Sessions & Activities

The theme of the FORUM is con­nect­ing with audi­ences, and we have devel­oped a remark­ably var­ied pro­gram­ming to meet this chal­lenge.  Our pan­el dis­cus­sions look at very focused sub­jects such as orches­tral pro­gram­ming, fes­ti­vals, and pub­lic engage­ment, while our open net­work­ing and com­mu­ni­ty devel­op­ment ses­sions take a broad­er, more holis­tic approach to sub­jects such as music edu­ca­tion, the eco­nom­ics of new music and pub­lic dis­sem­i­na­tion.  There is a range of top­ics and approach­es that are guar­an­teed to give you new ideas, new con­tacts, and new per­spec­tives on cre­at­ing new music in Cana­da, and abroad.


With five of the world’s best and most pres­ti­gious new music pre­sen­ters on stage, FORUM 2014 par­tic­i­pants will have unique access to learn what it takes to get Cana­di­an new music on the world stage. Ques­tion peri­od follows.

Andrew Burke, Lon­don Sin­foni­et­ta – Lon­don, UK
Lawrence Cher­ney, Sound­streams – Toron­to ON
Patri­cia Ros­ner, Berlin Phil Media GmbH – Berlin, Germany
Melis­sa Smey, Miller The­atre – New York, USA
Nico­las Thiri­on, Why Note Fes­ti­val – Dijon, France
MODERATOR: Tim Brady, Cana­di­an New Music Net­work – Mon­tréal QC


Panel 1 – How to define and develop the “Canadian” in “Canadian” new music?

What do pro­gram­mers look for when they want “Cana­di­an” music – a sound, an approach, a postal code? How do we define Cana­di­an music, and what mes­sage does our def­i­n­i­tion send to inter­na­tion­al pre­sen­ters?  What do the Cana­di­an pub­lic and the Cana­di­an media think of when they think of “Cana­di­an new music”?  More ques­tions than answers, per­haps, but it’s an essen­tial discussion.

DB Boyko, West­ern Front New Music – Van­cou­ver BC
Patrick Giguère, Erreur de type 27 – Québec QC
Clemens Merkel, Quatuor Bozzi­ni – Mon­tréal QC
Jer­ry Per­gole­si, Con­tact Con­tem­po­rary Music – Toron­to ON*
John Reid, Cana­di­an Music Cen­tre – Prairie Region – Cal­gary AB
MODERATOR: Jen­nifer War­ing, Con­tin­u­um – Toron­to ON

*Trav­el fund­ing for Jer­ry Per­gole­si pro­vid­ed in part by the Research Com­mit­tee at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Fac­ul­ty of Music.

Panel 2 – Orchestral programming: new music and the big machine

Orches­tras have unique chal­lenges when pro­gram­ming new music – per­for­mance tra­di­tions, pro­duc­tion costs, major mar­ket­ing expens­es, and an increas­ing­ly frag­ment­ed pub­lic. Yet a major orches­tral per­for­mance still has a unique pow­er to reach a large num­ber of peo­ple, and Cana­di­an new music artists need to under­stand this mar­ket in order to succeed.

Nor­man Adams, Sym­pho­ny Nova Sco­tia – Hal­i­fax NS
Éric Cham­pagne, Orchestre Mét­ro­pol­i­tain – Mon­tréal QC
Robert Rival, Edmon­ton Sym­pho­ny Orches­tra – Edmon­ton AB
Heather Slater, Cal­gary Phil­har­mon­ic Orches­tra – Cal­gary AB
MODERATOR: John Korsrud, Hard Rub­ber Orches­tra – Van­cou­ver BC

Panel 3 – Music and 21st Century Media: the broader connection

The Inter­net – love it, hate it, it’s here! We all have a Web site, Face­book pages, YouTube chan­nels, but how does one pull all these ele­ments togeth­er to cre­ate a strong, coher­ent dig­i­tal pres­ence that will have a real impact on pre­sen­ters and the public?

