These are challenging times for everyone in the creative economy. Artists, artisans, musicians, actors, authors, performers, promoters, venues, theatres, libraries, museums, galleries, and audiences are all facing obstacles.  Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there were mounting hurdles for every sector of the cultural community. But the pandemic has not only highlighted the obstacles, it has exacerbated them and thrown up major new challenges.

This Online Conference will seek to identify and address the

obstacles.  But it will also identify emerging opportunities. 

Each session will include a one-hour discussion between our expert panelists and the moderator, followed by a one-hour break out session where you can ask questions and network with others.

One $25 ticket gains you access to all 8 sessions and break out discussions *after processing your payment through PayPal, be sure to select RETURN TO MERCHANT to receive the Zoom link

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November 3 - 7 p.m.    

Keynote Speaker Katherine Nicholls

Katherine Nicholls is a New York based business executive with over 30 years experience in company leadership, operations and marketing. Nicholls currently serves on New York State Tourism Advisory Council, The New York State Council on the Arts, and the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence New York Leadership Council.  She was appointed to the New York State Council on the Arts by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2015 and confirmed as Chair in 2017.  Katherine was born and raised in Midland, Ontario, attended Midland Secondary School and is a graduate of the University of Guelph.

Moderated by Fred Hacker

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November 5 - 7 p.m.   

Getting Starting on the Path to Success

This session will identify the obstacles and challenges facing the creative economy, both for individuals and for organizations, and will attempt to lay out some preliminary steps to confront and overcome those obstacles and challenges.

At the same time, current circumstances offer some unique opportunities for those in the creative economy. This session will also identify those opportunities and provide guidelines on how to recognize and benefit from such opportunities.

 In the breakout sessions, subscribers will undoubtedly identify other obstacles/challenges and opportunity and they will be explored with a view to recognizing the path to success.

Panellists include Anne Sutherland, Sean George, Don Bourne

Moderated by Cher Cunningham


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November 10 - 7 p.m.  

The Obstacles and Opportunities in Creating Marketing and Audiences

This session will focus on a challenge that had appeared before the pandemic: fewer people were availing themselves of cultural experiences and people who did engage in cultural activities were doing so less frequently.  The pandemic has exacerbated this problem for many creative individuals, organizations, and institutions. But some have found new and creative ways to reach their markets and audiences.  How do we make the most of the current situation? How do we prepare for the post- pandemic era?

 In the breakout sessions, subscribers will have ideas and experiences in creating markets, maximizing market opportunities, building audiences, and creating new audiences that can be shared to help others find the path to success.

Panellists include Gavin Reynolds, Alison Durtnall

Moderated by Will Baird


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November 12 - 7 p.m. 

Solving the Money Problem: Accessing Sources of Financial Support

Money has always been a problem for the creative economy. How do talented artists, artisans, musicians, and performers make the leap from hobby to career, from amateur to professional, from the small shop to broader markets, from the small stage to the big stage? How do libraries, museums, theatres, and performance venues keep the doors open and pay the bills?  What funding opportunities are available? How are they accessed?

In the breakout sessions, subscribers will share experiences with funding their own business, organization or institution that might help others to find the path to success.

Panellists include Monika Hakala, Myron Kozak, Avril Helbig

Moderated by Chantale Gagnon

November 17 - 7 p.m.  

Traditions: Obstacles or Opportunities? How do we transition to Paths to Success?

Many individuals, organizations and institutions face challenges in dealing with traditions, whether those traditions are religious, cultural, ethnic, familial, or personal. Can the “old ways” find their way in the new economy? Can traditions provide guideposts for the path to success. Are traditions stumbling blocks? How can changes be introduced to transition to paths for success without affronting or abandoning traditions, some of them sacred?

In the breakout sessions, subscribers may be able to share the traditions which have guided their craft or culture in the past and how those traditions will be recognized or abandoned as they transition to paths to success.

Panellists include Wanda Nanibush, Fr Michael Knox, Joëlle Roy

Moderated by Allan Manitowabi


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November 19 - 7 p.m.    

Sharing the Path with Others: Collaboration, Partnership and Mentoring

Our Panellists will all be from one region that has experienced success with individuals, communities, and organizations collaborating in the creative economy to their mutual benefit. Unusual partnerships have led to commendable achievements. Mentoring has benefitted both mentor and mentee. The wheel doesn’t need to be invented more than once … if we share the blueprints with others.

In the breakout sessions, we’ll be inviting subscribers to share their experiences. How have collaborations worked? How have partnerships created benefits for all involved? How has mentoring benefitted not just the individuals or organizations involved but also benefitted the art or craft or experience being shared? How can shared experiences benefit all on the path to success?

Panellists include John Hartman, Fred Hacker, John French

Moderated by Jamie Hunter

November 24  - 7 p.m. 

Turning the Technological Obstacles into Technological Opportunities

From time to time, we’ve all cursed technology, even the techies. But almost all of us would be lost without it. Panellists experienced with technology will help guide us on the path from technological obstacles to technological opportunities.

In the breakout sessions, we’ll be inviting subscribers to share their experiences, good and bad, with technology, And we’ll invite both the Session leaders and the subscribers to offer solutions to the problems posed and strategies for maximizing the opportunities identified.

Panellists include Inga Petri, Tammy Lee, Bryce Weinert

Moderated by Kevin Kelly


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November 26  - 7 p.m. 

This evening will highlight the topics discussed and some of the conclusions reached during the Conference. One of the Moderators from each of the two Breakout Discussion Groups from each Session will provide a summary of the discussions in each Discussion Group. So, while subscribers will have chosen each evening to be part of either the Discussion Group for individual creatives or the Discussion Group for representatives of organizations and institutions, on the final evening we'll hear a summary of what happened in both Discussion Groups each evening.

Conference wrap-up

Moderated by Fred Hacker.


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c/o Town of Midland 575 Dominion Avenue

Midland, ON L4R 1R2

705-526-4275 ext. 2200

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