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PACTcon Online 2020

August 24, 2020 - August 28, 2020

PACTcon Online: Massive Change

Taking place wherever you are from August 24 to 28, 2020

Canadian theatre is in the grips of multiple crises. Although we can’t meet in person, we urgently need to connect. Taking its lead from our ongoing weekly town halls, PACTcon Online will explore the pressing questions we face today:

  • How does Canadian theatre recover from the total disruption of the live performing arts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • What actions can companies and individuals take to dismantle the systems of structural racism and discrimination within Canadian theatre?
  • How can Canadian theatre become a force for change in the midst of the global climate crisis?

We want to return to theatres that are more equitable, sustainable, and vibrant than before the pandemic. Join the conversation as we work towards the massive changes we need.

Schedule Overview

  • PACTcon Online will take place from Tuesday, August 25th, to Friday, August 28th
  • Pre-Conference Workshops with separate registration will take place on Monday, August 24th

Each day of the conference will include bold speakers from Canadian theatre and beyond (12pm to 1pm ET), timely learning sessions addressing crisis and change (1:30pm to 3pm ET), and brave conversations led by you and your peers (3:30pm to 4:30pm ET).

Registration Options

It’s more important than ever that we have as many voices in these conversations as possible. PACTcon Online is heavily discounted compared to our in-person conferences. In recognition of the challenging financial times, we are implementing a Pay What You Can Afford pricing structure with Individual Registration ranging from $10 to $75, and a PACT Member Company Registration option for up to ten people ranging from $85 to $350. You will receive the same access no matter which price level you select, and the money raised will go towards accessibility measures for the conference and honoraria for our speakers and facilitators.

Schedule Details

Schedule is subject to change. Last updated on August 27.

Sessions will take place on Zoom and all times are ET. Find full descriptions at the bottom of the page.

(CC) = live closed captioning
(ASL) = ASL interpretation
(REC) = live session will be recorded and made available for asynchronous viewing by registrants through Sat, Aug 29


12pm to 3pm
Pre-Conference Workshop: Leading through Tough Times – Figuring Out the COVID-19 Response for Your Theatre (CC)
Janet Sellery (Sellery Health + Safety)

12pm to 3:30pm
Pre-Conference Workshop: Maintaining Respectful Workplaces
Tabitha Keast & Stephanie Strugar

1pm to 4pm
Pre-Conference Workshop: Sustainable Change
Ian Garrett, Devon Hardy, & Alexandra Lord

5pm to 6:30pm
Playwriting as Protest (CC) (ASL)
Playwrights Guild of Canada and the Banff Centre Playwrights Lab
(Included in conference registration)


10:30am to 11:30am
Intro to PACT & PACTcon (for first-time attendees)
PACT Board & Staff

12pm to 1pm
Speakers (CC) (ASL)

  • Welcome to PACTcon
  • Lori Marchand
  • Luke Reece

1:30pm to 3pm

  • Nurturing Your Virtual Audience Towards Reopening (REC)
  • The GPA Supershow! Government Relations during COVID-19 (CC)
    Global Public Affairs

3:30pm to 4:30pm

  • Accessibility in Digital Theatre Performance (CC)
    Sarah Wang & Donna Soares
  • Creating Theatre during COVID-19
    Panel of artistic leaders


12pm to 1pm
Speakers (CC) (ASL)

  • Ravi Jain
  • Kendra Fanconi

1:30pm to 3pm

  • Patron Engagement Trends in the COVID-19 Era: Insight and Action (CC) (REC)
    Eric Nelson (TRG Arts)
  • Embracing Digital in Post-COVID Performing Arts (REC)
    Warren Wilansky (Plank) 
  • Producing Sustainable Design Work
    Ian Garrett (Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts)

3:30pm to 4:30pm

  • Dreaming Black Futures for Live Performance (CC)
    Sedina Fiati & Joella Crichton
  • Holding Space for Newcomer Artists
    Raffi Minas, Ahmed Moneka & Jeremy Smith
  • Fostering Diversity in Arts Leadership
    Patrick Lloyd Brennan & Geraldine Ysselstein

