Text from my talk Monday 14th of December to City Council

Here’s the text from the talk that I couldn’t give in its fullness due to finding out a change in funding to the CEI. It is still pertinent. The CEI should not use another pinch of money to close its doors.

Presenters from the arts community included Janice Lee, Martin de Groot, Robert Linsley, Duncan Finnegan, and Gordon Hatt.

City of Kitchener Council

Thank you councilors for allowing me and my colleagues to come and speak to you on a matter that is near and dear to us as a functional, organised, and very active sector in this city.

I want to start by expressing my respect for both Roger Farwell, and Debbie Currie as two hard working, well intentioned, and great people in the city. They have tried hard to build something meaningful, and it wasn’t without successes, but at this point, the successes are over, and belabouring the closure of this organisation with the building out of two unwanted initiatives is only directing money away from where it most necessary: back into the arts.

Thanks to the CEI’s own work we realised that the arts sector is short by up to 5 million in funding based on 50 arts organizations – not just the 5 pillars.

Thanks to the municipalities for recognising the need and moving money to the arts.

The dollar per capita amount was critical, but it didn’t help the entire sector. In going strictly to the pillars, the real needs of those who animate the city: the creators and innovators were left to starve. In the past years, dozens of artists have moved away from this community, and we have seen next to no growth in new organisations that create art.

As a sector, the makers of culture, the makers of art are more than ever critically underfunded, and underresourced. And the CEI’s current priorities do not address any of the critical priorities or needs facing our sector. The new priorities are entirely duplications of other services (as they have said themselves), or are not repairable (in the sake of Grand Social) in the budget and timeline indicated.

So, what do we need?

In the formation of the CEI, We were promised access to private sector and increased funding through capacity around this access – Many arts organisations had private sector funding prior to the CEI that was diverted to the CEI through their closer business connections.

Most of the money given to the CEI did not see its way to the small to medium arts organizations. Some organizations saw support, but the ability to build new, and grow became completely absent. The lack of transparency, and the determination of who was funded and why became a point of contention. There was the “hot dog cart” fund, but of $750k, this represented only $53k. Access to private sector is critical. This is a dire need for any organisation to assemble a good financial portfolio to build sustainability.

We desperately need space. My colleague Majdi spoke to this matter so eloquently just last week. I must, however, add that every single practice in the arts from film, to the individual visual artist, to the musician looking for a jam hall is desperate for infrastructure to build, to practice, to create. Artists are not culture industries, artists are not content creators, their work often lies in a different business model that cannot sustain the increasingly high costs of space in Kitchener.

Money could be used to create a space building initiative, like ArtScape in Toronto – a very successful model of public and private funding to create permanent and meaningful infrastructure.

Lastly, we need more funding into sustainability and innovation. The Arts Fund and similar ventures are best suited to making decisions about the arts. We have experimented with good intentions over the past five years without artists active in decision making around things that concern them most. And it shows.

We see successful models of peer-based decision-making in funding in other cities, at the provincial level, and at the national level. We need support around innovation. We need to be able to identify good practices and get money to them to increase the capacity of their practices. We need to give talent an incentive to stay here, and create a vibrant arts scene. We need to build increased sustainability around the organisations that mentor, and create opportunities for other artists – such as Neruda, Inter-Arts Matrix, MT Space, and hopefully, one day, my own.

When it comes to these other two initiatives, do we give money to build another org that duplicates place-making like CAFKA, only to hand it off? Who takes on that initiative when it is half built? Are they required to follow a model that they haven’t built? And the website, as a tech professional who has a 20 year history in web, and online communication, I can attest that 15k and 1 year isn’t going to help Grand Social.

Communitech is an excellent model. The reason why it worked is that it was built by tech for tech. It was built by the people who understood the business of making a productive sector from the inside out. They maintained a status as tech association until they realised that investing in innovation in startups could be a benefit to the entire sector.

They built a culture of practice and have made Kitchener one of the most desirable places to start a tech business. But only they could do this themselves. Traditional business does not face the challenges of tech. The same goes for the arts. The CEI is not an arts organization, nor has it ever been. It is a business organization imposed on the arts.

With the shuttering of the CEI at the end of this year, I urge you to hold this last pocket of funding instead of pouring so much money into unnecessary, unwanted, and dysfunctional final projects. We, as artists, have been organising around building a new council that will be purpose driven to help the arts where they need it most. It has a clear mission, a clear function, and has been built on two years of community consultation across the disciplines in the arts – there is no need to spend another dime in hiring external consultation. I urge you to take a sober second look and put this money where it will make an enormous difference instantly for an entire sector – back into the arts.

