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Welcome to the eleventh Cultural Pluralism in the Performing Arts Movement Ontario (CPPAMO) newsletter. This is a regular digest that will introduce you to, and keep you updated on CPPAMO‘s initiatives, and act as a portal to relevant research in the field of pluralism in the arts, innovative artists, and links to interesting talks about pluralism in the arts. The newsletter is intended to be your go-to resource for information on cultural pluralism in the arts. You have received this e-mail because you are a member of the CPPAMO listserv. Please let others who share our professional and artistic interests know about this listserv and encourage them to subscribe by sending an e-mail to The listserv is moderated and is for sending out newsletters and CPPAMO updates. You may unsubscribe at any time. For more information, you can look us up here: Facebook: search “CPPAMO” Twitter:

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Newsletter Contents What is CPPAMO? CPPAMO in Vancouver Report on 5th Audience Building Workshop Meeting with the Ontario Arts Council New Partnerships Upcoming Events Research on Pluralism Who We Are Contact Us

What is CPPAMO?
Cultural Pluralism in Performing Arts Movement Ontario (CPPAMO) is a movement of Aboriginal and ethno-racial artists working with presenters to empower the performing arts communities of Ontario. CPPAMO seeks to open opportunities for Aboriginal and ethno-racial performers to engage with presenters across Ontario and to enable presenters to develop constructive relationships with Aboriginal and ethno-racial performers. CPPAMO is supported by Aboriginal and ethno-racial artists who are involved in theatre, music, dance and literary arts. They are members of CPPAMO‘s Roundtable and include representatives of Sampradaya Dance, Nathaniel Dett Chorale, Little Pear Garden Theatre Collective, Centre for Indigenous Theatre, Kaha:wi Dance, Sparrow in the Room, b-current, why not theatre, urban arts and backforward collective, Teyya Peya




Productions, Culture Days, Canada Council Stand Firm members, Obsidian Theatre, the Collective of Black Artists, CanAsian Dance and others. With the involvement of artists from these organizations, CPPAMO is working with Community Cultural Impresarios (CCI) and its members to build their capacities, cultural competencies and understanding of pluralism in performing arts so that CCI and its members engage performers from these communities and, thereby, enable audiences across Ontario to access artistic expressions from diverse communities on a regular basis. CPPAMO gratefully acknowledges the funding support it has received for its activities from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus and the Ontario Ministry of Culture

CPPAMO in Vancouver
Over the weekend of March 11-15, CPPAMO‘s Project Lead spent time with the Vancouver Stand Firm Network and broader community interested in the work of CPPAMO. At the invitation of urbanInk, charles c. smith held a sharing session with B.C. Stand Firm members and a workshop with these members and others in the Vancouver arts community interested in promoting pluralism in the arts. As part of this weekend, charles was able to see some dance performances as guest of the Vancouver International Dance Festival and a reading of the play Confessions of the Other Woman written by Valerie Sing-Turner, directed by Dianne Roberts and under production of urbanInk. For more information on these sessions, contact urbanInk at

CPPAMO Audience and Development Workshop at University of Toronto Scarborough Campus
CPPAMO‘s last audience development session was iheld on March 24, 2011 in partnership with the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus‘ Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Program. This session focused on the works of a number of organizations that are actively connecting to diverse communities and featured presentations by: Jini Stolk of Creative Trust, Cheryl Ewing and Anahita Azrahimi of Community Cultural Impresarios and CPPAMO; Cian Knights of Creative Mosaics, Skye Louis of the Neighbourhood Arts Network, Kevin Ormsby of danceImmersion and Menaka Thakker. You can access the presentations made at this seminar at


