President’s Report – Season 2014–15

This is my first pres­i­den­t’s report, and the first that doesn’t come from the found­ing pres­i­dent. 2014–15 was a great year with the work spread out in a strange way that makes it feel like it’s been years and not months.

I’ve spent much of this year try­ing to real­ly under­stand what the role of the pres­i­dent is in this orga­ni­za­tion. It’s been dif­fi­cult when you’re replac­ing the per­son that found­ed the orga­ni­za­tion and gave it a strong push for 9 years (is that the right num­ber?). I’m not Tim nor do I have the seem­ing­ly lim­it­less ener­gy that he has to put towards CNMN and I apol­o­gize if it feels like my work with CNMN has been silent for a few months. But I assure you it hasn’t and it’s been a lot of work behind the scenes try­ing to find my own direction.

1. Board Renewal
3. FORUM 2016 Planning
4. Oth­er Projects
5. Going Forward

Board Renewal

A new 2‑year term launched sea­son 2014–15, and this brought sev­er­al new faces to the board of direc­tors, as well as two new faces to the exec­u­tive com­mit­tee. It’s been won­der­ful find­ing ways to work with each board mem­ber, to hear their input on a num­ber of our projects. It’s tricky try­ing to con­nect every­one across the coun­try but we’re doing it! I can’t thank every­one enough for their sup­port and I look for­ward to the next year with them.

CNMN at CAPACOA — New Music Initiative 2015

As CNMN con­tin­ues to find new ways to out­reach, and new ways to affect change, the inau­gur­al edi­tion of CNMN’s New Music Ini­tia­tive (NMI 2015) has us off to a great start, allow­ing CNMN to seek dif­fer­ent entry points with new com­mu­ni­ties and with a wider nation­al context.

CNMN part­nered with CAPACOA as guest cura­tor at their con­fer­ence in Jan­u­ary 2015 in Hal­i­fax. Over 30 CNMN mem­bers con­verged with over 200 del­e­gates, many of whom were stake­hold­ers from the nation­al and inter­na­tion­al tour­ing per­form­ing arts sec­tor, includ­ing 120+ CAPACOA members.

CNMN curat­ed a num­ber of activ­i­ties with the inten­tion of intro­duc­ing new music to the broad­er per­form­ing arts pre­sen­ters in Cana­da. All of the events took place on Jan­u­ary 22nd to real­ly bol­ster our pres­ence at the conference.

CNMN designed three events that brought togeth­er both its mem­ber­ship and, impor­tant­ly, the larg­er pres­ence of del­e­gates. The idea was to share knowl­edge and to get to know each oth­er bet­ter so that the dia­logue is no longer about “us” and “them” but about shar­ing goals and chal­lenges as a larg­er body of artis­tic prac­ti­tion­ers. The idea is that by work­ing togeth­er, new music in Cana­da can become more inte­grat­ed with main­stream presenting.

The first of the activ­i­ties was a pan­el with Lawrence Cher­ney, VéroniqueLacroix, Gre­go­ry Oh and Tim Crofts, and myself as mod­er­a­tor. The inten­tion was that pre­sen­ters in the room, unac­cus­tomed to our work, might con­sid­er new music in their halls and series if they were able to see a broad pic­ture of how new music is pre­sent­ed in our com­mu­ni­ty. The hall was packed, with stand­ing room even tak­en, even with an equal­ly inter­est­ing event being pro­grammed at the same time. We must have been doing some­thing right to attract people’s atten­tion! Pos­si­bly the most effec­tive of our pre­sen­ta­tions was the crit­i­cal response work­shop that includ­ed a per­for­mance of Gabriel Dharmoo’s Anthro­polo­gies Imag­i­naires. Fol­low­ing the per­for­mance, the audi­ence was tak­en through a for­mal Crit­i­cal Response work­shop that you might use after any type of per­for­mance to engage the audi­ence with the work beyond a sim­ple “i like it” or “i hate it” response. There was a very large turnout of par­tic­i­pants, sit­ting in the round, who all became con­trib­u­tors to a mean­ing­ful, in-depth obser­va­tion and reflec­tion. This was lead by Tim Yerxa (Fred­er­ic­ton Play­house) and Judy Har­quail (Ontario Presents). We closed the day of events with a show­case of Eve Egoy­an and David Roke­by, Saint Peters­burg (Tim Crofts and Norm Adams) and Quatuor Bozzi­ni. These per­for­mances were designed to give a sam­ple of what our mem­bers can offer.

