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ARTPRENEUR Conference 2019

ARTPRENEUR Conference 2019



Arts Network Ottawa and Wallack’s are thrilled to launch the sixth installment of ARTPRENEUR: Ottawa’s premier cross-disciplinary conference for creative entrepreneurs. Artpreneur is a once-a-year opportunity for like-minded creatives to gather and expand their network.  Engage firsthand with experts and local businesses, all of whom are contributing to the ever-evolving cultural milieu of Ottawa and beyond.

“This year’s conference differs from years prior by elevating content beyond basic skill sets, bringing a more macro view on the creative sector. We are diving deeper into the fabric of this city’s creative infrastructure, so attendees see their industries with a bird’s eye view, knowing exactly when, where and how to apply skills developed in previous years."

- Michael Wallack

Located at the dynamic innovation hub Bayview Yards, just west of downtown Ottawa, we will tackle the theme of Creative Infrastructure: Media, Management, and Spaces with a diverse group of speakers ranging from artists to media owners, professors to directors. Bridging art, entrepreneurship and the creative industries, each speaker will provide a unique insight on this important topic, offering personal experience and expertise to engage guests and inform artists on their professions. Discussions will be held on varying fields including art, film and music; Artpreneur is a space for open dialogue as well as a platform to examine and solve problems faced by art entrepreneurs today.

This full-day event is an opportunity to network face-to-face, initiate conversation with fellow artists and peers, and finally, meet individuals from organizations and businesses currently developing and improving infrastructure for creatives in Ottawa.

“One of the very first things I did when I decided to pursue an arts career was attend Artpreneur . . .  I was really searching for that collaborative community and I was looking for people to get advice from; I was looking for people to collaborate with and I absolutely found that in Artpreneur. The information and resources are an amazing first step to get yourself oriented on what the city offers, and even if you feel like you have a good line on the resources, Artpreneur is the best way to find the people.”
- Brenda Dunn, Visual Artist

Guests are able to forge new relationships and share experiences at the entrance of Bayview Yards’ RBC Foundry, a unique meeting space where they will have access to presentations and talks delivered by industry leaders providing tailored advice and information. Today, there are an overwhelming and vast number of tools and data available to creatives in both the physical and digital world; these experts and professionals can advise and help navigate, dissect and simplify information available in order to help artists find solutions and success.

Following registration, a networking breakfast and opening remarks, the full day of events will kick off in the following format: for each of the conference’s three main subjects - Media, Management, and Spaces - two speakers will briefly examine a subtopic relevant to their field of work. An additional pair of speakers will follow, finishing with a Q&A with all four speakers on the subtopic. There will be breaks throughout agenda for refreshments & lunch, and the conference will conclude with a presentation tying together each of the main subjects and ideas discussed throughout the day. After closing remarks there will of course be more time for networking and visits to the various booths set up by local vendors and businesses.

For the full, detailed agenda please visit



Guest Speakers:

Bruce Harvey (Ottawa Film Office) heads the conference this year as keynote speaker. A former entertainment lawyer and film industry entrepreneur, Harvey has produced film and TV projects for over two decades, winning a Genie award in 2001 for Best Production Design. Currently, Bruce is working alongside TriBro Studios to develop Ottawa’s first soundstage campus and creative hub, a project projected to generate $40 million for the local economy and 500 jobs. Bruce will dive into a discussion on how this soundstage will affect non-film entrepreneurs as well as the impact this project will produce on other creative sectors in Ottawa.

From the City of Ottawa/Apt 613, Livia Belcea will serve as Conference MC. As Mayor Jim Watson’s Press Secretary (and former Director of Communications and Media Relations  during his 2018 Mayoral Re-Election Campaign), Belcea is immersed in Ottawa’s arts & culture and contributes regularly to the award-winning online publisher Apt613.