 

Open call for submissions – Waterloo Region show – EXTENDED

COLLECTIVE IDENTITY

OPEN CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS – Extended to the 20th of JULY

Collective Identity is a new open collective of professional artists in Waterloo Region established for the purpose of mounting a show of original professional arts with a regional focus. The hope of Collective Identity is to revive a regional annual, or biannual to build solidarity and celebrate our talented and committed community.

From Wednesday September 17th – Sunday October 4th, 2015, artists will take over a premiere downtown space for a show named Fast Forward Waterloo Region. This loosely themed show is focused on the future: the future of us as a creative community. We, the creative community, are the lifeblood of the culture of this region. Some of the themes that are being worked on are:

  • Transit and transportation
  • Urbanity and landscape
  • Food, food security
  • Culture and multiculture

Whether you build something that fits into these ideas, or your work reflects a concept outside of these, we call on you to submit a proposal.

We are looking for submissions from professional artists who live currently within the boundaries of Waterloo Region. In this we are looking for work that lives on the wall, off the wall, performance, pop-up theatre, music, sound and noise installation, makers, inter-arts, digital arts, film… we want to hear what you want to build.

As a professional artist-run collective, we recognize that our peers in the arts need to make a living. We will be running fundraisers and finding sponsorships to build compensation packages for your submissions. There is no fee for submission. Submissions will be accepted until July 20th, 2015 July 11th, 2015. (Call extended due to popular request)

Proposals and either a one-page bio, or CV no longer than two pages can be submitted to: terre@mycontention.com 

First Builders. A Self Guided Hike Honouring 10,000 Years of Settlement -Photoblog #BuildWR

14829426154_ddf3994794_k

The entrance to the First Builders hike along the Grand River at the Cambridge RARE Charitable Research Reserve is on Blair Rd. The place is easy to spot with a gorgeous old barn – the RARE Slit Barn marks the beginning of a spectacular walking journey. If approaching from Cambridge – it is after the Springbank Farm (a must visit in its own right), and on the right side of the road. If approaching from Kitchener, you pass Blair Village and Langdon Hall before you arrive at this barn. It’s on the left. Stop at the house – you will find trail maps, and they are necessary. I only had my smartphone, but I do recommend bringing a proper camera to the site. It’s worth the weight of carrying it.

14831813855_4d47611ce8_kThe trail is easy to spot: it is currently gated by an installation created as a part of CAFKA. IMITATE forces the even short walker (I am 5’1″) to duck beneath the woven wood as one enters the trailhead. Once past the gate, you will be immediately flooded with the scent of wild bergamot, wild tarragon, flowers and grasses. Despite the sounds of the nearby road, the effect is profound and instant. This is a meadow. Full or birds, bees, insects and wildlife, RARE transports us instantly out of the hustle of cars and into an ancient landscape.

Osprey Tower

The first gem on the hike is an Osprey Tower. Long before we entered into range to see the bird, we heard her. The image isn’t great, but she stayed stationed there calling to her mate throughout the several minutes it took to traverse the meadow

Tundra

Did you realise that this used to be Tundra? Of course we knew our landscape was carved by glaciers, but here’s a real reminder.

Floodplain

The next site describes the floodplain. The signage is clear, and nicely descriptive.

Dense trail

The trail becomes dense and the plants are well grown into the space. It would not be foolish to prepare for ticks whilst walking here.

Joe Pye Weed

There are huge stands of Joe Pye Weed, and several other butterfly and bee beneficial plants. We did also spot some Giant Hogweed, so unless you know your plants well, stay on the trail.

mystery plant

An oddity… what is this? Between two gardeners (one who is also a horticulturalist) we could not identify this plant tangling over the Joe Pye Weed. Any ideas?

The Grand River

The views of the Grand River are spectacular. Bring binoculars and a camera. In a few minutes we spotted several species of birds.

A good stretch

Just before leaving the banks of the Grand, have a stretch and a rest. The trail moves into the woods, and along bluffs. Wear good footwear – lots of rocks and roots. Mosquito repellant would go a long way to increasing enjoyment of the walk as well.

Boreal Landscapes

The next sign describes the shifting climate. The Tundra gave way to the Boreal.

Cedar grove

The undergrowth give way in a cedar grove that stretches. The trees cling to the bluffs and the area is scented deeply with cedar and wild geranium.

