FORUM 2016 AGM Report


Sub­mit­ted by Jen­nifer War­ing, Octo­ber 2016

FORUM 2016, Ottawa Jan­u­ary 14–17, was the most broad-based that CNMN has ever mount­ed, both in range of prac­tice and also in diver­si­ty of prac­ti­tion­er. Its suc­cess was evi­dent from the first pre­sen­ta­tions, and is mea­sured also in pre­lim­i­nary dis­cus­sions on broad range of projects that it has spawned.


The Music School, Uni­ver­si­ty of Ottawa was host­ing part­ner, pro­vid­ing facil­i­ties and tech; the School for Stud­ies in Art and Cul­ture, Car­leton Uni­ver­si­ty helped bring Pauline Oliv­eros to FORUM 2016, and along with the Ottawa New Music Cre­ators, pre­sent­ed one of the evening con­certs; the Nation­al Arts Cen­tre Orches­tra pro­vid­ed steer­ing com­mit­tee input and evening con­cert programming.

The theme

New Music and the Main­stream came out of an inter­est in exam­in­ing the rela­tion­ship between cre­ative music in the “clas­si­cal stream” and oth­er cre­ative musics, at a time when dis­tinc­tions are becom­ing blurred and tra­di­tion­al labels becom­ing mean­ing­less. And all these issues became part of a major thread of dis­cus­sion through­out the FORUM: diver­si­ty, of prac­tice and of practitioner.


There were a total of forty-nine indi­vid­u­als pro­grammed, thir­ty-eight per­cent com­ing from the Call for Pro­pos­als.

  • Keynote address by Pauline Oliv­eros — a chal­lenge to those in music and the arts to become agents of change in a world that needs fixing.
  • Six wide-rang­ing panels
  • Ten pre­sen­ta­tions (mini-talks, work­shops, dia­logues and demon­stra­tions) that came from the Open Call for Proposals
  • Ten por­traits of orga­ni­za­tions from across Cana­da, the UK and the Netherlands
  • Two edu­ca­tion-themed demonstrations
  • Open net­work­ing and com­mu­ni­ty devel­op­ment sessions
  • Clos­ing ple­nary session


The ener­gy giv­en off by a room of cre­ative peo­ple, the syn­er­gy of their inter­ac­tions, the pos­si­bil­i­ty of col­lab­o­ra­tion that comes with new con­nec­tion, the boost this kind of expe­ri­ence gives in the mid­dle of a busy sea­son: these are all imme­di­ate effects of CNMN’s FORUMs and the 2016 edi­tion was no excep­tion.   Also evi­dent was extra­or­di­nary good will, the courage to be hon­est and the skill at being sen­si­tive to oth­er view­points and real­i­ties. The con­cen­trat­ed expe­ri­ence of this dynam­ic is the kind of thing that can help change the cul­ture of how we do new music.

In terms of projects, there are already con­crete out­comes materializing:

  • Joe Bates (UK) is speak­ing with dif­fer­ent pre­sen­ters in Cana­da about Filthy Lucre pop-up productions.
  • Henk Heuvel­mans (NL) is in dis­cus­sion with Cana­di­an coun­ter­parts on projects.
  • Koen Kap­ti­jn       (NL) has pos­si­bil­i­ties for Cana­di­an performances.
  • Sarah Albu has made con­nec­tions with Juli­et Palmer (Toron­to) and Jen­nifer War­ing (Hamilton/Amsterdam) on two dif­fer­ent projects.

And there are undoubt­ed­ly many more.

Though FORUM 2016 was unques­tion­ably a great suc­cess, at the time there were some sig­nif­i­cant orga­ni­za­tion­al chal­lenges. The new board, along with staff, will be look­ing at ways to ensure the next event can be as seam­less for those work­ing behind the scenes as it is for the delegates.


In the col­lab­o­ra­tive and coop­er­a­tive spir­it that marks CNMN’s oper­a­tions, many peo­ple con­tributed crit­i­cal­ly to the suc­cess of the forum. This includes the steer­ing com­mit­tee, the capa­ble staff, board mem­bers who brought expe­ri­ence of pre­vi­ous forums, new board mem­bers, staff and vol­un­teers who brought new ener­gy, and of course part­ners and fun­ders.

As co-chair of FORUM 2016, I would like to acknowl­edge them all indi­vid­u­al­ly, with my sin­cere thanks.

Part­ners, fun­ders: School of Music at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ottawa, the School for Stud­ies in Art and Cul­ture at Car­leton Uni­ver­si­ty, the Nation­al Arts Cen­tre Orches­tra, FACTOR, the Gov­ern­ment of Cana­da, Cana­da Coun­cil for the Arts, Inter­naiton­al Soci­ety for Con­tem­po­rary Music (ISCM), SOCAN Foun­da­tion, Ottawa New Music Creators

Steer­ing com­mit­tee: Kyle Bren­ders and Jen­nifer War­ing (co-chairs), Jesse Stew­art (Car­leton Uni­ver­si­ty), Ste­fani Tru­ant (Nation­al Arts Cen­tre Orches­tra), Stacey Brown (CNMN board), Lori Burns (Uni­ver­si­ty of Ottawa)

Pro­duc­tion and admin­is­tra­tion staff: Geof Hol­brook (FORUM 2016 Pro­duc­tion Man­ag­er), Emi­ly Hall (CNMN Admin­is­tra­tive Direc­tor), Anan­da Sud­dath (gen­er­al assis­tant), Cléo Pala­cio-Quintin (Book­keep­ing), Louise Camp­bell (pro­duc­tion assis­tant), François Cou­ture (trans­la­tion), Clé­ment Top­ping (grants), Hali Kraw­chuk (Uni­ver­si­ty of Ottawa), Julie Fast (Red­house Design) 

MC’s, Time Keep­ers, stage man­ag­ing, wel­come team (vol­un­teer): Norm Adams, Tim Brady, Kyle Bren­ders, Louise Camp­bell, David Pay, Jesse Stew­art, Alain Per­ron, Mengyuan Shi, Jen­nifer War­ing, Po Yeh

Lan­guage Facil­i­ta­tion (vol­un­teer): Louise Camp­bell (coor­di­na­tor), Sarah Albu, Michel Beaudry, Sandeep Bhag­wati, Stacey Brown, Alis­sa Che­ung, Bruno De Cat, Jonathan Gold­man, Véronique Lacroix, Marc-Olivi­er Lam­on­tagne, Suzie Leblanc, Claire Marc­hand, Clemens Merkel, Stephanie Moore, Fran Slingerland

Call For Pro­pos­als – Jury: Stacey Brown (QC) chair, André Cormi­er (NB), Hei­di Ouel­lette (MB), Christo­pher Reiche (BC)

Orga­ni­za­tions who helped pro­mote FORUM 2016: Cir­cuit, Cana­di­an League of Com­posers, Groundswell, Music on Main, Ensem­ble Trans­mis­sion, Pro­duc­tions Super­Musique, West­ern Front New Music

Read the FORUM 2016 Wrap-Up article
Read what oth­ers had to say: Sou­venirs from FORUM 2016.


Direct link: FORUM 2016 AGM Report
Return to full Bul­letin – Octo­ber 2016