Day 1: Trajectories in Access

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Trajectories in Access welcomed city, provincial, and federal government representatives and arts councils, as well as key leaders of the arts sector to join in the discussion of best practice in access and inclusion. This day presented the evaluation findings of the British Council in Canada’s Relaxed Performance pilot program, a keynote from Geetha Moorthy, Founder and Executive Director of SAAAC Autism Centre, and presentations from Inside Out Theatre in Calgary, Conseil des Arts de Montréal, and Creative Users Projects. Each organization showcased programming it has developed that highlights accessible and inclusive experiences.

Archive: Live Streaming Day 1

0:07:27 - Welcome
0:08:19 - Elder’s Welcome with Mona Stonefish (Bear Clan)
0:29:51 - Keynote and Q&A with Geetha Moorthy
1:17:07 - Relaxed Performance Pilot and Research
3:35:04 - Good Host Program
4:40:47 - DémART-Mtl Program
6:00:57 - Accessing the Arts Initiative
6:43:15 - Elder’s Closing with Mona Stonefish (Bear Clan)

Note: This video features open captioning on a large screen beside the speakers. These videos are not captioned nor are they ASL interpreted.

Keynote: Geetha Moorthy

Geetha MoorthyIn the last decade, the South Asian Autism Awareness Centre has gone from supporting two families, a handful of volunteers, and minimal programs to an essential resource for more than 150 families. A growing list of arts programs and services, along with successful initiatives to create awareness of ASD in the South Asian community, are a testament to the power of great ideas guided by community compassion and involvement. Geetha Moorthy, the Founder and Executive Director of SAAAC Autism Centre, addresses the barriers, stigmas, and challenges they have faced and how the arts have played an integral role in promoting access and inclusion for members, families, and the community at large. There will be a Q&A following the presentation. From classical arts, to business and entrepreneurship, and community development, Geetha Moorthy’s passion and commitment has touched countless lives for more than 30 years. Geetha is the Executive Director of the SAAAC Autism Centre, a Toronto-based charity that supports and empowers marginalized communities impacted by autism.

Relaxed Performance: Pilot and Research

Relaxed Performance (RP) is an approach to theatre that welcomes difference and works to make theatre-going accessible. Over the past several years, the British Council in Canada has been working to build capacity in the Canadian theatre sector around delivering RPs through providing trainings in cities across the country. In this presentation, we explore the potential of RP training to prepare trainees to deliver impactful, accessible theatre programming. We highlight the results of a multi-modal program evaluation, which included an environmental scan of the RP landscape in Canada, interviews with RP trainees, and audience feedback. There will be a Q&A following the presentation.

Andrea LaMarreAndrea LaMarre, PhD, is a researcher based in Guelph, Ontario. Her research is focused on exploring the intersection between art, health, and social justice. In her work, Andrea has explored eating disorders, social support, mental health, digital storytelling, and qualitative approaches to research. She speaks regularly at national and international conferences.
Carla RiceCarla Rice is Professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Guelph, specializing in disability and embodiment studies, and in arts-based and research creation methodologies. She is currently principal investigator of Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology and Access to Life, a multi-year, multi-site Disability Arts grant, co-directed with Dr. Eliza Chandler.
Kayla Besse
Kayla Besse, MA, is the Knowledge Mobilization Coordinator at the Re•Vision Centre for Art and Social Justice in Guelph, Ontario. Her research explores literary and (pop-)cultural representations of disability, privileging the work of disabled
people in order to consider reclamations of power through life writing, feminist theory, and advocacy.

Good Host Program

Members of Inside Out Theatre’s Good Host Program discuss how the program has created a central hub in Calgary for resources, expertise, and community connection in offering accessible and inclusive performances. This year, the Good Host is coordinating 50+ events, including ASL Interpretation, Relaxed Performances, and Audio Description. Col and Ashley will explore The Good Host’s genesis, the program’s intersections with disability identified performance, and a renewed commitment to instilling financial accessibility and social inclusion as core values driving the program into the future. There will be a Q&A following the presentation.

Col CsekeCol Cseke is the Artistic Director of Inside Out Theatre and initiated the Good Host Program.
Ashley KingAshley King is a journalist and Inside Out Theatre’s Artistic Associate who first encountered The Good Host as an audience member at an Audio Described Performance.

DémART-Mtl Program

Discover the Conseil des arts de Montréal’s démART-Mtl program, initiated in 2012. It allows Montréal arts organizations to offer paid internships to artists or arts workers from culturally diverse backgrounds or who are newly arrived or first-generation immigrants. It gives artists exposure and practical experience in how the Montréal arts community operates, and it allows them to dedicate themselves to making art while participating actively in the development of the host organizations. This wonderfully successful program has also led to permanent positions in the host organization for many interns. There will be a Q&A following the presentation.

Julien ValmaryJulien Valmary is the Director of Grant Programs and Strategic Initiatives at Conseil des arts de Montréal. He is responsible for providing leadership on inclusive initiatives and innovation to the Conseil. Julien is a 2018-19 Fellow of the public policy leadership program, Action Canada, run by the Public Policy Forum.
Moridja KitengeMoridja Kitenge is a Canadian of Congolese origin. His award-winning projects have toured internationally and take the form of paintings, installations, photographs, drawings, and videos. Since 2015, he has been the Chair of the Regroupement des artistes en arts visuels du Québec (RAAV), an organization that represents and defends the rights of all visual artists in Quebec.

Accessing the Arts Initiative

Creative Users Projects (CUP) will host a workshop and talk about the Accessing the Arts Initiative, which aims to enhance the artistic experience of disability artists and increase the discoverability of accessible arts in Canada. CUP’s goal is to encourage the participation and engagement of Canadians with the disability and accessibility arts sector by making sure that information reaches across the wider arts. There will be a Q&A following the presentation.

Lindsay FisherLindsay Fisher is a creative producer working in the Disability Arts sector. As an artist with a disability, Lindsay is motivated by a desire to build more opportunities and spaces with different bodies in mind and to highlight the ways that activism, arts, and disability culture is reshaping Canada’s arts ecology.