The Michaëlle Jean Foundation was born of the actions taken to support underserved youth, the arts, and culture during the mandate of the 27th Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, the Rt. Hon. Michaëlle Jean, and her husband Monsieur Jean-Daniel Lafond. The enthusiastic response to those actions has fueled the creation of a national organization, which continues to support innovative initiatives that enable underserved youth to unite, share ideas, and act positively to transform lives and revitalize communities across Canada. Mme. Jean and M. Lafond have chosen to dedicate the legacy of their mandate to fulfilling that pan-Canadian vision.
The fruit of collaboration between the Foundation, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia-based Youth Art Connection, the Justice, Arts and Youth in Action (JAYA) Initiative promotes an arts for collective impact approach to empower youth across Nova Scotia, including Halifax. In this model, organizations employ the arts as a means of both expression and engagement to mobilize youth and a variety of sectors, around collaboratively building safer, more inclusive communities for all residents, irrespective of race, gender, sexual orientation, physical and mental ability, or socio-economic position.
The 2017 Creative City Summit in Halifax welcomes Mme Jean and M. Lafond as keynote speakers to present the ongoing work of the Foundation. Emphasis will be placed on the ways in which the arts are used to nurture civic and productive engagement from diverse youth perspectives, as well as to foster genuine receptivity for these voices within our institutions and prevailing social and economic structures. Using the JAYA model as an exciting and emergent local context, Summit attendees will hear from partners, mentors and, most importantly, youth artist participants, in provoking the question of how youth can marshal the arts to engender a truly contemporary city, and the various perspectives that enlighten and create success for all.
Public Art and Events Bridging Panel
Moderator: Jane Perdue
Panelists: Dr. Martha Radice, Julian Sleath, Michael Singer
This panel discussion brings together 3 diverse perspectives in the field of public art and civic events programming. The panel will provoke questions on the nature of public space, the diverse ‘publics’ addressed (or not) in public art programs, the difference between ‘public art’ vs. ‘art in the public realm’, programmed spaces (‘stages’) vs. permissive spaces (‘platforms’), spectacle vs. cultural animation and the values implicit in public art and events programming. In the course of the discussion, panelists will draw upon their current and past experiences in public art, performance and performing arts infrastructure, architecture and planning, and community cultural theory to provide practical examples of the ways in which art and the public interact with and inform each other.
Jane Perdue, Public Art Coordinator, City of Toronto
Jane Perdue is the Public Art Coordinator, Urban Design, City Planning, City of Toronto and oversees one of the first and largest public art programs in Canada. Her academic and career background is in the arts, and she has a full membership as a planner with the Ontario Professional Planning Institute. She has been a member on several art and urban design selection panels including Pearson Airport, the National Capital Commission, and the City of Winnipeg. For 12 years, she was on the Board of Trustees, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and from 2013-2014 was the National Visual Arts Representative for the Canada Council's Art Bank Steering Committee. She is a member of CCNC's Public Art Network.
Dr. Martha Radice, Dalhousie University
Martha Radice is a social anthropologist whose work focuses on the social, spatial and cultural dynamics of cities. She has investigated social relations, especially interethnic relations, and the production of space in multiethnic commercial streets in Montréal. Her ongoing areas of interest are urban anthropology, public space, public art and public culture, multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism, applied urban research, and ethnographic methods.
Dr. Radice worked with Solomon Nagler and Kim Morgan at NSCAD University on an interdisciplinary research-creation project, Tracing the City: Interventions of Art in Public Space, exploring how art can shape the urban public and, conversely, how the urban public can shape artistic production. She works with Jill Grant and Howard Ramos on the Halifax team of the Canada-wide Neighbourhood Change Research Project. In winter 2016, she began new research into carnival culture in New Orleans, for which she has been awarded a New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation Archive Fellowship.
Dr. Radice is editor-in-chief of the Journal for Undergraduate Ethnography and President of the Canadian Anthropology Society.
