TORONTO, ONTARIO (April, 2014) One of Canada’s leading arts presenting networks is adopting a dynamic new approach, name and comprehensive online platform to support and develop arts touring and presenting practice in Ontario.
Ontario Presents, ontariopresents.ca, is the new face and name of the CCI - Ontario Presenting Network that expresses the network’s commitment to embrace the diverse nature of presenting practice in Ontario.
“We have evolved our network to more inclusively reflect who we are and what our members, stakeholders, and artistic community believe about us,” says Ontario Presents President, Colleen Clack. “Our new positioning will allow us to continue to support and develop groups that present professional performing arts in Ontario communities, while at the same time encouraging the presentation of new art forms and fostering our presenters’ curatorial visions.”
Ontario Presents is rooted in a rich and varied history that goes back to the days of the Chautauqua tent touring circuits and included the formation of the volunteer-led Community Concert Associations circuits (1944), the Community Arts Presenting program by the Ontario Arts Council’s Touring Office (1973), and Campus and Community Impresarios - CCI (1988).
Since the network’s inception in 1988, change and adaptability are inherent qualities that have stimulated continued development in the sector. Looking back on its 25 years of service, CCI – Ontario Presenting Network has contributed to the ongoing growth and development of arts touring and presenting in Ontario. From developing early standards for arts presentation practice to organizing tours, it has grown into a strong tightly-knit community of practitioners.
Changing times brought on the need for the organization to critically assess its place in the overall context of perceptions and practices of presenting. The presenting field is known for its enormous diversity, range of artistic genres, venues, audiences and organizations. Some presenters organize small series of performances in their rural communities; while others present festivals and extensive performing arts series in several disciplines year-round in larger urban centres. Audiences range from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands. Presenters work in a wide variety of environments from non-profit arts organizations to municipalities, universities, schools and festivals. Some presenting organizations are comprised strictly of volunteers, whereas others are professionally run. While the majority present in multiple disciplines, there are many presenters who specialize in a particular art form or genre, such as classical music and young audience presenting. Increasingly, artists and producing companies themselves undertake presenting activities, beyond the production of their own works.
While definition and role of arts presenter can be quite diverse, in essence, performing arts presenters share a common passion for supporting emerging and established artists; developing audiences by connecting their artistic vision and programming choices with their local market; and building community.
Ontario Presents’ new identity pulls everything together under one uniform brand. It continues to deliver relevant industry programs at local, provincial levels and beyond. Its tour coordination service (block booking) enables the touring of diverse artistic talent to a wide range of communities across the province. Its flagship booking and showcasing conference, Ontario Contact, initiated by the Ontario Arts Council in 1973, and then taken on by the CCI-Ontario Presenting Network (2003), continues to showcase top artistic talent and provides expanding opportunities for artists, agents and presenters to connect. Ontario Presents’ website continues as the dynamic platform for forum discussions, industry news and updates, comprehensive listing of presenters, calendar of events and a suite of programs and services.
Operating under its new name, Ontario Presents will continue to position and promote the diversity of touring and presenting practice that contribute to the economic well-being of individuals and communities in Ontario. “The new approach reflects the refreshed goals of the organization and the diverse nature of presenting practices,” says Ontario Presents Executive Director, Warren Garrett. “At Ontario Presents, we are empowered by our network members and the work they do in their communities. We are committed to connecting them with each other, fostering and encouraging collegiality, trust, and openness within our sector to enable them to become strong leaders in sustaining Ontario’s arts touring and presenting sector.”
About Ontario Presents
Formerly CCI – Ontario Presenting Network, Ontario Presents is a not-for-profit service organization that works to support the arts presenting sector in Ontario.
Our network is comprised of performing arts centres, municipal venue presenters, academic venue presenters, volunteer presenters, festivals, artistic companies, performing artists, artist managers, arts consultants and individuals who work collaboratively to improve arts presentation practice in the Province of Ontario.
Our mission is to develop Ontario’s presenting arts leadership through networking and professional development. Ontario Presents operates a number of participatory programs and services that help members build capacity, develop leadership and create opportunities to grow and diversify their audiences.
Our vision is a live performance for everyone in Ontario: an active curator for the performing arts in every community: a lively engagement between the two.