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February 2018
A New Year, A New Newsletter

Hello SPARC community! Thank you for joining our mailing list, and welcome to Embers - SPARC's new, monthly e-newsletter.

Embers are often considered the remains of a fire, but they can also be the beginning of one; smoldering, glowing, full of potential, they could spark at any moment. That is what we want this newsletter to be; a place where you will find things to inspire and support your work - where you will be reminded of the community working with you to sustain and enrich the performing arts in rural and remote communities.

It is apt then, that our word of the month for February is Gathering : Gathering together more people to join our network and share their knowledge and experiences; gathering resources that will be of value to our members; gathering feedback about how SPARC can better support our membership as we enter a new year.

To take a closer look at what it means to gather people together when it comes to immersing the work that we do - as artists and organizations - into aspects of community life, we invite you to visit ArtsEngageCanada.ca . This website has been created to " strengthen and sustain the ability to bring community engagement into the work of presenters and artists. The website provides a knowledge framework of community engagement processes, resources, skills, tools, links and examples of community engaged works from artists and presenters. " It is the ultimate toolbox when it comes to community engagement, and we hope you enjoy exploring!  

Finally, here's what you can expect to find below (and in each monthly newsletter):
  • SPARC News
  • A SPARC Member Profile
  • Some upcoming skill development opportunities (webinars, workshops etc.)
  • Some upcoming funding deadlines (and a link to a larger list for you to peruse)

Thank you for reading and for helping us build a stronger, more vibrant network together!


Excitement is building as our schedule of events for SPARC’s 3 rd Symposium becomes confirmed; you will have a blast in Cobalt !
Full details are coming soon, but an outline of our 4-day gathering , beginning the afternoon of Thursday May 24 th and concluding at noon on Sunday May 27 th , chock full of inspiring plenary sessions, engaging workshops, and opportunities to connect with presenters, funders, organizers, artists, and friends of performing arts in an unique and historical rural setting, is available on our website: SPARC Symposium 2018 .
Register with Ticketpro here: English | French
Thanks to our funding partners, the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Arts Presentation Fund and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and supporters such as Ticketpro, we are able to offer registration for the full symposium, or for a single day, at these low rates if you are a SPARC Network member ( sign up here (for free!) if you are not ):

  • Full Registration: $170
  • Friday Registration: $75
  • Saturday Registration: $110
Funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation will also provide scholarships for 14 youth (between 16 and 29 years of age) to attend and participate ( details coming soon ). Otherwise, youth (16 – 29) can attend at these low rates as SPARC Network Members ( sign up here (for free!) if you are not ):

  • Full Youth Registration: $90
  • Friday Youth Registration: $35
  • Saturday Youth Registration: $70
We have organized discounted rates at many local hotels; you’ll find a full listing (with cut-off dates) here: Accommodations . Make sure you book by the dates indicated, and mention you are with the SPARC Symposium. If you’d like help with booking your accommodation (even some basic suggestions or advice), please don’t hesitate to e-mail felicity@sparcperformingarts.com .
Driving to Cobalt (or flying to North Bay or Sudbury and then driving) is the most efficient way to get here. However, there are other options, a few of which we describe here: Travel (Planning and Discounts ) . We have secured two ‘travel partners’ (Ontario Northland and VIA Rail), offering SPARC Symposium attendees a discount, the promo code of which you’ll find on your Ticketpro registration confirmation e-mail (any questions or difficulties, please contact Chandel Gambles, SPARC’s Northern Outreach Consultant, at chandel@sparcperformingarts.com or (647) 844-8887).
We can’t wait to see you in Cobalt! 
Please don't hesitate to call Felicity (705) 672-2008 or e-mail felicity@sparcperformingarts.com if you have any questions at all.
(and yes, "fund" means money!)

Starting this year, SPARC is offering financial support (a maximum of $3,000) for capacity building initiatives that involve collaboration between disciplines of the performing arts (music, theatre, dance, film/media arts) and between communities. This might look like running a series of workshops that allow performing artists and arts administrators in your area to develop new skills, or producing an artistic project that brings together artists from different disciplines and different communities.

DEADLINES:  There are three annual application deadlines: February 28th, June 28th, and October 28th (or the next business day, if any of these dates fall on a weekend).


We are seeking bloggers to pay for meaningful stories that relate to the performing arts in rural and remote communities.

SPARC’s blog aims to:
·      Document the pulse and heartbeat of our rural and remote performing arts community
·      Spark dialogue and make connections
·      Explore both the triumphs and struggles of working in the performing arts
·      Raise the profile of local performing arts scenes
If you have a story about a unique community initiative, a collaborative project, an innovative planning or engagement strategy - we want to hear about it!
Writers are invited to submit a concise summary of their idea or a query to Rebecca Ballarin (Network Coordinator) at rebecca@sparcperformingarts.com. A member of our editorial team will then be in touch to discuss the blog post in more detail.

We look forward to building a blog of real value, innovation and solidarity, and thank you in advance for your contribution!

Membership News

  • The discussions that used to take place in the Groups and Forums sections of our Member Network site have moved to a members-only closed Facebook group! If you are a current member and have not been invited to join the group, please email rebecca@sparcperformingarts.com . When you become a member you should be invited within a few days, providing you choose to opt in during sign-up.

  • All current members as of mid-January were sent an email including a link to a member survey. If you haven't already, please take a moment to fill this out. The information you provide will be used to better support SPARC's members in the coming year!

Pied Piper Kidshows has run on the strength of its volunteers since 1979! They present professional shows from across Canada, and beyond, to ensure that ALL performance arts are experienced locally.

Dedication to block booking with like-minded presenters across Ontario, while working with local business and many government funding groups, enables them to offer at least 4 shows a year for simply $8/ticket. As strong advocates for workshops, they offer youth over 14 interactive opportunities every year!

Providing diverse, family-friendly programming, has ensured all cultural groups feel welcome, no matter their age. This mandate creates cross-generational support throughout their community.

Remember: SPARC always tries to share upcoming workshops, festivals, residency opportunities, etc. through our Facebook Page and Twitter account. If you use these platforms, be sure to connect with us!
What's Up(coming)?

(FEBRUARY 6: In case you missed it, Ontario Presents has made a recording of their webinar for volunteer presenters on expanding your audience available online!)

FEBRUARY 15: Ontario Trillium Foundation and Tamarack present the final webinar in their Transformative Action series, "Communication Planning".

MARCH 6: Theatre Ontario presents a webinar on grant writing led by Ontario Arts Council Theatre Office Pat Bradley

MARCH 14: Ontario Presents and the Atlantic Presenters Association continue their webinar series with "Creating an Effective Board" - tailored specifically to volunteer presenters!
Where's the Funding?

Ontario Arts Council: List of all granting program deadlines for 2018. Some upcoming deadlines include Indigenous Arts Projects (March 22) and Media Arts Projects (Feb 21).

FedNor (Grant applications accepted on continuous basis)

Ontario Trillium Foundation: Seed Investment Stream  Application deadline is February 21, 2018 by 5 p.m. ET

An awesome list of upcoming grant deadlines for musicians we came across on Facebook !

SOCAN: Presenting Canadian Music grant applications due March 15, 2018.
Travel Assistance grant applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
*Note that you will need to either register as a member or login to view this page
Now let's turn these embers into sparks!
Connect. Communicate. Collaborate.

Become a member today (it's FREE!)

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