6pm to 7pm
Four Squares: An Experimental Zoom-Around


12pm to 1pm
Speakers (CC) (ASL)

  • Ty Defoe
  • Nike Jonah
  • Becky Hazlewood

1:30pm to 3pm

  • What Would Don Do, PACTcon Edition (REC)
    Don Parman (Actsafe Safety Association)
  • Compassion Training: Building Support for Caregivers
    Rachel Spencer Hewitt (Parent Artist Advocacy League) with Lisa Marie DiLiberto (Theatre Direct)

3:30pm to 4:30pm

  • Bringing Theatre to Young Audiences in the ‘New Normal’
    Laura Caswell & Pragna Desai
  • 2SLGBTQ+ Respresentation On and Off Stage
    Kris Nuhn, Ari Weinberg, & Andrew Lamb
  • Going Further Together: Building Bridges Between the Arts and Environmental Sectors (CC)
    Vicki Stroich with Ashley Bodiguel, Judith Marcuse, and Miriam Fernandes
  • Confronting Racism: Getting It Wrong While Trying to Get it Right
    Lauren Allen, Marnie Hamagami, & Nitasha Rajoo

5:30pm to 6:30pm
Town Hall with the Hon. Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage (CC) (ASL)


12pm to 1pm
Speakers (CC) (ASL)

  • Yvette Nolan
  • Makambe K Simamba

1:30pm to 3pm

  • The Carbon Footprint of Canadian Theatre
    Devon Hardy (Quebec Drama Federation)
  • Advancing Equity – Values in Action (CC) (ASL)
    Led by Ad Hoc Assembly coordinators Cole Alvis (lemonTree creations & manidoons collective) and Donna-Michelle St. Bernard (New Harlem Productions)

3:30pm to 4:30pm
Presenting PACT’s New Strategic Plan (CC) (ASL)

Session Descriptions

Leading through Tough Times – Figuring Out the COVID-19 Response for Your Theatre
Janet Sellery (Sellery Health + Safety)

Mon Aug 24 from 12pm to 3pm

What can theatre leaders do now to help their people make the best of a tough situation and plan for a safe and healthy return to live theatre?

The science about COVID-19 is evolving, but there are ways to begin planning right away. This workshop is for theatre leaders, including those at the top of the org chart, as well as other managers and supervisors with organizational expertise (such as production, front of house, communications, facilities). The format will include a review of relevant resources, small group discussions, and time for Q & A. Whether your theatre is small or large, you’ll be ready to organize your response to this pandemic, with a view towards reopening your theatre safely and responsibly.

Janet Sellery is one of Canada’s leading experts in health and safety and the arts, entertainment and live events. After a career in stage management, she pioneered the health and safety program at the Stratford Festival, Canada’s largest repertory theatre. She is an active volunteer with the Ontario Ministry of Labour Live Performance Health & Safety Advisory Committee, Chair of Event Safety Alliance Canada and a board member for Event Safety Alliance (U.S.). Janet is a graduate of the Technical/Production Theatre program at the Ryerson Theatre School in Toronto and certified as both a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) and a Certified Health and Safety Consultant (CHSC). Her work as a Health & Safety Consultant (Sellery Health + Safety) focuses on customizing programs, training, and resources to reflect the constantly evolving and unique demands of the arts, entertainment and live events community. Janet is committed to “setting the stage for people to create their best work”.

Maintaining Respectful Workplaces
Tabitha Keast (PACT) & Stephanie Strugar

Mon Aug 24 from 12pm to 3:30pm

Respectful Workplaces in the Arts is a national campaign led by the Cultural Human Resources Council to build a sector-wide culture of fairness, dignity and respect by supporting the efforts of artists and producers to address harassment in arts workplaces — including sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination and violence. Under the Respectful Workplaces in the Arts (RWA) banner, CHRC’s Maintaining Respectful Workplaces workshops have been created to explore how to best deal with harassment situations through:

-discussions of what IS and IS NOT a respectful workplace;
-a review of situations and scenarios to identify how to create and sustain a respectful workplace; and
-an in depth consideration of the roles of both employers and artists and cultural workers in establishing and maintaining a respectful workplace.

