Success Stories from ABO’s Accessibility Webinar Series

This past year, ArtsBuild Ontario presented six webinars in the Learning Series aimed at supporting creative spaces in understanding and going beyond the Design of Public Spaces Standard as part of the Accessibility for Ontarians Act (AODA).

We are excited to share some success stories from different arts leaders across the province who have applied key learnings from these webinars to their organization or practice!  Have a read through them all below:

Success Story #1: Informing Accessibility Plans

“The [webinar] was presented in a different perspective with more of a real connection to day-to-day ways of interpreting visitor needs.  It was overall, very informative and helpful as we all work toward goals of inclusion and accessibility.

This webinar has created a good way to re-assess our current accessibly plan and is a reminder that we should evaluate the plan on a more regular basis-including input from those whose needs should be met in a public space. As there are people of many different abilities, there always seems to be more to learn in the area of accessibility. Putting that information into the context of creative spaces definitely added to my current level of knowledge and the mindset needed to actually think about and implement solutions”.
– Participant from Webinar: Let’s Talk About Disability and Creative Space

Success Story #2: Deepening Discussions with Clients

As an architect, Sandra Iksandar is more than familiar with building codes and provincial legislation. Participating in the webinar Best Practices for Architects, Designers & Creative Spaces on Accessibility served as a reminder of the value added that comes with going above the legislation to create accessible and inclusive spaces. Demonstrating how accessible buildings can be stylistically creative and visually appealing, speakers provided examples that were transferable to her clients. She was able to bring this information to her clients, and communicate the importance of considering accessibility in the planning phases of a renovation project and specifying accessibility in the Request for Proposals (RFP) process.

Success Story #3: Implementing Accessible Signage

For Lisa Wacheski, this webinar series has had a direct impact on the Canadian Transportation Museum and Heritage Village’s upcoming renovation project. Board approval has recently been given to go forward with a grant application for the replacement of signage in the museum. While they are still in the planning stage, information has been shared with board members on the need to adjust the signage to better reflect those with varying accessibility needs in terms of sight and language. As a result, the creation and installation of new signs will include both English and French, larger font, better lighting and appropriately displayed based on lines of sight, to take into great account the variety in abilities of their visitors.

Success Story #4: Transforming Spaces

From this webinar series, two underlying messages resonated with Michelle Alderson, Production & Event Coordinator at the Al Green Theatre.  Firstly, she appreciated the examples that demonstrated how organizations have implemented creative designs to eliminate barriers in their facilities and remain a thriving community hub. Secondly, she was pleased the webinars highlighted the importance of forward facing customer service, consulting patrons with lived experiences and asking patrons how a space can better suit their needs.

As a member of her facility’s Accessibility Committee, she has shared lessons learned and resources provided with the committee, and will be applying them to an upcoming renovation project at the theatre. Along with plans to lower the information desk, they will soon be transforming the old box office room in their lobby into a designated area to support individuals with visible and invisible disabilities. As a multi-use space, it will be used as a quiet zone for individuals with sensory processing concerns and as a designated space to identify and make requests for access needs. It will also be equipped with assistive devices to help individuals communicate with staff if needed. As individuals of varying demographics and abilities frequent their public lobby, these facility upgrades are intended to insure their space is accommodating and inclusive.
 

Success Story #5: Improving Experiential Accessibility

In the webinar: Invisible Disabilities and Creative Spaces, presenters Alex Bulmer and Andrew Gurza highlighted practical solutions to empower creative spaces to better welcome and accommodate invisible disabilities. These included processes such as extending the time limits of online ticketing platforms; offering scent free spaces and the importance of making patrons feel comfortable expressing their access needs either in person or through digital platforms.

A participant from the webinar notes “we can update our approach to encourage a better and more inclusive level of customer service through some of the suggested practices mentioned in the webinar. We will update our orientation and training for staff and volunteers to reflect as many of these key points as we can.”


Announcing Accessibility Webinars for Creative Spaces!

ArtsBuild Ontario is excited to announce upcoming accessibility webinars in the Learning Series! These webinars will focus on accessibility and creative spaces based on the Design for Public Spaces Standard, as part of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act (AODA). The webinars will explain how creative spaces need to meet accessible building standards and explore ways creative spaces can go beyond the standards.