A darker place

This is a darker place in the woods. One could imagine a good spot for a Tim Burton gothic horror.

Early human arrival.

Ah! Settlement. Early human arrival. The landscape breathes new life.

Grove

Another special place. This tree stood in the centre of a circle in a grove of maples. No undergrowth. Tarry here a while. A beautiful spot to have a snack and take in some water.

Rocks roots and cliffs

Rocks, roots, and cliffs. It is easy to forget that this is in Cambridge. The earth jetties out in limestone cliff formations, and moss settles on everything. Whilst wandering here, be very careful of poison ivy encroaching. It’s not on the trail, but under no circumstances should the trail be left, especially if you are unsure on how to identify this plant. The three-leaf plants you can see here? Not poison ivy.

Deciduous forest and cliffs

Deciduous forest and cliffs. This is a northern reach of the Carolinian forest on a landscape that looks more like the Bruce Trail. A very unique spot.

Award winning international architect Alison Brooks to lecture at PI – #BuildWR

Living in Waterloo Region does present gems… very soon, we will be introduced to one of the most important architects in the world. Alison Brooks is lecturing at the PI on July 30th from 7:30 – 10:00 for free – as a part of Building Waterloo Region.

Brooks finished her studies in architecture at the University of Waterloo in 1988 when she soon after moved to the UK to work with Ron Arad. She became a partner in Ron Arad Associates. Brooks established her own practice in London UK in 1996. Showing spectacular design and innovation, she has won several awards.

Being fond of architecture, but not the most educated about the names of the people who create spaces that matter, I had to look into her more. Among the several exquisitely designed spaces I found this:

Alison Brooks - Tribeca

Alison Brooks – Tribeca: from http://www.alisonbrooksarchitects.com/

There is such a challenge in taking on the old, and building around it. The older structures must be respected, and shown in all their beauty. Complicated window casings, interesting roofline, and even flourishing details that matched the aesthetic sensibilities of the time. Brooks takes on an incredible challenge in creating new buildings in a modern aesthetic.

There is the challenge of respecting a pre-existing space with all the voices and histories, but also adding a new voice. Much like any language, the visual language is tricky – relying deeply on metaphors, impressions and cues. It would be so easy to create buildings that ignore their surroundings. The countless cinder-block rectangles in every city speak to this laziness in design. This grouping in Tribeca, however, maybe be in an updated, even avant-garde language, but the voice of the new buildings speak in a common tongue. The older building in the centre is sharply accentuated by buildings of a similar feel. The flourish doesn’t exist in the modern buildings, but their roofline draw attention to the old, showcasing it. The older building is turned into the equivalent of a gemstone in a stunningly tasteful surround – where nothing is garish but all working in harmony.

Beyond building design, Brooks has designed density housing. Using design to focus on healthy lives in dense spaces, Brooks’s spaces receive accolades for being spaces in which grass-roots communities thrive. The neighbourhoods encourage pedestrian movement an interaction between neighbours. The streets are often used for street socials. These are safe, lived-in, and practical spaces designed around the needs of community.

Waterloo Region could use a dose of her design.

Photoblog – Downton Abbey to That Seventies Show: Fashion, architecture and design collide #BuildWR

Street Style

The Waterloo Region Museum (with partners Fashion History Museum) is currently exhibiting Street Style –  focusing on fashion and architecture in the Region of Waterloo. The exhibit is on of the many shows presented as a part of Building Waterloo Region – a festival focusing on architecture and design excellence.

The floor opens with a show film, morphing a dancing from decade to decade, changing the music, fashion and architecture behind them. The style of dance is also made to match the decade of design.

Following is a lineup of mannequins dressed in costume from La Belle Epoque to The Trench.

Compositionally, the exhibit is exquisite, featuring clothing design juxtaposed with architectural design. In spaces that would normally serve as negative space, the gallery wall images of Waterloo Region buildings echo the structure in the costumes themselves. The result is uncanny: a concert of geometries and flourishes orchestrated in symphonic harmony. Even if you are uninterested in women’s fashion or architecture throughout the decades, this exhibit presents some tantalizing eye-candy for the lover of design.

Fabric swatchesThe opposite wall of the exhibit has a timeline, contextualizing women’s fashion, architecture, art movements, world events – drawing parallels between radical changes and design itself. Someone the later leading the former. Also for the tactile types, there are mounted swatches of fabric for the express purpose of touching.

Now wait for it: There are also shoes.

The image below are presented in an order – first are general images of the costumes, second are images of juxtapositions that I found particularly interesting. Finally… there are shoes.

