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Building an Inclusive Arts Ecosystem 

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. 


Chat comment from the zoom presentation: If we aren’t shifting power then what is the point! 

Links and resources shared during the presentation:

Building an Inclusive Arts Ecosystem - Sharon

Building an Inclusive Arts Ecosystem - Carla

About the presenters: 

Carla has been working in rural arts organizations for two decades and is a champion of rural innovation and community-led systems change. Her work centres on relationships and lived experiences of participants. She is most comfortable on the edges of systems of all sorts. As the founder and lead of the Rural Arts Inclusion Lab, the co-founder of the Tiny Lights Festival and the Executive Director of Renascence Arts and Sustainability Society, her practice is grounded in the tiny community of Ymir, BC, on the stolen and unceded land of the Sinixt. Carla spent the last year as a Positive Deviants fellow with the Wolf Willow Institute and worked advocating for change in granting processes for various arts funders.  She finds great joy in facilitating conversations that break down silos, centre intersectionality and encourage embodied participation. The majority of her work in the past three years has been with organizations to explore equity and belonging in their spaces and is currently partnering on the Pathways pilot program, a year-long process that will support arts, culture, and heritage practitioners to learn, reflect and integrate equity and access more deeply into their work. Participants will be supported with individualized learning plans, peer networks and one-on-one guidance. The program is a collaboration between BC Arts Council, Arts BC, BC Museums Association, Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance and Rural Arts Inclusion Lab.  


Sharif is the CEO of the Students Commission of Canada (SCC) and the Centre of Excellence for Youth Engagement. Sharif has been with the SCC since 2010 and is accountable for ensuring the cultural and financial sustainability of the organization. Sharif is also accountable for the long-term strategic visioning and operational excellence of the organization. Sharif has an Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences from the University of Western Ontario. He also has a Masters of Arts in Leadership degree from Royal Roads University. Sharif is also the Volunteer Chair of the National Alliance of Children and Youth (NACY): a national charitable organization that brings organizations together in a collaborative network dedicated to enhancing the well-being of children and youth in Canada. Sharif sits on several non-profit Boards including the Catalysts Circle, the Child Development Institute and Mentor Canada 


Sharon Nyangweso is the Founder and CEO of QuakeLab, a full-stack equity and justice agency. Sharon specializes in a radical new approach to diversity and inclusion that is measurable, strategic, and based on a strong foundation of design thinking. A leader in empathetic community engagement and moving inclusivity from aspiration to action, Sharon is a regular contributor and panelist on CBC radio and television,, Live 88.5, and CTV. An immigrant from Kenya who has lived and worked in Canada for nine years, Sharon has worked across sectors with organizations in 11 countries. 


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