Creative Spaces Mentoring Network 2021-22 Conclusion Blog Post

The Creative Spaces Mentoring Network 2021-22 (CSMN) is coming to a close at the end of June! 

CSMN 2021-22 provided an opportunity for leaders in the arts sector who are responsible for their spaces, focus on capital-related issues, or were seeking space, to come together with a mentor and develop their creative spaces project over the course of one year.

We wanted to extend our thanks to everyone who participated in the program: we have been so grateful to hear about how participants have developed their creative space projects over the past year! CSMN 2021-22 featured 16 mentor/mentee pairs, with pairs connecting virtually over Zoom from Haliburton, Hamilton, Lindsay, London, Toronto,  Vancouver, and more!

As the conclusion of this program draws closer, we would like to offer some reflections from mentors and mentees in this current iteration on their experience with the Creative Spaces Mentoring Network:

“This was a wonderful experience working with Ed Finlan as a mentee as I learned about the project he and his committee are working on as well as how their community is working towards an inclusive arts space.  I learned just as much as I hope he did.”

-Wendy Fairbairn, Mentor and General Manager of the Orillia Opera House

“Heart Comonos is a startup non-profit community engagement organization in Cooksville-Mississauga. We create events for all ages that are fun and fulfilling – like music, art and dance, park and neighbourhood cleanups, discussion groups, and projects that support people who are hurting. In the last 18 months, about 1500 people participated in approximately 45 events. We understand the value of mentorship as questions and issues come up about staff, volunteers, governance, funding, planning, programming, and long-term sustainability; thank you ArtsBuild Ontario for the gift of encouragement, and wise counsel through the mentorship of Olinda Casimiro over this very fast-paced start-up phase.”

-Hardy Steinke, Mentee and Executive Director of Heart Comonos

“Working closely with Hardy Steinke and the team at Heart Comonos has been a gift. Heart Comonos is an organization located in Cooksville-Mississauga communities, they are an inclusive, street-level organization that uses a community model of caring to walk alongside people who are hurting, lonely and isolated.  As a new grassroots organization who initiated a ‘pop-up hub’ concept to facilitate connection, they have started the conversation and are becoming a Neighbourhood Support Network where strategies – including support for mental health and wellness and promote social engagement and emotional healing through hands-on creative activities – all contributing to personal and community wellness. Their programs are making a difference – as they help to eliminate disparities in their community. I am grateful to have been connect to Hardy and his team –  thank you ArtsBuild Ontario!”

-Olinda Casimiro, Mentor and Executive Director of the Art Gallery of Northumberland

The next iteration of the Creative Spaces Mentoring Network will be launched in Fall 2022: keep updated by checking the program webpage and subscribing to our e-news for more info!