Meeting with the Ontario Arts Council


On Wednesday, March 16, 2011 CPPAMO Roundtable members, Warren Garrett (Executive Directors Community Cultural Impresarios/Ontario Presenters Network) and charles c. smith (CPPAMO Project Lead) met with John Brotman (Executive Director Ontario Arts Council) and senior staff Billie-Ann Baillee along with Myles Warren (Dance), Aengus Finnan (Tourism and Audience Development) and Michael Murray (Arts Services Organizations, and, World and Popular Music). The CPPAMO Roundtable members in attendance were: Denise Fujiwara (CanAsian Dance and Fujiwara Dance); Lata Pada (Sampradaya Dance); Brainard Blyden-Taylor (Nathaniel Dett Chorale); Sedina Fiata (Performer); Helen Yung (Canada Council Stand Firm Network); Ravi Jain (Why Not Theatre); Tara Beagan and Donna-Michelle Bernard (Native Earth Performing Arts); and Charmaine Headley (Collective of Black Artists). CPPAMO provided an update on its activities and Roundtable members spoke of the importance of CPPAMO to their work as artists in theatre, dance and music. The development of relationships between presenters and performers is beginning to bring about a slow transformation between these two groups and several projects are emerging as a result of ongoing Town Halls and workshops. Information was also provided on the interest in CPPAMO from other organizations at the local, provincial and national level. CPPAMO is looking forward to ongoing information sharing with the OAC as it strengthens understanding of each and supports focusing on ways to collaborate toward the same shared goal – promoting pluralism in the arts.

CPPAMO Partnerships And Proposed Next Phase Of Activity:
CPPAMO is now involved in developing a projece proposal for its next phase of activities. Currently entitled Creating Communities of Practice to Promote Pluralism in Performing Arts, this project is a three-year initiative aimed at: a) increasing the presence of performers from ethno-racial and Aboriginal communities in literary, film, performance and exhibition venues across Ontario; b) building audiences within ethno-racial and Aboriginal communities for these events held in venues across Ontario; and c) building partnerships between presenters, publishers, gallery operators and ethno-racial and Aboriginal artists to achieve the above.




This project proposes to build on work currently underway and become an Ontario-wide initiative focusing on four geographic areas: (1) Kitchener-Waterloo Region including Peterborough and Guelph; (2) Brampton, Oakville and Mississauga; (3) Ottawa and Kingston; and (4) Scarborough and Markham. The project aims to increase opportunities for ethno-racial and Aboriginal artists by building relationships between these artists and presenters, publishers, gallery operators across Ontario. It is anticipated that over 3000 individuals will be targeted to directly and indirectly participate and benefit from this project. The partners for this project include: Community Cultural Impresarios/the Ontario Presenters Network (CCI); the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG); the Canada Dance Festival (CDF); the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Cultural Pluralism Advisory Committee (CPA); Scarborough Arts; Canadian Arts Presenters Association (CAPACOA); the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT); the CanDance Network; the Neighbourhood Arts Network of Toronto (NAN); Prologue to the Performing Arts; CARFAC; MANO, IMAA. Each of these organizations will contribute in-kind services in terms of volunteer support, access to facilities for meeting purposes, provision of contacts to networks of presenters as well as ethno-racial and Aboriginal artists, provision of contacts within educational institutions, and provision of contacts within ethno-racial and Aboriginal communities. Each organization will also participate in public and educational forums involving Aboriginal and ethno-racial artists and communities. They also commit to engaging Aboriginal and ethno-racial artists and working with these communities to develop performing arts activities that reflect the story and face of the diverse peoples across Ontario.

dance immersion
dance Immersion as an organization that gears its programming, presentation and support for artists and companies of the African Diaspora. We are keen on engaging other arts organisation in the realities of the Arts and its need to connect, nurture and develop Canadian artists. We are indeed happy to have been influenced by the work of CPPAMO especially through the Audience engagement survey sessions which proved rather helpful in our operations. Our employees have expressed the benefits from attending the workshops. We are proud to further create a bond with CPPAMO and wish to utilize this medium and relationship to announce that we will be the host of the International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference in Jan 26 - 29th 2012. We have many informal meetings




and workshops planned to ignite the entire Canadian dance milieu. Our d'Conversations sessions facilitated by Kevin A. Ormsby brings dance artists, companies and administrators together to discuss impact, issues and the way forward for dance of the Diaspora; keeping in tandem with the conference motto for 2012 which is "Connecting Our Diasporas through Dance." The next session will be May 11th, 2012 with our special guest speaker, charles c. smith, a Toronto-based poet, playwright, and essayist currently working on Travelogue of the Bereaved, a book of poems with stories about the absence of persons of African descent in Canadian history and today. charles is also the founder and artistic director of the 'wind in the leaves collective, a performing arts company working in multidisciplinary performance. Visit for more information.

