Register for the Final New Moon Dialogue: Culturally Based Training and Indigenous Spaces


There are many systematic barriers for Indigenous artists and organizations to overcome towards creating and producing self-determined work. Funding opportunities for Indigenous training organizations have suffered especially, even before the Covid pandemic. Mainstream training funding often excludes Indigenous organizations, and Indigenous artists are forced to work within colonial structures and evaluation frameworks.

In order to disrupt this cycle, thinking about different models and systems to support self-determined work can empower Indigenous artists to move forward. The speakers in this session will share the ways in which they are creating new models and enhancing current western approaches to building a new future that offers culturally based training for Indigenous artists. By focusing on how to support training and professional development, Indigenous artists and organizations can be uplifted through self-determination and agency.

The Indigenous Creative Spaces Project brings together a network of communities to support the development of Indigenous sovereign creative spaces across Ontario. Guided by an Indigenous Advisory Circle and supported by ArtsBuild Ontario, the project aims to build a framework of knowledge and experience within a cultural and historic context, and determine the needs and recommendations for future infrastructure and sustainable development across the arts ecology of Ontario. As part of this project, a series of online dialogues will take place within Indigenous communities throughout Ontario.

The Indigenous Creative Spaces Project respects the First Nations Principles of OCAP (Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession). The intended audience for these dialogues are Indigenous artists, arts organizations, and community members participating in the project. If you are interested in listening to this dialogue, please remember that this is a sovereign digital space for communities to connect and learn from the knowledge shared in this forum and within this project.

Note: These dialogues may explore culturally sensitive material. The information shared today may not be extracted for any reasons other than personal knowledge. The audience is encouraged to witness and reflect, space will be open for interactive dialogue and questions during the session.

Register here.

Register Now! New Moon Dialogue Series


Join us for the fourth and fifth sessions of the New Moon Dialogue Series! You can register now for the two sessions happening on Wednesday, May 3rd.

Session 1: Debahjemuhjig Theatre Group: Developing the Creation Centre lead by Lynda Trudeau

Debahjemuhjig Theatre Group create original theatre/live performance productions that represent Indigenous world views, language, culture, and histories. Recently, Debajehmujig Theatre Group embarked on a project to develop their Creation Centre. General Manager, Lynda Trudeau will speak on the journey from conception to present use and future plans.

Register here!

Session 2: Creating and Maintaining Culturally Safe Creative Spaces lead by JP Longboat 

In the creation and development of fully Indigenous creative and cultural spaces, how can Indigenous creators navigate mainstream venues and systems of engagement? When settler spaces/organizations need to do the work of Truth and Reconciliation leading to true inclusion, how can Indigenous creators offer guidance and knowledge to sensitize and Indigenize these spaces? JP will give a voice to the lived Indigenous experiences and talk about the needs and recommendations that are currently affecting the sector.

Register here!

Note: These dialogues may explore culturally sensitive material. The information shared in these sessions may not be extracted for any reasons other than personal knowledge. The audience is encouraged to listen. Questions will be taken at the end.

Green Infrastructure Initiatives for Arts Organizations

How do cultural projects align with green infrastructure initiatives and how can arts organizations prepare for new avenues of federal funding? Join us on Tuesday, April 11th from 1 pm-2:30 pm for a conversation with Tara Mazurk and Elizabeth Seip, from PAA Advisory | Conseils and explore the latest federal funding investment in green buildings.

In this session, we’ll look at programs such as the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings Program, the Deep Retrofit Accelerator Initiative, and learn how these supports can integrate with existing programs such as the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.

Tara and Elizabeth lead the federal cultural infrastructure work at PAA Advisory | Conseils, helping arts & culture organizations navigate public investment for venues, retrofits, new builds and upgrades, especially in light of public policy priorities in inclusive communities and the green transition.

Tara Mazurk, Director, Arts & Culture: Tara brings 10 years of experience in arts management and cultural policy, with a particular focus on the not-for-profit and charitable sector, network stewardship and coalition-building. Her expertise in policy writing, strategic monitoring, and stakeholder engagement helps clients easily understand and navigate relevant federal policies and programs. Outside of her work at PAA, Tara helped co-found Mass Culture, a Canadian cultural research network. She also regularly guest lectures at universities and colleges to support the next generation of professionals. Tara holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Arts Management and Studio Art from the University of Toronto.