Michael Singer, Artist and Principal Designer, Michael Singer Studio
Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s Michael Singer’s work opened new possibilities for outdoor and indoor sculpture and contributed to the definition of site specific art and the reimagining of public places. From the 1990’s to the present his work has been instrumental in transforming public art, architecture, landscape, and planning projects into successful models for urban and ecological regeneration. Singer has also been engaged in the rethinking of infrastructure facilities and systems in the United States and Europe and co-authored Infrastructure and Community published by Environmental Defense Fund.
Michael Singer has received numerous awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. His works are part of public collections in the United States and abroad, including the Australian National Gallery, Canberra; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. He has had several one-person shows, most notably at the Guggenheim Museum, New York City and most recently at the Utzon Center in Aalborg and the Danish Architectural Center in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Julian Sleath, CEO, The Bentway
Julian Sleath is the recently appointed CEO of The Bentway, Toronto, bringing more than 35 years of leadership and experience in the performing arts to the project. Sleath will focus on developing this new public space and bringing it to life with a dynamic year-round program of events that will embrace the unique aspiration and vision of The Bentway Conservancy.
Previously, Sleath was Executive Director of Performing Arts at The Banff Centre, Program Manager of Cultural Events for the City of Toronto, and served on the Arts and Programming Advisory Committees for the 2015 Pan Am & Parapan Am Games, and for Artscape during the launch of Daniels Spectrum. Sleath has also worked on the realization of numerous cultural spaces including the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts for the Canadian Opera Company, theatres in the UK, concert halls in Russia, an outdoor stage in Dallas, and was working for the design team on Koerner Hall in Toronto.
The Bentway is a unique and innovative public space that will transform the vacant and forgotten area underneath Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway into a new gathering place for our city’s growing population. The conservancy model that will be managing and operating the project is relatively new in Canada and is the first Canadian project to be invited to join the emerging “HighLine Network” of similar public/private initiatives around the world.
Stretching from Strachan Avenue to Bathurst Street, this 1.75 km trail and series of public spaces will knit together seven neighbourhoods – Exhibition Place, Liberty Village, Niagara, Fort York Neighbourhood, Bathurst Quay, Wellington Place and CityPlace – and become a gateway to the waterfront. This dynamic new urban corridor will activate the community with a continuous multi-use trail providing access to year-round activities and events, including gardens, a skating trail (opening December 2017 ), recreational amenities, public markets, public art, special exhibitions, festivals, theatre and musical performances and more.
Perspectives from Federal, Provincial, and Municipal Funders
Moderator: Christopher Shore
Panelists: Councillor Waye Mason, Marcel McKeough (TBD)
The Canadian Public Art Funders (CPAF) will be meeting in Halifax from October 16-18 and this session leverages the opportunity of having federal, provincial and municipal funders and decision-makers gathered in the same place at the same time. The panel will engage the question of how we, as funders, planners and programmers across various levels of government, work collaboratively to create sustainability and foster innovation within our respective spheres. Conversation will use the recent changes to funding programs at the Canada Council level as a springboard to consider current trends across Canada in recognizing and adapting to the changing landscape of the arts and cultural presentation.
This conversation will include a focus on equity, inclusivity and diversity in the arts and the accessibility of funding models to a broader demographic range and more diverse cultural conversations. Panelists will also be asked to speak to the work of growing and reinvigorating audiences for cultural presentation, and the need of making programming relevant to all Canadians through responsive funding models and program values.
Discussion will also include dedicated attention on matters dependent on inter-governmental coordination and cooperative planning as applied to both programming and infrastructure projects.
Christopher Shore, Director, Arts Nova Scotia
*Photo and bio to come
Councillor Waye Mason, Halifax Regional Municipality Waye Mason is an activist, entrepreneur and educator and municipal councillor. First elected to Halifax Regional Council in 2012, re-elected in 2016, he is known for his “social media savvy and relentless constituency work.” (Halifax Magazine)
Waye has grown businesses, led member organizations and developed the arts and culture sector in Nova Scotia for over two decades. His career in the music industry spanned artist development to live event production, and he has become a well-known business and strategic consultant both inside and outside the cultural sector.