Gauri Gill: "The Americans"
Co-presented with Culture Division, City of Mississauga and Mississauga Central Library. Featured Exhibition in the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival • Mississauga Central Library 1 May — 31 July 2011 In The Americans Gauri Gill takes the United States of America as her subject, but through a new lens of cultural specificity and multiculturalism, with a focus on South Asian communities in a pre- and post-9/11 landscape. Gill presents an intimate look at interior worlds, often populated by family and friends, documenting the tensions between the optimism of their times and the realities of class, race and cultural differences.

Brown Balls
Produced by fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company May 3, 2011 - May 15, 2011 Price range: $20 - $29 Think ―Long Duk Dong‖ is your Chinese food delivery guy? Stereotypes are tough to crack. fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company presents the world premiere of Brown Balls by Byron Abalos‘. Three frustrated young men disguised as Bruce Lee, Charlie Chan and Fu Manchu confront cultural misconceptions to reclaim their brown balls. Issues of race, gender and sex collide in this penetrating performance as it explores some hilariously unapologetic, titillating questions. Like why are Filipino men sexier than Korean men? and why? For more information contact:Phone: 416-920-2828 / email: Address: Factory Studio Theatre


125 Bathurst Street, Toronto (Bathurst & Adelaide)


Call for Artists: May 12 Resource Fair
The Neighbourhood Arts Network is partnering with the Toronto Public Library to organize a resource fair on May 12. The resource fair is part of a half-day symposium connecting community-engaged artists with public libraries. With 99 branches throughout the city, Toronto Public Library staff are interested in meeting local arts groups and artists. If you are an artist or arts organization interested in partnering with a public library branch, or if you are interested in exhibiting your work at a TPL exhibit space, this event is for you! This free symposium and resource fair will provide a special opportunity to connect with library staff and promote your work in person. All media/disciplines are welcome; space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. FREE! May 12 from 9am-1pm at Northern District Library Branch For more info or to register for free table space, please contact

Soundspoetic - May 14th at ArrayMusic 8 p.m.
Christine Duncan and The Element Choir. The Element Choir is an improvising choir fromTorontoled by vocalist Christine Duncan. This is a group that works with both structured and non-structured elements, based primarily on a system of conduction cues. As an ensemble we explore textural and timbral sound qualities, soundscapes, rhythmic patterns, sound poetry, group and individual composition ideas, musical genre interplay and extended voice techniques. This cinematic approach to group vocalizing presents both tonal and non-tonal material in a constantly evolving and ‗in the moment‘ sonic environment. A musical chameleon with a near five octave range, Christine Duncan uses her voice as an instrument, exploring its full tonal, timbral and textural range. She is involved with everything from jazz, R&B, gospel, improvised music, sound poetry, to new music and musique actuelle. She performs with many musical groups and projects, most notably Hugh Fraser‘s VEJI (Vancouver Ensemble of Jazz Improvisation) and Barnyard Drama with drummer/electronic artist Jean Martin. Christine also teaches voice in the jazz programs atHumberCollegeand theUniversityofToronto. charles c. smith and “the wind in the leaves collective”. The wind in the leaves collective engages in the choreographic creation of movement and poetic syncretism to develop and perform collaborative work involving diverse artistic disciplines. The collective’s approach provides for a unique view into a dialogue amongst artists on contemporary issues where each artist will be able to collaborate,




create and share. The collective’s inter-disciplinary approach allows for such engagement at several intersections, visceral, sensual, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. In this way, the collective seeks to be a multi-textured illustration of the concerns of our times and how these are expressed through diverse artistic mediums working collaboratively to connect to individuals and communities in a multicultural, multiracial society and a global community. The themes the collective is working on echo those of transnationalism, diaspora, globalization as well as the use/abuse of power and the marginalization that results from it and wounds both individual and collective psyches. The collective tells the stories of leaves which, like people, become moved by the winds and who all have unique and interesting stories worth being told regardless of diverse identities, be it women, people with disabilities, ethno-cultural and racialized groups, immigrants and refugees, faith groups, the poor, Aboriginal peoples, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people. Inclusivity in practice we feel should exist in everything that we do as artists and human beings.

