FORUM 2016

New Music and the Mainstream

January 14-17, 2016 – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Thank you everyone who attended FORUM 2016! Read the wrap-up article as well as what attendees had to say.

Presented by the Canadian New Music Network in collaboration with the School of Music at the University of Ottawa, the School for Studies in Art and Culture at Carleton University, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

We are eagerly anticipating FORUM 2016 OTTAWA, Canada’s premiere new music networking event held biennially in a different city each time. Featuring a fascinating combination of presentations, demonstrations, professional development sessions and open discussion environments built around a specific theme. CNMN members pay a reduced registration fee – cheaper than the non-member registration fee even when the cost of CNMN membership is factored in. We aim to attract as many members of the national new music community as possible – please tell everyone you know about it!

Theme: New music and the mainstream

FORUM 2016 examines how new music relates to and functions within the mainstream. But what is new music? And what is the mainstream? And beyond the relationship of new music to mainstream music, how does it relate to society as a whole?

Other questions might be: what is expressed in the increased blurring of boundaries between practices; what does it say about music, about underlying economic systems, even about ourselves, that some music is commercially viable and some is not; what is society’s tolerance for the new, is there something anathema about new expressions in “traditional” musical streams; what do we mean by “relevance.”

And in a more practical vein: how can new music practitioners tap into the mainstream; are there alternatives to current commissioning models; what role do venues play; what opportunities open up in a do-it-yourself age.

Should you be there? Yes!

This will be CNMN’s seventh national FORUM, and each one is a valuable opportunity to connect face to face with people from across this great big land who believe in the value of the new music experience and seek to promote this value across Canada: artistic directors, performers, improvisers, composers, educators, presenters, researchers, arts administrators, artist managers, producers, publishers, music lovers and more….Everybody is welcome!

The event on Facebook – follow us here!

Contact Us

If you would like to volunteer or help in any way, or if you have questions, please do not hesitate to communicate with us. Please contact

Read past bulletin entries:

Sponsors and partners



Canada Logo

University of Ottawa







Canada Council for the Arts

SOCAN Foundation Logo_Outlined

  • FORUM Registration

    FORUM Registration Fees

    Rates for CNMN Members

    • $60 – Individuals* before December 25 – now passed
    • $70 – Individuals* after December 25

    *Must be a CNMN individual member with voting rights – settle your 2015-16 dues now.

    • $90 – Organizations** before December 25   now passed
    • $120 – Organizations** after December 25

    **Must be a CNMN organizational member with 2015-2016 dues settled – settle now.

    Rates for NON-members

    • $95 – Individuals
      Note: An individual voting membership ($25) plus forum registration fee ($60/$70) costs less than or the same as the non-member FORUM fee – join now.
    • $195 – Organizations
      Note: Become a CNMN organizational member ($65 / $125) and save money on FORUM registration – join now.

    Registration includes two onsite buffet lunches, a 25% discount to the Friday evening symphonic concert, and free admission to the concert on Saturday night (Pauline Oliveros performing with Canadian and international musicians).


    Please choose from the following list:

    Registration for individuals

    Registration for representatives of organizations

    Subject to change without prior notification (24 november 2015).

  • Featured Guests

    Keynote Speaker

    Pauline Oliveros

    Internationally acclaimed composer, performer, humanitarian, and pioneer, Pauline Oliveros has forged new ground, written books, formulated new music theories and investigated new ways to focus attention on music including her concepts of “Deep Listening” and “sonic awareness.” Her career spans fifty years of boundary-dissolving music making. She has been vocal about representing the needs of individual artists, the need for diversity and experimentation in the arts, and promoting cooperation and good will among people.

    International Guests



    Trombone Collectief Nederland

    • Koen Kaptijn – Trombonist, Splendor (Amsterdam, NL)


    National Guests


    • Sarah Albu – Vocalist (Montreal, QC)

    • Ruby Kato Attwood – Vocalist • Artist (Montreal, QC)




    Tim Brady

    • Tim Brady – Artistic Director, Bradyworks • Composer • Electric Guitarist • Founder, CNMN (Montreal, QC)

    Kyle Brenders

    • Kyle Brenders – Composer • Multi-Instrumentalist • President, CNMN (Toronto, ON)









    • Jim Hiscott – Composer • Producer • Accordionist • Co-Artistic Director, Groundswell (Winnipeg, MB)

    Frank Horvat




    • Nicole Lizée – Composer (Montreal, QC)





    • David Pay – Founder and Artistic Director, Music on Main • Board member, CNMN (Vancouver, BC)






    • Darcy Spidle – Creative Director / Founder, OBEY Convention (Halifax, NS)



    • Isabella Stefanescu – Visual and Media Artist • Artistic Director, Inter Arts Matrix (Kitchener/Waterloo, ON)


    • Kiya Tabassian – Artistic Director, Constantinople • Composer • Setar (Montreal, QC)




    Check back here, the list keeps growing. (Subject to change without prior notification – 29 november 2015).


