Attend the SPARC Symposium 2016! The 2016 SPARC Symposium will be held at the Pinestone Resort & Conference Centre, 4252 County Rd 21, Haliburton, ON, K0M 1S0 from Thursday, October 27 to Sunday, October 30, 2016. Click here for the 2016 SPARC Symposium Program.

Walt Disney said “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

The SPARC Symposium 2014 embraced a vision of a rich and diverse network of performing arts creators, producers and presenters that reached across the province and beyond.

Together we will create a map that will lead us down new paths and make connections that will satisfy our curiosity but continue to lead us on.

In creating the program for the SPARC Symposium, we recognized that knowledge about presenting, producing, creating, animating, and administering in the performing arts in rural areas is held by different people, organizations, and groups. All forms of knowledge are needed to move forward, and sharing that knowledge in an innovative way that encourages dialogue was at the top of our priority list.

As a result, we were thrilled that more than 30 speakers from across Canada – and internationally –  will be participating, providing 20 workshops and 3 thought-provoking and informative plenaries, and a broad range of regional performances and entertainment – all taking place within a rural context.

A key goal of SPARC is to create an environment where people can network: exchange ideas, find opportunities for collaboration, discuss solutions to tricky problems and identify BIG ideas. You will have an opportunity to meet people engaged in the performing arts from rural communities throughout the province and across the country and ­

  • share information about yourself and your community;
  • talk about your hopes and dreams;
  • meet people who have similar interests and are facing similar challenges;
  • hear about the resources and creative ideas that people have brought to share;
  • start to identify actionable goals you can initiate in your community.

Whether your goals are professional development, learning strategies to attract new audiences, innovative approaches to sustainability, opportunities for information exchange, or developing creative methods for marketing cam

Photo By Sticks and Stones Productions

Photo By Sticks and Stones Productions

paigns or mentoring programs, it is our hope and belief that this year’s program will facilitate them.

New this year! The intent of SPARC Symposium ’16 is to optimize the extent to which your experience is transformative, that is, that you emerge from the event with a changed perspective that energizes and focuses you on your work when you return home.

SPARC has added a facilitation stream to pull the program together and ensure that you are supported in identifying learning tools and applying them to your circumstances. We hope this may also identify who among you have overlapping interests that may be explored further during the course of the Symposium and following it. A team of facilitators will deliver interactive introductory and closing plenary events, as well as manage exchange among presenters and participants for the final third of each workshop. At the end of Friday and Saturday, the facilitation team will deliver a Highlights and Insights mini-plenary to help you transform learnings of the day into plans to apply to your post-Symposium work. A copy of these plans will be shared with SPARC, and they will be mailed to you after the Symposium to see how your plans are progressing.

Perhaps even more importantly, we hope you will leave feeling that you learned something useful, have valuable new tools in your arsenal and, most of all, are keen to be a part of a rural performing arts community network of like-minded individuals with experience, knowledge and expertise to share.