Insurance for Consultants Webinar

ACCA Professional Development Event

What You Need to Know About Insurance

Tuesday, January 14, 2020
12:00 – 1:00 PM Pacific / 3:00 – 4:00 PM Eastern / 4:00 – 5:00 PM Atlantic
Location: Online

Have questions about insurance? Of course you do!

Benjamin Rossington of HUB International’s Sports and Entertainment Practice will provide a bespoke presentation for ACCA members outlining the various types of insurance available to today’s arts consulting practitioners. Learn about General Liability, Errors and Omissions and the most up-to-date data protection coverage. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A.

Who should attend:  Arts Consultants, others who are self-employed.

Facilitator:  Benjamin’s passion is to ensure that the show goes on. For over eight years, Benjamin has been working with every imaginable stakeholder in the entertainment industry, from touring bands, record labels, festival organizers, music studios, backline, staging and marketing firms. Ben’s passion is to ensure his clients receive the best possible advice, information and instruction to do their job successfully.


Fee:                       Free for ACCA members, $20 for non-members

When We Choose Not to Use the Microphone


As a consultant, I facilitate workshops and planning sessions. Most of my clients have been subjected to 4 to 6 hours in a room of their choosing with me and my trusty MacBook Air. In my agreements with my clients I have always stated that they are responsible for supplying a comfortable, airy and well lit room with refreshments for these gatherings. It is only recently that I have come to realize that with any group over 10 people, I should also insist on a microphone and speaker. When I am huddled in a board room with a 6 person committee, it’s really not necessary. But recently, I had two experiences that left me reconsidering how I position the requirement that everyone be able to hear.

The first was when I worked with a group of about 15 people in a dramatic, gorgeous, heritage hall. It was breathtakingly beautiful, to the point that I had a sudden urge to take ballroom dancing lessons. But the sound was abysmal. The room was an echo chamber and the microphone kept blitzing out. Even though I can raise my voice to a decent carrying level, having grown up with a partially deaf mother, it became evident that not everyone could hear what I was saying and that some people were only catching snippets. One or two folks were confused about my instructions during exercises and one poor fellow could not participate in any of the sharing-go-rounds at all.

My second pause for consideration was arriving at a winery to do a two day long strategic planning session and finding that we were set up at a very long table between massive vats of wine with pumps that would turn off and on at irregular intervals. On this occasion, I counted myself among the hearing impaired and had to constantly move around the room to properly understand what was being said. There were a couple of soft spoken participants who could not be heard by anyone other than their direct neighbours. The winery was a sponsor of the non-profit and apparently no one had wished to impose upon them by checking out the facilities in advance.

Many board members are baby-boomers or older. They tend to, admittedly or not, be hard of hearing. They literally suffer in silence and trust that my PowerPoint slides tell them what they need to know.

Apparently, my hearing is no longer what it once was either. So I know what its like when a presenter decides not to use the microphone, dismissing it as too much bother and proclaiming loudly that they are certain we can hear them anyway. Then immediately dropping their tone to a conversational level. My heart sinks. Often I am volunteering my time or have paid good money to be there. And I cannot hear everything that is going on. It’s a very isolating and frustrating experience. The refusal to use a mic is actually, upon further thought, a conscious refusal to be willing to include everyone in the proceedings. It is just as bad a choice as choosing not to make room for someone in a wheelchair or excluding some on the basis of race. It is a statement that some people are just not important enough to be at the table.

I would like to challenge each of us to

  1. A) include hearing assistance as a requirement at every presentation with more than 10 people in attendance.
  2. B) learn about the different types of microphones and how to use them properly.
  3. C) begin to respect our audiences by assuming that at least one person in the room may be hearing impaired enough that it impedes their participation. Perhaps approach this person at the break and move them to the front of the room.

Thank you for listening.

Leslie Thompson

Abundance Fundraising Counsel

ACCA Annual General Meeting 2019

Please join us for the


Tuesday, October 8th, 2019 | 3:00 PM EDT

This year’s AGM will be conducted online.
Please be sure to RSVP to receive instructions to connect.


1. Minutes from the Previous Annual General Meeting, October 10, 2018
2. President’s Report
3. Treasurer’s Report
4. Nominating Committee Report
5. Other Business
6. Adjournment

Please RSVP to

Non-Profit Life Cycles Webinar

ACCA Professional Development Event

How to apply STAGE BASED WISDOM theory

Wednesday, October 16, 2019
9:30 – 10:30 AM Mountain / 12:30 – 1:30 PM Eastern / 1:30 – 2:30 PM Atlantic
Location: Online

Funders are asking arts organizations to identify their life cycle challenges but what are they exactly? This practical one hour webinar will review the theory developed by Susan Kenny Stephens and provide practical examples of how to incorporate this wisdom into your next board/staff planning retreat.

Who should attend:  Arts consultants who facilitate planning sessions with arts organizations and arts administrators at all levels who work for non-profit organizations.

Facilitator:   Sandra Thomson has been using the non-profit life cycle chart since 2011 in her consulting work with small and medium sized arts organizations.  With over 40 years professional experience in the arts,  Sandra brings a practical and knowledgeable voice to planning for boards and administrators.  She is currently serving her final year as the volunteer President of Arts Consultants Canada.