  • Sessions and Activities

    The theme of the FORUM is New Music and the Mainstream, and we have developed a remarkably varied programming to meet this challenge. The keynote address will be given by Pauline Oliveros. Our panels include a rich array of personalities from across Canada and abroad, and will cover subtopics of public engagement, the interplay of modern technologies and cultures, and orchestral programming, as well as a discussion on the history (and future) of CNMN. Our mini-portrait sessions will bring together representatives of distinguished new music presenters from Canada, France, the U.K. and the Netherlands, and our call for proposals has yielded a fascinating set of presentations, hands-on workshops, dialogues and demonstrations on a variety of topics.



    Pauline Oliveros, Deep Listening – New York

    Root Stream, Main Stream and Global Stream

    Who are we who gather in community around new music or experimental music? How do we find each other? Who listens to us and why? These questions will be explored in what I call Root Stream understanding in relation to Main Stream and Global Stream music.



    PANEL 1 – Concert Experiences in the 21st Century

    How are concerts evolving? What is the effect of venue or circumstance on performance, and on the art form? And what is the effect of venue or circumstance on the public’s acceptance of new and unfamiliar kinds of music? What kind of relationships are presenters developing with their audience? These and other questions will be examined by a panel of top-flight figures working in a wide range of genres, on the Canadian and international scenes.

    Jean-François Denis, empreintes DIGITALes – Montreal, QC
    Véronique Lacroix, Ensemble contemporain de Montréal (ECM+) – Montreal, QC
    David Pay, Music on Main – Vancouver, BC
    Craig Pedersen, composer/improviser – Montreal, QC
    MODERATOR: Jesse Stewart, SSAC, Carleton University – Ottawa, ON


    PANEL 2 – New Music and Popular Music

    What new relationships exist between these two previously distinct, virtually mutually exclusive genres? How do funding structures/realities affect the nature of both kinds of music? In what ways are the lines being blurred, and why? What are the implications for marketing and audience development?

    Paul Théberge, SSAC, Carleton University – Ottawa, ON
    Nicole Lizée, composer – Montreal, QC
    Russell Smith, The Globe and Mail – Toronto, ON
    MODERATOR: William Echard, SSAC, Carleton University – Ottawa, ON


    PANEL 3 – Cultural Context(s) for New Music

    What are the functional contexts for the practice of new music? If new music’s roots lie in the European classical music tradition, where does it live now as a practice? (Is this assumption about its European roots even accurate?) What is new music’s relationship to musical expression of “other” cultures? How do different cultures practice their own form of new music, if they do? Does it stem from the musical traditions of the particular culture or is it an adoption of the European classical music tradition? And, is new music just one practice, or is it multiple practices – with multiple communities, and multiple contexts?

    Moshe Denburg, Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra – Vancouver, BC
    Kamal Hors, Windstreken – Amsterdam, NL
    Ben Dietschi, Spectrum Music – Toronto, ON
    Melody McKiver, violist, media artist – Ottawa, ON
    MODERATOR: Juliana Pivato,
    artist – Toronto, ON


    PANEL 4 – New Music and Community Engagement

    Grass roots movements, do-it-yourself-ness, citizen organizations and the like have all had an effect on how new music artists and organizations interact with the community. What are the stories and successes? What are the implications for the art form?

    Ruth Howard, Jumblies Theatre – Toronto, ON
    Juliet Palmer, Urbanvessel – Toronto, ON
    Jesse Stewart, SSAC, Carleton University – Ottawa, ON
    MODERATOR: Matthew Fava, Canadian Music Centre – Toronto, ON


    PANEL 5 – New music and the orchestra: how to make the orchestra relevant

    This panel examines the relationship of the orchestra not only to contemporary music, but also to our own time. Can an ensemble born of 18th century societal relationships truly reflect 21st century realities? Considering the orchestra’s “bread and butter” repertoire, how have they dealt with changing aesthetics? What is their obligation to contemporary creation? At a time when arts organizations have to compete with technology and a myriad of other entertainment options for audience, what can orchestras do to attract the numbers that a large and expensive ensemble requires? How might the solution to this problem lie in new music?

