How Will Arts & Culture Survive Physical Distancing?

Featuring Daryl Cloran, Artistic Director, The Citadel Theatre; Heather Igloliorte, Concordia University Research Chair, Circumpolar Indigenous Arts and Julie Nagam, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts, Collaboration and Digital Media, Co-Chairs, Indigenous Advisory Circle, Winnipeg Art Gallery; Noémie Lafrance, Artistic Director, Sens Production; and Michael Hidetoshi Mori, Artistic Director, Tapestry Opera

5 Key

A roundup of the most compelling ideas, themes and quotes from this candid conversation

1. Adapting platforms

The inability to gather has forced artists across Canada to rethink how they can present their work. Artists play a pivotal role in helping the public endure the pandemic, so their absence would be devastating. Digital platforms have provided artists with a way to continue to connect with their audiences and come together as a community, one of the ways art has always been meant to be enjoyed. As countries reopen, galleries and exhibits will also have to reconsider the focus of their art since local communities will be their primary audience.

2. Truth to our relationships

COVID-19 has brought truth to many of our daily relationships. We all have time to review our relationships with our family, significant others, community, city, government, and history and determine what relationships need to change. Canadians must choose what they want to leave in the past and what they want to bring into the future post COVID-19.

3. Systemic change

The period of reflection that COVID-19 has provided allows Canadians to rethink the societal systems that persecute BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) residents. We can no longer ignore the oppressive structural issues that have existed for hundreds of years in Canada. One panelist expressed that “I think that we’ve been really doing that work and sometimes that work is unrecognized. And so the moment right now is that we actually have this platform, an opportunity to keep pushing and radically shift those structures because those structures are broken.” The art community is ready to lead the way to a more equal and just future.

4. The opportunity of a Universal Basic Income

Our panelists discussed the value of art to society as a way of challenging perceptions and changing the way people think. The relationship between art and the economy has been difficult and multiple panelists expressed their disdain for the instrumentalization of art for economic gain. The CERB payments have been beneficial to many in the artistic community, allowing them to focus more on their expression and less on rent. Some of the panelists suggested the value of extending the relief payments beyond COVID-19 as a Universal Basic Income.

5. Importance of diversity

Leadership diversity is crucial for implementing change; therefore, it is important that more BIPOC have the opportunity to fill decision-making roles in society. There needs to be more of a focus on providing students with experiences that allow them to develop their leadership skills. Investing in the futures of students continues to be extremely valuable.

Additional Reading
& Resources
Full Panel

Note to readers: This video session was transcribed using auto-transcribing software. Manual editing was undertaken in an effort to improve readability and clarity. Questions or concerns with the transcription can be directed to with “transcription” in the subject line. 

Mary Rowe [00:07:07] So I’m just going to just pick, if I can. Julie, first, Julie Nagati, who’s going to tell us where she is. She’s in sunny Manitoba somewhere. And I want you to just give us a picture, paint a picture for us, Julie, of what you’ve been seeing and what’s been on your mind over the last couple minutes, over the last several weeks. Welcome to City Talk.

Julie Nagam [00:07:29] Thank you. Thank you for having me. I’m really excited to be here. Yes. Sunny Manitoba. It’s definitely true. We have some gorgeous weather. We’re also experiencing some shifts that some of the other parts of the country have not. We’ve seen some reopenings and we’ve gone into a second phase, which is really kind of opens your heart up and you get excited about thinking about those potential and possibilities. The biggest struggle for me right now as a person who works in cultural geographies and urban spaces, and in particular the inaugural artistic director for Nuit Blanch in Toronto, which is the largest public exhibition in North America. You know, we can’t gather in public space this idea that we can’t engage in terms of the same way and even just watching and thinking about participating in some of the movements. Tomorrow, we have a big rally at the Legislative for Black Lives Matters. And so just thinking about that kind of fear and anxiety that starts to come where you want to support the movement. But at the same time, we’re worried about the current climate that we’re experiencing with COVID. And I think that, you know, we’re looking at alternatives of how we’re trying to think about, you know, online this and online that and pivot to digital media. And as somebody who works in digital media, it’s disheartening to see that so many cultural institutions have left media out and now they’re forced to actually have to deal with it. In not so many interesting ways. So I’ll leave it at that.

Mary Rowe [00:08:53] Yeah, well, good. That gets us off to a good start. That’ll raise some interesting stuff. OK. Michael, Michael Hidetoshi Mori, tell us where you are, where you’re speaking to us from and what your perspective is. And then I’m sure we’re going to circle back on what Julie just mentioned. Go ahead.

Michael Hidetoshi Mori [00:09:06] Absolutely. So I’m here in Toronto working from home as we all are at Tapestry Opera. It’s going to be a 33 degree day to day. So I’m looking forward to that. Gosh, there’s been so much I think what I’ve been thinking about the last few days and seeing the last few days is is reflecting on our capacity as a society to reflect now. We have, we have more time. A lot of those things that get brushed under the rug because we’re busy humans. A lot of those things that we let go of because the next thing comes up. We now have the time to think about. And I think that does relate to what’s been happening in the last week. And I think it’s really healthy, actually. And I think that’s also the thing that we’re thinking about our sector. Look, in opera and classical music, it’s often a feast or famine year. That means you have a big gig and that pays for the next two months. Then you have another big gig in the the next few months. And we’re seeing people having those which are often planned one, two years out, just being canceled, one after the other after the other. And so there’s a level of uncertainty is is challenging, but the time for reflection is very, very interesting. We’re starting to hear a lot about people talking about the problems that they haven’t really been talking about in meaningful conversations in a while.

Mary Rowe [00:10:24] You know, nothing like a crisis. Yeah. OK. Daryl, let’s talk to you.

Daryl Cloran [00:10:31] Hello. I’m in Edmonton right now. On treaty 6 territory. I’m the artistic director of the Citadel Theater. And yeah, we we were we had a show in HABIT’s Dress Rehearsal of March 13th. And then we walked out of the theater and locked the doors behind us. And the set is still standing up there. Waiting for us to return. For us as a theater, our two performance spaces or main spaces or both? Like six hundred and fifty seat spaces. So even though Alberta right now is is about to head into sort of the second phase of reopening, we know that like it’s going to be months at best  before we’re able to gather again in any large capacity. And it speaks to exactly how you started. Like, you know, everything about theater is about the community gathering, about us coming together and sharing space and sharing stories. It’s sort of a life, the femoral moment. Right. So everything we are is the opposite of what’s prohibited or what’s allowed by COVID restrictions right now. So trying to figure out how we connect and how we express and how our artists keep going in the face of all that is a huge challenge right now.

Mary Rowe [00:11:40] Mm hmm. Yeah. And one of the things that I’ll come back to you on there is just income support for artists who, you know, the sector has no money now. So how are artists surviving?They’re all collecting, you know, they’re all on I’m assuming, assuming of either on wage subsidy programs or they’re collecting the emergency relief benefits, you know, what is the financial viability of the sector? So we’ll talk about that in a second. Heather? OK, Heather Igloliorte. heather we’re really glad, we’re glad to have you. You can pronounce your name correctly for people to talk to us about where you’re coming from and what you’ve been seeing.

