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PACTcon Online 2021

August 31 - September 2

PACTcon Online 2021: Open With Care

Taking place wherever you are from August 31 to September 2, 2021

As theatres in Canada approach reopening, it’s time to talk about what we want to rebuild and what we need to redesign – or leave behind. The pandemic has taken a tremendous toll and exacerbated the inequalities in our industry and in the world around us. If we rush to open our doors without acknowledging this impact, we risk trading one crisis for another.

How could we strengthen our systems of mutual support? What would it mean to produce theatre through processes that actually put the needs of humans at the heart of the work? How do we rebuild with care and ensure that new structures are better than the ones that came before?

Theatre happens because of people, not just production schedules. Projects come together through conversations, not just contracts. At PACTcon Online 2021, let’s open up to new ways of working and explore how we can exercise care towards artists, audiences, our planet, and ourselves.

Who is it for?

Last year’s online conference had more than 800 attendees from the world of Canadian theatre and beyond. While many attendees come from the staff of our member companies, registration is open to everyone regardless of PACT membership. We welcome managers, administrators, artists, technicians, board members, and anyone else who wants to join the conversation.

When is it happening?

PACTcon Online 2021 runs from Tuesday, August 31st, to Thursday, September 2nd. Main events will all take place in the time range of 12pm to 6pm ET on those days. Watch this page over the summer for updates on the schedule and programming.

How much does it cost?

In recognition of the ongoing financial hardship experienced by artsworkers and organizations, we are using the same Pay What You Can Afford pricing structure as last year’s online conference. Individual Registration ranges from $10 to $75, and PACT Member Company Registration for a group of up to ten people ranges 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.

What accessibility measures are available?

We want PACTcon Online 2021 to be accessible for you. PACT will provide live human-generated captioning at plenary sessions and automated captioning at concurrent sessions. ASL interpretation will be available for plenary sessions and can be arranged by request for concurrent sessions. Please let us know your access needs during registration or at info@pact.ca.

Schedule Details

This schedule is a work in progress and subject to change. Last updated on August 31.

All sessions take place on Zoom, except for the social events on Gather.town.

For sessions with a listed participant limit, pre-registration will start during the week before the conference.

All times are ET.

MONDAY, AUGUST 30

5pm to 6:30pm
Pre-Conference Event: The New Play Ecology in Canada
Featuring Louise Casemore, Santiago Guzmán, Marcia Johnson, & Marcus Youssef, with facilitator Jenna Rodgers
Jointly presented by PACT, the Playwrights Guild of Canada, and the Banff Centre Playwrights Lab

TUESDAY, AUGUST 31

11am
The PACTcon space on Gather.town opens

11am to 11:45am
Morning Coffee in the Garden (Gather.town)

12pm to 1pm
Opening Plenary
Tara Beagan in conversation with Sage Wright

1:30pm to 3pm
Concurrent Sessions

  • Listening is the New Talking: Engaging with Patrons, Colleagues, and Data
    Eric Nelson (TRG Arts)
  • Protocol Me Maybe? Covid Policy Examples from the PACT Membership
    Laura Caswell (Neptune Theatre), Monica Esteves (Canadian Stage), Marnie Hamagami (Theatre North West), Evan Klassen (Western Canada Theatre), Boomer Stacey (PACT), & Kim Stadelmann (Citadel Theatre)
  • Can I Get an Extension Please? Addressing Access Needs in Job Application Processes (50 participants)
    Angela Sun

3:30pm to 4:30pm
Concurrent Sessions

  • Call to Action! Cultural Policy & Indigenous Reconciliation in the Arts & Culture Sector
    Valerie Gideon (Indigenous Services Canada), Lori Marchand (National Arts Centre), Tara Mazurk (Global Public Affairs), and Abby Tait (Global Public Affairs)
  • Means of Production #1: Production Manager & Producer Partnerships
    Sehar Bhojani (Theatre Direct), Crystal Lee (MoP / Why Not Theatre), Laura Philipps (MoP), Victor Pokinko (Bad Hats Theatre), & Rebecca Vandevelde (MoP)
  • Leveraging your CRM to Increase Agility in Times of Uncertainty
    Spektrix

5pm to 6pm
Designated Sharing Time (10 participants)
The AFC

5pm to 7pm
Mix & Mingle in the Garden (Gather.town)

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1

11am to 11:45am
Morning Coffee in the Garden (Gather.town)

12pm to 1pm
Art and the World After This
David Maggs in conversation with Bronwyn Steinberg

1:30pm to 2:30pm
Sustainability Inspirations
Kendra Fanconi (The Only Animal), David Geary (playwright & dramaturg), Dennis Gupa (University of Victoria), Devon Hardy (Creative Green), Anne-Catherine Lebeau (Ecosceno), & Kevin Matthew Wong (Broadleaf Theatre), with Tess Benger (Canadian Green Alliance)