Elizabeth Seip, Advisor, Arts & Culture: Elizabeth is an Advisor with the Arts and Culture Group. She has experience in policy development, and emerging issues in Canada’s arts and culture sector. Additionally, Elizabeth provides logistical, strategic, and research support to her team and clients. Prior to joining PAA, Elizabeth worked as a Special Assistant to a Member of Parliament focusing on policy development and community outreach. She has previous experience with government relations, specifically with the arts and culture sector. Elizabeth has volunteered for numerous non-profit organizations that support women’s rights and gender equality in Ottawa and is involved with an organization that supports Indigenous communities in British Columbia. She has campaign experience, as she volunteered for her local Member of Parliament’s federal campaign. Elizabeth received her Bachelor of Arts with an Honours double major in political science and history at the University of Ottawa, specializing in mid 20th century American history and Canadian politics. She was accepted into the international exchange program at the University of Galway in Ireland where she focused on Irish economic history. Elizabeth holds a Master of Political Management from Carleton University.

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Kick Off in Calgary! The Creative Spaces Mentoring Network Calgary Begins

On February 14th, ABO launched our Kick Off Workshop in Calgary, Alberta. We partnered with  cSpace King Edward and Calgary Arts Development to bring our core program, the Creative Spaces Mentoring Network out West!

cSpace King Edward Interior

We started the day with a welcome by cSpace at their recently renovated Studio Theatre. cSpace provides shared spaces for artists and the creative sector within Calgary. They offer tenant spaces, venue rentals, innovative programming,and local art exhibitions. During the opening, we also heard from Calgary Arts Development, and listened to a brief overview of some relevant initiatives and grants for the Calgary arts community.

Next, we met our cohort! CSMN Calgary is made up of 19 wonderful mentees from a variety of different arts disciplines. This year, our mentees are:

Atelier Artista One Big JAM
Big Art Riverstation Retreat
Bonny Boom Inc Sankofa Arts & Music Foundation
Buckingjam Palace Snapshot Studios
Canopy Studios Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
Casa Mexico SpanicArts
City of Camrose Springboard Performance
Hispanic Arts Society The Alcove
Legacy House Tribe Artists Society
Turtle Island Multicultural Centre

The projects range from the visionary phase of embarking on a creative space project to working on space specific challenges. We are so excited to hear how these projects progress with their mentor matches. 

Our main panel for the day began after our mentee introductions. Moderated by Joni Carroll, Arts Spaces Consultant with Calgary Arts Development we heard from Kathi Sundstrum, Executive Director of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Alex Sarian, CEO of Arts Commons and Sabrina Mueller, Production and Operations Manager at Pumphouse Theatre. Each of these community leaders have embarked on capital projects for their facilities. From large, medium and small scale projects, each panelist spoke to their successes, challenges, and words of advice for our program mentees. With the overarching theme of recovery, recalibration and renewal, the panelists spoke to the need for collaboration within the arts sector. In order to sustain the survival of the arts, there needs to be an underlying trust within partnerships and the community.

Panel Discussion moderated by Joni Carroll with Alex Sarian, Kathi Sundstrom, and Sabrina Mueller

After lunch, we heard an overview of cSPACE and Calgary Arts Development’s Meanwhile Lease pilot project. This project connects real estate professionals with interim tenants active in the creative economy. This pilot project mobilizes the use of under-utilized real estate inventory to the benefit of the real estate and arts sectors.

CSMN afternoon training

Finally we ended the day with some program specific training and goal setting. We are very excited to have launched this program in Calgary and we can’t wait to see how the projects and collaborations unfold.

New Moon Dialogue Series: Looking Towards the Next 50 Years

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The Indigenous Creative Spaces Project brings together a network of communities to support the development of Indigenous sovereign creative spaces across Ontario. Guided by an Indigenous Advisory Circle and supported by ArtsBuild Ontario, the project aims to build a framework of knowledge and experience from an Indigenous cultural and historic perspective, and determine the needs, recommendations and sustainability for future Indigenous infrastructural development within the arts ecology of Ontario. As part of this project, a series of online dialogues have taken place within Indigenous communities across Ontario.

Looking Towards the Next 50 Years is the next dialogue in this series. Hosted by Janis Monture, Executive Director of Woodland Cultural Centre, this dialogue will share on Woodland’s history which focuses on the Save the Evidence campaign and the re-interpretation of the former Mohawk Institute. Janis will be joined by guest speakers, Tim Johnson and Amos Key, Jr.

