Thursday, October 27

2:00 – 4:00 pm                     SPARCing Exchange Café (A Transformative Event)

Photo by Stan Wiebe for AlgomaTrad

Photo by Stan Wiebe for AlgomaTrad


Michele Emslie, Yukon Arts Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon;

Thom Lambert, Singing Dog Studio, Haliburton, Ontario;

Lisa Tolentino, Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition, Haliburton, Ontario;

Sue Shikaze, Health Promoter, HKPR District Health Unit; Chair, Communities in Action Committee, Haliburton, Ontario;

Kate Hall, Active Transportation Planner, Communities in Action Committee, Haliburton, Ontario

To open the Symposium we will be transforming the Plenary Room of the Pinestone Resort & Conference Centre into a neighbourhood café as we did for the inaugural 2014 Symposium. The type of place where the air is buzzing with ideas and folks are hopping from table to table to greet old friends and meet new people; where the walls are covered with pictures, bulletins, helpful information, and notes to facilitate informal conversations later on throughout the Symposium.

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. Everyone has a part to play in the SPARCing Exchange Café. 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 goals and aspirations;
  • 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.
Photo by Sticks and Stones Productions

Photo by Sticks and Stones Productions

About the Facilitators:

Thom Lambert is an artist, arts presenter, semi-professional volunteer, and facilitator living in the Haliburton Highlands. With a special interest in experiential education and ethnography, he has been leading and facilitating group experiences for over 30 years. From grade 2 students exploring song writing for the first time, to vice-presidents of multinational corporations learning the value of “thank you”, he brings a wide range of experience to any learning situation.

Sue Shikaze has been a resident of the Haliburton Highlands for over 20 years. She appreciates all of arts opportunities that are available in the area, and is a fan of local music, theatre and art offerings. Sue occasionally performs as part of the musical group Trio Cappuccino, and is a volunteer host on CANOE FM, Haliburton County’s Community Radio Station. She assists with the implementation of Winter Folk Camp, a 4-day musical learning camp held annually in the Highlands. In her day job, Sue works at the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit as a Health Promoter, with a focus on creating healthy, active communities through active transportation. She also has an interest in how art and culture can promote good health. Sue enjoys running, cycling, and skiing in the Highlands.

Lisa Tolentino is a trained facilitator who has worked within the health, social, economic and environmental sectors doing community development and capacity building for nearly 25 years. Through her professional and volunteer capacities, Lisa has conducted research, planning, project management, policy development, community engagement and collaboration. She previously owned and operated a small business and studied English literature, film and theatre. Lisa’s current work with the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition focuses primarily on food and transportation issues in rural communities. She lives in the Haliburton Highlands with her family.

Michele Emslie is currently the Community Programming Director at Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon. Over the past 20 years she has worked with a variety of performing and visual arts events and organizations including the Yukon International Storytelling Festival; Whitehorse Concerts and was a key organizer of the Pan-Northern contingent at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. She has also been involved with many ground-breaking initiatives for Northern artists and cultural workers alike including Co-Chair of the 2007 Canada Winter Games Cultural Festival, Chair of the 2011 BreakOut West Host Commitee and co-founded and is President of ArtsNet, Yukon’s arts alliance organization. She also holds a seat on the board of CAPACOA, Canada’s national presenters’association. Michele is passionate about serving the needs of the Northern arts community and is currently working on developing a Northern Presenting Network. She attended the first SPARC conference in 2014 and was inspired by the people and topics covered there. The first ever Yukon Arts Presenters Summit was held in Whitehorse in November 2014 and plans are underway for the next Summit in Spring 2017. She looks forward to forging new connections and strengthening our respective networks to ensure the voices of rural and remote arts and cultural workers are heard; and their amazing achievements and abilities are celebrated by all Canadians.

Kate Hall is a planner with twenty years of experience working in community development as both a professional and a leadership volunteer. She has a keen interest in public participation and has worked with a diverse range of stakeholders in community planning initiatives to provide opportunities for people to engage in meaningful ways, from idea conception to decision making. Kate is active on a number of committees in her home community of Minden Hills and is also a board member with the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition. She is a long-time member of the Haliburton County Folk Society and enjoys living in a place with such a rich and diverse arts community.

4:00 – 4:45 pm         The SPARC Has Been Lit


Greg Thomas, SPARC Network Coordinator, McArthur Mills, Ontario

We invite you to a life-changing 45 minutes, a TEDx-esque, tell all on SPARC the past, the present and the future. We will explain how SPARC’s network grew from ambitious but humble beginnings in Haliburton to reach out to Ontario and beyond.

Join us as we journey to the stars. Literally. SPARC’s Network Coordinator will discuss how the Constellation Model creates the conditions for SPARC to work from a bottom up, community led approach. Using recent consultations as case studies, SPARC will reveal what it is has been hearing from our partner communities, as well as providing feedback about the consultation process. What have we learned about working in collaboration? The good, the bad and the ugly.

We will explore the resources that effective collaborative working can bring to Canada’s performing arts scene and then learn about the art of network weaving. Who is a network weaver, why are they important, what do they do and what are their tricks of the trade?

Then the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The virtual gates to SPARC will be unlocked and opened. We’ll take a walk through SPARC-land and investigate the networking opportunities and resources it can offer to rural performing arts communities and performing arts organizers.

The 45 minutes will be a fast paced, interactive and informative introduction to SPARC’s next steps in serving the rural performing arts. SPARC’s Network Coordinator will be conveniently positioned at a special interactive station throughout the weekend. This will be a natural meeting point for individuals who want to continue to explore in more depth, how SPARC can support their work and what they would like to see from SPARC.

4:45 – 5:00 pm                     SPARCing Exchange Café Close

6:00 – 7:30 pm                     Dinner on Own (see Dining Options 2016)

7:30 – 10:00 pm                   Welcome Reception & Open Stage Performances

Welcome: Murray Fearrey, Reeve, Dysart et al (invited)

Ontario Trillium Foundation Recognition:

Laurie Scott, MPP, Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock

OTF Review Team volunteer, tbc