Marie LeBlanc Flana­gan, Weird Cana­da – Perth ON
Bren­da Cle­niuk, Neu­tral Ground  – Regi­na SK
Jean-François Denis, empreintes DIG­I­ – Mon­tréal QC
Frank Oteri, New Music Box – New York USA (via SKYPE)
Jen­nie Punter, Music­works Mag­a­zine – Toron­to ON
MODERATOR: Fab­rice Maran­dola, Six­trum – Mon­tréal QC

Panel 4 – Festivals: go deep or go long?

Fes­ti­vals are a key mar­ket for new music. But every fes­ti­val has its own char­ac­ter and its own process.  A pan­el of fes­ti­val direc­tors dis­cuss how they approach pro­gram­ming, and how they see their rela­tion­ship with artists and the public.

Aïda Aoun, SMCQ – Mon­tréal QC
Louis Dufort, Akous­ma – Mon­tréal QC
David Eagle, Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­gary – Cal­gary AB
Michel Lev­asseur, FIMAV – Vic­to­ri­av­ille QC
Hei­di Ouel­lette and Luke Nick­el, Clus­ter Fes­ti­val – Win­nipeg MB
MODERATOR: Nor­mand For­get, Nou­v­el Ensem­ble Mod­erne – Mon­tréal QC

Pan­el 5 – Pub­lic inter­ac­tion: engag­ing in dia­logue, open­ing the doors

The heart of the mat­ter: how to engage the pub­lic, how to get them into the seats and keep them com­ing back?  A pan­el of var­ied new music pre­sen­ters with dif­fer­ent approach­es share their essen­tial knowledge.

Luce Cou­ture, Cen­ten­ni­al The­atre – Lennoxville QC
David Dacks, Music Gallery – Toron­to ON
Glenn Hod­gins, Ottawa Inter­na­tion­al Cham­ber Music Fes­ti­val – Ottawa ON
Char­lotte Levitt, Miller The­atre – New York, USA
David Pay, Music on Main – Van­cou­ver BC
MODERATOR: Lisa Cay Miller, NOW Soci­ety – Van­cou­ver BC


The mini por­traits pro­vide new music pre­sen­ters a chance to focus on their orga­ni­za­tion. Most of the mini por­traits pair 1 Cana­di­an pre­sen­ter with 1 Inter­na­tion­al pre­sen­ter to stim­u­late dia­logue across geo­gra­phies and cultures.

Mini Por­trait 1
Pier­rette Gin­gras (Le Vivi­er – Mon­tréal) + Nico­las Thiri­on (Why Note Fes­ti­val – France)

Mini Por­trait 2
André Cormi­er (LeHum, Monc­ton) +  Patri­cia Ros­ner (Berlin Phil Media GmbH – Germany)

Mini Por­trait 3
Lawrence Cher­ney (Sound­streams – Toronto)

Mini Por­trait 4
Hei­di Ouel­lette and Luke Nick­el (Clus­ter Fes­ti­val – Win­nipeg) + Andrew Burke (Lon­don Sin­foni­et­ta – UK)

Mini Por­trait 5
David Dacks (Music Gallery – Toron­to) + Melis­sa Smey (Miller The­atre – New York)


Each ses­sion has a theme. A facil­i­ta­tor is there to help, and the ses­sions aim to move atten­dees from observers to active engagers. Dur­ing each ses­sion, 1 room will be devot­ed to gen­er­al dis­cus­sion, and anoth­er room will be devot­ed to project-ori­ent­ed discussion.

Gen­er­al Dis­cus­sion Room
Par­tic­i­pants are encour­aged to bring their per­son­al expe­ri­ences, knowl­edge, ques­tions and con­cerns sur­round­ing the ses­sion theme, with the inten­tion of cre­at­ing deep­er aware­ness, stronger rela­tion­ships, and sus­tain­able solu­tions with­in local, region­al and nation­al com­mu­ni­ties. The meet­ing could place every­one in a cir­cle, into small­er break­out groups, or some­thing else – the group decides for itself.