    Alexander Shelley, National Arts Centre Orchestra – Ottawa, ON
    Tania Miller, Victoria Symphony – Victoria, BC
    John Estacio, composer – Edmonton, AB
    Jared Miller, composer – Victoria, BC
    MODERATOR: Adrian Fung, Toronto Symphony Orchestra – Toronto, ON


    PANEL 6 – A Decade of CNMN: looking back and looking forward

    CNMN’s 10th anniversary provides the opportunity to look back on its accomplishments and look forward to its role in continuing to help the Canadian new music community come together and deal with the next pressing issues.

    Aimé Dontigny, Director, Music Section, Canada Council for the Arts; CNMN founding vice-president (2006) – Ottawa, ON
    Kyle Brenders, president, CNMN – Toronto ON
    Tim Brady, founding president (2005-14), CNMN – Montreal, QC
    Gayle Young, past board member (2006-8), CNMN – Grimsby, ON
    Lukas Pearse, Upstream Music Association – Halifax, NS
    MODERATOR: Ellen Waterman, past board member (2006-7), CNMN – St. John’s, NL



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


    Mini Portrait 1

    Ben Dietschi (Spectrum Music – Toronto) + Koen Kaptijn (Splendor – Netherlands)


    Mini Portrait 2

    David Pay (Music on Main – Vancouver) + Susanna Eastburn (Sound and Music – U.K.)


    Mini Portrait 3

    Henk Heuvelmans (Gaudeamus Muziekweek – Netherlands) + Sonia Stevenson (Lichfield Festival – U.K.)


    Mini Portrait 4

    Isak Goldschneider (Innovations en concert – Montreal) + Jim Hiscott (Groundswell – Winnipeg)


    Mini Portrait 5

    Joe Bates (Filthy Lucre – U.K.) + Darcy Spidle (OBEY Convention – Halifax, NS)



    Each session has a theme. Facilitators are there to help, but the sessions aim to move attendees from observers to active engagers. 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.

    Session One deals with improvisation: specifically, how to incorporate it into “composed” work.

    Facilitator: Jennifer Waring

    Session Two is a continuation of the New Music and its ‘Others’ activity (see below).  It will give time for discussion and shared learning across diverse perspectives of gender, socio-economic status, sexuality and cultural heritage.

    Facilitators: Juliet Palmer and Jerry Pergolesi

    Session Three is the Plenary Wrap-up. Participants will decide what pressing topics need further airing.

    Facilitator: Kyle Brenders


    Additional opportunities for networking and development: we’ve learned that some of the most lasting partnerships and follow up actions from a FORUM come out of the informal programming. So, on each full day of the FORUM there is an informal break specifically for networking as well as a social lunch. This is your opportunity to carry on discussion from panels and open sessions, find out more after listening to a mini-portrait, pick each other’s brains, share experiences, and initiate collaboration.



    You won’t want to miss this selection of mini-talks, hands-on workshops, dialogues and demonstrations!

    New Music and its ‘Others’: Reviving the mainstream through a diverse musical watershed – Interactive presentation

    The timeline of contemporary concert music development in Canada coincides with second wave feminism, the civil rights movement and the gay liberation movement. But while these scenes share a chronology, diverse voices are conspicuously absent in Canadian new music. This session investigates the structural barriers that prevent diverse musical tributaries from joining the mainstream of contemporary classical (new) music, highlighting experiences from composers, researchers and performers outside the narrow confines of the so-called “normal.” Followed up by an open session for discussion (see above).

    Facilitators: Juliet Palmer and Jerry Pergolesi
    Presenters: Mary Ingraham (University of Alberta), Dylan Robinson (Sto:lo Nation; Queen’s University), and Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa (pianist, Queer Arts Festival).


    Making Contemporary Opera Mainstream – Dialogue

    Erin Bardua and Maureen Batt, vocalists and co-founders of Essential Opera (Halifax, NS), will discuss collaboration between creators and presenters, and especially the importance of working together to help new works gain the momentum required to enter the mainstream repertoire. Success isn’t a lightning strike – it’s a snowball.


    The Loyalty Debate: Single-ticket sales vs. Subscriptions – Dialogue

    Tim Crouch, director of marketing for Toy Piano Composers, advocates for a healthy balance between single-ticket sales and subscriptions, bringing in his experience from Tafelmusik. Alternatively, TPC’s artistic director and founder Monica Pearce presents arguments for strengthening resources behind single-ticket sales. The goal for both in this debate: to achieve brand and long-term loyalty with audience members.


    Feminism, interdiscipinarity and the voice in new music creation/performance – Performative dialogue

    New music vocalist Sarah Albu and multidisciplinary artist and singer Ruby Kato Attwood discuss their experiences as interpreters and creators of new vocal music and experimental performance across various media and genres. These two artists find common ground despite perceived borders of discipline, calling into question the construction of a musical hierarchy, the changing definition of “new music composition” and the role of the female voice within these structures.


