BDunn PortraitBrenda Dunn: MC
Brenda Dunn has been getting in trouble for crayoning on the walls for as long as she can remember. She eventually went to art school at the University of Guelph and drew on whatever the hell she wanted.

​She works and plays in Ottawa where she came for grad school and just stuck around ever since. She learned a lot of busy words during her Masters in English Literature, but it turns out she actually prefers the visual to the verbal when it comes to communication.

She makes things and also makes things happen. You can see both at artinjest.com or rifle through her digital sock drawer @artinjest on facebook, twitter and instagram.

She also doesn’t totally get why these things are always written in the third person but concedes that it does just sort of feel right.

356Keynote 1: Alexandra Badzak

Director and CEO, Ottawa Art Gallery

Alexandra Badzak is the Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Ottawa Art Gallery where she has been leading the charge on a major gallery expansion project in the downtown core. She recently sat as Chair of the Ottawa Museum Network Board of Directors and was a member of the National Historic Sites Alliance of Ontario Steering Committee. She is currently a member of CAMDO (the Canadian Art Museum Directors’ Organization) and was one of the 13 member Arts and Heritage Steering Committee charged with renewing the City of Ottawa’s 20/20 cultural plan. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa and a Board member of the Downtown Rideau Business Improvement District.


Alexandra Badzak, la directrice et la chef de la direction de la Galerie d’art d’Ottawa, est au premier rang d’un grand projet d’agrandissement d’une galerie au centre-ville. Récemment, elle a été présidente du conseil d’administration du Réseau des musées d’Ottawa et membre du comité directeur de l’Alliance des lieux historiques nationaux de l’Ontario. Aujourd’hui, Mme Badzak est membre de l’Organisation des directeurs des musées d’art du Canada et fut l’un des 13 membres du comité directeur Arts et patrimoine responsables du Plan pour les arts et le patrimoine d’Ottawa 20/20. Elle est également professeure auxiliaire à l’Université d’Ottawa et membre du conseil d’administration de l’association pour l’amélioration des entreprises de la rue Rideau, la ZAC du Centre-Ville Rideau


Keynote 2: Kevin Loring

Artistic Director, Indigenous Theatre

Mr. Loring is an accomplished Canadian playwright, actor and teacher, and was the winner of the Governor Generalís Award for English Language Drama for his outstanding play, Where the Blood Mixes in 2009. The play explores the intergenerational effects of the residential school system. It toured nationally and was presented at the National Arts Centre in 2010, when Mr. Loring was serving as the NACís Playwright in Residence.

A Nlakaípamux from the Lytton First Nation in British Columbia, Loring created the Songs of the Land project in 2012 in partnership with five separate organizations in his home community. The project explores 100-year-old audio recordings of songs and stories of the Nílakapíamux People. Loring has written two new plays based on his work with the community including Battle of the Birds, about domestic violence and power abuse, and The Boy Who Was Abandoned, about youth and elder neglect.

A versatile artist and leader Loring has served as the co-curator of the Talking Stick Festival, as Artist in Residence at the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre, as Artistic Director of the Savage Society in Vancouver, as a Documentary Producer of Canyon War: The Untold Story, and as the Project Leader/Creator, and Director of the Songs of the Land project in his home community of Lytton First Nation.


Session B: Toni van Eeden
Toni van Eeden is a brand developer, digital strategist, writer, and vlogger. In 2015 Toni founded RedBrick Rooster Inc. A branding agency built solely for entrepreneurs who wanted to develop resilient brands and authentic social content. She graduated York University with a BFA in Film and Video Production and to this day frequently uses video as a tool in her business and creative endeavors. In June 2017 Toni began a new endeavor with her husband Aaron van Eeden. She wears the hats of co-owner, brand manager, and digital marketer for Your Urban Carpenter, a custom carpentry shop for city dwellers and their small businesses. You can also find her on the advisory committee for CSArt Ottawa and on the Board of Directors for the Ottawa Arts Council.


Komi Head shotSession C: Komi Olaf

Over the past decade, Komi Olaf has become well known for his exploration of Afro-futuristic concepts within the disciplines of visual arts, spoken word poetry, and architectural design. Working in painting, performance and virtual reality, the often-Utopian themes expressed in his work have in common the artist’s fascination with hybridity and the general intersectionality of culture and race through a technological lens. After completing his Masters of Architecture degree at Carleton University, Olaf began a career as a Visual Artist in pursuit of finding a balance between painting and poetry as a form of expression to promote social critique, healthy dialogue and creative thinking.


DonHeadshot2017Session D: Don Monet

Don Harrington Monet is an Ottawa artist, curator and activist. He concentrates his studio efforts toward landscape, photo-collage and found-object paintings.

In his practice he uses photo-collage and acrylic paint to build “paintings” that reflect both family travel photos and iconic landscape painting. The works have been produced on wood panel and birch with a varnish overcoat. He rarely employ a model; “I rather utilize my own familiar geography and family as subjects. Similar to holiday snaps – these mementos are reflections of the days of my own life and family.” His motifs are fractured representations of everyday interactions. Sometimes the most mundane moments, playing scrabble, dipping a paddle in the water become at once banal and magnificent.   Similar to a film makers location photography, he takes a series of connected photographs and lays them out to create the “scene”. He then use traditional landscape techniques in acrylic to unify the fractured photographs. Trompe l’oeil in part, but not completely, the end result is more “painting” than “photography”. The viewer can readily see the edges of transition, the margins between paint and photo.