Janis Kahentóktha Monture is Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River. Janis returned as the Executive Director of Woodland Cultural Centre in May 2020. Previously, Janis was appointed the Director of Tourism and Cultural Initiatives for the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation from 2017 – 2020. From 2003 – early 2017 Janis was the Executive Director of the Woodland Cultural Centre, one of the largest First Nations- run cultural centres/museums in the country. In her capacity with Woodland, Janis was a steering committee member for the Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Cultures. A committee member for the Arts & Culture Advisory Council for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Para Pan American Games. For two brief 18-month periods Janis was on secondment to Harbourfront Centre as the Guest Artistic Director of Planet IndigenUS in 2009 and 2015. Janis attended the University of Western Ontario where she attained a Bachelor of Arts in History and received a Museum Studies diploma from Algonquin College. Janis continues to volunteer in her community at Six Nations and in Brantford with various organizations such as Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Brant Community Foundation and the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation. Recently in April 2022 Janis received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers by the Governor General of Canada.

Tim Johnson is a senior advisor to Lord Cultural Resources, Niagara Parks Commission, and Plenty Canada. He is the artistic director of The Great Niagara Escarpment Indigenous Cultural Map and the Greenbelt Indigenous Botanical Survey. He is an executive producer of the Canadian Academy of Cinema and Television, Sundance Film Festival, and Hot Docs award-winning documentary RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World, and is an experienced education, museum, and arts executive who recently helped lead the development of four public memorials and art commissions of national significance that honour the contributions made by underrepresented peoples to Canada’s defense and founding.

As the former Associate Director for Museum Programs at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, Mr. Johnson managed the museum’s largest organizational group across its facilities in Washington and New York. A long list of critically acclaimed exhibits and programs (including LIVE EARTH D.C. with Al Gore) were produced during his tenure, creating an era that significantly advanced the institution’s museology and reputation.

Active in his home community of Six Nations of the Grand River and with several prestigious education, arts, and journalism institutions over more than 35 years, Tim received the Dreamcatcher Foundation Award for Art and Culture in 2016.

Dehaeho:węhs – Amos Key Jr. was born into the Onkwehon:weh the Divine Race of the Haudenosaunee Civilization, and is a member of Mohawk Nation, gifted into the Turtle Clan of his Mother and conferred to the Sacred Circle of Faith Keepers and knowledge keepers of the Longhouse, at Six Nations of Grand River Territory in Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada.

On his journey… Amos Key Jr. has become an educator and staunch advocate for: Indigenous Human, Civil and Linguistic Rights; Social Justice; the Decolonization of Indigenous Education and, the Emancipation of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. This is his life’s purpose providing a blue print of service to his people.

As a Change Agent: he prides himself in being a ‘change maker’ and ‘social advocate’ who promotes: social change, social advocacy, social justice and social enterprise through an Indigenous Lens.

As an Educator, he is change maker advocating for: the Benefits of Indigenous Bilingualism; Indigenous Language Literacy; Balancing Indigenous IQ with Indigenous EQ-I; unpacking the Truths of Indigenous and Crown Relations in Canada and advocating the reinstatement of the attributes, virtues , characteristics, intelligences and traits of Indigenous Civilizations in Ontario.

Currently Amos Key Jr. is: the Executive Director of SONICS / CKRZ 100.3 FM Wadręnota’ (radio) at Six Nations of Grand River Territory, that he founded 34 years ago. He is also currently an Education Program Developer with the First Nations Technical Institute, at the Tyendinega Mohawk First Nation Territory, at Belleville Ontario. He is leading the development for the foundations for Ontario’s first, Bachelor of Education Degree (B.Ed) in Teaching Indigenous Languages. Amos was just recently appointed Indigenous Advisor to the Danial’s School of Architecture, at the University of Toronto.

Prior to his current career stop, he was the inaugural, Vice Provost Indigenous Engagement and Associate Professor at Brock University at St. Catharines, Ontario for 15 months and prior to that a tenure track position as a Teaching Professor at the Center for Indigenous Studies, at the University of Toronto, at Toronto, Ontario, (2015-2019).

Prior to taking a role as professor and vice provost, Amos was the Director of Indigenous Languages at the Woodland Cultural Centre, in Brantford for 35 years. While there, he accomplished other firsts: he established Gawenni:yo Ontario’s first Indigenous School Board and Indigenous Language Immersion School system; Southern Ontario’s first, fully licensed community radio station, CKRZ 100.3 FM, and Ontario’s first international award winning, ‘Dream Catchers’ E learning Secondary School, way before Covid influenced the current state of e learning.

Note: This dialogue may explore culturally sensitive material. The information shared today may not be extracted for any reasons other than personal knowledge. The audience is encouraged to listen. Questions will be taken at the end.