The webinars will be supported by a toolkit for creative spaces around the topic of accessibility, which will be released in Spring 2019.

ABO would like to thank its accessibility advisory committee for informing the webinar topics, speakers and upcoming toolkit for creative spaces in Ontario. This project is supported by the Government of Ontario.

Free Webinar: Let’s Talk About Disability and Creative Spaces
Tuesday, January 15, 2019 | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. EST
Presenters:  Thea Kurdi, Vice President with DesignABLE Environments and Sage Lovell, Founder of Deaf Spectrum 
Register Here

Free Webinar:  Design for Public Spaces 101: Where do Creative Spaces Start?
Tuesday, February 12, 2019 | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. EST
Host: 
Thea Kurdi, Vice President with DesignABLE Environments
Presenters: Jay Pitter, Placemaker, Author & City Building, and Yvonne Felix, Senior Manager at CNIB and public/community artist
Register Here

Free Webinar: Design for Public Spaces Advanced: How can Creative Spaces Go Beyond the Standard?
Tuesday, March 12, 2019 | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. EST
Host:
 Thea Kurdi, Vice President with DesignABLE Environments
Presenters: TBD & Lorene Casiez, Accessibility Strategist, Practice Lead with Human Space
Register Here

Free Webinar: Best Practices for Architects, Designers and Creative Spaces on Accessibility
Tuesday, March 26, 2019 | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. EST
Host: 
Thea Kurdi, Vice President with DesignABLE Environments
Presenters: Amy Potier, Accessibility and Building Code Specialist with Gensler as well as Corey Timpson, Principal at Corey Timpson Design Inc and former Vice President of Exhibitions at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
Register Here 

Free Webinar: Safety, Fire Codes and Accessibility for Creative Spaces
Tuesday, April 23, 2019 | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. EST
Host: Thea Kurdi, Vice President with DesignABLE Environments
Presenters: Martin Day, President of Safety Media Inc. and Marnie Peters, Accessibility Specialist
Register Here

Free Webinar: Invisible Disabilities and Creative Spaces
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. EST
Host: Thea Kurdi, Vice President with DesignABLE Environments
Presenters: Alex Bulmer, Accessibility Consultant & Actor, Writer and Director as well as Andrew Gurza, Disability Awareness Consultant
Register Here

Registration is available through Eventbrite and webinars are delivered through Adobe Connect with closed captioning. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation to register or participate in our webinars, please call 519-880-3670 ext. 101 or email erin@artsbuildontario.ca in advance of your participation.


ArtsBuild Ontario’s CSMN 2020-21 Launches Today!

ArtsBuild Ontario is excited to announce that the Creative Spaces Mentoring Network 2020-21 officially kicks off today! After matching mentees with cultural leaders who could help them with their creative space challenge, ABO brought everyone together in an online webinar to explain the rules, learn from the experiences of last year’s participants, and more. Now, mentees and mentors are ready to start building their relationships and sharing knowledge!

This year’s participants are excited to get started!

“I’m looking forward to connecting with my mentee to contribute to their growth and share insights on the highs and challenges of establishing a viable arts destination.

The CSMN program provides a wonderful opportunity for both parties to gain perspective and further define what success means in the arts and cultural sector. I’m proud to be part of this program for a second year.”

Nadine Baker
Facility Manager
The Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning
2020-21 Mentor

“We are thrilled to be part of this program and we are truly looking forward to working with Tim Jennings, CEO of the Shaw Festival. His great expertise in capital projects will be of extraordinary value to us as we move forward in all the different steps of getting ready for our infrastructure project.”

Camille Mauran Ghislain Caron
Corporate Liaison Manager Managing Director
Théâtre français de Toronto
2020-21 Mentees

 

 

 

“I am so looking forward to advising and supporting Susan as she plans and prepares Flick The Switch’s marketing and communications. She has created a wonderful organization, and there is so much opportunity for communication, community, connection, and cultivating sales and revenues. I am excited to be a part of the organization’s development over the next year.”

Heather Kelly
Marketing Consultant
HKC Marketing

2020-21 Mentor

“Alumnae Theatre Company’s ancient analogue sound, lighting and communications systems are now negatively affecting the quality of our productions. With the practical experience of a wonderful mentor like Phillip Silver, I now have the guidance to oversee a feasibility study which will become the roadmap for moving forward on a comprehensive digital infrastructure project.”