3:00pm to 4:30pm
Sustainability Breakout Rooms
Curated by PACT’s Environmental Stewardship Committee

  • Artistic & Programming (with Kendra Fanconi & Natasha MacLellan)
  • Cultural Leadership & Climate Leadership (with Emma Stenning)
  • Management & Administration (with Gabriela Saltiel)
  • TYA & Education (with Laura Caswell & Kieran Dunch)
  • Touring & International Collaboration (with Anita Rochon)
  • Producers (with Kevin Matthew Wong)
  • Production Managers & Technical Directors (with Autumn Coppaway)
  • Marketing & Communications (with Vanessa Rigaux)
  • Development & Fundraising (with Haleema Mini)
  • Board Members (with Judi Pearl)

5pm to 6pm
Level UP! Project Launch
Balancing Act

A new program supporting arts organizations in piloting workplace policies and practices for artist/artsworker parents and caregivers.

6:30pm to 7:30pm
PACT Committee Fair at the Committee Tables (Gather.town)

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 2

12pm to 1pm
Brunch in the Garden (Gather.town)

1:30pm to 3pm
Concurrent Sessions

  • Means of Production #2: Manifesting Core Values in Production
    Crystal Lee, Laura Philipps, & Rebecca Vandevelde (Means of Production)
  • Organizational Values in Action
    Kristen Dion (Persephone Theatre), Holly Greco (Quebec Drama Federation), & Amy Lynn Strilchuk (The Cultch)
  • Maximizing Safety in Short-Term Events (20 participants)
    Nikki Shaffeeullah

3:30pm to 4:30pm
Concurrent Sessions

  • New Normal, New Anxieties
    Christine Rossi-Wright and Megan Potestio (The AFC)
  • Black Pledge One Year Later: Solutions & Strategies
    Alicia Richardson & E.B. Smith (Black Pledge Collective)

5pm to 6pm
Closing Session: What’s Next at PACT
PACT Board & Staff

  • Update on PACT’s Manifesto of Goodness
  • Presentation of Honorary Lifetime PACT Membership
  • What we’re working on for the fall
  • Future PACT gatherings

11pm
The PACTcon space on Gather.town closes

Session Descriptions

Pre-Conference Event: The New Play Ecology in Canada
Featuring Louise Casemore, Santiago Guzmán, Marcia Johnson, & Marcus Youssef, with facilitator Jenna Rodgers
Jointly presented by the Playwrights Guild of Canada, the Banff Playwrights Lab, and PACT

Mon Aug 30 from 5pm to 6:30pm

Inspired by “Surveying the Landscape: The New Play Ecology in Canada,” a comprehensive study by Louise Casemore for Alberta Playwrights Network, this panel gathers to reflect on the current state of the union surrounding new play development in Canada. The report makes it clear that there are several shifts organizations can make to foster healthier and more sustainable relationships with playwrights. As we enter post-pandemic recovery, join playwrights and artistic leaders from across the country as they speak directly to their hopes and wishes for the future of new play development. Facilitated by Jenna Rodgers, Dramaturg at the Banff Playwrights Lab.

 

Art & The World After This
David Maggs in conversation with Bronwyn Steinberg

Wed Sep 1 from 12pm to 1pm

In his report Art and the World After This, Metcalf Innovation Fellow David Maggs outlines four interrelated disruptions faced by Canada’s non-profit arts sector and identifies the unique value art brings to society. Collectively, we are facing the disruption of activity, stemming from COVID-19; the disruption of society, emerging from ballooning social unrest; the disruption of industry forced by the digital revolution; and finally, the disruption of world, rooted in the existential threat of the climate crisis.

As an artist, academic, and sustainability scholar, Maggs brings a unique perspective to the subject of disruption and transformation. How can the arts serve a more applied and accountable role in society as a catalyst for meeting the profound challenges we face? The report makes the case that this must be done not by instrumentalizing the arts, but by the arts doing that which only the arts can do.

 

Sustainability Inspirations
Kendra Fanconi (The Only Animal), David Geary (playwright & dramaturg), Dennis Gupa (University of Victoria), Devon Hardy (Creative Green), Anne-Catherine Lebeau (Ecosceno), & Kevin Matthew Wong (Broadleaf Theatre)

Wed Sep 1 from 1:30pm to 2:30pm

PACT’s new Environmental Stewardship Committee brings together some exciting examples of the work that’s already underway within our sector to engage with the climate emergency.

