More Speakers Coming Soon
- Terry Fallis – Symposium host and moderator
- Micheline McKay – Introduction and Welcome
- Kevin Finnerty – The View From Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport
- Matthew Taylor – Reflections from the United Kingdom
- Fahim Kaderdina – Bringing it Home: Perspectives from leading Canadian policy practitioners
- David Lindsay – Bringing it Home: Perspectives from leading Canadian policy practitioners
- Joanne McNamara – Bringing it Home: Perspectives from leading Canadian policy practitioners
- Bob Richardson – Bringing it Home: Perspectives from leading Canadian policy practitioners
- Rachel Wernick – Perspectives from Canadian Heritage
- Nichole Anderson – Canadians Value Companies that Support the Arts
- Karen Bachmann – So What Does it All Mean: A Response
- Zan Chandler – So What Does it All Mean: A Response
- Ella Cooper – So What Does it All Mean: A Response
- Christa Dickenson – So What Does it All Mean: A Response
- Eric Dubeau – So What Does it All Mean: A Response
- Vikas Kohli – So What Does it All Mean: A Response
- Claire Hopkinson – Wrap Up
Symposium Host and Moderator
Terry Fallis is the award-winning author of four national bestsellers, all published by McClelland & Stewart (M&S). His debut novel, The Best Laid Plans, won the 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and was crowned the 2011 winner of CBC Canada Reads as the “essential Canadian novel of the decade.“ In January 2014, CBC aired a six-part television miniseries based on The Best Laid Plans earning very positive reviews. It is also in development as a stage musical by Touchstone Theatre in Vancouver. The High Road was published in September 2010 and was a finalist for the 2011 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Terry’s third novel, Up and Down, was released in September 2012. It debuted on the Globe and Mail bestsellers list, was a finalist for the 2013 Leacock Medal, and won the 2013 Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award. Terry’s fourth novel, No Relation, hit bookstores in May 2014, opened on the Globe and Mail bestsellers list, and won the 2015 Leacock Medal. M&S will publish Terry’s fifth novel, Poles Apart, in October 2015
Introduction and Welcome
Micheline McKay brings over 25 years experience to government relations, public affairs research and evaluation, and stakeholder management in the cultural and not-for-profit sectors. She provides strategic government relations and policy advice to The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall, contributing to the successful renovation of Roy Thomson Hall in 2001 and the ongoing Revitalization of Massey Hall. Micheline also works with ABC Life Literacy Canada, Orchestras Canada, the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres, the Ontario Museum Association, among others. She has worked with Everson Public Affairs on Magazines Canada files.
In the area of cultural and public affairs research, Micheline’s clients include the Canadian Public Arts Funders (CPAF), the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the City of Toronto. She has led program evaluations for the Ontario Media Development Corporation and a number of national and provincial cultural associations.
Until 2009, Micheline was the part-time Executive Director of Opera.ca, where she built the organization from its earliest days as a small committee of OPERA America to a full-fledged national arts service association. During her tenure at Opera.ca, Micheline was a founding co-chair of the Canadian Arts Coalition.
In 1994, Micheline founded The Arts Advocate Report.
As a volunteer, Micheline is a member of Imagine Canada’s Public Policy Committee. She was the President of the Cultural Careers Council of Ontario until April 2010, and a director of the Toronto Arts Foundation and the Nathaniel Dett Chorale until 2012.
Before establishing her consulting practice, Micheline was the Manager of Ontario Government Relations at TVOntario, an Economist with the Ontario Ministry of Finance, and a Researcher at the Ontario Legislature.
Micheline holds an M.A. in Political Science from York University and an Honours B.A. from Carleton University. She is a member of Arts Consultants Canada.
The View from Ministry of Tourism
Kevin Finnerty is the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Culture Division at the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Under his leadership, the Division is responsible for policies, partnerships, programs and services related to the arts, cultural industries, heritage and archaeology, public libraries and cultural agencies in Ontario. The Division also undertakes liaison with the ministry’s cultural, heritage and library agencies on a range of accountability, finance and program initiatives and collaborates with other ministries and with the culture community across the province and in other jurisdictions.
Previously, Kevin was the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Communications and Information Branch at Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, where he led a variety of program and policy initiatives and was responsible for communications planning for health care emergencies. Kevin has extensive experience with issues management, media relations and communications planning. He led the communications planning for the provincial response to the H1N1 pandemic.
Over his 25-year career with the Ontario Public Service, Kevin held a number of senior positions across government, including Director of Communications at the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Manager of Corporate Issues at the Cabinet Office.