    Music as a Catalyst to Bring About Social Change: Going beyond the fundraising concert – Mini-talk and group discussion

    Greek philosopher Plato stressed the centrality of music to politics. He saw music as an essential component of society because it contributed to both individual and societal balance and harmony. As part of the new music community, we are in a unique position to elevate issues relevant to our times. How can we collaborate and share ideas to amplify our passions and music, and truly be musicians that facilitate change? Frank Horvat, composer, pianist, and activist musician (Toronto, ON) leads the discussion with attendees.


    The Sounds of Montreal Project: Inter-Traditional Urban Music – Public interview with Q&A

    Jonathan Goldman (Circuit, musiques contemporaines) interviews Montreal composer/performers Sandeep Bhagwati and Kiya Tabassian (Montreal, QC) on questions central to their Sounds of Montreal project, and the differences in this project to other inter-traditional ensembles. Can making new music today be at all meaningfully conceived as a continuation of eurological modernism alone?


    Beside the Mainstream – Mini-talk

    Luke Nickel, Co-Director of Cluster: New Music + Integrated Arts Festival (Winnipeg, MB) discusses how the inclusion of “other” genres does not constitute involvement in the mainstream. He will also discuss what motivations a programmer might have for wanting to interact with the mainstream. To conclude, he will speak about a project for Cluster 2016 that does touch the mainstream in a way accessible to new music programmers, and what the ramifications are, both aesthetically and logistically.


    The Voices of Drawing – Hands-on workshop

    Visual and media artist Isabella Stefanescu (Inter Arts Matrix, Kitchener/Waterloo, ON) leads a hands-on workshop where participants learn how to use the Euphonopen for both free and structured improvisation, as well as how to “compose” a drawing. The Euphonopen is a device that creates live aleatory electroacoustics using the by-product of mark-making gestures of a person who draws or writes.


    Concert music in relation to other performance arts – Mini-talk

    For practitioners of dance and theatre (and also of popular music) a production is created spontaneously from the work itself; in other words, the technical, financial and human resources, as well as strategies for promotion and dissemination, are determined in advance as a function of the specific nature of the project. Can it be the same for concert music? Composer and producer Simon Martin (Projections libérantes – Montreal, QC) shares his thoughts on this question in relation to his concert-length work Musique d’art for string quintet (2015).


    In Pursuit of Balance – Mini-talk

    How can we achieve a sustainable work-life balance? Is a self-employed artist ever on vacation? The line between work and life can be blurred – especially for artists and arts administrators. Soprano Maureen Batt (Halifax, NS) explores some of the challenges that we face when the balance is off, and offers some solutions that might bring you back to the middle.

  • Concerts in Ottawa

    While you’re in Ottawa — new music concerts scheduled during evenings of FORUM 2016.
    Note: Registering at the FORUM gives you a discount to the the NAC Orchestra concert on January 15th, and free admission to the Pauline Oliveros concert on January 16th.

    Thursday, January 14, 2016

    Mercury Lounge – 56 Byward Market Square
    A co-presentation of CKCU, Beau’s All Natural and the Mercury Lounge

    doors at 8 pm, live music at 9PM
    $5 at the door

    Friday, January 15, 2016 – 7pm

    NAC Southam Hall – 53 Elgin St., Ottawa
    Spirit Prevails
    Casual Fridays with the NAC Orchestra
    Tickets $25 – $97
    25 % discount for FORUM 2016 registrants (promotional code sent by e-mail upon registration)

    • Alexander Shelley, conductor; Daniel Hope, violin; Donna Feore, director
    • Music by John Estacio, Eric Wolfgang Korngold and John Williams
    • More info:

    Saturday, January 16, 2016 – 8pm

    First Baptist Church – 140 Laurier Ave W, Ottawa
    Pauline Oliveros performing with Canadian and international musicians
    presented by Ottawa New Music Creators and Carleton University, School for Studies in Art and Culture (SSAC)
    Tickets $20/12
    More info:
    FREE for FORUM 2016 registrants

    • Pauline Oliveros on V accordion
    • Ione on vocals
    • Jesse Stewart on percussion
    • Gayle Young on instruments of her own design
    • Craig Pedersen on trumpet
    • Raphael Weinroth-Browne on cello
    • Koen Kaptijn on trombone
    • Ellen Waterman on flutes

    Saturday, January 16, 2016 – 9pm

    Mercury Lounge – 56 Byward Market Square
    WolfGANG: Session 5

    with members of the NAC Orchestra

    Check info with venue or presenter — subject to change without prior notification — January 3, 2016

  • Announcements Page

  • Practical Information

    FORUM 2016 Location

    Perez Building, University of Ottawa
    610 Cumberland St
    Ottawa, ON
    K1N 1K5


    Please pick up your nametag (aka pass) at the registration desk Thursday 6pm, or Friday and Saturday morning. The desk will be in the foyer of the Perez Building at the University of Ottawa. The pass gets you in to all FORUM activities and grants you free admission to the concert on Saturday night (Pauline Oliveros performing with Canadian and international musicians).