PACT and Pluralism - “5 practical ways to implement diversity”
The 2011 PACT Conference & AGM will be taking place in Barrie Ontario From May 2528 at the City's Downtown Community Theatre (now under construction), the new home of Talk is Free Theatre and Theatre by the Bay.The theme of the PACT 2011 Conference is "This is not the story...." Every story has (at least) two sides, so how could this possibly be THE story? This is not a story at all. It's an opportunity, a necessity, a diversity of ideas, perspectives, contexts, and approaches. As a key part of this, PACT has announced its special guest and keynote speaker, James Ashcroft (Ngati Kahu/ Nga Puhi/ English). James is a graduate of Victoria University and Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School. During his studies he also served internships with The Wooster Group (New York). Since graduating he has enjoyed working in a variety of theatre, television, radio and film productions as an actor, devisor, writer and producer. As an independent theatre producer and performer he has won three Chapman Tripp Theatre awards. He has served as Tumuaki/Artistic Director and CEO of Taki Rua Productions since 2006 producing works that have toured nationally and internationally. He has served as a board member for the Young & Hungry Theatre Festival; he is also currently a member of the Master of Directing Board at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School and executive committee member for The Performing Arts Network of New Zealand (PANNZ). As part of PACT‘s conference, it will convene a session focusing on pluralism that will involve various perspectives and include the following speakers: From a community perspective, Lina de Guevera, outgoing Artistic Director from Puente Theatre in BC;




From a non-traditional casting aspect, CanStage Associate Director of Programming, Natasha Mytnowych; Maytree‘s Cathy Winter who will speak on governance and diversity; and charles c. smith, CPPAMO‘s Project Lead, who will speak on CPPAMO‘s work to create a toolkit to assist artists and presenters in embracing pluralism.

The session is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, May 26, following the opening keynote by Taki Rua Artistic Director, James Ashcroft. For more information on the conference theme, keynote speaker, schedule, accommodations and other details, please visit the conference registration page or email

CPPAMO Values and Benefits:
In early March, Anahita Azrahimi and Cheryl Ewing held a session to discuss the rationale, benefits and process of a ‗values and benefits‘ study with representatives of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Sampradaya Dance Creations, danceImmersion, and Modern Times Theatre. These representatives were trained to conduct one-on-one interviews with members of their respective audiences. Several interviews were conducted and data was gathered that will assist in planning the next phases of work on this important audience development initiative. As a follow-up, Cheryl and Anahita are preparing a follow-up session to review a report on the findings from this project and suggestions for next steps. The tentative date for this session in May 25.

CPPAMO Toolkit and Research:
Over the next two-to-three months, the CPPAMO tool-kit will be developed and workshopped. Part summary of CPPAMO‘s work and findings, this tool-kit will also bring together information on policies and practices being implemented in various arts sectors. Currently, an annotated bibliography based on publicly available documents has been completed. Twenty-six pages in length, the bibliography addresses challenges related to community/audience engagement, programming, governance and leadership. If you‘re interested in attending these workshops, please let us know! The bibliography will be released with the toolkit at these sessions!