PACT’s HR Specialist Tabitha Keast is one of CHRC’s facilitators of the Maintaining Respectful Workplaces in the Arts workshop. Over the course of three hours, she will share tools and tips, including province/territory-specific legislation, for both employers and artists and cultural workers to create and maintain a respectful workplace.

Interested but unable to attend? Visits the CHRC’s website for the program at

Sustainable Change
Ian Garrett, Devon Hardy, and Alexandra Lord

Mon Aug 24 from 1pm to 4pm

Join Ian Garrett, Devon Hardy, and Alex Lord for a workshop on working through Sustainable Change. This group of sustainable theatre leaders will provide tools for long range thinking for bringing sustainability into a theatrical organization. Based on case studies and scenario planning, we will discuss how to meet different definitions of success using systems thinking and asset based capacity building to compliment theatre’s existing positive impacts on the core aspects of sustainability: Environment, Social, and Economics. The goal of this workshop is to provide participants with a foundation to establish sustainable values in their organization and then plan and manage organizational change to evolve their work and align their administration, production, and artistic work with those values.

Lori Marchand (Tue Aug 25)

Lori Marchand took up her role as the first managing director of Indigenous Theatre at the National Arts Centre (NAC) in April 2018, where she is ensuring First Nations, Métis and Inuit stories are brought to the national stage. Ms. Marchand is a nationally recognized leader within the professional theatre community who made a significant impact as executive director of Western Canada Theatre (WCT) in Kamloops, BC, for 19 seasons. A member of the Syilx First Nation, she has played a key role in the encouragement, development and production of Indigenous work.

Ms. Marchand graduated from UBC in 1985 with a degree in English literature. After experience with the BC Native Women’s Society, as executive director of the Ontario Native Women’s Association and then as a human rights officer with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, she returned to her love of theatre in 1989.

After a decade of theatre roles in Alberta and Saskatchewan, she returned to Kamloops in 1999 to join Western Canada Theatre. Her leadership in making live theatre accessible, innovative, powerful and financially sustainable has helped make WCT the southern Interior’s largest professional theatre company; a company recognized for developing new work and new talent, producing work of exceptional caliber and, through partnerships and touring, impacting the national stage.

Throughout her career, Marchand has passionately supported Indigenous art and artists, including the commissioning and production of Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout by Tomson Highway and the development of the Governor General Award-winning drama Where the Blood Mixes by Kevin Loring. She is currently working with Loring, who was appointed as artistic director, to build the new Indigenous Theatre section at the NAC.

Her contributions in BC and nationally also include serving in many capacities for the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres, helping to drive policy relevant to all theatre practitioners in Canada. She was an active member of the BC Arts Council from 2010 to 2017, chairing the strategic planning and program committees and serving as vice-chair.

Ms. Marchand was recognized for her commitment to live theatre and the production of Indigenous work that has contributed to the arts and to Reconciliation with a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, from Thompson Rivers University in June 2018.

Kendra Fanconi (Wed Aug 26)

Kendra Fanconi is the Artistic Director of The Only Animal, a fifteen year-old company that is uniquely dedicated to theatre that springs from a deep engagement with place. Our mandate reads, in part: “We act on huge stages; the forests, the ocean, human possibility. There we find enormous challenges of the times, including the climate challenges that threaten our existence as a species. We seek creative ways forward and solutionary actions. We love the impossible.” As a director, playwright and producer she has made over 30 plays including theatre of snow and ice, sand, in trees, on mountains, and on active waterways. Favourite projects include tinkers based on the Pulitzer-Prize winning novel by Paul Harding in an old- growth forest, and NiX, theatre of snow and ice was featured at Calgary’s Enbridge playRites Festival and the 2010 Cultural Olympiad.  Projects in development include a rain theatre, and Year of the Typewriter, which creates pathways to translate the voice of the wilderness, and A 1000 Year Theatre. With David Suzuki Foundation she created a 1000 person piece called Sea of Hearts to support the kids suing the Canadian Government for the rights to a livable climate. Kendra is recognized nationally as a theatrical innovator and a nature-based artist. She has taught her unique creation style  at University of British Columbia and Playwrights Theatre Centre. She lives on the land with a philosopher she adores, and is a farmer, forager and mother of two kids who are real characters.