Heather Igloliorte [00:12:16] Hi, everybody. I’m in Montreal. And I’m but I’m from . And I have been in this room. I was formerly the least use craft room in my house. And now the most used room in my house. This is my 8000th Zoom meeting. And I think that what’s exciting to me is I know we’re at a moment right now and there’s there’s a lot going on. But I have I have found and I’ve been really, really grateful to be able to build an online community. And I think that there’s some interesting things to reflect on. I think that the Inuit have actually been using social media to build an online community for quite some time because all of our communities are fly in or boat in or skadoo in only, for the majority of them. We don’t have a lot of roads connecting us. So we have been using Facebook and other social media for a long time to get together. And so what I’ve seen is that we’ve actually been able to build community and some really interesting ways and get to spend time together. And it’s not just my organization is the Inuit Futures and Arts Leadership partnership grant that has been doing online workshops with artists led by artists, sometimes just for Inuit, sometimes for indigenous people, sometimes for the public. And what we found is that people actually are getting a lot of strength from being able to be together in a virtual space. The other thing I’m sort of looking forward to is our opportunity to rethink museums right at this moment. If we can’t travel between outside of our cities or outside of our provincial bounds for a long time, then that’s gonna force museums to be to think really critically around the neighborhoods that they’re in and the publics that they serve that are their immediate publics. And so not an international art audience, not a national art audience, but a who’s in my community, who we can draw on right now. And that’s going to force a lot of museums, I think, to dramatically rethink the kinds of exhibitions they’re doing and the programing they do and how they bring community. And so I’m interested in community online and then when we can all be together again.

Mary Rowe [00:14:15] Yeah, well, you’re right. I mean I mean, we all know of examples around the world of museums that have larger international audience and the locals don’t even know whats there. And isn’t it interesting at part of the work that we’re doing at CUI is a project bring back Main Street? And we’re trying to actually highlight there are local assets that are maybe a block from you. And as you put it, you’re just raising interesting point. Can those institutions pivot to actually producing and turning to people? Well, you’re giving us lots to come back. OK, now, Noemi Lafrance. Hi. Where are you calling and tuning in from?

Noémie Lafrance [00:14:48] I am in Montreal. Thank you for having me. And I was unsure if I should come on this panel at first. I spoke with Emily. We had a short conversation over email. You know, as I feel that, you know, perhaps some of my ideas aren’t, this wasn’t the right platform for it, but she encouraged me to come on. And the thing that maybe rubbed me a bit the wrong way was just this idea of on the ground solution and that sort of thing. And I felt like I am not thinking about those things at the moment. And I talked to Emily about, you know, what I see mainly is global, systemic failure and something that really needs to be addressed. And I’m grateful that there are more people that are actually starting to see that. Things have changed quite a bit, actually, even since then. Things are changing all the time. And now we’re really talking more openly about systemic racism and institutionalized racism. You know, I think it’s important to acknowledge that we’re all white practically on this panel. And,.

Mary Rowe [00:16:11] You know, I don’t know if you’re Indigenous colleagues will agree with you.

Noémie Lafrance [00:16:19] (Laughter) that’s why I said almost. And you know, what I would say is that we have to think, ah, ah, I’m sorry if I’m breaking the news to anyone, but capitalism is itself racist. And so we have we have that problem. I mean, it was built on slavery and it really operates on cheap labor. And, you know, we see that when we’re talking about essential workers, when we’re talking about immigrants. I’ve I’ve gotten all these letters from arts organizations from New York City, because that’s where I used to operate, in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and all of the movements that are happening right now where people are really coming down and acknowledging their white privilege and their own institutionalized racism and in their own office spaces and admitting that they can work harder to actively practice anti-racism. Trudeau also mentioned something on Monday he didn’t really mention the the Native American communities that haven’t really been acknowledged. In Quebec, we also have Law 21, which is fundamentally racist. I was recently invited also to do a show by a pretty prestigious organization in Montreal to work on the work of Danny Left …, an Asian Canadian literary artist. And I let them know that I wanted to address racism in the work that I would present. And a week later, I was told that I probably wasn’t the right person for this. So I just want to say that, you know, we’re not out of the woods here, you know? And, you know, and let’s not forget some of the controversies that happened in Quebec recently with, you know, white artists making work about slavery. And there are many you know what I’m talking about. So, you know, I ask the question, where is art and culture going? Well, I think it’s not going anywhere. You know, it’s not going anywhere. We think COVID is a step back because of social distancing or lack of funds and economic impact. I think it’s going nowhere until we address these issues. Otherwise, we don’t really have anything relevant to say, you know? And if this pandemic has unveiled things, I mean, it sends us to the past and it’s going to force us to actually face the things we haven’t faced yet. And I think trying to plow through to make the same old stuff in this virtual world are standing apart from one other in public space – why? You know, what is the point of that? You know, it could have been easier for us to deal with these structural racism issues when everything was up and running normally and we had the money and we had the things to do things, but we were too busy to care about that. So now we might have to do it in a different climate and in a climate that looks more like the climate of discrimination, where you don’t have what you need because you have not. You’ve been considered last, you know. So the two things I want to bring up about in relation to art is, one, face our entanglement in capitalism as artists and as art makers and to realize our true role in society as artists. So I’ll talk about that, you know, once we get going. But I just I don’t want to take too much time. That’s OK. That’s mine.

Mary Rowe [00:19:49] So I guess the question is for all of you to think about and reflect on? Which is the point that a number of you touched on and Noemie made it very direct. Is is there a moment now, folks? Is there is there a moment where we can emerge from this and do things quite differently? And I get a sense from other folks if you’re seeing that. And Julie, you actually started to say some things, right?

Julie Nagam [00:20:14] Well, let’s do it. So here’s the thing is that, you know, some of us have been working on decolonizing for over 20 years. And for some of the people that we stand on, you know, some amazing women and men and two spirited folks that have been doing that work for an extremely long time. And I just think that it’s such an interesting moment for me to think about how some people need to recognize that. But the rest of us have been chugging along, doing that work for a really, really long period of time. And so, you know, the the harder question is for museums and galleries is that they weren’t accessible spaces for BIPOC folks. And so we’ve been pushing and pushing and pushing. And we look at examples of Lianne Martin’s calls to action. We look at the TRC’s calls to action. You know, there’s there there are moments of, you know, we’re anti-racism then has to do with the fact that they’re on colonized land. And so we’ve got all this really great collaboration’s and things that have been happening within galleries and museums spaces. The issue is, is that we’ve been banging on those doors for a really long period of time, whether it’s been pre-COVID, post-COVID and for another decade or so. And so I think that we’ve been really doing that work and sometimes that work is unrecognized. And so the moment right now is that we actually have this platform, an opportunity to keep pushing and radically shift those structures because those structures are broken. And not only that broken, they’re not functioning because we can’t actually live in the society that we were currently living in.

Mary Rowe [00:21:46] OK, who else wants to weigh in on this? I mean, Heather, do you want to. I saw you nodding away. Do you want to? Then I want to hear from the one of the gents as well. Go ahead.