He founded and was Executive Director of the Halifax Pop Explosion Association from 2001 to 2010, and was an instructor in Music Business at the Nova Scotia Community College from 2007 to 2012. He has been involved with several community organizations, including the Gottingen Street Merchants Association, Khyber Arts Society, Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia, and as long-serving member and past-President of Music Nova Scotia.
As councillor, he currently serves as Chair of Halifax’s Community Planning and Economic Development standing committee and as a Police Commissioner, as well as being a member of several other boards and committees.
Waye holds a Master of Business Administration at Saint Mary’s University, a Bachelor of Arts from Dalhousie University, and a Community College Education Diploma from NSCC. Born and raised in Dartmouth, Waye lives in Halifax with his wife and two children.
Marcel McKeough, Executive Director, Communities, Culture and Heritage, Nova Scotia
*Photo and bio to come
Justice Art & Youth in Action
Moderator: El Jones
Panelists: Ann Denny, Councillor Lindell Smith, Ryan Veltmeyer, The Magic Project, Corey Writes, with Brave Space Graphic Facilitation
Youth Art Connection was founded in 2012 by Ann Denny and Ryan Veltmeyer. From 2008-2012 they developed YAC’s approach of engaging youth through facilitating various art-skills and leadership programs in Spryfield, Nova Scotia. Every YAC program is aimed at working with youth to create lasting positive change (personal and community-wide) through activating the power and appeal of various art forms, and the human passion that always accompanies quality art-making.
El Jones, Poet, Professor, Activist
El Jones is a poet, professor and activist living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was Halifax's Municipal Poet from 2013-2015. She is the author of Live From the Afrikan Resistance! published in 2014 by Roseway, an imprint of Fernwood Publishing. In 2015, she was a resident at the International Writing Program at University of Iowa. Her work focuses on social justice issues such as feminism, prison abolition, anti-racism, and decolonization. Since 2016, she has co-hosted a radio show called Black Power Hour on CKDU-FM, an educational program that provides information on Black history and culture aimed at incarcerated people. Listeners from prisons call in to rap and read poetry that they have written, providing a voice to people who rarely get a wide audience. She has taught at Dalhousie University, Acadia University, Nova Scotia Community College, Saint Mary's University and is the current Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University.
Ann Denny, Co-Founder, Youth Art Connection
Ann Denny is a vocalist, composer and social entrepreneur who co-founded Youth Art Connection (YAC) in 2012 with Ryan Veltmeyer in Halifax, Nova Scotia. YAC is an award-winning charity that helps a diversity of youth through the power of the arts. Recent projects include the new EMERGE youth-led all-ages festival and conference with Halifax Pop Explosion. In addition to work in Canada, Ann is now collaborating with organizations in Colorado to offer these youth empowerment ideas and practices in the States. Ann has spoken at the XPAND conference and the 2016 Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit in New Jersey. On a typical day, Ann can be found listening to the ideas of creative young people who face barriers in their lives and finding ways to make what they want happen!
Councillor Lindell Smith, Halifax Regional Municipality
Lindell Smith is a lifelong resident of North End Halifax, and a proud father of a beautiful daughter. He has a proven commitment to working within his community and has dedicated himself to serving it.
He is a co-founder of Center Line Studio, a non-profit recording studio for youth who want to express themselves through art and music. In keeping with his concern for the whole community and its diverse needs, and in response to the rapid growth and changes within his neighbourhood, Lindell, along with other community leaders, started “The One North End Project”. This group of community leaders from around HRM aims to ensure that all residents benefit from this rapid growth together by encouraging new hiring practices for local businesses and holding community engagement sessions.
Lindell was the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Education and Community Service, he was chosen as one of five Youth Rising Stars for Nova Scotia. He was the first recipient of the Abby Bryant (humanitarian) Award of Excellence, given to a young person who is recognized for outstanding community service, and is a recipient of The Black Business Initiative’s Industry Development Award awarded by the African-Nova Scotian Music Association.
