ACCA’s Open Forum: Change in the Canadian Arts Ecosystem

Arts Consultants Canada (ACCA) invites you to attend a virtual Open Forum to discuss what appear to be the key drivers of change in the evolving arts ecosystem in Canada.

March 10 @12 pm EST

Panelists will be:

  • Kelly Hill, Hill Strategies – Critical recent research on key drivers of change in the arts ecosystem
  • Valerie Sing Turner, Artistic Producer of Visceral Visions Society and Creative Director of CultureBrew.Art
  • Jane Needles, Consultant – Key drivers identified by the Cross-Sectoral Recovery Round Tables (CHRC)

The moderator for this session will be Annalee Adair – A. Adair & Associates Consulting Inc.

Each panelist will present a very brief overview, allowing you the participants the most time to share your thoughts and observations.

Space is limited to 100 participants. This discussion is open to everyone.

March Book Club: Drive

Join us on March 5th as we discuss Drive by Daniel H. Pink.

Drive is all about motivation. In the arts, money is not usually the first motivator for everything we do. The secret to performance and satisfaction is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things and to do better by ourselves and the world. True motivation is autonomy, mastery and purpose. Pink offers some smart and surprising techniques for putting these motivators into action. No doubt, part of our conversation will be how best to deliver those motivators to our board, staff and ultimately to our audiences.

ACCA’s Book Club is open to everyone in the arts so please feel free to invite your clients and spread the word through social media. There is no obligation to join us for every book in the series. Once you register for this meeting online, you will be sent the coordinates to join what promises to be, as usual, an interesting discussion.

ACCA October Book Club: Made to Stick

The next book in ACCA’s online book club meeting (on Wednesday, October 28 at 8:00pm EDT / 5:00pm PDT / 9:30pm NDT) is Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.

Pour yourself a cup of your favourite beverage and join us from the comfort of your own home. To sign up for the October 28 meeting please register in the form below. Once you register online, you will be sent the meeting coordinates. This book should be widely available at your local library or for download from your favourite book vendor. It promises to be an easy read and an engaging discussion.

Mark Twain once observed, “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.” His observation rings true: Urban legends, conspiracy theories, and bogus public-health scares circulate effortlessly. Meanwhile, people with important ideas-businessmen, educators, politicians, journalists, and others—struggle to make their ideas “stick.”

In Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath reveal the anatomy of ideas that stick and explain ways to make ideas stickier, such as applying the human scale principle, using the Velcro Theory of Memory, and creating curiosity gaps. Along the way, we discover that sticky messages of all kinds–from the infamous “kidney theft ring” hoax to a coach’s lessons on sportsmanship to a vision for a new product at Sony–draw their power from the same six traits.

Made to Stick will transform the way you and your organization communicate. It’s a fast-paced tour of success stories (and failures): the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who drank a glass of bacteria to prove a point about stomach ulcers; the charities who make use of the Mother Teresa Effect; the elementary-school teacher whose simulation actually prevented racial prejudice.

Provocative, eye-opening, and often surprisingly funny, Made to Stick shows us the vital principles of winning ideas–and tells us how we can apply these rules to making our own messages stick.

The ACCA Book Club welcomes everyone who works in the arts. There is no cost to join and no obligation to read every book in the series.

New Date! ACCA Book Club: So You Want to Talk About Race

ACCA’s next Book Club meeting will be Thursday July 30, at 8:00 pm Eastern / 5:00 pm Pacific.

Our next book will be Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk About Race.

Ijeoma Oluo is a Seattle-based writer, speaker, and Internet Yeller. Named one of The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2017, one of the Most Influential People in Seattle by Seattle Magazine, one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Seattle by Seattle Met, and winner of the of the 2018 Feminist Humanist Award by the American Humanist Society, Oluo’s work focuses primarily on issues of race and identity, feminism, social and mental health, social justice, the arts, and personal essay. Her writing has been featured in The Washington Post, NBC News, Elle Magazine, TIME, The Stranger, and the Guardian.

Our guest facilitator will be charles c. smith, the Executive Director of Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario and Artistic Director of the wind in the leaves collective.  Charles is a poet, playwright and essayist who has written and edited fourteen books. He studied poetry and drama with William Packard at New York University and Herbert Berghof Studios, drama at the Frank Silvera’s Writers’ Workshop in Harlem.  He won second prize for his play Last Days for the Desperate from Black Theatre Canada, edited three collections of poetry and his poetry has appeared in numerous journals and magazines.

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

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

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