Heather Igloliorte [00:21:54] Yeah. Sorry. And I’m a little distracted because there’s a smudge on my contact lens. You’re making me want to do this the whole time. I thought I’d be able to see clearly. Julie, Julie’s totally right. You know, this is a it’s a situation where right now maybe we can grab onto this opportunity and really push through what we’ve been wanting to. You know, the TRC era has brought a lot of things, this conversation to the fore, particularly around anti indigenous racism in this country and what we can do to make change. Are we seeing a lot of institutions kind of scrambling to catch up to the work that has been done by activists and artists and scholars for so long? And I think that there’s real opportunity for us to grab this moment and really push through the kind of lip service or the tokenist kind of inclusion that we’ve been seeing and some degrees and to really just work towards radical inclusion in all of our arts institutions.

Mary Rowe [00:22:51] You know, I can speak as a consumer and an appreciator of arts and culture. People are just so hungry for it. You know, they’re hungry for the leadership that you can provide to help people navigate this. And as you suggest, some kind of radical. The other thing is that I think policymakers and decision makers actually don’t really know what to do on a number of fronts right. They’re kind of making it up as they go. Nobody really knows. And it’s a it’s a I think there is this moment of willingness to acknowledge in a way. I’m not suggesting Noemi that everybody is agreeing with you that capitalism is fundamentally flawed. But I think that there’s a much broader awareness now that what was happening before wasn’t working. And we see that in all the programs that we’re doing. People are saying all the ways that the systems are failing now are because they were failing before. Right. So can I just hear from Michael and Daryl? One is the one is we’re both producers of cultural events and you’re compromised your ability to actually produce anything physically right now. But what’s your response to what these three guys are raising around really fundamental systemic change. Who wants to go first. Daryl?

Daryl Cloran [00:24:02] Sure. Yeah. I mean, speaking like on behalf of the theater. This is like this is our chance. There is there is no other opportunity when we can’t create the art that we that we were meant to create. Like, it’s a time for us to really not only rethink the art that we’re supporting and the artists on our stage, but like systematically how we as an organization are built, now’s our chance to do it. Pivot away from the idea of like when things get back to normal, because that’s not the whole anymore, it’s not like to get back to the normal programing or the normal way we did it.

Mary Rowe [00:24:34] Can I, can I pursue you on that because we’re facing that as well. I feel like it’s incumbent on everyone that’s got an organizational affiliation. Are we actually going to do our own work and actually do the kind of of a proper analysis and correction that we need to do to address the systemic racism that exists in our own institutions? Is that happening within your world, your your administrative worlds?

Daryl Cloran [00:25:01] Yeah, we see we we see that happening starting to happen more and more in sort of professional theater in Canada. I mean, I have a call after this after we finish this panel with that PACT, which is a Professional Association of Canadian theater which is all about that is about starting to set up the resources for for theaters to be able to take to do that kind of audit of their own systems and infrastructures. I mean, whether whether or not individual organizations take advantage of that. I know that’s that’s that’s up to their their leadership. But for us at the Citadel, that’s what we’re looking at this time. For what? And what’s that spurred by COVID or is it accelerated or what? Both. I mean, like certainly spurred by COVID this start of how do we have to change the way we relate to our audiences and artists. But certainly, you know, over over the last few weeks, in the last months to really say, hey, this is this is much more than just surviving that like, month of oh, COVID was bad and we had to shut. Now it’s like we have we have this window. How do we change?

Mary Rowe [00:26:01] Yeah. What about you, Michael?

Michael Hidetoshi Mori [00:26:03] I listened to a great podcast for someone who did who does online counseling. And she was talking about the kind of relationships that benefit from being locked in a house together. And I think that, like. Okay, yeah. I mean, what. Regardless, it brings truth to your relationship. So there’s a bunch of people who had been married for decades and then they had to live together for a month and decided to divorce. Yeah. Other other people who had differences but were more related to circumstance, lived together for a month and like doubled down on their love for each other. I think like that this crucible that we’re in gives us an opportunity to discover the truth. A lot of the truths that we knew about and kind of were said like, this is our time for not only a reflection, but doing the work. Look, I work in opera. The public perception of opera is that it’s possibly one of the most colonial art forms out there. And the the my company works exclusively in contemporary work and we work with a lot of a lot of people representing Turtle Island and the great diversity that is Canada. So I think it’s a great opportunity to hold up the mirror. I know the artists are calling for it. And I can see that happening. And I certainly know that in the past, artists haven’t felt as comfortable being critical of the sector that they work in because every job is fragile and needed. So I think it’s an incredible opportunity not to just learn about how to do digital, but to have that self reflection and say, yeah, we know this was wrong. We can actually take time to spend on making that right. And that might actually fix some of the things that are actually wrong with our model in the first place. The fact that we’re not reaching the full diversity of our cities, for example. So, yeah, I think it’s I think it’s interesting to be to have this captive audience. This might be the only time arts organizations for a long time has said, well, if we had the time and the resources, we could totally do that. We we have enough time. I think we have enough resources and we have a lot of the right will.

Mary Rowe [00:28:12] Just. Before you do it. No, I’ll come right back to you, Julie. You just want to encourage people on the chat to direct your comments to all panelists and attendees if you do it. Panelists, only six of us see it. We’d much better if you could directed everybody. So people like Kathy and others who have sent it only to the panelists. Can you send your post a comment again but posted so that everybody sees it. OK. Julie, jump in.

Julie Nagam [00:28:32] Sorry, I was just going to add that, you know, even last year I was part of the organizing committee for the Canadian Art summit. And at that moment, you know, we’ve talked about the diversity and the struggle in terms of and I organized a panel about art and the power politics and how many times I was asked on multiple occasions, plus my other by BIPOC fellow panelists if we were the diversity panel. And so for me, in my mind, like the arts sector is still struggling in terms of not even just to get there conceptually, but it’s just so important to have people in positions of leadership and and  BIPOC voices at the table that are actually making those decisions. And if we don’t get to that point, then we’re never going to see any kind of change. So, you know, and when we look at universities and institutions, I know a big like Heather’s project that you just mentioned, but our career and and and our focus has been about mentorship and training of Indigenous and people of color to think about how they could actually have that education and be able to be doing incredible work in the field. And so it’s so important for us to continue to foster those, because each year that goes by, I have seen over the last fifteen years of being a professor is that this shift is coming the more and more we are armed with education and opportunities and leadership positions. There’s no chance, but eventually a full takeover. And I think that, you know, we are going to see it and it’s going to happen. And I think it’s already starting to make so many people in those positions of power uncomfortable because they’re scared to react. But then they’re also scared to give up their positions of power. And so that to me is that’s the fundamental shift. It’s like you can program all the things. You can invite all the right people. You can host community into that space. But the real systematic change is BIPOC people in leadership positions. Full stop.