In addi­tion to these activ­i­ties we were able to invite and finan­cial­ly sup­port a whop­ping 30 f CNMN mem­bers to attend the con­fer­ence, to con­nect with oth­er pre­sen­ters and to dis­cuss pos­si­ble projects. CNMN mem­bers also had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to take in all the oth­er con­fer­ence activ­i­ties that CAPACOA had planned. It was just as impor­tant, as part of the NMI con­cept, for CNMN mem­bers to par­tic­i­pate in the oth­er con­fer­ence activ­i­ties. They had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to par­tic­i­pate in the one-on-one ses­sion with inter­na­tion­al par­tic­i­pants from the Export Buy­ers Pro­gram, the net­work­ing lunch­es, and more. CNMN was also co-plan­ner of a closed Inter-net­work ses­sion where CNMN mem­bers met with 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.

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. Check out what they had to say about the NMI 2015 expe­ri­ence on our web site.

We hope this is the begin­ning of a long-term rela­tion­ship with the broad­er com­mu­ni­ty of arts pre­sen­ters in Canada.

FORUM 2016 Planning

A great FORUM 2016 Steer­ing Com­mit­tee was formed made up of Jesse Stew­art (Car­leton Uni­ver­si­ty), Ste­fani Tru­ant (NAC), Tim Brady, Stacey Brown and Lori Burns (uOt­tawa), co-chaired by myself and Jen­nifer War­ing. As the 2014–15 sea­son pro­gressed, plan­ning revved up sub­stan­tial­ly, includ­ing an open call for pro­pos­als launched in July. The biggest push con­tin­ues, and we hope to be able to release more details soon. A FORUM 2016 web page is already up, under devel­op­ment. It will con­tin­ue to grow and is expect­ed to be as inform­ing as our past FORUM pages, so feel free to check it out from time to time. You can learn a lit­tle more about what’s in the works for FORUM 2016 in Jen­nifer Waring’s FORUM Steer­ing Com­mit­tee Report. So, save the date, Jan­u­ary 14–17, 2016 in Ottawa! I hope to see you all there.

Other Projects

Last sea­son, we began ini­tial dis­cus­sions with IAMA to be part of the Novem­ber 2016 meet­ing that will be held in Toron­to. We had a very suc­cess­ful part­ner­ship back in 2013 when they held their con­fer­ence in Mon­tre­al. What our role will be is still to be deter­mined but we hope to be able to at the least, cre­ate a show­case series like we did last time. Check out more infor­ma­tion about that project on our web site.

At the FORUM this year we will be host­ing some pri­vate ses­sions with our mem­bers to dis­cuss the cre­ation and imple­men­ta­tion of a tour­ing net­work that will be facil­i­tat­ed through CNMN. How this will be devised will come out of mem­ber con­sul­ta­tion so please stay tuned for more info. We will present our find­ings on the final day of the FORUM (anoth­er rea­son to attend!).

Going Forward

I want this orga­ni­za­tion to serve its mem­bers. I hope the tour­ing net­work ini­tia­tive will be able to con­nect our mem­bers through the actu­al process of cre­at­ing and shar­ing our work together.

CNMN needs to know what you need and how it can serve these needs. CNMN’s board of direc­tors and myself can only sup­port activ­i­ties that we know our mem­bers need. We need to hear from you. Con­tact your region­al rep­re­sen­ta­tive and have a dis­cus­sion, or send me an email. Our doors our open. Please let us know how to serve you better.

Kyle Bren­ders, Octo­ber 2015


Direct link: President’s Report – Sea­son 2014–15
Return to full Bul­letin – Octo­ber 2015