Ty Defoe (Thu Aug 27)

Ty Defoe (Giizhig), Oneida + Ojibwe Nations, is an interdisciplinary artist, writer/actor, director, and Grammy Award winner. Awards: Robert Rauschenberg Artist in Residence, Jonathan Larson Award. Works created: Red Pine, The Way They LivedAjijaak on Turtle IslandHear Me Say My NameAll My Relations Collective—(DTWG, Public Theater, GIZHIBAA GIIZHIG | Revolving Sky at Under the Radar’s Incoming!). Movement Directtor: Mother Road, Dir. Bill Rauch (OSF), Manahatta, Dir. Laurie Woolery (OSF + Yale Rep), Choreographer for Tracy Lett’s The Minutes (Broadway). Netflix Appearance: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Broadway: Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men, Dir. Anna Shapiro. Degrees: CalArts, Goddard College, + NYU Tisch. Lives in NYC, loves the color clear. He|We|

Nike Jonah (Thu Aug 27)

Nike works in strategic development across the cultural and creative industries worldwide. Since the early 90s, she has developed innovative approaches to much successful music, fashion, television, design, visual and performing arts projects for several influential organisations in Africa, America and Europe. She balances her time between various roles in the cultural sector.

She is currently, a Visiting Research Fellow at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (2017-2020) and is employed by Counterpoint Arts as the lead for Popchange, a Pop Culture and Social Change initiative that seeks to advance the public understanding and appreciation of migration in the UK using the Pop Culture space. 

In July 2018, she launched Pan African Creative Exchange (PACE) in partnership with the Free State Arts Festival in Bloemfontein, South Africa in July 2018. PACE is an initiative for African-based artists and arts organisations who wish to undertake international touring, increase their profile and develop national and international partnership opportunities. The second edition, PACE Entangled is taking place online showcase from now until 29 August.  

Between 2008 and 2012, Nike led the highly acclaimed Arts Council England’s Decibel Programme, which was designed to support and increase the profile of African, Asian and Caribbean artists in England. Through this, Nike delivered an ambitious programme of events and activities that included the showcasing of artists and companies, strategic bursaries aimed to effect positive, sustainable change for diverse artists in the UK. 

Becky Hazlewood (Thu Aug 27)

Becky joined Julie’s Bicycle in July 2019 to work as an Environmental Sustainability Project Manager across the Creative Green, Arts Council England and Cities programmes. Most recently she has been leading on developing sector innovation briefings on topics such as plastics, cultural mobility, offsetting and digital art.

Before joining JB, Becky has worked in the Sustainability and Environmental sector for over seven years, primarily in the social housing sector, her other areas of experience include ecological consultancy and biodiversity conservation research.

Yvette Nolan (Fri Aug 28)

Yvette Nolan (Algonquin) is a playwright, director and dramaturg. Her works include the play The Unplugging, the dance-opera Bearing, and the libretto Shanawdithit. She co-created, with Joel Bernbaum and Lancelot Knight, the verbatim play Reasonable Doubt, about relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan. From 2003-2011, she served as Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts. Her book, Medicine Shows, about Indigenous performance in Canada was published by Playwrights Canada Press in 2015, and Performing Indigeneity, which she co-edited with Ric Knowles, in 2016. She has been the recipient of the Mallory Gilbert, the George Luscombe, and the Maggie Bassett awards. She is an Artistic Associate with Signal Theatre, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Policy at Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.

Makambe K Simamba (Fri Aug 28)

Makambe K Simamba is a Dora Award winning playwright and actor for her solo work, Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers (b current performing arts). She recently co-directed inVISIBLE (Too) at the University of Lethbridge. Selected acting credits include Winners and Losers (Chromatic Theatre), A Chitenge Story (Handsome Alice), GIANT (Ghost River Theatre), Bea (Sage Theatre), SIA (Pyretic Productions), inVISIBLE (Handsome Alice), Burn Your Maps (Cinelou Films), Grand Army (Netflix), and Young Drunk Punk (Citytv). Makambe is a national award winning playwright whose work includes Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little BrothersA Chitenge StoryMakambe Speaks, MUD and The Drum Major Instinct. She is 2020/21 Urjo Kareda Artist in Residence at the Tarragon Theatre. Makambe is a proud Zambian whose intention is to be of service through her ability to tell stories.