Mary Rowe [00:30:27] Now Noemie, you to galvanize the whole riff of the conversation here that people are responding to. And I just want to on the chat also to encourage people to post resources. I see Bridget Macintosh’s put a video up. If you’ve got resources or things that people should be the judge share with people, please feel free to put those in the chat because the chat gets published afterwards and these are important things for people to see. Noemi, I want to see if you want to comment on what your colleagues are thrown in on in this conversation. Also, at some point, I want to talk to you about McCarren Park, because you did a project there. I live in New York. I know McCarren Park well. And I don’t know whether you’ve seen the photographs coming out of McCarren Park or the last few days. Yeah. I’ll send you some. It’s been extraordinary. What’s happening in the evenings in McCarren Park is that people are going to McCarren Park in socially distance clumps with their masks on and they are sitting silently and witnessing the Black Lives Matter, the injustice that exists because of systemic racism. And Brad Lander, who is the city councilman there, was posting some photographs and I then dug around like things are unbelievably stirring. How? And McCarren Park, as you know, is this is a park in Brooklyn, everybody built by Robert Moses. A pool and a park. And it’s been a it’s been a contested public space, I think. Would that be fair to say? Noemi for years and here it is being used in a bigger way. So I want to just give you a chance to comment on what your colleagues have been saying and thought you might have about the public space piece of it where I know no amount of your practice has been expressed.

Noémie Lafrance [00:31:55] Well, it’s beautiful. I just see everything everywhere. There’s so much protests going on all over the world. And it’s, you know, it’s really moving and it’s really inspiring. That space, I think, has always been charged with all kinds of, you know, community struggles. But, you know, to go back to sort of like the role of art. I think one thing I can use the mechanical as an example. One thing that I know that I see art can do that other things cannot do is to transform perceptions. And, you know, transforming perception has a tremendous value in many, many ways. And sometimes it gets transforming the monetary value, but it has value that’s beyond monetary. Because it opens up the imagination and it permits people to see something else that wasn’t a very simple example with the McCarren Park Pool is that it was seen as an eyesore and that when we transformed it into this performance space. Now, all of a sudden, the graffiti’s which we had to fight to keep, by the way, I’m sure you know all the things that the space represented in both, it’s sort of derelict state and its its past and it’s it’s it’s sadness. It also was, you know, beautiful. And so, you know, just to be able to see that beauty really transform everything and transform the politicians perception of what could be done there. And I think that this was really the true unlocking of this situation. There were 20 years of of community work and, you know, and all think things to try to address this. This space, which was also issues of racism because, you know, they didn’t want the black kids to come swimming. You know, there were all parts of the reason why clothes in the first place. But so, you know. And so to go back to the you know, the artist making, you know, a critique of society, I think we’ve been in a dilemma a long time with this idea that artists can critique the system, but they’re also kind of stuck in the system. And so, you know, the reality is that nobody can really exist fully outside of the capitalist system. It just isn’t possible. And then on the one hand, I think art has been climbing the ladder of capitalism in the last 20, 30 years. You know, there’s been much more money in the arts. There’s been, you know, the creative sector, which kind of in the entertainment world, you know, is kind of like running parallel with the art world. And, you know, there’s more artists and artists is much more common and it’s much more appreciated, in fact, or desirable. There’s more people want to be artists. You know, there’s the possibility of doing having a career as an artist, which I think, you know, 50 years ago wasn’t the same thing. Right. So, you know that we can see that as a good thing, you know, because art is being supported and artists. We’re also a segment of society that was underpaid and underappreciated and that is also embodies this idea of precarity, you know. So, you know, there’s also that side and and that that idea of precarity, which promotes the mentality that sustains capitalism, is that artists are imaginative, they’re resilient, they’re flexible. And I think we’ve to just be careful of these notions because these are the basis for these values, brings a lot of people in power to ask artists for solutions. You know, and this is also a form of of instrument- instrumentalization of art. So I think we just have to be concerned with these contradictions because ultimately, you know, arts ideas have to have a full independence. I think that’s really important. Yeah. I leave it at that for now. But, you know, I think these are contradictions and things that, you know, art is very powerful. But when it becomes instrumentalise, yeah, it takes a different form.

Mary Rowe [00:36:29] And I think you’re right that we’ve had two decades of instrumentalization where the argument for public spending in art is often justified as it’s an economic development tool. And it’s interesting to me, where does this pick up with the idea that you’re actually going to encourage places to go local now? So it’s not going to actually be about tourists and attracting tourists? Is it actually more about grounding culture, artistic and cultural practice in the neighborhood? You would start to suggest that, Heather, is that is that an art? Is that it? Is that a way of responding to what Noemies raising here?

Heather Igloliorte [00:37:01] Yeah, I mean, I think I think what you’re saying and what I’m hoping is that we’re not going to come out of this forgetting who it is that got us through it, because that’s you know, it’s not fucking Damien Hirst who’s supporting the world right now. It’s artists in their living rooms doing workshops and doing performances on live and Facebook streaming their artwork and teaching others how to make things like everything that we are benefiting from right now. Is from – it is a lot of it’s you know, it’s LGBTQ. It’s BIPOC. It’s community activists organized artists who are going out of their way for little or no pay to really make change in the world. What would we do without television? And art and performance and music right now? We would all be going out of our minds. Like the only thing that is supporting people is the arts, that I hope that when we are done with this, we see the value of what we don’t come out of this and forget again. And we never have to hear that rhetoric from politicians ever again, that the value because it’s literally the only thing helping us right now.

Mary Rowe [00:38:02] Yeah. It’s kind of like I hear you. And I hear, though, from the folks who who have actual venues. Because the question is, I appreciate that we’ve made this digital pivot and I’m with you, I’m extremely dependent myself on having some kind of experience beyond my own Zoom head. But in terms of digital, can we straddle folks? Are we going to be able to make this transition and create recreate opportunities to actually have some physical congregating activity in a safe way? Who’s thinking about that? Michael? Are you going to take her take, opera up Main Street and put it in a park? What can what can you do?

Michael Hidetoshi Mori [00:38:45] Yeah, absolutely. I think we will be announcing something like that pretty soon. There’s there’s some safe there’s some safe ways to do things. All of it relates to the outdoors, which is and and and and to things that sort of are equitable for for people finding. I don’t think parks maybe a little bit dangerous because there’s a natural will to convene when you see something cool. But I think really being creative about what spaces are out there and how we can use them.

Mary Rowe [00:39:14] And can’t we share Michael, can’t we share parks in a safe place?

Michael Hidetoshi Mori [00:39:20] We can. We can.

Mary Rowe [00:39:21] Right now the Trinity Bellwoods mem has now gone across the world that somehow a group of Torontians are horrible in the park. There were many, many I live in the east end there were many, many, many parks where people were totally socially distancing it was all safe, blah, blah, blah. I don’t want you to abandon parks and say, oh, we can’t do bothered.

Michael Hidetoshi Mori [00:39:39] No, no, no. OK. You’re right. But I would like to say that there are lots of possibilities in and I guess I want people to turn the switches as soon as possible to say the possibilities aren’t indoors in large gatherings, probably for a little while. And but however, there are interesting way to look at summer. We have this opportunity now to think about how we can make arts safe.

Mary Rowe [00:40:04] I mean, if you look if you look at these extraordinary acts of protests that are occurring in cities around the world, as I suggested there on streets, you know, is there an opportunity for us to regroup, to retake over streets now, to be streets for people? I don’t know. What? Daryl, where are you at in edmonton on this? I know that you’ve got protest activity there as well, but at the Citadel, I don’t know. If the Citadel has a history of performing outside. Do you know?