Owner of Cube Gallery, Ottawa, now in its eleventh year, he has organized dozens of thematic group exhibitions and solo shows featuring Ottawa and National visual artists, musicians, actors and dancers. He has taught culture, communications, ethics, and audience research courses (sessionally) at the University of Ottawa, and cartoon and art classes to children at the National Gallery, and several elementary schools. Much of his work is informed by the 13 years he lived and worked with the Gitksan and Wet’suwet’en peoples in Northern B.C. In 1992 he published a Canadian classic: “Colonialism on Trial”, a graphic documentary following the Delgam Uukw court action of 87-91.

Over the last thirty years Don Monet has organized and curated dozens of thematic group exhibitions In Vancouver, Hazelton, Toronto and for the past twenty two years in Ottawa, Ont.  Monet is an advocate of the multi disciplinary approach to art, curating shows that feature visual artists, musicians, actors and dancers. His curatorial project often invites visual artists to interpret a theme in concert with the wider community of artists. To that end:  He has organized a “First Thursdays Art Walk” among five galleries in Ottawa’s west end (2010 -), the West End Studio Tour (1995-) and the Nocturne Festival of the night sky, now in its eighth year, Nocturne is a dialogue between the astronomy/science community and fine artists.  Monet  founded and curated the Fritzi Gallery (2008 – 2015 ) at the Great Canadian Theatre Company. Fritzi presented a visual dialogue between visual artists and the plays mounted at GCTC.  He remains a mentor for the Fritzi gallery’s new programme with the Ottawa School of Art.

As a curator he has invited artists across Canada to tackle issues such as the Portraits of Stephen Harper, the Quebec Summit aftermath, the shape of the square, the bombing in Yugoslavia, the colour red, war in Lebanon and along the way has supported charities including the Parkdale Food Centre, Refugee support, Haiti Relief, Doctors Without Borders, Jane’s Walk, CARFAC and War Child.


VickiStroichSession E: Vicki Stroich

Vicki Stroich is Executive Director at Alberta Theatre Projects (ATP) in Calgary, Alberta. Before becoming Executive Director in 2013, she was a member of ATP’s Artistic Team for 12 years.    As Executive Director, her focus is leading ATP’s organizational vision.  She freelances as a dramaturg, facilitator and director and has a BFA Drama from the University of Calgary.  Vicki is currently Treasurer of Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT).  She is a Past-President of Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas and was a Director of the Banff Centre’s Banff Playwrights Colony (2009 -2012).   Vicki is the proud recipient of a Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding Achievement for her contribution to new Canadian theatre and was named by Avenue Magazine as a Top 40 Under 40 in 2013.  She contributed an article about Dramaturgy and Leadership to the Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy.


Session F: Scott May 

Scott is a lifelong Ottawa native. Sneaking into clubs at 15, he cut his teeth selling music at 16. He is an accomplished mixmaster performing as DJ Phonebooth.

He is a music junkie who opened Bar Robo to support his habit. He has managed to parlay his love of coffee, cocktails, and art into a successful new live music venue when other venues are struggling or closing.

Robo is a safe, inclusive space. It exists to showcase the quirky and unusual.


CarolynCote-webSession F: Carolyn Coté








Session G:


remco(1)Session H : Remco Volmer
Artengine’s Managing Director, Remco Volmer, is formally trained in media design from HKU University of the Arts Utrecht and began working in the Ottawa-region as a cultural producer in 2001. Volmer joined Artengine for the coordination and development of the Electric Fields festival in 2008, helping build the festivals artistic reach and audience impact. Over the last five years Volmer has led the transformation of Artengine’s Maker Faire from its humble beginnings to a premier event in the Ottawa region. This past year Volmer was selected to participate in the Banff Center development project, New Fundamentals which brought together an exciting group of interdisciplinary arts administrators building new innovative organizations. For the Ottawa School of Art, he teaches a diploma course on the Business of Art.

Shawn MacDonell - HeadshotSession I: Shawn MacDonell
As the founder of Creativision Shawn has kicked the ass of well over 2200 people, consulted over 120 organizations from all around world, and has had the privilege of speaking to over 90,000 people with his keynote speeches. Shawn has inspired others to redesign a line of cars, managed to help a charity raise an additional $250,000 in 2 months, produced viral hits on YouTube, designed and executed a snowman lounge with an award winning brewery. Most recently Shawn has had the chance to do some very meaningful work with the Adoption Council of Canada as well as take on a more daring marketing campaign with a new technology company in Canada. All of this and he almost never wears pants. The number one success that Shawn has pulled off in 14 years though has been working with some of the best people. Shawn values people first and has been fortunate to have the best kinds of people around him, the creatives, the rebels, the renegades, the doers, the thinkers, the challengers, humans.


Adrian Göllner Remi Theriault smallSession J: Adrian Göllner
Adrian Göllner is interested to heighten the viewer’s sense of self and their surroundings through transposing elements of sound, time and motion. In an art practice that employs a wide range of techniques and mediums, Göllner divides his time between creating small, conceptual works in the studio and implementing public art commissions at a much larger scale. While continuing to mount exhibitions at home and abroad, Göllner has had the good fortune to have received 20 public art commissions, including works the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, the sixteen towers of CityPlace in Toronto, and the Canadian Embassy in Berlin.

Adrian Göllner received a BFA from Queen’s University in 1987 and an MFA at the University of Ottawa in 2016. While maintaining his art practice in Ottawa, he has continued to advocate for artists’ rights and has served on the boards of a number of local galleries.

Erin__web_cl_7492Session J: Erin Benjamin
See the 2017 Schedule and Speakers