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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented hardships for TAPA members since legislation shut down all venues in March 2020. The majority of TAPA member companies will not re-open for the foreseeable future. However, TAPA is committed to responding to the crisis in many different ways and providing members with tools to navigate this challenging time.

The TAPA Trade Series is programmed to be proactive and features ongoing, affordable professional development sessions and networking opportunities encompassing a broad range of topics that have been created specifically for TAPA members.

Upcoming Events

Anti-Racism Training and Education Sessions

Presented by Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) in partnership with Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO)

Financially Supported by the Ontario Arts Council (OAC)

ASL Interpretation Generously Supported by Roseneath Theatre

In an exciting partnership with Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO), Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) is pleased to offer five Anti-Racism Training and Education Sessions available exclusively to TAPA Members, FREE OF CHARGE.

CPAMO will provide a series of training and educational sessions on issues related to anti-racism, equity and pluralism.  All sessions will offer contemporary insights on these issues as they relate to the arts and engagement of IBPOC and other marginalized artists and arts organizations.

We are thrilled to be working with CPAMO to offer these important education and training sessions to TAPA member companies.  With generous financial support from the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), we have been able to remove the financial barrier for these sessions to facilitate change through anti-racism work within Toronto’s theatre, dance, and opera landscape.  We encourage two representatives from your upper management to attend each session.  Participation across sessions is not limited to the same representatives.  By having different members of your upper management teams participate, we hope that you can continue this learning within your companies through conversations with your management and the rest of your team members.

The Sessions

Facilitated by Kevin A. Ormsby, CPAMO Program Manager, TAPA Board Member

This session will focus on supporting participants’ understanding/skills of engaging in discourse on these issues and how to set up/facilitate dialogue on sensitive and contentious issues.

About the Facilitator

Program Manager of Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO), Kevin A. Ormsby is also the Artistic Director of KasheDance, movement coach and Arts Marketing Consultant. The Ontario Arts Council’s Chalmers Fellowship recipient (2017), KM Hunter Dance Award Nominee (2016), Toronto Arts Council’s Cultural Leaders Lab Fellow (2015) and The Canada Council for the Arts’ Victor Martyn Lynch – Staunton Award 2014 recipient for outstanding achievement by a mid career artist, he has many interests in the creative practice and administration in dance. He has honed his passion for dance, advocacy, writing and education while performing with various companies and projects in Canada, the Caribbean and the United States.

Date: Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Time: 1:00 – 4:30 pm
Location: Zoom – the session will not be recorded

Facilitated by Shannon Litzenberger, CPAMO Program Associate

Embodied Practice and Social Justice Activism in the Arts is a two-part workshop designed to support leaders and changemakers in their ongoing work toward the creation of pluralistic society that embodied values of social equity, care and active engagement across differences. Participation in both workshops is highly encouraged. However, you may enroll in either one or both. The first is not a prerequisite for the second.

Part One: Embodying Change | 1:00-2:30 pm 

In part one of this workshop, we will explore why embodied practice is essential to learning and change. We will investigate questions like: What is embodiment and why is it relevant to our work as leaders, changemakers and advocates of social justice? How do our embodied knowledge systems guide our decisions and actions? What are some of the practices that can help us recognize our default habits and better align ourselves with the worlds we aspire to create?

Suggested listening:

Part Two: Embodied Resilience | 3:00-4:30 pm

In part two of this workshop, we will explore how embodied practice can help us build our personal capacity for staying in the important and often challenging work of leading in times of great change and disruption. We will investigate how we, as bodies, experience and recover from stress. We will explore the personal, social and environmental factors that contribute to our sense of aliveness and wellbeing in the world. And, we will engage in several practices that help us cultivate resilience so we can recognize when we are stressed and uneasy, avoid burnout through active recovery, and stay as healthy as possible under pressure. Our ability to stay well so we can learn and grow is paramount to the creation of a more just and caring society.

Suggested reading:

About the Facilitator

Shannon Litzenberger is an award-winning contemporary dancer, choreographer, director, advocate and leadership developer based in Toronto.  She creates imaginative performance experiences that explore our relationship to land, the politics of belonging, the importance of community, and the forgotten wisdom of the body.  Her perspective grows from her roots in Canada’s rural prairie and the profound, embodied effect of close-to-the-land living.  Shannon is a seasoned cultural policy thinker and advocate of positive social change.  Interested in the transformation of people and systems through embodied practice, she designs and facilitates workshops on collaboration, leadership, inclusion and transformational change within organizational settings, using movement-based interventions.  She has worked with many institutions including Business/Arts, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation, the Metcalf Foundation, and the Ivey Business School at Western University, among others.  Shannon is the recipient of the Jack McAllister Award for accomplishment in dance and a twice-shortlisted finalist for the KM Hunter Award.