Reflections from the United Kingdom
Matthew Taylor has been Chief Executive of the RSA since November 2006. During this time the Society has substantially increased its output of research and innovation, has provided new routes to support charitable initiatives of its 26,000 Fellows – including crowd funding - and has developed a global profile as a platform for ideas.
Prior to this appointment, Matthew was Chief Adviser on Political Strategy to the Prime Minister. Previous roles include Labour Party Director of Policy and Deputy General Secretary and Chief Executive of the ippr the UK’s leading left of centre think tank.
Matthew is a regular media performer having appeared several times on the Today Programme, The Daily Politics and Newsnight. He had written and presented several Radio Four documentaries and is a panellist on the programme Moral Maze. He writes a regular column for the Local Government Chronicle and the Inside Housing website. has posted over a thousand times on his RSA blog site and tweets as @RSAMatthew
Bringing it Home
During almost a decade with the Ontario government at Queen’s Park, Fahim was Chief of Staff to the Ministers of Labour and Finance, and Director of Research for the Liberal Caucus. He also played senior roles in the 2007, 2011, and 2014 election campaigns, and ran one of the campaigns in the 2012 Ontario Liberal leadership race.
Fahim has extensive experience in all areas of policy development, primarily on fiscal and economic files. He played a significant role in the development of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, the Trillium Trust for investing in infrastructure, and the agreement with British Columbia and the federal government on a common securities regulator. He has also spent considerable time on stakeholder engagement, communications, and issues management.
Fahim is currently a freelance consultant, occasional stand-up comic, and webseries producer. His latest project can be viewed at www.juniorstaffers.ca, and like most Canadian entertainment projects, it would benefit from additional funding.
David Lindsay became President and CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) in September 2012.
He was most recently a senior Deputy Minister in the Government of Ontario in Energy and Infrastructure, Northern Development, Mines and Forestry, Natural Resources, and Tourism and Culture. Before this, he was President and CEO of Colleges Ontario. Lindsay was founding President of the Ontario SuperBuild Corporation responsible for the infrastructure planning and privatization agenda of the Ontario government from 1999 to 2003. For two years he was President and CEO of the Ontario Jobs and Investment Board. From 1995 to 1997 he served as Principal Secretary and Chief of Staff to the Premier of Ontario.
Lindsay is a Director of several private sector and not for profit Boards and is a Governor of McMaster University and a Fellow of the Queen’s University School of Policy Studies. He has been a Director of the Ireland Park Foundation, the Ontario Innovation Trust, the World Wildlife Fund, the Canadian Tourism Commission, the Public Policy Forum and the Empire Club.
A Graduate of Queen’s University School of Business (Commerce ’81), he is married to Charmaine and has two adult children Tim and Sarah.
Joanne is Executive Director of Strategic Projects at Western University. In this role she works closely with the senior leadership of the University in supporting the delivery of their strategic plan. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Western University.
Joanne has spent the past 15 years in public service, working for both provincial and federal governments. Over the past 10 years she has been Chief of Staff to a number of federal Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Harper. During this time she spent five years as the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Her experience gives her an extensive background in public policy, governance and communication and she has worked with stakeholders from coast to coast. While Joanne has only recently moved back to London, she was born and raised in the community and is a proud graduate of King’s University College, at Western, and she sits on the King’s Foundation Board. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation.
As the Executive Vice-President, Public Affairs for Edelman Canada, Bob Richardson brings over twenty-five years of public affairs experience in both the public and private sectors. Based out of Toronto, Bob oversees Edelman’s national public affairs portfolio, providing strategic public affairs counsel on government relations at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels, as well as providing issue and crisis management, stakeholder engagement, and profile and awareness building for Edelman’s clients.
In the private sector, Bob has been successful in a number of positions, including Senior-Vice President at Ipsos Reid and Vice-President at The Angus Reid Group. In the Ontario Government, Bob has served as Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Opposition, and as Chief of Staff to the Minister of Colleges and Universities, the Minister of Natural Resources, and the Minister of Energy.
Bringing together his private and public experience, Bob co-founded The Devon Group (2003), a company that was acquired by Edelman in 2014, where he built one of Ontario’s most reputable government relations agencies. There, he worked with a variety of clients that include Labatt Brewers of Canada, Scotiabank, Cineplex, SmartCentres and the Government of Ontario.
Bob frequently provides media commentary on political and business issues of the day and has appeared internationally and locally for media outlets including the CBC, CTV, Global, BBC, Radio-Canada, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and Newstalk 1010.