Nurturing Your Virtual Audience Towards Reopening 

Tue Aug 25 from 1:30pm to 3pm

Although we can’t welcome audiences in-person, theatres are still connecting with existing patrons and even finding new ones virtually. But how can theatres maintain those connections as they navigate this disruption of live performances and prepare for reopening? This session explores practical CRM strategies for maintaining connections and loyalty with patrons now, and how to channel those connections to help bring patrons back when theatres reopen.

This session covers a mix of strategic and tactical CRM approaches and is especially applicable to marketing and development professionals in any role. Industry data and recommendations are based on Building Blocks for Reopening, a practical relationship management field guide from Spektrix.

The GPA Supershow! Government Relations during COVID-19
Global Public Affairs

Tue Aug 25 from 1:30pm to 3pm

Join PACT’s government relations partners, Global Public Affairs, for a session on government COVID-19 relief support measures and the policy process for recovery. The session will include an insider’s look at federal and provincial responses to the arts throughout the pandemic response and opportunities for Canadian theatres. Presenters will include GPA’s federal Cultural Industries team and provincial offices, and funding program directors from the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Patron Engagement Trends in the COVID-19 Era: Insight and Action
Eric Nelson (TRG Arts)

Wed Aug 26 from 1:30pm to 3pm

TRG Arts has been studying the patron engagement trends and revenue impact of this crisis through its COVID-19 International Benchmark Dashboard, which includes data from over 400 Arts and Cultural organizations from across Canada, US, UK, and Ireland.

Join Eric Nelson from TRG Arts to discuss the most up-to-date findings from this analysis regarding ticket sales and donations. This session will also detail how different patron segments are performing. For example, how does giving differ among Active Patrons vs New Customers vs Lapsed? We will also explore strategies and tactics to build on the analysis, including industry examples. There will be time for questions and discussion.

Embracing Digital in Post-COVID Performing Arts
Warren Wilansky (Plank) 

Wed Aug 26 from 1:30pm to 3pm

Digital agency founder and performing arts enthusiast Warren Wilansky will address some of the most pressing concerns for theatres moving forward. More than ever, arts organizations need to embrace an online presence and cultivate new relationships with patrons using a digital platform. From new revenue sources to sustainability, storytelling and post-COVID recovery, his guidance on digital possibilities will help shape and inspire your ideas for the future.

Producing Sustainable Design Work
Moderated by Ian Garrett (Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts)

Wed Aug 26 from 1:30pm to 3pm

Sustainability requires more than the theatre to commit to new practices – it requires partnerships with the freelance talent we collaborate with to create our shows. This session will open a conversation between production staff and designers about how to build our creative community to meet our shared goal of sustainable practice. Bringing in designers, managers, and technicians from the Associated Designers of Canada and Vancouver Designers Forum with guests from networks in the US, this session aims to start a dialogue about cross-sector cooperation.

Panelists include:
Logan Cracknell (Stratford Festival)
Kendra Fanconi (The Only Animal)
Paul Fujimoto-Pihl (Grand Theatre)
Ravi Jain (Why Not Theatre)
Shizuka Kai (Carousel Theatre)
Elia Kirby (Great Northern Way Scene Shop)
Conor Moore (Associated Designers of Canada)
Jennifer Stewart (Vancouver Design Forum)

What Would Don Do, PACTcon Edition
Don Parman (Actsafe Safety Association)

Thu Aug 27 from 1:30pm to 3pm

Don will bring the latest news from the COVID front out west along with examples of what organizations are doing to relaunch safely. Bring your questions and ideas as we talk about theatre safety in an open and fun forum.

Have a performing arts and live event health and safety question that you’d like answered? Ask Don!