A note from Shannon: For both segments, please come prepared to move, in any capacity, with a little space and privacy around you in support of your focused engagement in this participatory session. All abilities welcome. For those unfamiliar with embodied practice, please note that this is not a dance workshop. You will not be asked to “perform” movement. If you are someone who feels uncomfortable or resistant to the proposal of working with action-based practices, rest assured that there will be several options available to make sure you can work at your own personal learning edge and threshold of comfort. If you have any specific questions you’d like me to address in advance, please feel free to reach out to me at

Date: Friday, November 19, 2021
Time: Part 1 – 1:00 – 2:30 pm, Part 2 – 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Location: Zoom – the session will not be recorded

Facilitated by Sheila Wilmot, CPAMO Program Associate

This session will be done in 2 parts.  Part 1 will focus on conflict resolution from a more general IBPOC perspective.

About the Facilitator

Sheila Wilmot has been engaged in collaborative consulting work with arts organizations since 2014, in the intersecting areas of conflict resolution and equity-focused practice.  Topics have particularly included an attention to whiteness and racism.  The work has included research, workshop design and delivery, training and policy guide development, and conflict mediation.

She teaches in the Community Engagement, Development and Leadership certificate program at Ryerson University (The Chang School).  She is the Subject Matter Expert for the Community Engagement Practices and Capstone courses she has taught since 2013.

She was the staff Equity Officer for a union Local for almost 14 years.  She successfully negotiated equity-related contract provisions, and effectively represented union members in human rights focused- grievances and complaints.

Sheila holds a PhD in Adult Education and Community Development from OISE/University of Toronto (2011).  She is also the author of Taking responsibility, taking direction: White anti-racism in Canada (Arbeiter Ring, 2005).

Date: Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Time: 1:00 – 4:30 pm
Location: Zoom – the session will not be recorded

Facilitated by Clayton Windatt, CPAMO Program Associate

The second part in the Conflict Resolution session.  Part 2 will focus on conflict resolution with an Indigenous lens.

About the Facilitator

Clayton Windatt is a Métis non–binary multi-artist living and working between Sturgeon Falls and Toronto, Ontario.  Clayton holds a BA in Fine Art from Nipissing University and received Graphic Design certification from Canadore College.  With an extensive history working in Artist-Run Culture and Community Arts, and through their own activism, Clayton works towards healthier relationships for national and global Indigenous artists and communities.  The former Executive Director of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, Clayton maintains contracts with several colleges and universities, arts magazines, arts councils, arts organizations, and other organizations as a critical writer, columnist and consultant in addition to pursuing their independent arts practice.  Clayton is an active filmmaker and director with works featured in festivals such as ImagineNative and the Toronto International Film Festival and recent commissions by the National Film Board of Canada.  Clayton works in/with community, design, communications, curation, performance, theatre, technology, and consulting, and is a very active writer, filmmaker and visual-media artist and was recently appointed to the National Gallery of Canada’s Board of Trustees.

Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2022
Time: 1:00 – 4:30 pm
Location: Zoom – the session will not be recorded

Facilitated by charles c. smith, CPAMO Executive Director, and Sedina Fiati, CPAMO Program Associate

This session will look at the particularities of Black artists and their experiences, challenges they face, and strategies to address.

About the Facilitators

charles c. smith is a poet, playwright and essayist who has written and edited twelve books. He studied poetry and drama with William Packard, editor of the New York Quarterly Magazine, at New York University and Herbert Berghof Studios. He also studied 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, has edited three collections of poetry (including the works of Dionne Brand, Marlene Nourbese Phillips, Claire Harris, Cyril Dabydeen, Lillian Allen, George Elliot Clarke, Clifton Joseph), has four published books of poetry and his poetry has appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including Poetry Canada Review, the Quille and Quire, Descant, Dandelion, Fiddlehead, Anti-Racism in Education: Missing in Action (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives), the Amethyst Review, Bywords, Canadian Ethnic Studies and others. charles was the founder of the Black Perspectives Cultural Program in Regent Park and recently received a grant from the Ontario Arts Council’s Writers Reserve Grants Program and the Toronto Arts Council Writers Grants Program.

Sedina Fiati is a Toronto based facilitator, artist and activist. She is currently Artist Activist in Residence with Nightwood Theatre and nearing completion after 3 years with Generator as Training Consultant for the Artist Producer Training Program and a member of their Strategic Advisory Committee. She was the co chair of ACTRA Toronto’s Diversity Committee and ACTRA Toronto Councillor and 2nd Vice President of council for Canadian Actors’ Equity Association. Recent projects: Toronto Fringe – Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Audit, various workshops in anti oppression, anti Black racism and social justice (Volcano Theatre, Clarice Season 1, Tall Boyz Season 2, York Regional Arts Council, Firecracker Department). She is one of the founding members of the Black Pledge Collective:

Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Time: 1:00 – 4:30 pm
Location: Zoom – the session will not be recorded

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