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Arts Network Ottawa, the Ottawa Arts Council embarked on a series of learning and engagement opportunities where the arts sector and community were invited to engage in crucial conversations. 


The presentations shared insights, explored innovative ideas, transformative strategies, and visionary perspectives to spark your thinking and our collective work in the arts. Presentations were followed by a facilitated workshop led by Evoke and Associates. 


Themes from these gatherings, along with your direct input, will shape Design-Thinking workshops, to be held in 2024, on the new organizational model—covering governance, operations, programs, and services. 

Community Conversations: Designing a New Arts Organization through Collective Vision 

How do we craft a thriving future for the arts in times of uncertainty and change?


Owais Lightwala led an interactive presentation and workshop on Design Thinking methodology. He described it as, “Design thinking is a problem solving approach that emphasizes user understanding, creative ideation, and iterative testing, and the goal of it is basically to solve problems that people have in the real world. Really responding to the need for more user centric human centered design approaches.”   

How do we explore the decline of the old systems and models and the rise of new ones?  


Rudy Ruttimann presentation on the Berkana Institute’s Two Loop Model is a narrative about how large systems can transform and create a sustainable new system. The Two Loops model is a valuable tool for addressing challenges and opportunities in the arts sector. It provides a fresh perspective on funding strategies and field building for transitions. 

Presenters Terry-lynn, J.P. and Alex delved into the crucial intersection of Indigenous relations and self-determination in the context of arts organizational development.  

Tatiana presented the significance of Scaling Deep as a complementary approach to achieving enduring impact alongside other scaling strategies. Scaling Deep involves deep personal and cultural transformation to create lasting and sustainable change. It delves into inner work, community connections, and narrative exploration, demanding time, introspection, and personal growth while challenging biases and assumptions. Rooting in context, it recognizes and works with power dynamics.  

The presentation by Carla, Sharif and Sharon addressed the imperative of creating an inclusive arts environment, emphasizing the need for an organizational model that reflects and serves diverse voices within the community. 

Une discussion de panel mettant en vedette Grégoire Gagnon, Directeur exécutif du Conseil des ressources humaines culturelles, et Marie-Christine Morin, Directrice générale de la Fédération culturelle canadienne-française. La session vise à recueillir les idées et les expériences des leaders du secteur artistique concernant les défis post-pandémiques en matière de ressources humaines, les leçons apprises et les stratégies pour engager les employés à l'avenir.

Une discussion avec Benoit Roy, directeur général de Théâtre Action et Anik Bouvrette, directrice artistique et chorégraphe de Tara Luz Danse avec l’objectif de souligner le rôle vital des artistes dans la fusion entre le Réseau des arts d’Ottawa et le Conseil des arts d’Ottawa, promouvant une inclusion intentionnelle des perspectives, des besoins et des contributions des artistes. La discussion vise à faciliter le dialogue, partager des idées et explorer des stratégies pour une co-création collaborative, favorisant un sentiment d’appropriation et d’implication communautaire à toutes les étapes de la fusion. En fin de compte, l’objectif est d’inspirer une collaboration continue et de s’assurer que l’organisation fusionnée soit centrée sur l’artiste et reflète la diversité de la communauté artistique qu’elle sert.


Shenkman Arts Centre
245 Centrum Blvd, Suite 260
Ottawa, ON K1E 0A1
Tel: 613-580-2767

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We acknowledge that our offices are on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation. The peoples of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation have lived on this territory for millennia, stewarding the land, the water and all that contributes to life in this region.  Today, many Indigenous communities continue to be denied the opportunity and resources to make and experience their traditional art on this land. We pledge to make justice and reconciliation a priority through our work by amplifying Indigenous voices and their experiences.

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