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The Lab’s 2019 Symposium: Change at the Speed of Trust

Change at the Speed of Trust is @stratfestLAB’s 2019 symposium, taking place on Sunday October 6 from 10am – 7:30pm in the Paul D. Fleck Marquee, Festival Theatre, Stratford.  We’re creating a gathering space for members of the theatre community for workshops and dialogue in this moment of transformation, crisis, and growth.  

Globalization and digitization have changed how we shop, gather, travel, organize, vote, and how and where we tell stories and share ideas.  The landscape of the arts sector is being radically reconfigured: transforming the values that inform content and creative process, as well how art is produced, created, and engaged with.  All across the ecology, from large institutions to the independent scene, systems are adapting and changing—how can we make this shift both conscious and conscientious?

Join us in Stratford for this 1-day symposium, hosted by @stratfestLAB.  Together, we'll map this emerging landscape, exchange practices, and generate new strategies, using the Stratford Festival and the Canadian arts ecology as our case studies. 

  • We’re thrilled to be welcoming facilitators Dr. Vanessa Andreotti and Elwood Jimmy, who will offer a morning workshop of their collaborative project, Towards Braiding. 
  • The afternoon will be made up of breakout dialogues with Festival staff and artistic leaders from across the country, covering subjects including commissions and submissions, fundraising, publicity and outreach, and youth engagement. 
  • Meals will be provided, as well as the choice between an evening networking session or a performance of Nathan the Wise
  • We will be running a special bus service from Toronto (reservations on a first-come first-served basis) to help facilitate travel to and from the symposium.

ASL interpretation provided


8:00am: Bus departs Toronto

10:00am: Welcoming Remarks

10:30am: Keynote Workshop by Dr. Vanessa Andreotti and Elwood Jimmy

1:30pm: Lunch

3-5:30pm: Breakout Sessions

5:30pm: Dinner & Dialogue

8:00pm: Attend a performance of Nathan the Wise at a discounted rate

OR Networking Session at Okazu

10:45pm: Bus departs Stratford

Please email Rachel at with questions.

Keynote Workshop. 

Towards Braiding is an ongoing collaborative process between Vanessa Andreotti and Elwood Jimmy, funded by the Musagetes Arts Foundation.  Their project is a framework of teachings and unlearnings, weaving together Indigenous and Western ways of knowing and being for artists, institutions, and the communities they serve.  Together, Vanessa and Elwood are asking: ‘How we can move together toward improved relationships and gesture toward (yet-unimaginable) decolonial futures?’  Their work is both gentle and seismic, a generative act of destruction, guided by principles of care and growth.  In place of a keynote, Elwood and Vanessa’s workshop will offer us a framework for approaching the rest of the day’s conversations—and everyone’s work to come. 

After lunch, we will welcome a series of guest speakers and Festival staff for two sets of breakout sessions. Please choose ONE session from each of the following.

You will be asked to select one session from Breakout Session #1 and one session from Breakout Session #2 after you begin the registration process. We cannot guarantee that you will receive your first choice in both sessions.

Breakout Session #1.

3:00 pm to 4:15 pm 

  1. Publicity: Getting Heard Above The (Digital) Noise - Featuring Aidan MorishIta-Miki (Marketing + Outreach Manager at Buddies in Bad Times), Annie Clarke (Communications Producer at GeneratorTO), and Christine Achampong (Communications Manager at Luminato)

  2. Creating Value with Values: Changing Approaches To Fundraising - Featuring Martha Haldenby (Senior Direct of Development at TO Live) and Anita Gaffney (Executive Director at the Stratford Festival)

Breakout Session #2.

4:15 pm to 5:15 pm 

  1. Producing with Art and Care: Ethics, Values, and Bottom Lines - Featuring Sascha Cole (Creative Producer at The Theatre Centre), Sedina Fiati (Artist Producer Training Facilitator at GeneratorTO) and Bonnie Green (Associate Producer at the Stratford Festival)

  2. Missions, Commissions, & Submissions: Building Creative Relationships - Featuring Mel Hague (Associate Artistic Director at Canadian Stage) and Bob White (Director of The Foerster Bernstein New Play Development Program at the Stratford Festival)