 

Level UP! Program Launch
Lisa Marie DiLiberto, Susie Burpee & Lisa Karen Cox (Balancing Act/Theatre Direct), Jeremy Webb & Laura Caswell (Neptune Theatre), Andrew Lamb & Annemieke Wade (Roseneath Theatre), Andrea Donaldson (Nightwood Theatre)

Wed Sep 1 from 5pm to 6pm

Balancing Act’s new program, Level UP! will support arts organizations throughout the 21/22 season as they pilot strategies that forefront more inclusive, care-led workplace policies and practices. Level UP! offers participating arts organizations consultation, evaluation, and administrative support to explore the implementation of supportive measures for parents and caregivers affiliated with their organizations. This session will offer an overview of the three-year program and introduce Year 1 partners and activity.

Listening is the New Talking: Engaging with Patrons, Colleagues, and Data
Eric Nelson (TRG Arts)

Tue Aug 31 from 1:30pm to 3pm

As we approach our reopening, our rebounding, and our renaissance there are important questions we need to address. What strategies will we keep? Whom will we prioritize? How will we marry relationships with revenue necessities? To find the right answers, we need to listen. Listen to our patrons, listen to our colleagues, and listen to the data.

By listening, we’ve learned many things over the last year. From the importance of relationships (organizations who entered 2020 with higher proportions of active patrons in their databases experienced greater resiliency during COVID) to the power of messaging (donors in 2020 were motivated by hearing community impact stories). As we begin to welcome patrons back in our theatres, knowing how to listen and take action will fuel our success. In this session, TRG will discuss reopening strategies, case studies, and the key data points that should be part of your listening and reopening efforts.

Please bring examples of your comeback plans to this session. Time has been built-in for questions, sharing, and listening to each other.

 

Protocol Me Maybe? Covid Policy Examples from the PACT Membership
Laura Caswell (Neptune Theatre), Monica Esteves (Canadian Stage), Marnie Hamagami (Theatre North West), Evan Klassen (Western Canada Theatre), Boomer Stacey (PACT), & Kim Stadelmann (Citadel Theatre)

Tue Aug 31 from 1:30pm to 3pm

At this conversational session, hear from your colleagues who have developed Covid protocols for artists, staff, and audiences… and put them to the test at in-person events.

 

Can I Get an Extension Please? Addressing Access Needs in Job Application Processes (50 participants)
Angela Sun

Tue Aug 31 from 1:30pm to 3pm

Wondering how your organization can attract a wider intersection of talented artists and applicants? Join artist-producer Angela Sun for a candid workshop on accessibility in job postings and audition listings. With knowledge from her own lived experience as a Mad / neurodivergent artist of colour, Angela will be talking about how artistic leaders, producers, and administrators can create kinder job listings and application processes that are more inclusive to our artist communities.

 

Call to Action! Cultural Policy & Indigenous Reconciliation in the Arts & Culture Sector
Valerie Gideon (Indigenous Services Canada), Lori Marchand (National Arts Centre), Tara Mazurk (Global Public Affairs), and Abby Tait (Global Public Affairs)

Tue Aug 31 from 3:30pm to 4:30pm

What are the intersections between cultural policy and Indigenous reconciliation in the sector? And, how can you take action? In this webinar, PACT’s advocacy partners, Global Public Affairs, and representatives from Indigenous Services Canada will provide an overview of how the federal government is advancing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. We will then focus on the Commemoration calls to action which directly involve and impact the arts and culture sector. The session will include a discussion on strategies that theatres can take to support the full implementation of all TRC’s calls to action.

 

Means of Production #1: Production Manager & Producer Partnerships
Sehar Bhojani (Theatre Direct), Crystal Lee (MoP / Why Not Theatre), Laura Philipps (MoP), Victor Pokinko (Bad Hats Theatre), & Rebecca Vandevelde (MoP)

Tue Aug 31 from 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Join members of Means of Production and their producer pals as they walk us through the foundations of Producer & Production Management relationships and how it can strengthen a project’s process.  This session is designed especially for folks from smaller organizations, indie companies, or early career stages. It aims to provide a bit of context around project leadership before Means of Production’s “Manifesting Core Values in Production” on Thursday, a more interactive session in how to create a more sustainable work process through a number of changes feasible for you and your organization.

 

Leveraging your CRM to Increase Agility in Times of Uncertainty
Spektrix

Tue Aug 31 from 3:30pm to 4:30pm

As we continue to navigate the impacts of the pandemic, what are key learnings from the past year and a half that we can take with us into the future? As Canada embarks on reopening, we’ll share key learnings from clients and partners around the globe. Working with 550+ organizations across Canada, the US, the UK and Ireland, Spektrix has seen what it takes to be able to pivot quickly and make strong informed decisions on the fly.

