Second Annual Power of the Arts National Forum

Conference registration is available in both official languages, English or French, and takes place at Carleton University on November 7th to 9th, 2014

In November 2014, Canadians from all disciplines and backgrounds and from every corner of the country will converge in Ottawa to affect social change through the power of the arts.

Co-organized by the Michaëlle Jean Foundation and Carleton University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the second annual Power of the Arts National Forum is themed “Acting Now for Social Change.”

The bilingual Forum convenes hundreds of representatives of sectors as varied as health, urban planning, law, government, research and economic development to meet and discuss a pan-Canadian arts strategy to improve and cultivate the quality of life in underserved urban, rural, and Aboriginal communities across Canada.

Participants will reflect on the celebrated achievements derived from the implementation of the National Power of the Arts Action Plan penned at last year’s Forum, which was both a tangible and symbolic launch of a nation changing movement. The Forum will also invite new stakeholders to add their voice in shaping the plan, which leverages research, social innovation, and community mobilization to engender a lasting societal impact.

The three-day event will feature several keynote speakers, hailing from Canada, the United Kingdom, Colombia, France, and Haiti. They will share their thoughts on the power of the arts and social change in society. In addition, a myriad of talented artists will tantalize participants with electrifying performances that will testify to the dynamism of Canada’s cultural sector.

Workshops at the 2014 National Forum tackle a diverse range of issues from new technologies and social change to citizenship and democratic participation, crime prevention, mental and physical health to community and urban renewal.

These topics will function as greater themes to foster a context of experience sharing and strategizing to promote inclusion, personal growth, community development, and prosperity for all Canadians.

Social Change Through the Power of the Arts

Rt. Hon. Michaëlle Jean, Monsieur Jean-Daniel Lafond at PoA 2013

Co-founder of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, award winning filmmaker, writer, philosopher and senior scholar at Carleton’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Jean-Daniel Lafond explained his firsthand experience with the power of art in his closing remarks of last year’s Forum.

“As a filmmaker, I profoundly believe in the power of the arts in society. As we have learnt here at the Forum, ‘art-ivism’ represents one of the best ways to vanquish the indifference and barbarism destabilizing the world. I hope and trust that more Canadians will appreciate the crucial role the arts and culture continue to play in building a healthy and cohesive society. Undoubtedly, the arts remain a powerful tool for communication, socialization and dialogue among cultures and civilizations.”

John Osborne, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, echoed Lafond’s thoughts by synthesizing what he hoped would come from last year’s Forum.

Social Change Through the Power of the Arts

John Osborne, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

“Here’s my dream: that in 20 years’ time, Canada will have a functioning network of community-based and community-engaged arts organizations, fully integrated with researchers in universities and colleges and hospitals, and with the ear of taxpayers and hence governments at all levels, united in their quest to make this country a better place for all its inhabitants through marshalling the power of the arts.”

Considering the success of the National Arts Action Plan, Osborne’s dream has taken the appropriate steps towards becoming a reality.

“At the forum, there was lots of energy in a celebration of culture,” observed Canada’s 27th Governor General and Commander-in-Chief, The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean.

“Look at you all, you come from all over the country and represent the richness that is Canada. We got together, and we strategized. What has been done so far shows citizenship and action, and it is a demonstration of the magic that can happen when we come together for a common goal. I look forward to seeing you next year!”

Well, “next year” has arrived, and you are invited to join Michaëlle Jean Foundation Co-Founder, Co-Chair and Carleton Senior Scholar Jean-Daniel Lafond, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Carleton University, John Osborne, youth leaders from Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation, Canadian R&B sensation JRDN, Canada Council for the Arts CEO Simon Brault and Americas Director for the British Council, David Codlington, and many more leading Canadians at the 2nd annual Power of the Arts National Forum.

Together, let’s build a better Canada through the boundless power of the arts.

Friday, November 21, 2014 in
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