and their creative spaces. These sessions will provide tools, best practices, and feature guest speakers from the sector to inform and inspire creative space managers.
Many of the webinars in this year’s Learning Series will focus on capital projects and accessibility in creative spaces. Dates for accessibility webinars will be announced later this fall!