Perspectives from Canadian Heritage
Rachel Wernick was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy, Planning and Corporate Affairs at Canadian Heritage on March 9th, 2015. Ms. Wernick joined the Government of Canada in 1998 after acquiring experience with several international development organizations, including two years working in a Vietnamese refugee camp in Malyasia. Since then, she has taken on a variety of progressively challenging policy and program assignments, including positions at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and the Privy Council Office. Most recently, Rachel held the position of the Executive Director of the National Fighter Procurement Secretariat.
Canadians Value Companies that Support the Arts
Nichole Anderson, President and CEO of Business for the Arts (BftA), Canada’s only national association of business leaders who support the arts. The organization’s vision is to inspire Canada’s business community to partner with the arts to ensure a thriving cultural sector. Since joining BftA in 2006, Nichole has led an extensive expansion of the organization’s programming to reach communities large and small across Canada with training and investment designed to stimulate new partnerships between business and the arts. Prior to her role at Business for the Arts, she managed the corporate art collection at Hbc and worked with the Heritage team to build museum programming, exhibits and products for the company’s new museum sites and community events across Canada. Nichole holds a number of volunteer positions, including Member of the Toronto TELUS Community Board; Board Member of the Arts of Time Ensemble; Board Member of Crow’s Theatre; Member of the Steering Committee for the City of Toronto’s Creative Capital initiative; and Vice President of the Health Arts Society Ontario. She is also a trained violinist and plays informally with a quartet from time to time.
So What Does it All Mean : A Response
Karen Bachmann is the Director/Curator for the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre and has been with the institution for over twenty-nine years.
She currently serves as the Vice-President of the Canadian Museum Association and has over fifteen years’ service with the Ontario Museum Association, serving as President in 1996. She is also a member of the Awards Committee for the Canadian Museum Association . She was a member of the Ontario Celebrate Canada Committee for over eighteen years. She has held board positions with the Porcupine United Way, the Cochrane Temiskaming Museums and Galleries Association, Arts and Culture Timmins, the Timmins Local Immigration Partnership Council and most recently with the Timmins Symphony Orchestra. She served as “History” Chair for the 100th anniversary celebrations for the City of Timmins.
Karen has authored three books on the history of the Porcupine Camp and currently writes a weekly column on culture and heritage issues for the Timmins Daily Press.
Zan Chandler is a foresight analyst, innovation researcher and facilitator with the Toronto-based strategic foresight and design consultancy, KerrSmith Design. A systems thinker and boundary-spanner, Zan's background includes unusual mix of training in strategic foresight, innovation, policy analysis, media production and linguistics as well as work experience with management consultants, provincial and federal government, cultural organizations and the design sector. Her core skills lie in diving deep into a problem and identifying key insights, facilitating groups in building new skills and knowledge, being sensitive to weak signals of change in our society, and using all this to enable people and organizations to understand the future so that they can make better decisions today.
While Zan has 20+ years experience in a variety of Canadian cultural contexts - Toronto’s independent film sector, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Department of Canadian Heritage, and as an independent arts consultant - she is still compelled to deepen her understanding of the evolving relationship between creators and audiences, the cultural sector and government, and the role that the cultural and creative sectors will play in society. Since 2007, she has participated in a variety of future-focused with implications for arts and culture. These have included the impact of the internet on Canada’s cultural policy framework, media industries in Ontario in 2020, the future of art and design education, a citizen-centric view of Ontario's economy in 2032, the Canada Council’s Inter-Arts and Visual Arts consultations, and the future of self-regulated professions. Currently, she is engrossed in an exploration of the economic, social, and cultural impacts of the creative industries on the state of Michigan.
Zan is a graduate of the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, OCAD University and the CFC Media Lab. Her volunteer work has spanned alumni activities at UofT, board positions on artist-run organizations and housing cooperatives, judging for the student-recognition program with the Association of Professional Futurists, and peer-mentoring with Women in Communications and Technology.
Ella is a creative facilitator, filmmaker, vocalist, educator and consultant. She currently works as the Manager of the Neighbourhood Arts Network, a strategic initiative of the Toronto Arts Foundation and plays an active role in helping to co-facilitate and disseminate trainings in Toronto through PYE Global. She is dedicated to community building through the arts and has a strong background in outreach, arts marketing, strategic planning, events management, volunteer development and social media/web services. Ella offers a multitude of empowering community centred arts, media and outreach programs across Canada. Ella has made many appearances as a guest speaker for conferences & events New York University, Black Portraiture Conference, Canadian Dance Assembly, Canadian Public Arts Funders, Community Arts Council Vancouver, the Association of Cultural Executives, Technology in the Arts Conference, TAPA Trade Forum, the City of Toronto, OISE University of Toronto, International Creative Art Therapies Conference and the Dance USA conference in Washington DC. Ella receives continued support for her creative projects through the Ontario & Canada Arts Councils.
