Keynote Speakers

Inga Petri – Keynote Speaker
9:00 – 10:30 am, Friday, April 25th

Community, Partnership and Performing Arts:
Co-creating a Culture of Place in Rural Communities

Presentation here.

IngaPetriInga Petri, CMRP, is the President of Strategic Moves. Her work thrives on the crossroads of research, strategy and marketing/audience development.

With more than 20 years’ experience in diverse sectors – from the performing arts, museums and arts services organization to international trade promotion organizations, national membership associations and technology companies – clients benefit from an uncommon breadth of experience and expertise.

Applying creative, collaborative approaches, she consistently rallies
teams around common objectives and inspires action, leveraging her experience on both the client and agency sides of marketing practice.

After sixteen years in sales and marketing, and as an account executive
at a major Ottawa advertising agency, Inga founded Strategic Moves, a research-based consultancy focused on designing strategic solutions that effectively connect clients with their audiences. In addition to hundreds of corporate sector and federal government projects, Inga has a profound record of achievement in the arts and cultural sector spanning from her work in Canadian book publishing during the 1990s to a series of significant primary and secondary research, analysis and strategy projects undertaken for the National Arts Centre, Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards, Storytellers of Canada-Conteurs du Canada, Canada Dance Festival, Canadian War Museum and others during the last decade.

Most recently, she has been leading the Value of Presenting: A Study of Performing Arts Presentation in Canada, conducting extensive research into the value, benefits and impact of performing arts presentation. During this study – commissioned by CAPACOA on behalf of the presenting field –  she has led more than 30 workshops and presentations across Canada with over 1,500 participants from the presenting and performing arts field providing a unique perspective on the opportunities for and challenges faced by the performing arts sector.

She presents at national and regional conferences in the performing arts, research and marketing communities and regularly gives talks on evolving marketing practice and actionable research to a variety of professional meetings and in post-secondary institutions.

Steven Thorne – Keynote Speaker
9:00 – 10:30 am, Saturday, April 26th

This Plenary Session has been sponsored by: OHTO final logo

Place-Based Cultural Tourism: Realizing Your Community’s PotentialSteven Thorne HEADSHOT

Steven Thorne specializes in “place-based cultural tourism” – a phrase that Steven coined.

Steven’s clients have included Tourism BC, Parks Canada, Ontario’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism PEI, and cities, towns and institutions from British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador.  In the wake of the 2010 Winter Olympics, North America’s preeminent ski destination – Whistler – invited Steven to help the resort capitalize on cultural tourism.  The result was, “A Tapestry of Place: Whistler’s Cultural Tourism Development Strategy” – a strategic blueprint for place-based cultural tourism.  Currently, Steven is developing cultural tourism strategies for Huntsville/Lake of Bays, Ontario, and for BC’s Columbia Valley.

With an extensive background in culture – he managed the Arts Development Office for Greater Victoria, BC, and for the City of Kelowna, BC – Steven Thorne brings principles of cultural planning and placemaking to destination planning for cultural tourism. He hopes that, over time, his place-based approach to cultural tourism will replace attractions-based cultural tourism – the predominant approach (and in Steven’s view, both antiquated and obsolete) that is found in the global tourism marketplace.

Steven Thorne holds a graduate degree in Leisure Studies from the University of Waterloo, specializing in cultural development, and an undergraduate degree in theatre from York University, specializing in performance. In step with his passion for cultural tourism, Steven is an advocate for the preservation of the built environment, and for the preservation of community heritage. He is the author of Polices for Preservation: The Heritage Canada Foundation, 1973 – 1993.

Committed to cultural tourism education as well as its practice, Steven teaches the course, “Cultural Tourism: Realizing the Opportunity”, offered through the University of Victoria’s Cultural Resource Management Program.  He also lectures in the Graduate Program in Tourism Policy and Planning at the University of Waterloo.

Scott Walters – Keynote Speaker
9:00 – 10:30 am, Sunday, April 27th

Building a Networkswalters pic2

Scott Walters is the founder of the Center for Rural Arts Development and Leadership Education (CRADLE —, an organization devoted to exploring new ways of creating sustainable, participatory arts programs in small and rural communities.

He is also a Professor of Drama at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He writes for American Theatre Magazine, the Huffington Post and the Clyde Fitch Report, as well as for his blogs Theatre Ideas and Creative Insubordination. He is the co-author with Cal Pritner of Introduction to Play Analysis. Scott lives in Bakersville, NC (pop 462) with his wife, as well as assorted sheep, alpacas, chickens, rabbits, dogs, and cats.