Daryl Cloran [00:40:29] No, we don’t. We and like like all other cities, like all of the sort of summer festivals and large gatherings are canceled. But but I think, you know, Heather made such a good point to that like there’s this great Mo Willems the children’s book author has this great quote of, like, scientists will get us out of this, but artists will get us through it. And I think it’s great, wonderful coming that way that artists are connecting. And so seeing like, you know, there’s a great, great group of artists from Stratford now, the big Stratford Festival that have started to perform out on the street in front of people’s porches. Right. You can book them to come and perform in front. Right. It’s small.

Mary Rowe [00:41:05] Really?

Daryl Cloran [00:41:06] Yeah. And that kind of. So we, like artists, are trying to find ways to connect. And and part of that is going to be, you know, how we connect digitally. Like what what that looks like. And, you know, like how how for theater or at least how it preserves the aliveness of theater in that element. Because just just recording it is you know, this is film. We’ve already got that. So how how to find that and how over the next while to start start to increase the ability that like as we can gathering’s in larger groups, how do we how do we find ways to engage outside or engage with these smaller groups inside or or to dos hybrid’s of shows for a small audience live and stream it at the same time with what those those things are? Because ultimately, yeah, we want to keep communicating and creating work into one of your earlier points, like the artists both have that like artistic need to create and the desire to to keep employed like to find find ways to keep money coming in. So finding that balance over the next little while as as we can’t gather and create in the way that we’re used to.

Mary Rowe [00:42:11] Daryl, can you repeat the name of the offer that you suggested that had the quote about science or whatever it was, an art will help us get us through it?

Daryl Cloran [00:42:19] Mo Willems, I have I have two young sons and read his his books all the time.

Julie Nagam [00:42:25] I am glad to hear that there are plan because I’m most worried about performance artists, because, you know, museums, you can do all kinds of things, the social distance and go see visual art still and experience it in different ways. But, you know, being in a theater together is probably going to be the very last thing that we do. So it’s you know, I’m most concerned.

Mary Rowe [00:42:46] Noemi, I want to circle back on that. Your hesitance to come on because you felt you’re not engaged in on the ground and that you want to bring it up to not just 30000 feet, but, you know, several miles and feet up to say that we’re in globe global collapse. And how how I guess part of what our advocacy at CUI is, is about that it’s time for a new deal for cities. We talk about this, a new deal for cities that municipal governments aren’t funded in a sustainable way. And do you think that this moment could could actually be so seminal that it’s like a new deal for artists, like a new understanding of how art is financed and how art, how arts created? How are you, the number of your educators, how people are being taught? Is there a window? Do you think that that kind of change?

Noémie Lafrance [00:43:30] I think definitely. But I think that we have to harness that. And I think in order to to harness that, we have to ask ourselves some deeper questions. You know, I think we’re skipping steps, trying to go to logistics, you know, I mean, we’re not in a place where we should be asking ourselves, like, oh, should it be outside? Should it be? You know, people ask me that a lot because I used to do work in public space. Well, my work has nothing to do with, you know, the issues of social distancing. You know, that’s just the practical matter. And, you know, I think by thinking about what got us there in and and what this situation means, even, you know, I was listening on a podcast by the artist ___, who works with microbes and she works with sense and, you know, all kinds of very interesting stuff. And she said, well, I had to do a crash course on viruses. But, you know, what’s really interesting about viruses is that they are well, the way she explains, they leak. Right? So they I mean, they’re considered to be the borders of life. Right. So it asks questions about what is life, what it’s non-life because viruses are they’re DNA, basically. So it’s kind of a way to share DNA without without being your own DNA. So it kind of goes in to these ideas that were made of eight percent viruses. There’s thousands and millions of viruses in the world, they come in and out of us constantly, and they are kind of like plugging into our DNA and changing things. You know, there’s things and viruses that happen like the plague that gives you immunity to HIV. Like there’s all kinds of crazy stuff going on with that stuff. And so we don’t understand all these things. But one thing we can understand of this is that it really challenges what is life. It also challenges what is an individual, you know. And so all these questions are very interesting because we’ve been living in these kinds of ideas where we think that we’re separate from one another and we have these functions. And then there’s all these cells with these barriers. Right. And these countries. But in reality, that’s probably not really true. You know, we’re made of microbes and viruses. So and all these things are moving around between people. When you say, can you share a million? So now we’re trying to protect ourselves from this particular virus. And this is like one thing. There’s going to be more viruses. And this thing is going to last for another three years. And so we have to be realistic about some of these things and not think like, okay, well, yes, we got to eat and we need a job and we need these things right now. Like, you got to eat today, not, you know, just can just be thinking about this. But I do think that there’s so much to think about. I also like what __ says the virus is a portal. I don’t know if you guys had a chance to read that article, but she says we didn’t choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas. Our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightning with light luggage. You ready to imagine another world and ready to fight for it.

Mary Rowe [00:47:01] Well, Emily, our producer. You mentioned the beginning of your comments is diligently trying to post as many links as she can. And she just put up __  article into the chat. So well done, Michael. I think you’re ready to get in and say something.

Michael Hidetoshi Mori [00:47:17] Yeah, I, I wanted to. I mean, one of the things that I’ve seen is also an incredible stability in artists since they’ve started receiving CERB or CERB, whatever you want to call it. And I don’t know that I would’ve said this before, but I would advocate for universal basic income for artists. I think that would change the outlook of arts in Canada, because so much so many I’ve seen so many artists transition into other professions just because of the viability of it. And we lose a lot of talent. So it’s just an observation. I think we’ve already learned that people have benefited from CERB. It’s the first time they’ve had a monthly steady guaranteed income for freelance performers. It’s just something that’s interesting and that I would be very interested in exploring more.

Mary Rowe [00:48:06] I also wonder about CERB. I know that the government must be just wringing its hands, trying to figure out how it’s going to afford to continue to offer it, because I don’t I can’t imagine how they’re going to be able to stop. I think it was only supposed to be for another month or so. And how is that possibly going to happen? But it’s it’s not just your sector, but it’s people in service sectors. So if retail, for instance, can’t come back fully, then the only way that they potentially can make. If they worked for a restaurant or any kind of where a lot of artists worked part time is if CERB continued extended. And then they have an amount of money that they can make up to a certain limit. OK, Heather, do you want to jump in? You’re muted, your muted. Un-mute yourself there,.

Heather Igloliorte [00:48:48] Sorry, my husband is like making a smoothie or something. I was just going to agree with what Michael saying. But I think that universal basic income. We should implement its universally thats the point right? You know, it’s it is more effective and less expensive than all of the others sort of hodgepodge of programs that we run, you know, and make it more difficult for people to just access basic living expenses. I think that like Noemi was saying, we need to think about what society will look like when we come out the other side of this. And who do we want to be? Do we want to be beholden to the world’s first trillionaire and living/destroying this planet for like you know, like I think that there’s an opportunity here.

[00:49:39] Wwe’re kind of running the corner on this as a discussion when we have to break. But I’m wondering if if anyone wants to weigh in on the notion of how digital and real I don’t know what the antidote to digital is, digital and physical maybe, or something. Can they coexist? You’ve been talking about how your practice is changing. Your organizations are having to change your you’re having to do equity audits, you know, these kinds of sudden wakeup calls that this confluence of factors is forcing us to do. And do you see the digital realm and the physical realm coexisting?