    WIFI at the FORUM:

    • Choose network: “uottawa-WPA
    • Open browser (and you should be re-directed to the uOttawa page).
    • Login: uo-guest3403
    • Conference password: jfn518vp! (case sensitive).

    FORUM Hotel

    LORD ELGIN HOTEL – More info
    100 Elgin Street


    Find all the places mentioned below on this Google map.

    Zoom in to see the Ottawa University Campus (in particular, the locations of the Perez and Desmarais Buildings) a little closer!

    Getting Around

    From the airport (YOW) to Lord Elgin Hotel

    The FORUM is not responsible for airport pickups.

    Taxi: In good traffic, total trip time is approximately 20 minutes and will cost, on average, $35. Please be aware that traffic levels can greatly fluctuate and affect the total cost of your trip. Find the taxi stands outside Arrivals level. All taxis should accept major credit cards.

    Ottawa Transit: Ottawa Transit costs $3.55 per ride or $8.50 for a day pass. In good traffic, total trip time is approximately 45 minutes. Please note that there is a 5 min. walk from the appropriate bus stop to the hotel.
    Transit trip planner from Ottawa International Airport to Lord Elgin Hotel


    From Ottawa International Airport to Lord Elgin Hotel

    From east of the city

    From west and south of the city

    From the Ottawa train station to Lord Elgin Hotel

    Taxi : In good traffic, total trip time is approximately 10 minutes and will cost, on average, $16. Please be aware that traffic levels can greatly fluctuate and affect the total cost of your trip. Find the taxi stands outside the front door of the train station. All taxis should accept major credit cards.

    Ottawa Transi: Ottawa Transit costs $3.55 per ride or $8.50 for a day pass. In good traffic, total trip time is approximately 25 minutes. Please note that there is a 5 min. walk from the appropriate bus stop to the hotel.

    From Lord Elgin to the FORUM

    Walking : Walking time is approximately 15 minutes.

    Ottawa Transit: Ottawa Transit costs $3.55 per ride or $8.50 for a day pass. In good traffic, total trip time is approximately 13 minutes.


    See this link for information on visitor parking at uOttawa. Closest to the Perez Building are Brooks, Desmarais, Lots B, C and K, as well as some of the street parking mentioned on the site.

    Coffee & Eating

    Coffee shop across the street from the FORUM: Café Nostalgica

    Restaurants: Byward Market and Elgin

    University of Ottawa Food Services

    Alternative Accommodations

    Extended Stay Canada – Ottawa

    141 rue Cooper Ottawa ON K2P 0E8

    More Resources

    University of Ottawa directions

    City of Ottawa Visitor Information

    Ottawa public transportation

    Campus Recreation

  • Language Facilitation

    More information coming soon, please check back!

    CNMN is a bilingual organization made up of members who communicate in both official languages of English and French. As such, our events and communications aim to be bilingual in nature.

    The language facilitation programme is a flexible way for speakers of varying levels of French and English to communicate more deeply with one another.

    We are looking for people to act as Language Facilitators at FORUM 2016 to facilitate comprehension for certain attendees.

    Language Facilitators will be expected to attend an orientation session (date to be confirmed).

    In exchange for their services, the first four people to volunteer as language facilitators will receive complementary registration to the FORUM.

    To volunteer, please contact Louise Campbell, Language Facilitation Coordinator:

  • Promotion

    Want to help promote FORUM 2016 OTTAWA?

    Word of mouth, concert programmes, web sites, mailing lists, social networks, carrier pigeons… whatever floats your boat! Be it through print or digital media, any opportunity you have to contribute is appreciated.

    You can help? Wonderful! We’d like to thank you by acknowledging your contribution: please contact Geof at

    Download our advertisement – également disponible en version française. Format 4.5 x 7.5 also available, by request.

    (1) High resolution PDF for print material, 7.375″ x 8″ – colour or grayscale

    (2) Digital media (JPEG):








  • Hotel – group rate


    100 Elgin Street | Ottawa | ON K1P 5K8
    Toll free (coming soon)
    Local 613-235-3333
    Fax 613-235-3223

    Book by December 18, 2015

    • Group room and rate availability is guaranteed until December 18, or until the group block is full, whichever occurs first.

