REVOLUTION: Engaging Human Creativity

The BC Alliance for Arts + Culture's 2017 conference, REVOLUTION: Engaging Human Creativity, took place June 8 at The Annex and Pyatt Hall at the VSO School of Music in Vancouver.

The programming included an exhilarating speech from keynote speaker Ben Cameron, and the panel "Cultural Diversity in Artistic Practice" moderated by Nina Buddhdev. Participants also experienced an array of excellent breakout sessions, including:

  • "Citizen Engagement" with Toronto theatre practitioner Franco Boni;
  • "Exploring Reconciliation Through Arts & Culture" with Raven Institute co-founder Teara Fraser;
  • "Leading the Way on Arts Advocacy" with BC Alliance executive director Brenda Leadlay;
  • "Virtual Reality & the Dark Side of Empathy" with Dr. Ray Hsu;
  • "From Art to Action: Building Anti-Racist Solidarity" facilitated by ShapeShift Arts; and
  • "New Ways of Working Together: The Next Generation" moderated by Dani Fecko.

We concluded the evening with a reception at the Alliance headquarters on Howe Street. For more information on REVOLUTION 2017, check out our page for the event!

re:generation / BC Cultural Roundtable 2016

Reflecting the Alliance's expanded provincial mandate, the interconnectedness of the arts, cultural, and heritage communities, and the development of our new Cultural Roundtable NetworkBC Cultural Roundtable is the new identity for what was formerly known as our annual Arts Summit. 


re:generation / BC Cultural Roundtable 2016, June 9 at New Westminster's Anvil Centre, was a conference focusing on emerging leadership in all cultural disciplines and sectors. We heard dynamic conversations across the spectrum of career stages, from founder/pioneer through mid-career and just beginning, discovering what each has to teach and learn from the others. The conference was followed by a networking reception at el Santo restaurant.

See our Program + Schedule for full details on the keynote presentation, presenters and panelists. 

Conference Summary Document

We have prepared a summary of the day's discussions and outcomes, which you can view and download here.


View the video of the conference's morning session online here.


Keynote Presentation

Download the pdf of Emiko Ono's keynote presentation, A Changing Landscape.

What We Have Learned Presentations

Download the pdf of Gillian Wood's presentation on the BC Government's Creative Economy Strategy
Download the pdf of Liz Shorten's presentation on the Cultural Human Resources Council's initiative, Talent to Lead: succession in the cultural sector.


We've shared some photos from the conference and the reception on our Facebook page here

The Alliance's Arts Summits 2013-2015 focused on the topic of a cultural policy framework for British Columbia. 

Arts Summit 2015

At Arts Summit 2015, June 18 and 19 at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre in Vancouver, we closed the circle on two years of province-wide conversations around the creation of a Cultural Policy Framework for BC as part of the Alliance's BC Creative Convergence initiative.

2015 Program

Opening Remarks

Welcoming remarks from Alliance executive director Rob Gloor

What We Have Learned (Part I)

A report-back from community leaders and innovators on recent challenges and developments in their sectors.

Martha Rans of Artists' Legal Outreach discussed the recent changes to the Society Act; Judith Marcuse described ongoing activities and initial results from a five-year research project which she is leading on art for social change in Canada; Karen Lamar and Erica Kumar discussed Creative BC, the independent agency providing support for BC’s motion picture, interactive digital, music, and publishing sectors

What We Have Learned (Part II)

Sarah Kim of Artstarts in Schools on the state of art in education in BC; Dawn Brennan of The Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance with an overview of this year’s Making A Scene Conference; and Kelly Hill of Hill Strategies Research Inc. outlined a multi-faceted project he is currently undertaking to address research gaps in British Columbia’s arts and culture sector.

BC Creative Convergence - Click the headings below for video footage.

Community Cultural Roundtables Process + Outcomes

Alliance director of community engagement Kevin Dale McKeown and communications manager Amanda Peters discuss the process and outcomes of Roundtables held across the province as part of the Alliance's BC Creative Convergence initiative.

Cultural Policy Framework / BC Creative Convergence Report Presentation

Alliance executive director Rob Gloor provides a report on the cultural policy framework document that came out of the BC Creative Convergence initiative. The document created reflects ideas gathered at 19 Community Cultural Roundtables held throughout the province, survey responses, past Summits and other consultations. To download the report and learn more about BC Creative Convergence, click here

BC Creative Convergence Report Panel Discussion

Panelists respond to the cultural policy framework report.