Details down to the complex undergarments

Details down to the complex undergarments

La Belle Epoque etais belle

La Belle Epoque etais belle

Regal coats and bustles

Regal coats and bustles

Trains and geometrics

Trains and geometrics

Glamorous gowns, and hats.  Elaborate design.

Glamorous gowns, and hats. Elaborate design.

Details down to gloves, umbrellas, hats and shoes.

Details down to gloves, umbrellas, hats and shoes.

A last breath of bombastic Edwardian matched with downtown fronts

A breath of bombastic Edwardian matched with downtown fronts

Downtown ladies. Laces, velvets, frills.

Downtown ladies. Laces, velvets, frills.

The Late Edwardian lady - simplicity with stunning detail.

The Late Edwardian lady – simplicity with stunning detail.

Decades of transition. Late Edwardian, First World War to 20s Swinging.

Decades of transition. Late Edwardian, First World War to 20s Swinging. In a few decades, hemlines went up. Emphasis on gender goes down.

Simple 30s Depression to the Second World War working woman.

Simple 30s Depression to the Second World War working woman. I need to re-photograph this one… Apologies for the poor quality. It may be my favourite transition.

Wartime simplicity. Austerity and heavy geometries.

Wartime simplicity. Austerity and heavy geometries.

Forties and Fifties formalities and frivolities.

Forties and Fifties formalities and frivolities.

Clean lines, sharp design.

Clean lines, sharp design.

Lovely late Fifties and Sweet Sixties colours and lengths.

Lovely late Fifties and Sweet Sixties colours and lengths.

60s minidress polyester crimplene and heavy geometrics.

60s minidress polyester crimplene and heavy geometrics.

Patchwork peasant Seventies.

Patchwork peasant Seventies.

The Trench. And a slick silk.

The Trench. And a slick silk.

The following are photographed considering the negative space with the costumed mannequins. 

IMG_20140619_154515 IMG_20140619_154527 IMG_20140619_154609 IMG_20140619_154617 IMG_20140619_154631 IMG_20140619_154659 IMG_20140619_154719 IMG_20140619_154727 IMG_20140619_154743 IMG_20140619_154758 IMG_20140619_154808 IMG_20140619_154821 IMG_20140619_154834 IMG_20140619_154851 IMG_20140619_154933 IMG_20140619_154942

 

And finally… Shoes.

IMG_20140619_154207 IMG_20140619_154040 IMG_20140619_154220 IMG_20140619_154235 IMG_20140619_154307 IMG_20140619_154326 IMG_20140619_154335 IMG_20140619_154312 IMG_20140619_154244 IMG_20140619_154227 IMG_20140619_154156

 

Those of you who made it this far deserve a final treat. Detail from the Late Edwardian lace bodice and the back of the lace Edwardian coat. These is are exquisite pieces.

Late Edwardian Bodice -Lace Detail

Late Edwardian Bodice -Lace Detail

IMG_20140619_153720

More than music and sound, Open Ears is a full calendar of art

My favourite festivals are soon to start. We are right around the corner from CAFKA and Open Ears.

I will be running photos and reviews about the art of CAFKA as I stumble upon it in my journeys through downtown.

Open Ears is a less simple event to describe before seeing. When I try to talk about it, I like to describe it as a full orchestra of intrigue presented in a calendar of events related by brilliant curation.

Sound is all around us. From the droning of in-building HVAC and fans, to outdoor constancy of cars, wildlife, winds, we are constantly tuning out by being constantly tuned in.

From June 5 – 15 we will be asked to open our ears and tune back in. The full calendar will include a trio of new Canadian operas. Think of it… when was the last time you heard a new opera.

Another highlight is a presentation of White Rabbit, Red Rabbit. This play was written by Iranian author Nassim Soleimonpour. Up until recently, he had never seen the play that he had written. This play is presented in a novel format: The readers of the play are not given the script until they are ready to go on stage. There they see it for the first time as they read it live. The nature of this transcends the disconnect of a playwright who for years was never able to see his creation. The echo of the unrehearsed voice mirroring the voice of the censored writer… a truly revolutionary piece of theatre.

Open Ears will be presenting it read by Majdi Bou Matar – multi-talented artistic director of the MT Space, Nora YoungCBC tech culture personality, Mike Farwell – radio host, Kitchener Rangers announcer and local philanthropist, and Grace Lynn Kungactor from the cult film Hypercube, and starred in Being Erica and InSecurity.

