2018: New Year, New Fund! Introducing SPARC’s Collaborative Community Initiatives Fund

Collaboration is at the very core of SPARC. Our belief is that the performing arts in rural and remote communities across Ontario flourish when people are connecting, communicating and collaborating. Our mandate reflects this: To be a catalyst for the collaboration of creators, presenters, producers and community animators of performing arts in rural and remote communities across Ontario.

SPARC has been working hard over the past few years to fill this role; from our online communications platforms to our symposiums, we continue to look for ways to connect our members. And now, we want to help enable our members to connect with each other. Enter the Collaborative Community Initiatives Fund! (And yes, “fund” means money!)

Starting this year, SPARC is offering financial support (a maximum of $3,000) for capacity building initiatives that involve collaboration between disciplines of the performing arts (music, theatre, dance, film/media arts) and between communities. This might look like running a series of workshops that allow performing artists and arts administrators in your area to develop new skills. It might look like convening a regional gathering to discuss joint marketing initiatives or paying a consultant to help with the development of a strategic plan. Maybe it looks like producing an artistic project that brings together artists from different disciplines and different communities.

Is there a project your community wants to pursue that sounds like it fits the bill? Have some collaborators in mind or know where to start looking for some? Head to the SPARC website, sign up as a member (it’s FREE!), and take a look at the funding guidelines today! There are three annual application deadlines and the first is fast approaching on February 28th.

If you read over the guidelines and have questions please don’t hesitate to email me – Rebecca Ballarin, Network Coordinator (Rebecca@sparcperformingarts.com) – to set up a time to chat over the phone about your project.

Not exactly sure what a CCI Project might look like? Stay tuned! On our blog next week we share a piece written by Eric Goudie about the pilot project for this fund: an “Artist Swap” between two communities – Hasting and Fergus. From Eric’s blog…

“The show definitely hit its target, and built creative capacity in both of our communities. It allowed venues in both towns be included in Ontario Culture days, and it offered two free concerts to appreciative audiences, which is never a bad thing. But more importantly it became clear by the end of the show that it was the performers themselves who had grown the most. I was pleasantly surprised by this.”

Check back next week to learn more about this project! And I hope to see some exciting project proposals landing in my inbox soon…



**We are currently seeking guest bloggers and/or vloggers from rural and remote performing arts backgrounds to contribute their experiences, wisdom, struggles and ideas to our online blog.  Please get in touch if you feel like you have an article, story or hot topic to share! 

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