New Music Initiative 2015: Bringing CNMN to CAPACOA


As CNMN con­tin­ues to seek dif­fer­ent entry points with new com­mu­ni­ties and with a wider nation­al con­text, the inau­gur­al edi­tion of CNMN’s New Music Ini­tia­tive (NMI2015) has got­ten us off to a great start.

NMI2015 brought CNMN togeth­er with CAPACOA (the Cana­di­an Arts Pre­sent­ing Asso­ci­a­tion). CNMN was guest-cura­tor at CAPACOA’s 27th annu­al con­fer­ence from Jan­u­ary 21 to 24, 2015 in Hal­i­fax. The theme of the con­fer­ence was “The Cul­ture of Convergence.”

Over 30 CNMN mem­bers con­verged with 200+ del­e­gates, many of whom were stake­hold­ers from the nation­al and inter­na­tion­al tour­ing per­form­ing arts sec­tor, includ­ing 120+ CAPACOA members.

CNMN designed events that brought togeth­er both its mem­ber­ship and, impor­tant­ly, the larg­er pres­ence of del­e­gates. The idea was to cre­ate a dia­logue about shared goals and chal­lenges with­in a larg­er body of artis­tic prac­ti­tion­ers. The pro­gram­ming aimed to encour­age inter­ac­tion and dia­logue in order to exchange knowl­edge and build trust. Work­ing togeth­er in this larg­er con­text, new music in Cana­da can become more inte­grat­ed with main­stream presenting.

CNMN’s events were very well received, almost always to full capac­i­ty and beyond. This is in part thanks to the CAPACOA team who were extreme­ly pro-active, pro­vid­ing us with great expo­sure by putting our pro­gram­ming up front and cen­tre, which in turn meant atten­dance to our activ­i­ties was fantastic.

These events included: 

(1) A nation­al pan­el of new music pre­sen­ters dis­cussed inno­va­tion in pre­sen­ta­tion. Véronique Lacroix, Lawrence Cher­ney, Tim Crofts, Gre­go­ry Oh and Kyle Bren­ders (mod­er­a­tor) shared knowl­edge and suc­cess sto­ries about audi­ence out­reach, demon­strat­ing how cre­ative new music can be a pos­i­tive force in the larg­er Cana­di­an society.

(2) A Crit­i­cal Response Work­shop: after an engag­ing 40-minute per­for­mance by Gabriel Dhar­moo, Tim Yerxa (Fred­er­ic­ton Play­house) and Judy Har­quail (Ontario Presents) lead a ses­sion where par­tic­i­pants, sit­ting in a large cir­cle, became con­trib­u­tors to a mean­ing­ful, in-depth obser­va­tion and reflec­tion of their expe­ri­ence of this performance.

(3) An Evening Show­case includ­ing Eve Egoy­an and David Roke­by, Saint Peters­burg and Quatuor Bozzini.

(4) There was a very inter­est­ing Inter-net­work ses­sion where CNMN mem­bers met with the dance net­works to hear about the excel­lent work they’ve done with pre­sen­ters around the under­stand­ing and pre­sent­ing of con­tem­po­rary dance, and how this could apply in dif­fer­ent ways to new music.

CNMN mem­bers also had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to take in all the oth­er con­fer­ence activ­i­ties that CAPACOA had to offer, such as: the one-on-one ses­sion with inter­na­tion­al par­tic­i­pants from the Export Buy­ers Pro­gram, the inter­ac­tive ple­nary ses­sion with the Direc­tor of EmcArts, Richard Evans, the many evening show­case per­for­mances and net­work­ing lunch­es. It was just as impor­tant, as part of the NMI, for CNMN mem­bers to par­tic­i­pate in the oth­er con­fer­ence activities.

Hear Soundstream’s artis­tic direc­tor, Lawrence Cher­ney, make a 5‑minute pitch about their tour­ing project Encuen­tros: lis­ten here (scroll to 30:23).

And our very own board mem­ber David Pay, along with Lawrence Cher­ney, were live-to-air for the arts on CTV Morn­ing Live with host Hei­di Petracek, where they talked about the CNMN pan­el dis­cus­sions about pre­sent­ing new music. This was broad­cast through­out PEI, NB and NS.

We were thrilled to have so many CNMN ambas­sadors of Cana­di­an new music, experts in the field, who not only rep­re­sent­ed their own work but also rep­re­sent­ed the broad­er pic­ture of New Music in Cana­da at the con­fer­ence. As an orga­ni­za­tion, we can set up the pro­gram­ming, but the per­son-to-per­son inter­ac­tions are what make the con­nec­tions, and mem­bers real­ly brought ener­gy and enthu­si­asm and a will­ing­ness to strike up a con­ver­sa­tion with fel­low del­e­gates about what they do and about the excit­ing things their peers are doing in their regions of the country.

For a more per­son­able sense of what hap­pened at NMI2015, read what some of our CNMN Ambas­sadors had to say in the next seg­ment, Sou­venirs of NMI2015!

Many thanks to every­one at CAPACOA for their part­ner­ship as well as the Cana­da Coun­cil and FACTOR who helped make it pos­si­ble for us to bring so many mem­bers to the conference.


Direct link: New Music Ini­tia­tive 2015
Return to full Bul­letin – May 2015