Artpreneur welcomes Elly Smallwood, an OCAD graduate and Canadian visual artist from Ottawa, Ontario. Smallwood has exhibited her intimate and evocative oil paintings in Toronto, New York, Russia and across Europe; with almost half a million followers on Instagram alone, the artist pushes boundaries with her primarily large-scale figurative works, stating: “I’d always rather be pushing myself than sticking with what’s safe and remaining stagnant.” Joining Smallwood on the roster is Remco Volmer, managing director of Ottawa’s Artengine. A graduate of Utretch University of Arts Creative Media Program, Volmer is no stranger to innovation and utilizing digital platforms to export work. With a practice centering on technologically mediated interaction design on both an individual and institutional level, Volmer has organized a variety of festivals and exhibitions including the Electric Fields festival of electronic art and Maker Faire Ottawa. “By not settling on any one discipline specifically but more on the broader intersection of art, technology and society, [Artengine] can move with the times . . . it makes for really interesting experimental and provocative works . . . It’s always exciting.”

With over twenty years of experience, founder of Kelp Records/Kelp Management Jon Bartlett, will provide insight into when, where and how to strategically invest in intermediary services. Along with pushing music from the National Capital Region and developing services for artists, Bartlett provides a platform for local artists through MEGAPHONO, a music showcase festival taking place annually in Ottawa every February. Says Bartlett: “It’s an exciting time for music in Ottawa with new sounds, new scenes and new audiences. . . wherever there is music, there is community, culture and collaboration.”

Sothea Kham and Bruno Soulière, creators of General Assembly / Assemblée Générale, will share their experiences managing a collaborative, experimental and multi-disciplinary project space at 5 Fairmont Avenue (formerly shared space at House of Common).

Joining us from the City of Ottawa are Development Officers Jamie Hurst and Kwende Kefentse, who will examine the impact of nighttime spaces and artistic hubs on progressing careers and city framework. Kefentse played a leading role in developing the council-approved Renewed Action Plan for Arts, Heritage and Culture (2013-2018) as well as successfully led several music industry development initiatives in partnership with local business leaders and the City’s Economic Development staff.

Over the past decade, the National Art Centre has focused on building its relationships with Indigenous artists to “[reflect] a fuller story of Canada to Canadians.” From the NAC’s new Indigenous Theatre department, Communications and Marketing Officer Amy Ede will share the challenges met while confronting imbalances in existing frameworks to make spaces for Indigenous communities, as well as discuss the importance of representation and accountability.

Throughout his thirty year career, award-winning broadcaster, columnist, entrepreneur and author Mark Sutcliffe has played a role in leadership in several distinct fields and will engage attendees with a discourse on audience mobilization across print, digital, broadcast media and beyond. Sutcliffe has been a prolific producer of content whether it be as the host of Ottawa Today or columnist for the Ottawa Citizen, National Post, and Globe and Mail. In 2016, he was named to the Order of Ottawa, cited for his “lifelong interest in the media and in helping his Ottawa hometown flourish as a place of opportunity, diversity and equality.”

From SHIFTER Agency, Kevin Bourne (Co-founder and Editor) and Joe Mebrahtu (Co-founder and Publisher) will navigate graduated systems of media and what it means to outgrow the community and grassroots realm. As an agency made up of creators and storytellers, Bourne and Mebrahtu help influencers and brands tell a genuine and clear narrative using on- and offline strategies, focusing on stories that are often overlooked. States Bourne: “I’d love to see Ottawa artists get commercial recognition in their own city [and] be able to make a living with their craft.”

Share knowledge, exchange ideas and become part of the creative conversation at Artpreneur 2019!

Artpreneur 2019: Media, Management, and Spaces

DATE: May 31, 8:30am

LOCATION: Bayview Yards, 7 Bayview Rd, Ottawa, ON K1Y 2C5


Includes a networking breakfast, lunch & refreshments. Limited space of 150 participants.

$30 Student

$40 Early Bird

$50 Regular

$85 At the Door

Tickets can also be purchased at Wallack’s Art Supplies and Arts Network Ottawa (located in the Shenkman Arts Centre).

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