In November 2016, Lindell was elected as City Councillor for District 8 Halifax Peninsula North.
Ryan Veltmeyer, Co-Founder, Youth Art Connection
Ryan Veltmeyer is a professional musician and youth community developer. Before co-founding Youth Art Connection with Ann Denny in 2012, Ryan worked with the Halifax Public Libraries, the HeartWood Centre for Community Youth Development, Arts Express and other organizations to engage youth in leading in their lives and in their community. As Co-founder of Youth Art Connection, Ryan has been able to bring his two great passions together of art and community youth development. Always taking action and innovating to use the power of youth and the arts to address social and economic issues, Ryan has also spoken at various conference and events and participated in national and regional leadership programs including 21 Inc and the Banff Centre for the Arts’ ‘Getting to Maybe’ program for system entrepreneurs. Ryan believes that art, creative activism and the open-mindedness of youth is key to finding new solutions to complex problems.
The Magic Project
*Photo and bio to come
*Photo and bio to come
Brave Space Graphic Facilitation
*Photo and bio to come
Responsive, International Light Art Exhibition
Panelists: Peter Dykhuis, Dr. Bettina Pelz
Halifax is the setting for the inaugural RESPONSIVE: Light and Art Projects, Halifax/Cologne, taking place Oct. 18-21, 2017. Curated by Melanie Colosimo and Peter Dykhuis from Halifax and Dr. Bettina Pelz from Cologne, RESPONSIVE will feature works by international artists who use light as their artistic medium. This panel discussion will provide an overview of the RESPONSIVE project, the 2017 theme, and the institutions, artists, sites and perspectives involved. In describing the project, curator Bettina Pelz will also provide insight into the context-specificity of her curatorial approach to, and extensive background with, a wide range of light art presentations and festivals around the world.
The 2017 theme is Intellectual Properties. For more information visit http://responsive-halifax.com/
Peter Dykhuis, Director/Curator, Dalhousie Art Gallery
Peter Dykhuis was born in London, Ontario, attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and worked in Toronto until 1991 before relocating to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he continues to live and practice.
Dykhuis has exhibited in numerous artist-run centres and public galleries throughout Canada. Internationally, he has participated in group shows across the United States as well as in London and Vienna and has mounted solo exhibitions in Tokyo, Sydney and New York City.
Parallel to this, Dykhuis developed a career as a gallery administrator, curator and critical writer. After moving to Halifax, Dykhuis worked at the Anna Leonowens Gallery at NSCAD University, becoming its Director in 1996. In August 2007, Dykhuis was appointed the Director/Curator of Dalhousie Art Gallery at Dalhousie University in Halifax where he is responsible for its operations and programming.
Dr. Bettina Pelz
Over the last twenty years, the curatorial work of Bettina Pelz is dedicated to art in context projects. Since 2000, focus of her curatorial practice is light as material, tool and media in fine arts. She has been the founding curator of light art projects in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Tunisia. In 2013, she founded the international research network on light in fine arts [LIFA] at the University of Fine Arts Saarbrucken [de]. Internationally she has been involved in projects in Australia, Canada, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, South-Africa, Switzerland and Tunisia.
Cultural Leadership Panel
Cultural Leadership in the Contemporary Context
Moderator: Waye Mason
Panelists: Peter Dykhuis, Robin Metcalfe, Prof. Dianne Taylor-Gearing, Rebecca Thomas
Using the notion of ‘The Civic University’ as a starting point, this panel will present on the role of universities and post-secondary institutions as outward-facing, civic-minded and community-embedded resources. Beyond a recognition of these institutions’ important function as community cultural resources, panelists will offer context for their varied roles within their respective institutions and examples of innovative engagement with the larger communities within which they sit. The discussion will be structured around this central question: How can increasingly more open and inviting institutional structures benefit cities and the public, and conversely how can a closer relationship to civic and community issues contribute to a richer academic experience?
Conversation will also focus upon the role of the panelists as individual cultural leaders outside of the institutional setting using examples drawn from the various projects and civic discourses that they are engaged in as artists, curators, advocates and community members.