    How To Book

    • Online: use this BOOKING LINK to access the group rate.
    • By e-mail: • by phone: 1-800-267-4298 • Make sure to specify Canadian New Music Network when calling or e-mailing.

    Group Room Rate – $119* per night

    • King or double Queen room
    • Complimentary internet access
    • 42 inch flat screen TV
    • Windows that open for fresh air
    • Complimentary in-room Coffee maker
    • Personal Refrigerator
    • I-home docking station/alarm clock
    • Bathtub
    • Hairdryer
    • In-room safe
    • Iron/Board
    • ‘Stay Green & Save’ eco-program

    *Rate does not include taxes and fees— 13% HST and 3% DMF (Destination Marketing Fee). Individual reservations may be cancelled until 4PM on the day of arrival with no penalty. After this, cancellations are subject to a penalty equal to the first night’s stay plus applicable taxes.

    Hotel Parking

    (coming soon)

  • Support Letter & Getting to Ottawa

    Getting to Ottawa

    You’re making the trip to Ottawa, Canada this January to attend FORUM 2016? Now that’s a great idea!

    Our past 6 national FORUMs were very exciting and successful, and the project has proven to be a great way to strengthen ties with people in the new music field from coast to coast, to make connections, to exchange new ideas and to get new projects off the ground.

    Here are a few hints and tips so you don’t break the piggy bank:

    • There are good airfare rates in January. You’d be surprised what is out there! Get them before they go up in price.
    • For those who have resources to apply to their organization, institution or university for travel or professional development support, we hope you choose FORUM 2016 for one of these applications. We can provide the necessary letter of support for your application – see below.
    • You may be eligible for travel funding from your regional or provincial arts council. Don’t be afraid to call them up and ask! Act quickly to be sure you will meet deadlines.
    • You may be eligible for a travel grant from the Equity Office at the Canada Council. It is for Canadian professional artists or arts professionals with disabilities or who are from culturally diverse groups (African, Asian, LatinAmerican, Middle Eastern or mixed racial descent). More information:

    Support Letter

    We would like as many people as possible attending FORUM 2016.

    We are asking as many people as possible, from all areas of music: musicology, performance, music education, music theory, composition, music technology, media arts, interdisciplinary arts, etc.

    We can provide the necessary letter of support for your application.

    Contact Geof Holbrook at any time if you need this letter, personalized with your contact info and specific situation —

    We also warmly welcome your fellow colleagues — feel free to speak with them or forward this information. If they are new to CNMN, they can get oriented with our bilingual PDF brochure for general information about CNMN.

    Thanks for your time and consideration. I look forward to seeing you in Ottawa this coming January.

    Yours truly,
    Kyle Brenders
    President — CNMN / RCMN

    (last update: October 6, 2015)

  • Team

    Steering Committee

    • Co-Chair: Kyle Brenders  – Multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser and arts administrator (Soundstreams) and president of CNMN since 2014
    • Co-Chair: Jennifer Waring – Freelance new music consultant, past Artistic Director of Continuum and CNMN board member since 2014
    • Stacey Brown – Composer, Adjunct Instructor (UQAM, EMVI), Academic Translator, and Board Member for CNMN since 2012
    • Lori Burns – Professor and Director of the School of Music
    • Jesse Stewart – Associate Professor of Music Composition, Carleton University, Ottawa
    • Stefani Truant – Associate Artistic Administrator, National Arts Centre Orchestra

    Production and Administration

    • Geof Holbrook
    • Emily Hall
    • Ananda X. Suddath
    • Cléo Palacio-Quintin
    • Louise Campbell
    • François Couture
    • Clément Topping
    • 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
    • Alain Perron
    • Mengyuan Shi
    • Jesse Stewart
    • 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)
  • Call For Proposals – FORUM 2016

    Note: deadline is now passed.

    Thank you to everyone who responded to our open call for proposals.

    In July 2015, the Canadian New Music Network launched a CALL FOR PROPOSALS for the 7th national FORUM being held January 14 to 17, 2016 in Ottawa.

    We received 19 applications from all around the country, representing a great variety of creative interests. The competition was very strong.  A bilingual independent jury composed of a diverse group of five new music professionals from across Canada reviewed every application, and they remarked on the consistently high, professional quality of the submissions. After the jury made their short list of top recommendations, the steering committee took this list and tried to integrate as many of them as possible into the schedule. Faced with only so many time slots available, and so many wonderful proposals, it was a difficult task indeed.

    The following people were invited:

    The Canadian New Music Network has launched a CALL FOR PROPOSALS for the 7th national FORUM being held January 14 to 17, 2016 in Ottawa.