In this session, we will walk you through the various paths to reopening seen globally and what we’ve learned makes for a good foundation for adaptability, focusing on two main areas – leveraging your CRM system to build team patron confidence.

 

Designated Sharing Time (10 participants)
The AFC

Tue Aug 31 from 5pm to 6pm

Join the PACTcon edition of The AFC’s Designated Sharing Time (DST), a virtual meeting space to talk, vent, problem-solve, laugh, collaborate, cry, and feel the strength of others. Learn more about DST here.

 

Means of Production #2: Manifesting Core Values in Production
Crystal Lee, Laura Philipps, & Rebecca Vandevelde (Means of Production)

Thu Sep 2 from 1:30pm to 3pm

Your company articulates its values in grant applications, public events, on your website, and through all of the artistic creations you foster. How can you ensure your production team feels your core values from the beginning of a project, through tech week, and to strike? What role does your production department play in carrying out the values of your company on a day to day basis? Join Means of Production for a practical interactive workshop on how to manifest your organization’s or your personal core values in all parts of the creative process.

This session builds on Means of Production’s first session to further explore how Producers and Production Managers can work together to actively create a more sustainable work process through a number of changes feasible for you and your organization. You do not need to have attended that session to join this workshop.

Please come prepared with a list of core values and/or mission statement that you can refer to. We recommend coming with a buddy from your organization so you can brainstorm tactics together and keep each other accountable!

 

Organizational Values in Action
Kristen Dion (Persephone Theatre), Holly Greco (Quebec Drama Federation), & Amy Lynn Strilchuk (The Cultch)

Thu Sep 2 from 1:30pm to 3pm

How can organizations change their practices and policies to better reflect their values? In this casual case study session, Amy Lynn Strilchuk from The Cultch shows the donor data that led the company to phase out commodity giving (“give more to get more”) in favour of program-based giving without the traditional hierarchies. Kristen Dion from Persephone Theatre looks at the company’s efforts to share space and resources with their local community. And Holly Greco from Quebec Drama Federation details the organization’s careful work at drafting a value’s statement and membership agreement with their community. Bring your own ideas and examples for the conversation to follow.

 

Maximizing Safety in Short-Term Events (20 participants)
Nikki Shaffeeullah

Thu Sep 2 from 1:30pm to 3pm ET

Given that safety and trust in our artistic communities are usually most effectively nurtured through longterm relationships, how can we do our best to ensure safety for guest artists, participants, and others involved when hosting one-off events like training sessions, panel conversations, and more? This workshop will explore ways arts organizations can maximize safety in short-term events both through longer term processes and structures as well as in-the-moment strategies. It will be valuable to folks working in education and artistic departments, and anyone else who hosts public events with artists.

 

New Normal, New Anxieties
Christine Rossi-Wright and Megan Potestio (The AFC)

Thu Sep 2 from 3:30pm to 4:30pm

After so long, live performance is stepping into what people have been calling “the new normal.” But what does that look like? The tricky part is, no one really knows, and that can cause a lot of anxiety. The uncertainty of the pandemic is proving to be a significant source of stress for many people as they return to work. Whether you are already on the job or on your way, there are things you can do to help navigate your own feelings of anxiety and be a source of support for your coworkers.

New Normal, New Anxieties is delivered by Christine Rossi-Wright and Megan Potestio, mental health professionals from The AFC with extensive industry experience. They will identify strategies to help manage anxiety that stems from new challenges and discuss tips on how to recognize when your colleagues are struggling and how to support them. The workshop will also allow the participants to explore how they have been feeling during this time of uncertainty and transition in a discussion facilitated by The AFC staff.

Whether you are in administration, leadership, or freelance, people working in all areas of theatre will benefit from participating in this workshop.

 

Black Pledge One Year Later: Solutions & Strategies
Alicia Richardson & E.B.Smith (Black Pledge Collective)

Thu Sep 2 from 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Join us as we celebrate one year since co-founders Sedina Fiati and Joella Crichton presented the first seeds of The Black Pledge (then called “Dreaming Black Futures”) at PACTcon 2020. We’ll share the victories of our activism, and we’ll dissect some possible strategies for the hurdles we’ve faced along the way.

About the Black Pledge Collective: We are a grassroots collective of Black artist-activists who have authored The Black Pledge: an open invitation to theatre, opera, and dance organizations to make a three-year renewable commitment for positive, lasting change in the treatment of Black artists, technicians, arts workers, and audiences.

Details

Start:
August 31
End:
September 2
Event Category:
Website:
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/pactcon-online-2021-registration-161846165237

Venue

PACT Zoom
Canada

Organizer

PACT
Phone:
416.595.6455
Email:
info@pact.ca
Website:
https://pact.ca
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