Project Room
Do you have a spe­cif­ic pro­pos­al or ini­tia­tive sur­round­ing the ses­sion theme that you want to net­work with oth­ers? Are you look­ing to sup­port or be part of one? This is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to intro­duce your project, build rela­tion­ships, and invest in future oppor­tu­ni­ties with mem­bers of the local, region­al and nation­al com­mu­ni­ties. The meet­ing for­mat could be a “pitch to the room”, a “speed-dat­ing one-on-one”, or some­thing else – the group decides for itself.

Session 1 – Unsilencing: Women and their Place in New Music and Sound Art

Does gen­der equal­i­ty exist in the new music com­mu­ni­ty? How do assump­tions about the roles of women and men deter­mine the kinds of music we hear, where we hear it, and how we hear about it? Jen­nifer But­ler and Tina Pear­son co-facil­i­tate an Open Forum that invites sto­ries and ideas for begin­ning a rev­e­la­to­ry discussion.

This ses­sion is co-spon­sored by:

Session 2 – Earning a living in new music

How can the Cana­di­an new music com­mu­ni­ty devel­op as a net­work in order to help its mem­bers meet the eco­nom­ic chal­lenges that they face as artists?

Project Room: David Pay, Cana­di­an New Music Net­work – Van­cou­ver BC
Gen­er­al Dis­cus­sion Room: Kyle Bren­ders, Cana­di­an New Music Net­work – Toron­to ON

Session 3 – Network development and music dissemination

How can the Cana­di­an new music com­mu­ni­ty devel­op as a net­work in order to get more Cana­di­an new music on the Web, in high-qual­i­ty dig­i­tal record­ings, and with prop­er pro­mo­tion­al sup­port, in order to improve the con­nec­tion between Cana­di­an new music artists and the nation­al and inter­na­tion­al  public?

Project Room: Tim Brady, Cana­di­an New Music Net­work – Mon­tréal QC
Gen­er­al Dis­cus­sion Room: David Pay, Cana­di­an New Music Net­work – Van­cou­ver BC

Session 4 – Music education

How can the Cana­di­an new music com­mu­ni­ty devel­op as a net­work in order to help make cre­ative music edu­ca­tion more acces­si­ble to all Canadians?

Project Room: Jer­ry Per­gole­si, Con­tact Con­tem­po­rary Music – Toron­to ON
Gen­er­al Dis­cus­sion Room: Brent Lee, Cana­di­an New Music Net­work – Wind­sor ON


Syn­thet­ic Means in the Twen­ty-first Cen­tu­ry: Com­po­si­tion and Per­for­mance Workshop
Com­pos­er D. Andrew Stew­art (Leth­bridge) illus­trates options for new music com­po­si­tion and per­for­mance with dig­i­tal musi­cal instru­ments, includ­ing high­light­ing sig­nif­i­cant mile­stones in the devel­op­ment of the “t‑stick” (e.g., com­po­si­tion work­shop, com­mis­sion­ing com­posers, inter­na­tion­al per­for­mances and col­lab­o­ra­tions). Par­tic­i­pants will be treat­ed to a hands-on expe­ri­ence with the t‑stick in an effort to bring them “clos­er to sound” (Hugh Le Caine, 1960). 

Pros­thet­ic dig­i­tal instru­ments for music and dance per­for­mance: pre­sen­ta­tion and hands-on workshop
Joseph Mal­loch, IDMIL, McGill Uni­ver­si­ty – Mon­tréal QC

These pros­thet­ic instru­ments – includ­ing artic­u­lat­ed spines, curved visors and ribs – cre­ate sound as the wear­er moves, and were devel­oped in col­lab­o­ra­tion with dancers, musi­cians, com­posers and a chore­o­g­ra­ph­er. Learn about the con­cep­tion and design, the tri­als and tri­umphs of the work­shop process, and how per­former ges­ture is sensed and mapped to sound in real-time. Then, take part in hands-on exper­i­men­ta­tion with the instru­ments themselves.