You can find all of the slides and content from the previous WWDD sessions here:

Compassion Training: Building Support for Caregivers
Rachel Spencer Hewitt (Parent Artist Advocacy League) with Lisa Marie DiLiberto (Theatre Direct)

Thu Aug 27 from 1:30pm to 3pm

A deep dive into foundational principles of equity in employment, work culture, and tangible action items for the theatre as it applies to parents and caregivers. For everyone, from administrative leaders to freelance contractors, this training helps us find common ground and affordable action steps to rebuilding community in more inclusive, supportive, and sustainable ways – especially as it applies to our caregiver contributors. At the end of the day, everyone benefits from caregiver support.

The Carbon Footprint of Canadian Theatre
Devon Hardy (Quebec Drama Federation)

Fri Aug 28 from 1:30pm to 3pm

Supported by a Sector Innovation and Development grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, Devon Hardy has been working through the Quebec Drama Federation on a one year project to consult with theatre makers across Canada about what a usable and useful assessment tool for the sector looks like. This session will provide context on the project, and report out on preliminary findings. Join us to learn about existing tools and the hope for a tool specific to our Canadian context, and to hear conversation about how this might affect the way we work from PACT and ADC contributors.

Advancing Equity – Values in Action
Led by Ad Hoc Assembly coordinators Cole Alvis (lemonTree creations & manidoons collective) and Donna-Michelle St. Bernard (New Harlem Productions)

Fri Aug 28 from 1:30pm to 3pm

Everyone is welcome to attend this ALL IN session to consider how budget priorities during a pandemic reveal the values inherent within your theatre. The experience of this crisis impacts communities disproportionately across our sector. We will work together to share strategies that ensure care is present in decision-making during precarious times.

Suggested pre-reading: Ad Hoc Assembly’s Voluntary Addendum

Accessibility in Digital Theatre Performance
Sarah Wang & Donna Soares

Tue Aug 25 from 3:30pm to 4:30pm

As the arts and culture sector continues to focus on digital programming and events, this session aims to discuss progress, challenges, and needs from the beginning of the pandemic to future reopening. The major goals of this session are to:

1) understand the major concerns of the theatre world when adapting performing arts programming online;

2) analyze what obstacles or supports are available to retain or expand diverse audiences with online programming; and

3) project how digital programming or digital accessibility tools can be or will be utilized in hybrid environments or after return to physical events.

Theatre is one of the most site-specific and physically engaged practices in the arts, requiring multiple types of digital agility from the work itself, the actors, the stage crew, and the audience. Sarah Wang, former Artistic Director of Kickstart Disability Arts & Culture, and Donna Soares, Volunteer Coordinator at VocalEye, will discuss particular examples of digital accessibility and engagement in theatre and performing arts programs during COVID-19.

Creating Theatre during COVID-19

Tue Aug 25 from 3:30pm to 4:45pm

What might theatre look like during an ongoing pandemic? Artistic leaders share their approaches, inspirations, and creative ways forward.

Speakers include Keith Barker (Native Earth), Kim Blackwell (4th Line Theatre), Marjorie Chan (Theatre Passe Muraille), Chelsey Fawcett (Odyssey Theatre), David di Giovanni (Shakespeare in Action), Mathieu Murphy-Perron (Tableau D’Hôte Theatre), Pam Patel (MT Space), Gina Puntil (Alberta Workers’ Health Centre), Ken Schwartz (Two Planks and a Passion), Rahul Varma (Teesri Duniya), and Jacob Zimmer (Nakai Theatre).

Dreaming Black Futures for Live Performance
Sedina Fiati & Joella Crichton

Wed Aug 26 from 3:30 to 4:30pm

Join theatre artists Sedina Fiati and Joella Crichton for an affirming session on envisioning the Black future for your organization. How will you create a space for Black artists to thrive? Let’s work together to design a joyful pledge for an inclusive theatre future. We will tap into our collective knowledge to reflect, dream and plan for the organizations and projects that are inclusive of Black people.

Holding Space for Newcomer Artists
Raffi Minas, Ahmed Moneka & Jeremy Smith

Wed Aug 26 from 3:30 to 4:30pm

In a predominantly English-speaking industry, how can we hold space for newcomer artists? Jeremy Smith (Driftwood Theatre) engages in conversation with Iraqi theatre artist and musician Ahmed Moneka (Toronto) and Syrian theatre artist/educator Raffi Minas (Calgary), sharing each of their extraordinary experiences of arriving in and building a place for themselves within their new theatre communities after arriving in Canada.