    Proposals should build around the understanding of the following:

    (1) We’re looking for programming proposals from everyone! The goal of our FORUMs is to create greater networking and development opportunities for the entire new music community – artistic directors, performers, improvisers, composers, educators, presenters, researchers, arts administrators, artist managers, producers, publishers and all other new music practitioners.

    (2) The FORUM is neither an academic conference nor an arts market/showcase; it’s a hybrid that seeks to create connections for everyone working in the new music field. Consult our web site for information on previous FORUMs.

    (3) The FORUM 2016 theme is New Music and the Mainstream, which can be taken in many diverse directions: the intersections between the popular and the not-so-popular; the mechanisms and processes behind the distribution, consumption and promotion of mainstream and new music; questions about society as a whole, and much more. Consult the front-page section for further ideas related to the theme. If you have a burning issue, demonstration, workshop or other type of activity along the lines of the theme to propose, please send it in. Even if you have a fabulous idea that’s not theme-related, shoot that our way too. We’re very open and are looking for a wide diversity of proposals.


    15 min., 30 min., or 45 min. time slots are available.

    What formats to use for what time slots? Here are just some ideas:

    15 min. slots:

    • A passionate mini-talk – about your research, experiences or ideas.
    • A public conversation or interview between two interesting people.
    • A performance-demonstration (but not a concert).
    • Guide a quick & simple bonding activity that provides attendees opportunity to get to know each other in a different way other than talking. A great way to refresh everyone’s energy between the “blah blah blah” that takes place. This could include musical improv or something entirely different.

    30 or 45 min. slots:

    • A hands-on workshop that teaches attendees something interesting.
    • Moderating a group activity that encourages direct participation of FORUM attendees around a specific goal.
    • Facilitating a networking activity for attendees to get feedback or engage others regarding their projects or interests.


    • Include time for Q & A or open discussion, when appropriate.
    • No panels/round tables: these are already being programmed.


    • Slots are limited. The FORUM 2016 steering committee makes programming decisions – all decisions are final.
    • Activities involving multiple people: all parties must consent and take part in the application.
    • Applicants whose proposals are accepted will be required to register for the FORUM.


    Submission deadline September 4, 2015

    Email your submission to Emily Hall –
    Include, as ONE PDF FILE:

    • Contact information
    • 1-page outline (indicate time slot duration as well as format)
    • 200 word bio(s)
    • List of technical requirements (equipment you will need, how much space, how much set-up time)
    • Equipment & production budget (if applicable)
    • IMPORTANT: We do not accept other attachments or downloads. If necessary, provide direct links to streaming audio or video (Soundcloud, YOUTUBE, Website, etc.). ie. NO dropbox link or MP3 email attachment.

    Acceptance notification: Oct. 15, 2015.

    p.s. Please help spread the news. Share this web page URL through email, social media, newsletters, etc.. A bilingual print-friendly announcement is available – FORUM 2016 OPEN CALL (PDF) – for doors, notice boards, etc..

  • Acknowledgements

    CNMN would like to thank the following organizations for helping to promote this year’s FORUM:


    Canadian League of Composers (featured the FORUM in their Zoom In newsletter)

    Groundswell (included our promo in the mailing for their concert, Pianist Daan Vanderwalle and The Devil’s Staircase)

    Music on Main (included our promo in the program for the Modulus Festival)

    Transmission Ensemble and Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur (included our promo in the concert program of their Crippled Symmetry concert)

    Productions SuperMusique (included our promo in the program for their concert, Phèdre de racine, sans paroles)

    Western Front New Music for promoting the FORUM in multiple mailings.


    Also, thanks again to our sponsors and partners:



    Canada Logo

    University of Ottawa





    Canada Council for the Arts

  • Timetable – new!

    All rooms are at Perez Hall,  located at the University of Ottawa – 50 University St, Ottawa, ON, Canada

    Room Map Key

    FH Freimann Hall
    F FOYER, Perez Hall
    OR Orchestral Rehearsal Room (Room 109)
    113A Room 113A (large seminar room)
    220 Room 220 (classroom)
    221 Room 221 (classroom)
    TBA To be announced

    Note: Room locations and schedule are subject to change without prior notification (December 14, 2014).

    For more detailed programme information, visit:

    For the morning and afternoon networking breaks and the dinner breaks – consult the list of cafés and restaurants on our Practical Information page.