Christa Dickenson is Executive Director of Interactive Ontario. As a marketing executive, Ms. Dickenson brings to Interactive Ontario close to two decades of experience leveraging partnerships and optimizing sponsorship opportunities. Having had a successful career spanning broadcast television, technology & telecommunications, Ms. Dickenson worked at Rogers, CTV and CPAC prior to joining Interactive Ontario. Ms. Dickenson possesses an un-paralleled talent for innovation coupled with a strong business acumen. With brand advocacy expertise honed over many years, she is a highly effective policy advocate. In addition to a professional background spanning both the creative and business sides of the broadcast, technology and telecommunications industries, Ms. Dickenson has volunteered extensively with a variety of local and international non-profit organizations.
Eric Dubeau is a Franco-Ontarian singer-songwriter who has released 3 albums over a career that spans more than 20 year. His songs have reached the charts on radio stations across Canada. He won the Bureau de promotion de la Zone francophone’s (Zof Canada) national tracking contest, the 400th anniversary of Francophonie in Ontario Prize and was shortlisted for the Ontario Council of Folk Festival’s Songs From the Heart Contest. He has been nominated for 8 prestigious Trille OrAwards, including album of the year, song of the year, and singer-songwriter of the year on two separate occasions. His work has been recognized by the City of Ottawa, the Ontario Arts Council, the Fondation franco-ontarienne, Musicaction and the Canada Council for the Arts.
Eric writes songs that are rooted in life’s daily experiences. His latest album, Le temps d’être heureux, is a collection of 13 songs, that carry listeners from a farmer’s dusty fields in Canada’s North to the heights of the Andes in Patagonia to the palace of a Roman emperor, exiled on Dalmatia’s coast. It’s a trip rich with emotion and imagery that juxtaposes the beauty and hardship of everyday life to the immensity of the landscapes we dream about discovering.
Eric has chaired the Canadian Arts Coalition, l’Association des professionnels de la chanson et de la musique (APCM) and l’Alliance culturelle de l’Ontario and has been Vice-Chair of the Coalition for Cultural Diversity. He was the Manager of Francophone Partnerships at the Ontario Arts Council and Executive Director of the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française. He holds a Masters in Public Policy, Administration and Law and consults with not-for-profit and government organizations on matters pertaining to management, planning & evaluation and strategic governance.
Creative entrepreneur Vikas Kohli has a knack for getting things done. He fought super-villains while envisioning bold new festivals that bring tens of thousands of people together. He grilled a samosa while conjuring up unexpected musical soundtracks from deep within his lab. He ate the samosa only after collecting awards for his work because he believes in delayed gratification.
As a child growing up in Ottawa, Kohli taught himself how to play guitar and compose music. After moving to Mississauga, he graduated at the top of his fine arts school with a speciality in painting. Confounding his art teachers, Kohli then pursued his gift with numbers: He picked up an Honours Degree in Mathematics, Logic & Philosophy from the University of Toronto, an MBA from the Schulich School of Business and his CFA. Kohli continues to do what he loves: cook, compose and create parties for thousands of people.
Since her appointment to Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation in 2005, both organizations have experienced significant growth in funding and impact, innovation in strategy and delivery, and greater understanding of their roles in the community. Early in her tenure she developed the direction Creative City Block, Block by Block, an overarching vision to have the arts accessible by all Toronto residents.
A graduate of McGill University in English Literature (Honours), Claire then spent approximately 25 years commissioning, developing and producing works of opera and theatre, and running several arts organizations. An agent of change, she was instrumental in moving contemporary opera from the outskirts of the field to the revitalised centre. Claire also invested considerable time and energy into developing support for and getting Canadian artists onto international stages. Her evolution into policy maker and advocate – from arts producer – was a logical progression from her volunteer work as Founding Chair of Opera.ca, Vice Chair of Opera America, and co-founder and President of Creative Trust. She is committed to the value of collaboration and to developing partnerships across sectors to deepen the impact of the arts.
Much of the impetus for Claire's work in cultural policy is to understand and communicate the impact of the arts in society, and most particularly the vital role of that the arts play in city building in the culturally vibrant city of Toronto. In May of 2001, Claire won the national M. Joan Chalmers Award for Arts Administration in recognition of her contribution to Tapestry New Opera and the arts in Canada. In 2006 she was recognized by Theatre Ontario with the Sandra Tulloch Award for Innovation in the Arts. She served as Co-Chair for the International Society for the Performing Arts 2011 Annual Congress in Toronto, which attracted the largest gathering of arts presenters in ISPA’s history. Claire is inspired by power of art to tell important and timely stories; art that permits us a glimpse into possible worlds.