Fee:                       Free for ACCA members, $20 for non-members

In Conversation: Exploring best practices to achieve board diversity

ACCA Professional Development Event


Wednesday, March 20, 2019
3:30 – 5:00 PM   NEW TIME!
Location: Canadian Music Centre, 20 St. Joseph Street, Toronto AND Online

As Arts Consultants often engaged in strategic planning and governance topics with our clients, we find that the topic of board diversity is top of mind for boards, stakeholders, and public and private funders. Join us for this ‘in conversation’ with ACCA member Keely Kemp and Cathy Winter of onBoard Canada as we discuss practical approaches and intentional planning to achieve board diversity and inclusion, followed by an open floor Q&A and lively discussion.

About our speakers:

Keely Kemp

Keely is the founder and President of CultureCap, a business services agency for the creative industries.  We “bridge culture and commerce,” providing a suite of much-needed business services to creative companies in music, film & TV, interactive digital media and performing arts, as well as festivals, conferences, trade associations, NGOs, and government. CultureCap’s talented team of experienced professionals provide a rich variety of consulting services: strategic planning and facilitation; business planning; organizational management and governance; research; data analysis and benchmarking; project management; cultural policy and planning.

Keely is the co-founder of Across the Board 50/50 by 2020, a movement to pursue gender parity on boards in the Canadian music industry. Her collaborative approach to working with boards is having a tremendous impact for all stakeholders. She knows how to move around the roadblocks and create consensus with stakeholders to achieve the shared vision.

Cathy Winter

Cathy Winter leads the National and GTA onBoard Canada program. Prior to joining DiverseCity onBoard, Cathy was a long-serving Senior Manager in the Ontario Public Service. Cathy currently serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Board of the Canadian Opera Company. Cathy is a former National Board Member, YMCA Canada, and has served on several of its committees including Governance, Policy and Advocacy, and World Relations. She is a former Member of the Anne Johnston Health Station, where she chaired the Nominations Committee and was a Member of the Strategic Planning and Quality Committee.

She is a former Member of the Allocations and Agency Services Committee of the United Way of Toronto Board of Trustees, and other United Way of Toronto committees.

Cathy holds a Masters of Economics and a Masters of Industrial Relations.

ACCA Members – $0 | Non-members – $20

CRA: Public Policy Dialogue and Development Activities by Charities

On October 29, 2018, taking into account feedback the Government received from stakeholders in response to the consultation process, the Government introduced revised legislation in Bill C-86 that allows a charity to devote up to 100% of its total resources to public policy dialogue and development activities. Under the revised measures, which received Royal Assent on December 13, 2018, charities are still required to have exclusively charitable purposes and are still prohibited from undertaking activities that support or oppose a political party or candidate for public office.

Canadian Heritage Report: A Vision for Cultural Hubs and Districts in Canada

Canadian Heritage Standing Committee’s Report: A Vision for Cultural Hubs and Districts in Canada

“The Government recognizes that cultural spaces and places bring people together to engage and participate in artistic activities, to share thoughts, ideas, and cultural expressions, and to build a vibrant sense of shared experience. The Report and its recommendations make a valuable contribution to the understanding of the role played by cultural hubs and districts, and how to maximize their contribution to the social and economic vitality of Canadian communities.”

To read A Vision for Cultural Hubs and Districts in Canada, click here.

To read the Government Response to the Canadian Heritage Report, click here.

Annual General Meeting 2018

Please join us for the


Wednesday, October 10th, 2018 | 3:00 PM EDT

This year’s AGM will be conducted via Go To Meeting.
Please be sure to RSVP to receive instructions to connect.


1. Minutes from the Previous Annual General Meeting, October 5, 2017
2. President’s Report
3. Treasurer’s Report
4. Nominating Committee Report
5. Other Business
6. Adjournment

Please RSVP to

The Impact Equation

Leading the Evaluation Agenda

To see ACCA’s The Exchange, where this article is featured, click here.

The Ontario Nonprofit Network recently published Learning Together: Five Important Discussion Questions to Make Evaluation Useful in which they ask five questions:

This guide helps nonprofits articulate more clearly the purposes and processes of an evaluation, regardless of the size, mission, or location of the organization. It’s a conversation starter and a means to open a dialogue with your stakeholders in a subject area that can be complex and difficult.

The core of the guide revolves around five questions that can be used when talking with funders and other stakeholders. The goal is to find simple, yet powerful, ways to make evaluation more meaningful.

Learn more.

Navigating Impact

The outcomes and impacts of projects are the subject of much discussion in the non-profit sector. Organizations want to achieve the best possible results for their target groups and, at the same time, funders are calling for more evidence about the benefits yielded by the projects they have supported.

Nonprofits aim to achieve the best possible results through their work. This involves monitoring each phase of a project in order to ensure progress toward the intended objectives. However, many organizations have neither the expertise nor the instruments needed to systematically integrate impact orientation into their work. In a context of limited resources, impact orientation is regarded by many organizations as a desirable but difficult or “unrealistic” task.

PHINEO offers step-by-step explanations and practical examples in their free, online publication: Social Impact Navigator: The Practical Guide for Organizations Targeting Better Results.

Download the guidebook here.

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