    Thursday, January 14

    start end
    6:00 PM 7:00 PM Registration (F) + Icebreaker (FH)
    7:00 PM 8:00 PM Network Development Session 1 – open session (FH) TOLOrk hands-on demonstration (113A)

    Friday, January 15

    start end
    8:00 AM 9:00 AM Registration (F)
    9:00 AM 9:15 AM Welcome (FH)
    9:15 AM 10:15 AM Panel 1 – Concert experiences of the 21st century (FH)
    10:15 AM 10:45 AM Mini portrait 1 – Spectrum + Splendor (113A)
    10:45 AM 11:00 AM Mini talk – Luke Nickel: Beside the Mainstream
    11:00 AM 11:45 AM Mud Lake Symphony – students of Regina Street Public School led by Jesse Stewart (FH)
    11:45PM 12:45 PM PANEL 2 – New Music and Popular Music (FH) Hands-on workshop – Isabella Stefanescu: The Voices of Drawing
    12:30 PM 2:00 PM Networking Lunch 1 (included with registration) (GH)
    2:00 PM 2:30 PM Mini Portrait 3 – Soundstreams (GH)
    2:30 PM 3:30 PM Panel 3 – Music and 21st Century Media: the broader connection (GH)
    3:30 PM 3:45 PM Mini talk – Monica Pearce: Good Housekeeping – Some thoughts on Personal Administration (GH)
    3:45 PM 4:15 PM Afternoon Break 1
    4:15 PM 5:15 PM Open Session 1 – Unsilencing: Women and their Place in New Music and Sound Art (GH)
    5:15 PM 7:15 PM Dinner Break 1 (not included)
    7:15 PM 8:00 PM Pre-concert talk 1 (GH)
    8:00 PM Land’s End Ensemble Concert (EG)
    $10 tickets available with your FORUM pass. Reception to follow.
    10:00 PM approx. After Hours Improvisation 1 (GH)
    Want to play? Contact
    Free – Public welcome

    Saturday, January 16

    start end
    8:00 AM 9:00 AM Registration (F)
    9:00 AM 9:45 AM Open Session 2  – Earning a living in new music
    *Project Room (EV)    *General Discussion Room (SM)
    9:55 AM 10:05 AM Mini demo-discussion – Carmen Braden: Sound-telling: Storytelling through sound, speech, and music (GH)
    10:05 AM 10:20 AM Mini talk – Simon Martin: Project-Based vs. Seasonal Programming (GH)
    10:25 AM 10:45 AM Mini performance & discussion – Scott Godin, Lael Johnston & the Chestermere Highschool Drumline: oh my golly! (EG)
    10:45 AM 11:00 AM Morning Networking Break
    11:00 AM 11:15 AM Mini demo-workshop – Shawn Mativetsky: New Music for the Tabla of North India: Issues of Composition and Performance Practice (GH)
    11:15 AM 11:30 AM Mini talk & discussion – Jen Blackwell & Mike Romaniak: Crossing Borders: The Composers Project and Canadian Music (GH)
    11:30 AM 12:30 PM Panel 5 – Public interaction: engaging in dialogue, opening the doors (GH) Panel 4 – Festivals: go deep or go long? (EV)
    12:30 PM 2:00 PM Networking Lunch 2 (included with registration) (GH)
    2:00 PM 3:45 PM KEYNOTE PANEL (GH)
    3:45 PM 4:15 PM Afternoon Networking Break 2
    4:15 PM 4:45 PM Mini Portrait 4 – Cluster + London Sinfonietta (HR) Open Session 3 – Network development & music dissemination
    *Project Room (EV)
    *Gen. Disc. Room (SM)
    4:45 PM 5:15 PM Mini Portrait 5 – Music Gallery + Miller Theatre (HR)
    5:15 PM 7:15 PM Dinner Break 2 (not included)
    8:00 PM U of C Discovery Series Concert (EG)
    $10 tickets available at the door with your FORUM pass.
    10:00 PM approx. After Hours Improvisation 2 (GH)
    Want to play? Contact
    Free – Public welcome

    Sunday, January 17

    start end
    10:30 AM 12:00 PM Open Session 4 – Music education
    *Project Room (EV)        *General Discussion Room (SM)


  • Timetable

    The official FORUM 2016 timetable is in process.

    In the meantime, here is a general idea to help with your travel arrangements to Ottawa.

    To take in the full FORUM, plan to arrive in time for Thursday evening, and to leave Sunday afternoon (flights, trains or buses with departure times of 3:30 pm or later would be very safe).

    Thursday, 14 January 2016
    FORUM 2016 opens at 6pm with registration and an ice-breaker activity.

    Friday and Saturday, 15 & 16 January 2016
    Activities start right away in the morning (9 am), and continue throughout the day, ending with evening concerts.

    Sunday, 17 January 2016
    The morning schedule is full, but we plan to conclude by 12:30 pm.

    Questions? Contact Geof –