Fostering Diversity in Arts Leadership
Patrick Lloyd Brennan & Geraldine Ysselstein

Wed Aug 26 from 3:30pm to 4:30pm

This guided conversation invites participants to collectively reflect and self-assess the makeups of their teams or teams they are a part of, including Board, Leadership Staff, Support Staff, and Creative Staff. In small groups participants will be encouraged to unpack questions around what can be done to better prepare for and engage in diversity hiring; and what actions can be taken to ensure your team/workplace is a safe and supportive environment for new board members, staff, and arts leadership.

Bringing Theatre to Young Audiences in the New Normal
Laura Caswell & Pragna Desai

Thu Aug 27 from 3:30pm to 4:30pm

A look at how TYA across the country is pivoting, taking risks, and making radical changes to bring theatre to our young audiences. A conversation about the new mediums of TYA, cost issues, privacy questions, marketing challenges, and the long term effects on the landscape of TYA as companies grapple with the ensuing complications the pandemic has created as schools attempt to reopen. Everything from theatre classes to theatre for families. There are many issues to discuss.

Going Further Together: Building Bridges Between the Arts and Environmental Sectors
Vicki Stroich (Alberta Ecotrust) with Ashley Bodiguel (Pembina Institute), Judith Marcuse (International Centre of Art for Social Change), and Miriam Fernandes (Why Not Theatre)

Thu Aug 27 from 3:30 to 4:30pm

Artists and arts organizations across Canada are increasingly concerned about the sustainability of their work and the impact of climate change on the communities they work in. Environmental organizations see great value in the work of artists to help reach and inspire people towards a more sustainable future. These two sectors have so much expertise and fellowship to offer each other but how do we build meaningful connection between two passionate groups with limited capacity? Join this discussion about how to approach and create relationships with environmental organizations in your area.

2SLGBTQ+ Representation On and Off Stage
Kris Nuhn, Ari Weinberg, & Andrew Lamb

Thu Aug 27 from 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Looking at positive examples of engaging with queer theatre practitioners, on stage and behind the scenes, this session will look at examples of engagement and collaboration that include queer perspectives and characters. We will also discuss best practices in the rehearsal hall to ensure safe spaces where queer theatre practitioners and administrators can feel comfortable and thrive in their work.

Confronting Racism: Getting It Wrong While Trying to Get it Right
Lauren Allen, Marnie Hamagami, & Nitasha Rajoo

Thu Aug 27 from 3:30pm to 4:30pm

The past few months have brought diversity in Canadian theatre to centre stage. We are all thinking about and working towards making our theatre spaces better. Better for the plurality of people and cultures that are so integral to our communities. Many of us are afraid of making mistakes. We are afraid that through our actions, inactions, words, and systems, that we will get it wrong. Let’s talk about getting it wrong.

Playwriting as Protest
In partnership with the Playwrights Guild of Canada and the Banff Centre Playwrights Lab
Moderated by Jenna Rodgers

Mon Aug 24 from 5pm to 6:30pm

This is the first in a series of panels that has come out of conversations between the Banff Centre Playwrights Lab, the Playwrights Guild of Canada, and PACT, with the goal of amplifying the voices of writers and introducing playwrights to artistic leaders across the country.

For this session, PGC put the topic “Playwriting as Protest” forward to their membership and chose seven playwrights using a lottery process. With moderator Jenna Rodgers, Dramaturg at the Playwrights Lab, they will discuss their artistic work as a form of social action.

Featuring Diane Flacks, Chris (C.E.) Gatchalian, Mike Khashmanian, Sherry MacDonald, Gail Nyoka, David van Belle, and Rahul Varma.

Four Squares: An Experimental Zoom-Around

Wed Aug 26 from 6pm to 7pm

Want to make new connections with your colleagues? Inspired by our popular Red Phone program, join Four Squares to have a series of short conversations in four different groups of four randomly selected PACTcon attendees. We’ll provide conversation starters and breakout rooms – you provide refreshments of your choice.

Thank you to our generous sponsors for PACTcon Online 2020:


August 24, 2020
August 28, 2020
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