Beng Favreau - president, Haida Gwaii Arts Council; executive director, Literacy Haida Gwaii
Kevin Dale McKeown - director of community engagement, Alliance for Arts + Culture
Zaena Campbell - program officer, BC office of the Dancer Transition Resource Centre
Minna Schendlinger - facility manager, 110 Arts Cooperative
Howard Jang - executive director, SFU Woodward's Cultural Unit and professor of professional practice in SFU's School for the Contemporary Arts

Marcus Youssef - artistic director, Neworld Theatre

Richard Evans Keynote

Building on outstanding feedback on his keynote address at Arts Summit 2013 and his workshop at Where Next BC in 2014, Richard Evans, president of EmcArts presented an opening talk and Q&A session on his most recent work in adaptive change.

Activating Innovation: Case Studies from Two EmcArts Programs

A second session with Richard Evans explored case studies of organizations benefiting from this work in both the US and Canada. Bringing their personal experiences into the conversation, Darcy Trufyn, board chair at the Art Gallery of Alberta, and Charlie Miller, founder and co-curator of Off-Centre @ The Jones (a theatrical testing centre for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts), joined Richard for a discussion.

Arts Summit 2014

Arts Summit 2014, on June 20 at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre in Vancouver, took the next steps towards the development of a cultural policy framework for British Columbia.

2014 Program

Arts Summit 2014 continued the BC Creative Convergence conversation on a cultural policy framework for British Columbia, and included the following sessions and contributors:

  • What We Have Learned sessions with Michael Davis of BoardVoice with an update on similar work being done on a social policy framework; Bob D'Eith of Music BC on the experiences of the first year of Creative BC; reports on the WhereNextBC conference and the ArtsBC conferences held earlier in the year.
  • Cultural Policy Framework Progress Report
  • Panel Discussion and Q&A discussing the framework progress, with Lori Baxter, Minna Schendlinger, and Kathleen Darby. 
  • Breakouts and Reporting Back to identify topics we feel need more attention and consider ways of developing wider community engagement in the process ahead as the Alliance begins a series of Community Cultural Roundtables around the province as part of BC Creative Convergence. 
  • The Road Ahead: Sum up and setting of benchmarks for the coming year's endeavours

Arts Summit 2013

Arts Summit 2013, on June 21 and 22 at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre in Vancouver, marked the first steps towards the development of a cultural policy framework for British Columbia.

At Arts Summit 2013 we sought to educate ourselves on policy-making, shared our visions for a provincial cultural policy, and developed a strategy for the coming year. 

2013 Program

Presenters included:

  • Richard Evans (keynote), President of EmcArts and well-known speaker on the relationship between cultural policy and emerging practices in the arts;
  • Richard Hornsby, one of the architects of New Brunswick's successful cultural policy initiative in 2002 and a participant in its most recent renewal process; 
  • Alison Turner, former assistant executive director, external, and director of communications and strategic alignment for the Edmonton Arts Council. 

A panel discussion on the collaboration among the creative industries leading to the recent announcement of CreativeBC included Bob D'Eith of Music BC Industry Association, Margaret Reynolds of the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia, and Liz Shorten of the Canadian Media Production Association - BC Producers' Branch.

We also heard from presenters on the topics "What We Have Learned" (highlights and outcomes of recent conferences as they might connect with the development of a cultural policy framework) and "Art for Social Change" (presentations addressing the value of the arts in all aspects of life, and examples of art at work for social change).

"Art In Our Lives" Video

In a video produced for Arts Summit 2013, eight artists and arts workers shared their thoughts on the impact of art in their lives and their ideas for a cultural policy that would support their work. 

Video producer and director: Nyiri Karakas

Videography & Editing: Brenda Miller, Rob Wilson, & Wren Handman

Video participants:

Jim Byrnes - Legendary blues musician, actor
Perry Ehrlich - Director of Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance! & Showstoppers Show Choir
Sal Ferreras - Percussionist, music educator and producer
Reena Lazar - Executive director, Peace It Together
Harout Markarian - Operatic tenor, educator
Mark Reid - Creative director of Carpe Ictus Music, conductor, music educator
Kim Sato - Director of Project Soul Productions
Melanie Schambach - Community engaged artist

Production of the "Art in Our Lives" video and live streaming of Arts Summit 2013 were made possible thanks to the generous support of TELUS.