Julie Nagam [00:50:14] Well, I mean, I think for a lot of us, they do. They always have. The problem is institutions have to catch up to it. So, you know, they’ve been they’ve been lacking and they haven’t been as interested. And it’s like, are Web sites not doing so well? Oh, you don’t have that or all. You need that 4k projector. Oh, we don’t actually own that in the museum. So we have to go and get some other kind of projector to do something, you know, sub par. And I’d say that, you know, we’ve been asking, you know, especially as a digital media artist, it’s like we’ve been asking for people to pay attention to digital media art. And then you watch, you know, some some institutions doing it really well, like the Sydney biannual did an excellent job of shifting, of closing and then shifting into a really strong digital realm. And then they’ve now reopened. And then and then on on the flip side, if I see another middle aged white lady director talking about the importance of her collection in the museum, I’ll probably start crying of boredom. So I feel like there’s these two kind of, you know, extreme things that are happening. And I think that the good part is that, of course, the digital realm is part of our ROM as as we look to the future, we have no choice but to think about how digital technologies are going to continue to not even be embedded in our physical day practices. I mean, everybody’s on a handheld. Somebody has got a watch. Other people got iPads and things. And eventually I’m sure they’ll get chips embedded into their bodies. And so I just feel like, you know, I think that’s an inevitable movement. And I think that we it’s a big mess for arts and culture. And I think it’s a really big wake up call because Canik Council had advertised their digital strategy and they had tons of money because nobody had applied, because nobody cared about digital strategies. My guess is this, is that Digital Strategies is going to be overloaded in this round.

Mary Rowe [00:52:00] It is interesting, though, how I just saw Heather. It is interesting what you’re suggesting had already been present in the Inuit community and in communities that had fly in and had already had logistical challenges. And I feel like that with Canada generally. You know, we have we have very few cities, really. We’re a huge geography. And so it’s been hard to stitch together a shared narrative in the country that it’s focused on place and now digitally, it’s just to get for it’s now a given that we’re going to have these kinds of conversations. Right. OK. Heather, you wanted to jump in?

Heather Igloliorte [00:52:32] Yeah, I was going to I was going to say and I agree with what you’re saying, and I think that like as a curator in my field, everyone is talking about digital exhibitions and how we’re going to be. I know we’ve said pivot times on this call, but how we’re going to pivot. And, you know, an exhibition is not a collection of jpegs. So we need to really think through how we’re going to use technology to share all these things that we’ve had in process. A student sent me a link to a program called Just So, and there was this fantastic online exhibition format where you couldn’t hear the artist talk and experience the exhibition as you kind of move through the space. Another another exciting kind of development that I saw recently is the artist _ And Jason Lewis did it entirely in Second Life exhibition. They did a virtual exhibition virtually where everyone had to kind of don their avatars in order to work inside. And I think that we’re seeing some creative solutions to what is going to be a longer problem. What do what does the field even look like? What what is the point of collections? How do we access them? You know, maybe it will democratize a lot of this stuff. Museums have a long and colonial history of being elitist institutions that keep people out and are not welcoming even when they are public spaces. You know, when people don’t have money for even when museums open again, are we still gonna be charging 20 bucks to get school kids in to see the collections of the works? We are one the only countries in the world, who sort of, first world countries that have such high prices for admission? So I think we need to rethink a lot of different things because it’s going to be a very different climate on the other side.

Mary Rowe [00:54:11] You know, we have a chance to do that. I mean, because everything kind of everything’s up for grabs. You’re all advocates, I gather, for the universal basic income. And I’m wondering if we don’t also have to be advocates.

Noémie Lafrance [00:54:21] Oh I didn’t say that.

Mary Rowe [00:54:24] Noemie you would say that or you would not?

Noémie Lafrance [00:54:25] I would not.

Mary Rowe [00:54:27] OK, well, let’s jump in jump. Because what I was gonna say is, do we also want to call for universal access to broadband? That was me. Right. But go ahead.

Noémie Lafrance [00:54:35] What would you say? I was just actually going to comment on the Internet. I mean, on the technology. I think not only is incredibly boring. This idea that, you know, we’re going to shift online woohoo. And then I think we need to also think how incredibly scary it is. I would recommend another article from Naomi Klein and The Intercept about what’s going on with the technologies and the intentions behind it. On a really large scale and, you know, I could just say the word surveillance. And, you know, there’s many other concerns with this that I think, again, we shouldn’t step too too soon and too enthusiastically into this. I think we need to take another step back and realize that this was already in store for us and it’s been in the works for a long time. And now there’s a lot of opportunistic money making, but also, you know, control mechanisms that are ready to be put in place.

Mary Rowe [00:55:51] This a gazillion risks, I think. So we want to get a few more minutes. So I’m going to go round each of you and just say ask you for 30 seconds on if there’s one thing that you would that you are going to be focused on, what’s the one thing that you feel? Maybe it’s around principles, maybe it’s around your practice. Maybe. What’s that one thing? You know, we’re coming up to a COVID 100, June 19 will about 100 days of this. So in the next hundred days, what’s the one thing that you’re going to be really doubling down on thinking about Daryll?

Daryl Cloran [00:56:21] Yeah. In the next 100 days, it’s gonna be it’s gonna be a about community. How we start to build our relationship with our community again, both like ensuring that we’re providing a platform and a voice to marginalized voices in our artistic community. But how we start to engage safely again with with our audience and that community, how we build that sort of live, ephemeral experience again together.

Mary Rowe [00:56:44] Heather.

Heather Igloliorte [00:56:46] The next hundred days? I can think before I could think. Yeah, we’re getting out right now for me, it’s it’s all about supporting our black brothers and sisters and all across North America right now down what’s going on? See, the the height the top of my mind every morning when I wake up and when I go to bed at night. And what we can do to hold space and care for them.

Mary Rowe [00:57:12] Michael?

Michael Hidetoshi Mori [00:57:15] Honestly, in a very practical sense, next hundred days are going to be finding safe ways to perform and connect with people outdoors and making sure that as much of our budget goes to artists next year as possible.

Mary Rowe [00:57:29] That’s interesting. So you’re shifting your budget from not as much admin and more into artists. Is that what you mean?

Michael Hidetoshi Mori [00:57:35] I think it’s just the rethink of the production model. What wound goes into production in a certain way? We want to make sure that that doesn’t just go into holding on to what we’ve got. That we find ways to pay as many people as possible next year.

Mary Rowe [00:57:50] Noemie?

Noémie Lafrance [00:57:50] I would say feeling and seeing the suffering of others. Is focused that the – I think it’s really is really important. And at the source of most of these changes.

Mary Rowe [00:58:14] Say the last through three words, again.

Noémie Lafrance [00:58:18] The source of much of these changes that are coming.

Mary Rowe [00:58:22] Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Yeah. Thank you, Julie. Last last word to you.