Brenda Darling
Past President of the Board
Alumnae Theatre Company

2020-21 Mentee

Not familiar with the Creative Spaces Mentoring Program? Read more here! Would you like notifications about registration for the Creative Spaces Mentoring Network 2021-22? Sign up for our mailing list!


ArtsBuild Ontario Announces New Interim Executive Director

KITCHENER – May 20, 2020 – The Board of Directors of ArtsBuild Ontario (ABO) is happy to announce the appointment of Diana Moser as the new Interim Executive Director.

Ms. Moser will head the organization’s overall financial, strategic, and operational leadership while the Executive Director, Alex Glass, is on maternity leave. Ms. Moser brings several years of experience with Arts Council Wood Buffalo in Fort McMurray where she held a variety of posts including Programs Manager and Interim Executive Director.

“We’re excited to have Diana on board to guide ABO. As someone with extensive experience with the arts community, facilities, and organizations she is a fantastic fit for ABO’s current need.” – Kristian Clarke, President

Ms. Moser helped establish the Arts Council Wood Buffalo as a trusted arts support organization for the region and combines this experience with her experience at the Oil Sands Discovery Centre, Theatre; Just Because and the Wood Buffalo 2018 Alberta Winter Games.

She has a BA and MA in History from McMaster University and a Master of Museum Studies from the University of Toronto.

Please join us in welcoming Ms. Moser to her new role at ABO.


Creative Spaces Online Training Series Modules Available for Purchase!

Creative Spaces Online Training Series Modules Available for Purchase!

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 Creative Spaces Online Training Series was originally delivered from November 14, 2019, to January 23, 2020.

The Training Series includes four modules, $40 each, available for purchase:

  1. Strategic Planning and Partnerships
  2. Financial Management and Capital Projects
  3. Campaigns and Community Engagement
  4. Operating Planning Before, During, and After a Capital Project

Each Module comes with:

  •  A Recording of The Webinar
  • A PDF of the Presentation
  • A Transcription of the recording
  • Any extra resources the presenter(s) provided to the attendees

We accept Credit or eTransfer. Please contact Tyler Woodward, Program and Communications Coordinator at tyler@artsbuildontario.ca to purchase.
These modules are designed for arts managers working within creative spaces under a variety of operating models and communities.


More Capital Project Case Studies Available Now!

ArtsBuild Ontario is excited to release the second installment of case studies for The Creative Space Case Studies Series! This project features a series of case studies inspired by creative spaces across Ontario that have executed a capital project or renovation.

These case studies analyze the why, what, who, how and ongoing behind each project to provide specific details on each creative space project. This will allow other organizations to better understand what resources and supports they might need to execute projects and sustain their creative spaces.

Along with these new case studies we are also releasing a Best Practice Summary Report that combines the key elements from all case studies!

Case Studies

Canadian Automotive Museum (Oshawa, Ontario)

Dundas Valley School of Art (Dundas, Ontario)

FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (St. Catharines, Ontario)

Great Canadian Theatre Company (Ottawa, Ontario)

  • Coming Soon!

Idea Exchange: The Old Post Office (Cambridge, Ontario)

Meridian Hall (Toronto, Ontario)

Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre/The Al Green Theatre (Toronto, Ontario)

The Theatre Centre (Toronto, Ontario)

Thunder Bay Art Gallery (Thunder Bay, Ontario)

The Westdale (Hamilton, Ontario)

Best Practice Summary

This project is made possible by the Department of Canadian Heritage.


COVID-19 Update: ABO Staff Continue to Work Remotely

With all the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 (the coronavirus), the safety of our program participants, staff and Ontario communities comes first. We are taking precautions to prevent the spread of the virus with social and physical distancing. This means ABO staff will continue to work from home.

ABO CONTACT INFORMATION

While we are in this period of remote working, the ABO team is still actively available online by email, phone or even Zoom/Skype! Please feel free to contact us during regular hours, Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.

Tyler Woodward
Program & Communications Coordinator
tyler@artsbuildontario.ca

Amy Poole
Program Manager
amy@artsbuildontario.ca

Diana Moser
Interim Executive Director
diana@artsbuildontario.ca

If you have any questions, would like more information about contacting ABO or our upcoming programs, please do not hesitate to email us.