Creating a Collaborative Learning Community for
Indigenous and Ethno-Racial Artists in Ontario
Commissioned by CPAMO to:
Undertake literature review to investigate the
concept of shared platforms in their broadest
context with a particular emphasis on new
collaboration systems in both the for-profit
sector as well as the arts sector.
Working with CPAMO’s staff, board, and
advisory committee, develop preferred
collaborative model for CPAMO.
Make recommendations based on results of
Volatility of current environment – rapid change
has outpaced our capacity to fully understand it
Increasing interconnectivity and interdependence –
complexity of operating environment
Mental models – traditional frames of reference no
longer relevant for new context – growth mindset
Shift lens from scarcity to abundance, from self-
contained organizations to networks, from stable
What does sustainability really mean in the arts
sector and what exactly is it that we are trying to
sustain? Are we ready to admit that ‘permanence’
may not be the right goal for arts entities?
There has been tremendous activity and
evolution in the Indigenous and Ethno-racial arts
sector – but it’s either not captured or compiled
in available research so we don’t have a clear
picture of exactly what is happening or how to
make sense of it.
Also a sense that Canada is falling behind other
countries in scope of research to assist the sector
to understand itself
Need for ‘think-tank’ or ‘institute’ to
explore/research issues pertinent to this sector
Current environment for the arts ranges from
volatile to hostile.
Arts entities coming into the arts funding
system since 2000 severely undercapitalized
– facing historical funding inequities – new
funding models required.
Nonprofit charitable corporate foundation
model imposed on artists – no other model
for public accountability in the 1950’s – but
it’s a rigid model – perpetual life - hierarchial
What kind of system do we need to produce
the quality of work you aspire to for the next
◦ Fluid and adaptable processes rather than stand
alone, closed institutional structures (resource
hungry, perpetual, sometimes dysfunctional).
◦ Need for technological platform/ infrastructure to
support collaborative practices/processes or
Metcalf Foundation in collaboration with OTF,
OAC and CCA are funding the start up of a
Shared Charitable Platform.
Opportunity in CCA’s Strategic Plan – new
Reimagining and reshaping what an arts
venue is and could be for the 21st century:
◦ Reframing arts venue as community hub
◦ Rise of alternative spaces – less expensive, flexible,
◦ Nature of venue influences creativity and the work
and defines the experience of the work
Lack of funding for digital innovation is the
largest barrier as technology is the core
enabler for many shared/collaborative
Sector unable to afford external suppliers or
freelance staff to provide technological
Need for digital tools – shared digital
platform built from the ground up
Need to develop arts, technology and
Need for more collaborative/shared platforms
More management providers
Development of producers
◦ Shift in mindset from general manager(institutional)
to producer (entrepreneurial)
Cross sectorial/social enterprise models
◦ Fractured Atlas
◦ Need to be able to scale up important
If we as a sector want to develop a ‘sharing
economy’ what will be the principles that drive it?
◦ Equity, community and connection
◦ Shared resources and shared ownership
◦ Share solidarity
How can we work together to resist the pressure
for more ‘earned revenue’ are we in this to make
money or make art/social change
By sharing programs and tools we create
reciprocal value – creates larger impact –
contributes to sustainability
Ideas spread quickly if information and resources
for replicating them widely available – not
guarded by single organization.
If we are working more collaboratively, are the
funders able to resolve any emerging challenges
– need for additional granting deadlines, micro-
loans, concern over ‘double dipping’?
Will the grant application process be able to
support collaborative ways of working?
◦ For example, ensure peer assessment process
understands new models
What kinds of support do the emerging leaders
who want to work collaboratively need?