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Ontario Presents is a member-based, not-for-profit organization operating in the Province of Ontario, Canada.  The organization exists to support the work of its members and advance the field of practice known as Performing Arts Presentation.

The organization's members are made up of presenters, artists agents and business consultants that operate as a network of peers who work collaboratively on a number of shared initiatives that include block booking; comparative surveys; and setting industry standards and practices for the field.  OP's members participate in a number of annual events including a Spring Retreat, Blue Sky Day, and Ontario Contact.  They also participate in a number of joint advocacy and learning processses designed to improve public understanding of the performing arts presenting practice and to develop they own skills as presenters.

In February 2013, a group of presenters attending an Ontario Presents Retreat became aware of an emerging presenting practice, which they called Presenting 3.0 - community engagement - to distinguish it from the existing presenting practices - Presenting 1.0 and 2.0. They decided that they wanted to further explore this emergent presenting form of community engagement. 

In 2013, Debajehmujig Theatre's, Ron Berti made a powerful pitch about their new Storytellers program called Global Savages. The presenters agreed that this would be the perfect community engagement piece to showcase at  Ontario Presents' annual Spring Retreat in Brantford. This community engagement project was presented in partnership with The Woodland Cultural Centre, Brantford Arts Block and The Sanderson Centre. Experiencing the community engagement work with the Global Savages program was extraordinary and transformative for all those in attendance and led the members to express a strong desire to learn more about community engagement. This eventually led to to a request for a tool or mechanism that would assist them to more fully understand how to embed this practice into their work in their respective communities, hence 

Arts Engage Canada has been created to strengthen and sustain the ability to bring community engagement into the work of presenters and artists. The website provides a knowledge framework of community engagement processes, resources, skills, tools, links and examples of community engaged works from artists and presenters. This user-based content will allow presenters to develop their own community engagement projects, take risks and engage new community participants. The goal of the website is to both strengthen the practice of community engagement as well as to support the development of a community of practice on community engagement. The success of Arts Engage Canada depends on the willingness of presenters and artists to share their examples, including both the successes and the challenges around their community engagement projects. VOLUNTEER ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Annalee Adair, A Adair Associates and Consulting Inc.; Franco Boni, Artistic Director, The Theatre Centre; David Buchbinder, Artistic/Project Director - Diasporic Genius; Joan Chandler, Artistic Director - sheatre; Alyson Martin, Sioux Hudson Entertainment Series; Brian McCurdy, Executive Director - Burlington Performing Arts Centre; Santee Smith, Artistic Director - Kaha:wi Dance Theatre; Sanjay Shahani, Executive Director of the Edmonton Arts Council, Michael Trent, Performing Arts Program Director, Metcalf Foundation.
Judy Harquail; Lendre Kearns; Gail Ferrin; Annalee Adair; Jane Marsland
Natalie Dewan, Communications & Membership Services Co-ordinator, Ontario Presents
Email: info [at] ontariopresents [dot] ca (subject: Arts%20Engage%20Canada)
Talk to a real person via telephone: (416) 703-6709 ext. 9

Arts Engage Canada and Ontario Presents gratefully acknowledge the generous support the Ontario Trillium Foundation and The Department of Canadian Heritage:  



Heritage Engagement


Why - community engagement with youth and community Choreographer Keira Martin


The Move Collective

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Submit your story about a successful community engagement project to the growing resource we are creating together.


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