Julie Nagam [00:58:29] Well, you know, I hope for some holidays, but I also I really I really, in my mind, just to continue supporting BIPOC students and cultural workers to continue to push them and get opportunities for leadership positions and and especially now and especially for students. I know we talk a lot about artists, but a lot of students also fit in both of those realms and cultural workers more broadly. And I just think that it’s so important in terms of thinking about training and mentoring. And that’s always my focus. And especially with all the granting opportunities that we have, it’s just a continued a continued push and support for BIPOC students and workers.

Mary Rowe [00:59:14] Thank you very much, everybody, for joining us on this, you know COIVD is not an equal opportunity. It has disproportionately affected some people – no one’s experience is the same. But we know that, as I suggested, that some folks have suffered disproportionately and will continue to be struggling. And we appreciate that we have to somehow find mechanisms for collective empathy for each other, but also coming to terms of collective failure. And then how do we move to collective success? And I. And how do we double down in our commitment to that? So each of you has made such an interesting, poignant, practical, poetic, profound kinds of inputs into this conversation today. So thank you for getting the conversation going. Thanks for joining us in City Talk. Thanks already for the chat. Lots of really important resources there. Tomorrow, we’re back for a city talk on with our one on ones with mayors. And we’ll be I’ll be with the mayor of Ottawa Nation’s capital talking about what he’s confronting day to day there to run that city and how since sort of symbolic, that is, of what cities are doing with across the country. And then next week, as I suggested, you look, look at your inbox. You’ll see that we’ll have four city talks next week, one of which is going to be expressly focused on equity and the concerns of people of color and black and brown Canadians across the country. So thank you very, very much for joining us. And thanks to all five here to come on coming on to City Talk. Thanks, everybody.

Full Audience
Chatroom Transcript

Note to reader: Chat comments have been edited for ease of readability. The text has not been edited for spelling or grammar. For questions or concerns, please contact with “Chat Comments” in the subject line.

12:02:13        From Canadian Urban Institute: Welcome! Folks, please change your chat settings to “all panelists and attendees” so everyone can see your comments.

12:06:29        From Emily Wall, CUI Staff: Today’s panel:

Daryl Cloran

Heather Igloliorte

Noémie Lafrance

Michael Hidetoshi Mori


Julie Nagam

12:06:43        From Bridget MacIntosh: Hello Everyone, Bridget MacIntosh @bridgetannmac here from Toronto.

12:06:46        From Canadian Urban Institute: You can find transcripts and recordings of today’s and all our webinars at

12:06:54        From Wendy Peart: Wendy Peart from Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina

12:06:58        From Kate gunn: Kate from Edmonton!

12:07:01        From Eleethea Savage: Hi there. Eleethea Savage here, Greater Sudbury

12:07:04        From Denise Frimer to All panelists: Toronto interested citizen

12:07:04        From Michael Trent: Michael from Toronto

12:07:07        From Canadian Urban Institute: Keep the conversation going #citytalk @canurb

12:07:08        From Kirsten Frankish to All panelists: Hello everyone from the City of Oshawa’s Culture Team!

12:07:12        From James Ballinger to All panelists: Ha;ifax

12:07:14        From Rebecca Garlick: Rebecca from Kitchener!

12:07:15        From Esther Arbeid to All panelists: Hello, Esther Arbeid here from the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, Toronto

12:07:17        From jake moore to All panelists: jake moore Saskatoon

12:07:22        From Jaime Boldt: Jaime Boldt Globe Theatre Regina

12:07:27        From Tracie Taylor Labonte: Tracie Taylor Labonte from the Ottawa Museum Network

12:07:28        From Wilma Hartmann to All panelists: Heather Braaten from the Stephenville Theatre Festival , NL

12:07:28        From cathy parsons to All panelists: Cathy from London:)

12:07:29        From Don McConnell: Don McConnell from Sault Ste. Marie says hi.

12:07:32        From reg nalezyty: Reg from Thunder Bay

12:07:35        From Kris Driedger: Kristina in Montreal, greetings

12:07:42        From Kristi Friday: Kristi Friday here from Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival in Saskatoon

12:07:44        From Canadian Urban Institute: Reminding attendees to please change your chat settings to “all panelists and attendees” so everyone can see your comments.

12:07:45        From Leila Timmins: Leila Timmins, Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa ON

12:07:46        From John McHenry: Hello all from John in sunny Sudbury.

12:07:51        From Amy Prouty: Amy from Montreal

12:07:51        From Tom MMcleod: Tom in Inuvik

12:07:54        From Surita Dey to All panelists: Brampton

12:08:04        From Dayle Schroeder-Hillier: Dayle Schroeder from the Regina Folk Festival in Regina, SK

12:08:10        From Terresa Strohan: Hello from Terresa Strohan with Saskatoon Folkfest (a three day multicultural festival)

12:08:10        From Laurel Davies Snyder: Hello from Stratford, Ont.

12:08:12        From Claire Leighton: hello all! Claire from Toronto Artscape Inc.

12:08:16        From Madelyn Webb: Madelyn in Toronto

12:08:19        From jake moore: oops didn’t post to attendees

12:08:24        From Cathy McMurtry: Cathy McMurtry from the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival in Saskatoon

12:09:03        From jake moore: jake moore University of Saskatchewan Art Galleries and Collection, Saskatoon

12:09:29        From Wilma Hartmann: Heather From the Stephenville Theatre Festival NL

12:09:59        From Julie McKenna: Julie McKenna – here from Regina Public Library in Regina on Treaty 4 Territory

12:10:15        From Alicia Richins: Hello! Alicia Richins from Toronto and the Metcalf Foundation

12:10:37        From Maureen Sawa to All panelists: Hi Julie!

12:12:02        From Ken Jones to All panelists: Good day everyone. Ken from the Mississauga Arts Council.

12:12:10        From Eric Hill: Eric Hill – here from Dunlop Art Gallery & RPL Film Theatre in Regina Public Library in Regina on Treaty 4 Territory

Mary do the First Nations acknowledgement today?

12:13:55        From KWirchenko: Kirby/Broadway Theatre/Saskatoon

12:13:59        From Kellie I Grant: Kellie Saskatoon

12:15:21        From Hannah Miller: Hi there, Hannah from Toronto

12:17:07        From Ellen Pearson: Hello! Ellen from Saskatoon

12:18:21        From Marlea Whitley: Hi! Marlea Whitley from Nutrien Wonderhub, Saskatchewan’s Children’s Museum, located in Saskatoon.

12:19:44        From Eleethea Savage: Can Heather expand how she is building community online…and how to implement?

12:20:22        From Heather Igloliorte: Check out our website – more workshops posted soon we cancelled everything this week out of respect for BLM

12:20:50        From Eleethea Savage: Perfect. Thank you.

12:20:56        From Asma K Caporaletti to All panelists: Hello from Asma K Caporaletti in Oxford County. Educator, Designer

12:20:59        From LoriAnn Girvan: Hello – LoriAnn Girvan joining from Gatineau, unceded Algonquin, Anishinabek territory

12:22:41        From M K to All panelists: YES!

12:24:39        From jake moore: while COVID has revealed the uneveness of the world, but, it has also placed all people in relation to something shared for the first time. this still doesn’t mean the shared experience of COVID is having the same effects on communities. systemic racism is actively made evident

12:24:56        From jake moore: capitalism IS fundamentally glawed

12:25:00        From Brian Owen to All panelists: Al the world is a stage and there is a lot of ad libbing at the moment!