I will leave you with a final highlight. What is sure to be a pleasing presentation is by artist Shary Boyle. This outstanding artist was featured at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Boyle will be bringing new work to Open Ears, but here’s a taste of a previous work.

Open your mind at Open Ears

Tim Grier and I caught up with Gregory Oh – the artistic director from Open Ears. We had a wee chat with him about the upcoming festival.  Here’s a bit of a video. As for the written content of this blog post, I do think Oh describes the experience of the festival best in his own words.

“I think we walk around on any given day and we’re not even aware of the sounds we hear. We hear sounds of construction and cars and we learn to tune things out …we learn to almost stop listening, because there’s so much happening in the world, and if you try to listen to everything you become oversaturated.

“But the danger there is that you close off your world to some very beautiful things, like church bells, or the sound of nature… I gotta say I love the sound of traffic and of people bustling around and of random conversations in the street.

“I think Open Ears is about always keeping yourself open to new experiences, always learning, always creating and …the world is an amazing place and you can just find things if you’ll just open up your ears….”

Waterloo Region Arts Reboot

After years of candid small group conversations divided by discipline about similar issues in the arts in Waterloo Region, an event is coming to head to discuss the particular challenges for artists and small arts organisations.

Boehmer Box art throwdown

Waterloo Region Arts Reboot

Who should come:

  • Are you an artist currently practising in Waterloo Region?
  • Are you a member of a small arts organisation in Waterloo Region?
  • Have you been a member of a collective or ad-hoc arts group in Waterloo Region?
  • Do you play music, make films, photograph, perform, act, paint, sculpt, sing, dance, or attempt any art in a semi-professional to professional capacity in Waterloo Region as an individual artist?
  • Have you ever applied for an arts grant or creative development grant in Waterloo Region?
  • Have you earned an income from a small arts practice in Waterloo Region?

This conversation is not aimed at larger arts organisations, museums or facilities. Nor is it aimed at caring arts loving culture workers, “creative business” folks or anyone else who is not currently facing the realities of making art on the ground level in Waterloo Region. This conversation is very specifically to organise and communicate challenges as a broader artist voice. It’s about community building amongst us; it’s about building strategy for going forward.

Not an individual artist or small arts organisation? What you can do to help:

  • Share this event with artists who fit the description
  • Share the event over social media
  • Come and volunteer at the event: help mediate and/or record the conversations, or help to host the event (food, drink, meet and greet etc.)

What is the desired outcome of this event?

  • To collect general data that represents diversity of practice in Waterloo Region concerning the art.
  • To organise structures in community to better support each other within and across disciplines.
  • To paint a picture of the reality of innovative practitioners in art in Waterloo Region.
  • To build solidarity across disciplines in the art.

Really, it’s about being honest and pushing past barriers… or at least making a gosh darned good attempt to do so. We are planning to build a report with our findings from this event, and plan future strategy building sessions. Join us!

10 Reasons to Live in Waterloo Region – The Art Junkie Perspective

I will admit it: I am addicted to creative culture. In light of the recent postings about Waterloo Region being cultural wastelands, I have been compelled to write about my home, and why I refuse to leave. (I have a previous post on why I moved here in the first place – “Why I moved here, why I stayed. Art matters in Waterloo Region“).

Boehmer Box art throwdown

1. Major Contemporary Arts Festivals

If you want to talk about “what’s in the water” in Waterloo, you have to look at the undeniable bent towards novelty. Kitchener supports major artist-run festivals in all major disciplines of the arts that have radically changed the cultural landscape of the Region.

  • CAFKA provides an international platform for art in public spaces. There is a rogue element – the surprise and unexpected sense of a landscape that has been tampered with by the avant-garde.
  • Open Ears broadens the space between our ears by bringing music and sound from the world over. Sit, listen and be changed.
  • IMPACT challenges the notions of performance. Whether its theatre that moves, or abstraction that begs questions, this contemporary theatre festival challenges the status quo.
  • Kultrun is a new festival that brings world music to our doorstep. The remarkable diversity of the region is highlighted through the music of the people who have come from around the world to make this region their home.

2. Kitchener Festival City

There’s a festival every weekend of the summer. Several of these represent diversity. We have a literature and storytelling festival (Latitudes), tri-Pride, Multicultural Festival, a festival that celebrates handmade, earth friendly things (Blooming Earth), a craft beer and rib festival, the new Night\Shift (a late fall art party), The Kitchener Blues Fest… If it’s a weekend in the city, and you are bored, it’s your fault.