Sampradaya Dance at Luminato:
Lata Pada, Artistic Director of SAMPRADAYA DANCE CREATIONS, Canada's award winning South Asian dance company premieres TAJ, a theatre and dance collaboration, specially featured as part of the Festival of India in Canada. Commissioned by the




Luminato Festival to premiere in their 2011 festival, TAJ is a Canada-India artistic partnership, featuring India's theatre and film actor Kabir Bedi and Canada's Lisa Ray and a stellar ensemble of dancers.Supported by the Canada Council For the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, City of Mississauga, Scotiabank Group, Etihad Airways, Indian Council For Cultural Relations, ICICI Bank and the Festival of India in Canada. Media sponsor – ATN. For more details visit &

All about Miss Lou: What’s Your Story?
February 5-December 31, 2011 Price:FREE In the words of the illustrious Miss Lou, ―howdy and tenki‖ (how do you do and thank you) for joining us as we honour her memory with an afternoon of storytelling. The Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverley O.M., M.B.E., Dip R.A.D.A., D. Lit (Hon) or simply "Miss Lou," wore many hats throughout her life: story teller, writer, poet, broadcaster and cultural icon. She was a major force in the preservation of Jamaican folklore and culture. She helped introduce and celebrate the descriptive and expressive language of ―the people‖ to a broader audience, bringing Patois to the world. Over the years, Harbourfront Centre has been proud to have had the opportunity to work closely with numerous Caribbean communities. To celebrate this work, we were given the great honour to have a permanent exhibition space created and dedicated to Miss Louise Bennett, Jamaica's Folklore and Cultural Ambassador. This space though would not be complete without the sounds of storytelling from around the world, and therefore we will be animating Miss Lou's Room with volunteer storytellers bringing their passion for the spoken word to our audiences; we need to see where we came from in order to know where we are going. The space will also be animated with stories from diverse cultural traditions. Not only do we want to hear and remember her stories but we want to hear yours, too! Miss Lou's Room is open to the public from 1-5pm and storytelling will take place at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm(York Quay Centre, 235 Queens Quay West) . Some of the upcoming date: Sunday, May 1, 2011 / Saturday, May 7, 2011/ Sunday, May 8, 2011/ Saturday, May 14, 2011 / Sunday, May 15, 2011/ Saturday, May 21, 2011/ Sunday, May 22, 2011/ Saturday, May 28, 2011/ Sunday, May 29, 2011/ Saturday, June 4, 2011 For more information:


TED Talks:


Elizabeth Lindsey: Curating humanity's heritage About this talk: It's been said that when an elder dies, it's as if a library is burned. Anthropologist Elizabeth Lindsey, a National Geographic Fellow, collects the deep cultural knowledge passed down as stories and lore. About Elizabeth Lindsey: Elizabeth Lindsey is a fellow of the National Geographic Society. Her mission: to keep ancestral voices alive by recording indigenous wisdom and traditions. Link:

Australia Council for the Arts, British Council. Making Creative Cities: The Value of Cultural Diversity in the Arts ions/making_creative_citiies In March 2008, the British Council joined with the Australia Council for the Arts to present a one-day forum in Melbourne, Making Creative Cities: The Value of Cultural Diversity in the Arts. The forum was envisaged as a platform in which art practitioners, policy makers and commentators from around the East Asia region could interface with their UK counterparts to address key issues around interculturalsim in creative and urban contexts. Kapetopoulos, Fotis. Who Goes There? National Multicultural Arts Audience Case Studies. ions/who_goes_there_national_multicultural_arts_audience_case_studies This reports examines three programs over the periods 2001-2003: Carnivale Multicultural Art Festival, NSW;para//elo contemporary performance group, SA; and kultour, a national multicultural art touring network initiated in 2002 by the Australia Council for the Arts. Ultimately, Who goes there? Examined patterns emerging from audience surveys, focus groups, observation and key stake holder interviews between June 2002 and April 2003. Bertone, Santina. Keating, Clare. Mullaly, Jenny. The Taxidriver, the cook and the greengrocer: the representation of non-English speaking background people in theatre, film and television. ions/the_taxidriver,_the_cook_and_the_greengrocer_the_representation_of_nonenglish_speaking_background_people_in_theatre,_film_and_television




