Ontario Presents is a province-wide network of performing arts touring and presenting organizations that work collaboratively to facilitate an equitable distribution of live, diverse performing arts shows – and their engagement with all citizens – into communities across Ontario.
Ontario Presents operates a number of participatory programs and services that help members adopt inclusive approaches to build capacity, develop leadership and create opportunities to grow and diversify their audiences. We work with a range of performing arts centres, community presenters, touring artists, agents, and industry contacts to ensure the continual growth of a touring performing arts sector that embraces difference in Ontario.
The Ontario Presents office is located in Tkaronto, on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. The area is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Dish With One Spoon agreement. Tkaronto continues to be home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people.
We honour these past, present and future stewards of the land, and we recognize that we have a shared responsibility for reconciliation and decolonization, as well as stewardship of the natural environment.
Ontario Presents also specifically recognizes the legacy of colonization embedded in many aspects of the performing arts sector, including the technologies, structures, and ways of thinking we use every day. Until recently, many Indigenous communities were legally prevented from practicing their own cultural and artistic traditions, and to this day Indigenous people still have less access to the performing arts both as audiences and artists. Other barriers such as cost and physical accessibility also disproportionately impact Indigenous people. Actively dismantling the colonial approaches embedded in our work and our tools is critical to reconciliation and Indigenous resurgence.
Ontario Presents strongly encourages and supports the presentation of work by Indigenous artists; you can read our Guiding Principles for Presenting Indigenous Work here, and find a list of resources for building relationships with Indigenous artists here.
Our members are located all across Ontario, on the traditional lands of many First Nations. You can find more information about the history of this land and the land you are on at native-land.ca.
Statement of Purpose
Whereas art is a fundamental aspect of the human experience that enriches the lives of individuals and communities, fosters empathy, and builds essential bridges of understanding;
AND presenting organizations are uniquely positioned to facilitate engagement between artists and communities;
Ontario Presents exists to strengthen and support the practice of performing arts presentation so that it becomes more collaborative, artist-focused, and meaningful to communities. We believe that building effective and authentic relationships is fundamental to our work.
Ontario Presents’ mission, then, is to foster effective working relationships among artists, agents, producers, and presenters in their mutual endeavours to stage great performing arts experiences that open citizen’s minds and hearts to the world and the peoples around them.
- Respect: Fundamental respect for all people is essential to all interactions
- Collaboration: We can achieve more by working together than alone
- Trust: Collaboration requires trust, honesty, and fair dealing
- Community: A focus on relationships over individual gain ultimately helps to build culturally, socially, and economically thriving communities
- Inclusion: All people deserve access to the arts
- Continual Learning: We are more effective when we recognize our own gaps in knowledge and understanding and operate in a spirit of continual learning
- Provide a safe working environment in all of our professional interactions;
- Proactively listen to the unique needs of the membership in order to provide appropriate responses and support;
- Remove barriers to participation in presentation and touring;
- Actively encourage inclusivity, equity, and diversity in the presenting field; and
- Actively advocate for the advancement of the touring and presenting field.
Presenting Indigenous Work
Ontario Presents and its member presenting organizations recognize the importance of presenting Indigenous artists, stories and culture as part of its presenting practice. Historical experiences and cultural differences require that this work be presented in a respectful way that engages both our Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.
In order to support the presenting of Indigenous work, guiding principles have been developed for our organization and our members. These principles are intended to be a living document and will be updated as needed to reflect lessons learned and best practices occurring in the presenting field.