3. Two major university and over 100 research centres

The depth of knowledge in this community can make your head spin. Meeting an expert is a common instance in this Region that is home to the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. Through these, we have a Centre for International Governance and one of the top physics think tanks (PI) in the world. The prevalence of the later being so important and widespread that it trickles out to build community knowledge around a philosophical practice in quantum theory among the average citizen. From public lectures, the provision of live music from the prestigious Laurier music department, to the School of Architecture in Cambridge we rub shoulders with the best of the best of the thinking world just by living here and getting out of the house.

4. Major downtown parks

If you need an afternoon, or even a lunch hour of convalescence, why not wander down to Victoria Park, Waterloo Park, or the beautiful Grand River parks in Cambridge. With the several cafes in all of these cities, why not grab an expertly made cappuccino and fall in love with the beauty of these landscapes.

5. Food

Every city has a farmer’s market offering glorious produce, meats and cheese. Every city has well honed food culture and excellent restaurants. There is also a plethora of world food to explore in the form of small grocers (Thinking Mi Tienda Latina across from the Kitchener bus terminal and New City on King as two fine examples) and restaurants. Wander into one let your palate be amazed. From food journalism to food blogs, you can also be educated in what’s happening in Waterloo Region food. Check out Rare Republic or the Food in Waterloo Region Facebook group.

6. Cultural diversity

Waterloo Region, and especially Kitchener is the top secondary immigration location in Canada. That means people move to Canada, but choose here as their home. With programmes that help immigrants and new Canadians to settle, to arts and culture practices that embrace diversity, there is no wonder why this is a fact. You can walk down King St in Kitchener and not hear English spoken. This region provides possibility in work and cultural integration for many. We do have our growing pains, but this is something that makes living here truly great. 

7. Down at the pub, jiving in the cafe

Whether you want to silently be around others, or want to strike up a conversation, walk down to one of the many pubs that serve amazing craft beer. If it’s too early, or you don’t care to tipple, try the cafe culture in the city. This ties into food a bit, but think of the broader social aspect. Head into the Jane Bond (the only screen-free pub) to witness conversations about physics from the theorists who hang out there, drag yourself into Matter of Taste or Pyrus to smell java and art, hop to Imbibe to be on the bleeding edge of what’s happening downtown. We have award-winning baristas, and a great beerish taste served with philosophy and thought.

8. Small enough to be a town, grown large enough to be a city.

It’s the best of both worlds. If you live in one of the more vibrant communities in the city, you must leave an extra 10 minutes in your pedestrian commute to take in the things happening around you. Whether these are the people in your neighbourhood who have something to say, or some new rogue artist creating critical disturbance, or just to pause at something you need to look at sideways for a moment. The ever-changing high turnover presents newness, while the stayed long-term and rooted keeps a grounded feel. I used to joke: It took me 30 minutes to walk 5 minutes from my home to my favourite cafe.

9. Collaboration

If you come here as an artist, entrepreneur, or any other type that needs to learn the ropes, look no further than your competition. The spirit of collaboration is undeniable. Back to the previous point: It takes a village to raise a child. In this sense, if your creative passion is your child, you will have a village from the moment you look past your nose. The effort to build practices in Waterloo Region is great, and you can expect that yours will have all the help it needs right here in this community.

10. Unbreakable spirits and unquenchable desires to make things better

We have a vibrant activist community keeping us on our toes. We have a community of artists who choose, despite all hardships, to stay. We have an enormous amount of people who work hard every day to improve the daily existence in Waterloo Region. Like any other city, we are not without our problems. And in tough economies, large cities feel the weight of the population who call them home. The biggest difference here is that from city councils to the average person on the street, there are so many who work hard to make Waterloo Region more livable. Just go outside. You really don’t need to look to hard. And if you don’t see it, take your blinders off.

Networking for the arts – Yay or nay? Let me know!

Hey folks… a bit of a question.

So many industries have a once per month networking event. Some networking events are just open networking for folk who want to connect.

In the past, I have found networking events instrumental in building community, which in turn has been instrumental in building audience and support around my arts practice.

So a few questions… please either comment here, or send me an email – terre@mycontention.com

Would you be interested in a once-per-month arts networking event?

If yes, how would you conceive this event:

  • For artists, creative workers and arts admin people mostly?
  • For artists, arts affiliated, and arts lovers?
  • Open networking – drinks hors d’oeuvres at a local pub with no agenda?
  • Event + open networking – a short talk by a local artist or arts worker and a networking session after?
  • A better idea?