The findings of this report prompt some fundamental questions about how well and how fully the arts community draws upon the extraordinary diversity in our community. It asks how we react to and what we experience on our stages and screens and ultimately how we then present ourselves on the world stage. Levin, Theodore. Asia Society Special Report: Making A Difference Through the Arts: Strengthening America‘s Links with Asian Muslim Communities. August 2010. ageFiles/78/FINAL%2520White%2520Paper.pdf+cultural+pluralism+in+the+performing+ arts+report&hl=en&gl=ca&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESiMZxJE5mKfla3z5pZTyL3RP3kxgoXk YKDOsTcPUWPCFF1WSr17Cm8uOo0zppYGAu4vJVfCUlPTzuIz9NTHrYMQ0ysaHBw mwwpUbOOx3bN8_WlajJVWJwhXHz2YsZ96oTJGRUKf&sig=AHIEtbSPAUc426f6TCF8 0Hw2f-AnkqE7Gg This report is one component of a larger project, ―Creative Voices of Islam in Asia,‖ a three-year initiative that challenges pervasive American misperceptions of Islam by fostering an understanding and appreciation of creative voices within the multicultural societies of contemporary Asia. European Institute for Comparative Cultural Research. Sharing Diversity: National Approaches to Intercultural Dialogue in Europe. March 2008. < > The report examines intercultural dialogue and its challenges in areas such as culture, education, sports and youth, and the stakeholders in these fields. It provides several recommendations for implementing intercultural dialogue in European nations and its implications for politics and policy making. Directorate-General for Education and Culture (EU). Intercultural Dialogue Conference and Exhibition: Best Practices at Community Level. 2006. <> This resource details 29 cases of best practices in intercultural dialogue in Europe, conclusions of the workshops held during the conference, and strategies for implementing intercultural initiatives. Institute for International Relations. Eds. Nina Obulken and Joost Smiers. UNESCO‘s Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions: Making it Work. Zagreb, January 2006. <> A collection of essays that describe the adoption of the UNESCO convention and recommendations for future initiatives and implementations including legal and economic implications, governing the convention, and the future for cultural diversity in the wake of adopting the convention.


Forte, Maximilian. ―Indigenous Cosmopolitans: Transnational Indigeneity in the Twenty-First Century.‖ Peter Lang USA: 2010.

and Transcultural

An anthropologically perspective on indigenous peoples from the perspective of cosmopolitan theory and at cosmopolitanism from the perspective of the indigenous world. Analysing ethnography from around the world, the authors demonstrate the universality of the local – indigeneity – and the particularity of the universal – cosmopolitanism.

Who We Are
As a resource to plan and coordinate its activities,CPPAMO has set-up a Roundtable comprised of individuals involved in the arts from ethno-racial and Aboriginal creationbased arts organizations.The members of the Roundtable are:                         Anahita Azrahimi, Sparrow in the Room Farwah Gheewala, Education Coordinator, Soulpepper Theatre Denise Fujiwara, Canasian Dance Charmaine Headley, Collective of Black Artists Bakari Eddison Lindsay, Collective of Black Artists Lata Pada, Sampradaya Dance Creations Andrea Baker Helen Yung, Culture Days (national office), Canada Council for the Arts' Stand Firm Network Wayne Dowler, Cultural Pluralism in the Arts/University of Toronto Scarborough University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Dan Brambilla, Chief Executive Officer Sony Centre for the Performing Arts Phillip Akin, Obsidian Theatre Mae Maracle, Centre for Indigenous Theatre Brainard Bryden-Taylor, Nathaniel Dett Chorale Emily Chung, Little Pear Garden Theatre Collective Spy Denome-Welch, Aboriginal Playwright Sedina Fiati, Obsidian Theatre Danielle Smith, urban ink productions and backforward collective Ravi Jain, why not theatre Shannon Thunderbird, Teya Peya Productions Santee Smith, Kaha‘wi Dance Menaka Thakker, Menaka Thakkar Dance Company Kevin Ormsby, Kashedance Mark Hammond, Sony Centre for Performing Arts Sonia Sakamoto-Jog, REELAsian


Contact Information


charles c. smith Project Lead of CPPAMO Lecturer, Cultural Pluralism and the Arts/University of Toronto Scarborough Artistic Director, the wind in the leaves collective Victoria Glizer Project Assistant Facebook: Search ―CPPAMO‖ Twitter: Word Press: Mailing Address: 32 Costain Avenue Toronto, ON M4E 2G6 416-686-3039

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