Pro­gram­ma­ble mul­ti-touch inter­faces for spa­tial­iza­tion and live elec­tron­ics: pre­sen­ta­tion and inter­ac­tive workshop
Bruno de Chéner­illes (Stras­bourg, France) shares his expe­ri­ences devel­op­ing mul­ti-touch inter­faces, and shows us how com­bin­ing soft­ware with low-cost and small devices, the musi­cian and com­pos­er can focus on intu­ition and musi­cal ges­ture, break­ing free from the lim­i­ta­tions demand­ed by hard­ware inter­faces such as audio con­soles and con­ven­tion­al midi con­trol sur­faces. In this inter­ac­tive work­shop, par­tic­i­pants get to try out these new tech­niques in dif­fer­ent configurations.


You won’t want to miss this selec­tion of mini-demos, mini-talks and mini-workshops!

Mini Talk – Good House­keep­ing for Com­posers: Some thoughts on Per­son­al Administration
Com­pos­er Mon­i­ca Pearce (Toron­to ON) explores the dizzy­ing com­pendi­um of admin­is­tra­tive ele­ments that com­posers jug­gle while try­ing to per­son­al­ly man­age their careers, a “DIY” approach to which many artists in the new music com­mu­ni­ty can relate. She will high­light some key points from her arti­cle, and offer some obser­va­tions in an anec­do­tal format.

Mini Demo-Dis­cus­sion – Sound-telling: Sto­ry­telling through sound, speech, and music
Car­men Braden (Yel­lowknife NT) comes from a place where sto­ry­telling and oral tra­di­tions are engrained in soci­ety. “When I com­bined my pas­sion for music con­nect­ed to sounds in the envi­ron­ment with sto­ry­telling, it became sound-telling.” This demo-dis­cus­sion touch­es on the ways sto­ry­telling through sound can be achieved, and engages par­tic­i­pants with ideas for how to build their own sound-telling piece.

Mini Per­for­mance & Dis­cus­sion: oh my gol­ly! for drum­line and narrator
Com­pos­er Scott Godin (Castle­gar BC) and edu­ca­tor Lael John­ston (Cal­gary AB) talk about incor­po­rat­ing con­tem­po­rary music in high school, through their long-term col­lab­o­ra­tive projects. The big treat: a per­for­mance by the Chester­mere High School Drumline!

Mini Demo-Work­shop – New Music for the Tabla of North India: Issues of Com­po­si­tion and Per­for­mance Practice
Per­cus­sion­ist Shawn Mativet­sky (Mon­tréal QC) wants to inspire more per­cus­sion­ists and com­posers to embrace the tabla into their own con­tem­po­rary prac­tice. Mativet­sky will help nav­i­gate through some of the chal­lenges that arise when mix­ing West­ern and Indi­an tra­di­tions, offer solu­tions, and ulti­mate­ly show us the strength of this incred­i­ble, ver­sa­tile musi­cal instrument.

Mini Talk & Dis­cus­sion – Cross­ing Bor­ders: The Com­posers Project and Cana­di­an Music
Jen Black­well & Mike Roma­ni­ak talk about their Com­posers Project with the Cen­tral Michi­gan New Music Ensem­ble. As Cana­di­ans liv­ing and study­ing in the USA, they will talk about the prac­ti­cal chal­lenges and solu­tions to nav­i­gat­ing projects that cross bor­ders, and show how a pas­sion for new music has turned into a way to pro­mote Cana­di­an new music abroad.

Mini Talk – Project-based pro­gram­ming and sea­son­al pro­gram­ming; what is at stake?
For con­cert music in Cana­da, sea­son­al pro­gram­ming is by far the most wide­spread pro­duc­tion mod­el, while the ad hoc approach of devel­op­ing projects is rarely used. Pro­duc­er and com­pos­er Simon Mar­tin (Mon­tréal QC) explores the impli­ca­tions of this sit­u­a­tion by address­ing top­ics such as the cre­ator-pro­duc­er-dis­trib­u­tor chain, the pre­sen­ta­tion of a com­poser’s work, posi­tion­ing one’s cre­ative out­put vis-a-vis the media and the pub­lic, grant pro­grams and pub­lic fund­ing freezes.