Policy, Practice and Publics in Toronto's Cultural Sector
Municipalities have traditionally been left out of the national cultural policy conversation. This, in part, stems from the limited resources available to cities for policy research and analysis and the need to strengthen partnerships with HEIs on actionable research. How has this dynamic affected funding and other support structures offered to cultural creators/producers? What are the City of Toronto's needs to create an equitable/accessible/sustainable cultural policy moving forward? What are the most urgent needs? What makes research actionable in the municipal context? What would municipal cultural policy informed by HEI research, analysis and partnership look like? What are the metrics of success? How can HEIs (Higher Education Institutes) support and inform solutions?
Executive Director and Advisor to the Provost, Partnerships, Outreach and Research, OCAD University
As a literary and cultural theorist (PhD in English), Glen Lowry has published widely on contemporary arts and culture—literature, photography, film, and television. Specializing in cross-disciplinary collaboration and creative practice-led research, Dr. Lowry works across critical and creative modalities—scholarly research, poetics, design, visual art, publishing, and public engagement—to engage diverse communities and stakeholders. Recent projects focus on the convergence of public art, community engagement, and institutional transform.
From 2011-2015, Lowry was a publishing advisor/ editor with the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, travelling across Canada to participate in discussions about Truth and Reconciliation among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. From 2007 to 2015, he co-led the Maraya project. From 2001 to 2012, Lowry edited West Coast Line, a Simon Fraser University-based literary and cultural journal. Currently, Lowry is the Executive Director and Advisor to the Provost, Partnerships, Outreach, and Research at OCAD University, where he works to connect artists, designers, and media makers with partnership-driven initiatives.
Film Commissioner and Director of Entertainment Industries, City of Toronto
Marguerite Pigott is Film Commissioner and Director of Entertainment Industries for the City of Toronto, responsible for the growth and support of the screen content production, music, interactive digital media and tourism industries in the City of Toronto. Previously, Marguerite was Vice President of Outreach and Strategic Initiatives for the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), where she led the CMPA’s efforts to future-proof Canadian independent production companies, and for whom she also produced the highly respected media conference Prime Time. Concurrently, she served as Vice Chair of Ontario Creates. Prior to the CMPA, Pigott was Head of Creative Development for the national, pay television broadcaster Super Channel, where she oversaw the pre-licencing of series and feature films, and led the team that invested Super Channel’s development fund. Pigott has also served as Vice President of Development and Production for Odeon Films, where she Executive Produced many feature films, including Fubar, Saint Ralph, and waydowntown. For the Toronto International Film Festival, Pigott programmed the Canadian selection for the 2006 and 2007 festivals.
Dr. Mark V. Campbell
Assistant Professor, Music & Culture Program Associate Chair, Department of Arts, Culture and Media University of Toronto Scarborough
Dr. Mark V. Campbell is a DJ, scholar and curator. His research explores the relationships between Afrosonic innovations and notions of the human. Dr. Campbell is Associate Chair in the Arts, Culture and Media department, the 2020-21 Jackman Humanities Institute UTSC Fellow and a Connaught Early Career Fellow at the University of Toronto. In 2015 Mark was appointed Member of the Board at the Ontario Arts Council and has served on juries for the Toronto Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, The United Way Peel, Social Science and Humanities Council of Canada and the City of Toronto.
Dr. Campbell is Principal Investigator in the SSHRC funded research project, Hip Hop Archives: The Poetics and Potentials of Knowledge Production. Dr. Campbell is also the co-founder of the Bigger than Hip Hop radio show in 1997 and founder at Northside Hip Hop Archive in 2010.
Director, Centre for Creative Business Innovation and Humber Galleries, Humber College
As the Director of the Humber College Centre for Creative Business Innovation and Humber Galleries, Jennifer Gordon holds a BFA in Drawing & Painting and a BEd in I/S Visual Arts & English, both from the University of Ottawa. Currently, she is a Master of Fine Arts Candidate in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. An advocate for sustainable growth in the Canadian arts and cultural sectors, Gordon has held roles in business development and training, arts administration, and consulting.
Associate Professor and Director, The Creative School's Innovation Studio, X University (Formerly Ryerson University)
Ramona Pringle is an Associate Professor in the RTA School of Media at X University (formerly Ryerson University,) and Director of The Creative School's Innovation Studio, a creative network comprised of multiple incubators, including the Transmedia Zone, Design Fabrication Zone, and Fashion Zone, as well as the Global Campus Studio. She is the 2021 recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
As a writer, producer, researcher and journalist, Ramona’s work examines the evolving relationship between humans and technology. She was the executive producer of “Communities Creat,” writer and director of the interactive documentary “Avatar Secrets, the interactive producer of PBS Frontline’s “Digital Nation.” Ramona was editor in chief of “Rdigitalife,” has edited and guest edited several “IEEE” publications, and has been a technology columnist for CBC. Ramona’s projects have been featured at festivals and conferences including i-docs, Power to the Pixel, TFI Interactive, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Hot Docs, SXSW, NXNE, and TEDx.
Alia Fortune Weston
Dr. Alia Fortune Weston
Associate Professor of Creative and Business Enterprise, OCAD University
Dr. Alia Fortune Weston is Associate Professor of Creative and Business Enterprise at OCAD University. She is a designer, educator and entrepreneur. Her work examines the ways that business and creativity contribute to social change, through social innovation in education, sustainable and creative economies, de-colonial business, and food methods. A current SSHRC funded project, with Professor Sarah Tranum and Hatcliffe Extension Charitable Trust, explores economic and environmental sustainability of menstrual hygiene management systems in Zimbabwe. At OCAD University, Dr. Weston teaches a range of courses that support art and design students in developing socially beneficial business capabilities. Alongside her work as a scholar, Dr. Weston runs two jewelry businesses. At Alia Weston Jewellery, she creates wearable art which is a celebration of her heritage. Fireflies Atelier is a social enterprise where jewelry is made with sustainable principles and proceeds support community projects in Zimbabwe.
www.aliaweston.com @aliawestonjewellery @firefliesatelier