12:25:31        From Kathy Allen to All panelists: good point. we are in the sane storm but in different types of boats

12:25:50        From Canadian Urban Institute: Reminding attendees to please change your chat settings to “all panelists and attendees” so everyone can see your comments.

12:26:03        From Brian Owen: Al the world is a stage and there is a lot of ad libbing at the moment!

12:29:26        From Alice Ming Wai Jim: Hello, Michael Hidetoshi Mori! Julie, Heather!

12:30:03        From jake moore: COVID demonstrated that we CAN stop. this is a major necessary

12:30:11        From Alice Ming Wai Jim: Diversity Panel = “All-Token Panel”

12:30:12        From Kathy Allen: to jake’s point – we are all in the same storm but in different boats

12:30:25        From jake moore: acknowledgement

12:30:35        From Leila Timmins: I know Julie alluded to digital done badly, would love to hear some thoughts on digital done well.

12:30:52        From Bridget MacIntosh: I wanted to share this – it has been making the rounds online – from theatre artist Malindi Ayienga–M&

12:31:27        From jake moore: yessss Julie

12:31:33        From Alicia Richins: Thank you Julie! Yess!!!

12:31:39        From Tiffany Shaw-Collinge to All panelists: Snaps to Julie!!!!

12:31:58        From Alice Ming Wai Jim: Julie Nagam: “BIPOC people in leadership positions. Period.” Yes!!

12:33:07        From Denise Frimer: From my perspective, I see advocating the pandemic will implement social change for more self-discovery forms of learning and participation in arts and culture.

12:34:21        From Brian Moss: Can we tie the discussion also to public spaces .. implications on urban form .. movement of ‘arts and culture’ outside .. in the interim ..

12:36:41        From Marcello Cabezas to All panelists: This is for Daryl and Michael as I know their work:) Do you feel that your artists are open to improvised based works that could be created in say 24 hrs + then presented to audiences IRL respecting social distancing etc? maybe could be presented digitally too.

12:37:01        From Wendy Peart: If we could focus on EMPATHY, wouldn’t this be huge?

12:37:30        From Bridget MacIntosh: Another resource: IN-SITU (UN) COMMON SPACES —

12:39:08        From Bridget MacIntosh: HEATHER! YES!!!!

12:40:04        From Caroline Langill: So true Heather. Need to bring visibility to this fact.

12:40:27        From jake moore:

12:41:00        From Bridget MacIntosh: @Wendy Peart re: empathy – check

12:41:48        From Bridget MacIntosh: (empathy squad is part of

12:42:38        From Wendy Peart: Thanks.

12:43:11        From Emily Wall, CUI Staff: Mo Willems

12:43:17        From Laurel Davies Snyder:

12:45:35        From Marcello Cabezas to All panelists:


making sure everyone knows about this that’s happening in Toronto

12:45:43        From Bridget MacIntosh: — another example of live performance in a physically distant reality.

12:45:44        From jake moore: there is an important re-evaluation of what is ‘together’ that cracks open how interconnected we already are and what occupation of space actually mean. this is tied to idea of terra nullias. there is a lot of potential in this investigation

12:47:08        From Emily Wall, CUI Staff: Anicka Yi’s podcast here:

12:48:02        From Emily Wall, CUI Staff: Arundhati Roy’s article:

12:48:27        From Duncan Ross: The World Travel & Tourism Council released new global protocols for meetings, events and convention centres today. Https://

12:48:32        From Frank Murphy: Sr levels of governemt have been forced by COVID to inject billions of dollars into the day to day economy, CERB etc… To Noémie’s point re global capitalist failure and the urgent need for systemic change, might there be opportunity post COVID, having just road tested things like a universal guaranteed annual income, for a real shift, here in Canada anyway, to the principles of social democracy?

12:48:33        From jake moore: the ideas of interconnectedness between us is not new to many especially Indigenous and 2SBIPOC

12:48:44        From jake moore: UBA is necessary

12:48:48        From Alicia Richins: We need UBI for everyone!

12:49:17        From Toby Greenbaum: Guaranteed income for all!

12:49:32        From Bridget MacIntosh: Michael!!! YES! – letter writing campaigns happening now to advocate at extending CERB as a short term measure. Write your MP.

12:50:21        From jake moore: Heather yes! and requires less administration

12:50:57        From Canadian Urban Institute: You can find transcripts and recordings of today’s and all our webinars at

12:51:15        From jake moore: multimodal means have always necessary

12:52:31        From jake moore: multimodal practices are about legitimate and actual increased access

12:52:45        From Bridget MacIntosh: – June 10th – 13th. Festival of Live Digital Art.

12:52:57        From LoriAnn Girvan: we still have a digital divide!

12:53:36        From jake moore: there is no shared narrative, it is a necessary polyphony

12:53:57        From Canadian Urban Institute: Keep the conversation going #citytalk @canurb

12:54:07        From Michelle McGeough: yes, can we also address how we can make this technologies accessible to everyone

12:54:18        From Canadian Urban Institute: Help CUI improve its CityTalk programming with a short post-webinar survey –

12:54:36        From Michelle McGeough: oops these technologies

12:55:16        From Michael Trent: The vocabularies of live and digital performance are different things; the later isn’t a proxy for the former. We can hold the tension of both as long as we recognize their fundamental differences

12:56:14        From Michael Hidetoshi Mori, Tapestry Opera: Yes!

12:56:19        From jake moore: bets practices cannot be best privileges

12:57:04        From Alice Ming Wai Jim: Race data and surveillance particularly during pandemics, and rationalized/legitimaized because of it.

12:58:21        From Alice Ming Wai Jim: Thank you, Heather.

12:59:14        From jake moore: site specificity of media must be fully considered

13:00:08        From Bridget MacIntosh: Great panel! Thanks to you all for your insights and to the Canurb team for organizing.

13:00:15        From Caroline Langill: Thanks everyone, the beginning of a conversation.

13:00:17        From Marsha Paley to All panelists: Thank you. Take care; stay healthy and safe. Keep art and culture at the forefront.

13:00:25        From Demetra Christakos: Thank you very much!

13:00:50        From Michael Hidetoshi Mori, Tapestry Opera to All panelists: Great to hear you all and cross paths!

13:00:51        From Ryan Walker: great panelists and discussion. thank you.

13:00:52        From Michael Trent: Thanks!

13:00:56        From John McHenry: Terrific conversation. Thank you all.

13:00:57        From Tiffany Shaw-Collinge: Thank you!

13:01:03        From Emily Critch: Thank you! Wela’lioq!

13:01:10        From Julie Nagam to All panelists: Thank you everyone

13:01:18        From LoriAnn Girvan: Thank you!

13:01:23        From Johanna Householder to All panelists: Thank you all. Sharing this with the OCAD U community developing the Contemporary Issues course.

13:01:29        From Asma K Caporaletti to All panelists: Thank you everyone –

13:01:30        From D’Arcy Wilson to All panelists: Thanks!

13:01:30        From Bill Hibbs to All panelists: Thank you… great conversation