LSM Newswire

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Toronto Hosts World's Cultural Leaders at ISPA Congress

Toronto will be host to the 25th annual International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) Congress from June 13 to 18, 2011. More than 250 cultural leaders and executives from all over the world will attend this four-day event, which is built around the theme of Groundbreaking. The multi-faceted Congress includes topical presentations by leading Canadian and international speakers, artist showcases and New Works Now — the annual ISPA pitch session in which ten creators pitch their new work in just seven minutes to an audience of international performing arts professionals. The Toronto 2011 ISPA Congress Chairs are Jennifer Gordon, Principal, Searchlight Recruitment Inc., Claire Hopkinson, Executive Director, Toronto Arts Council, andMervon Mehta, Executive Director of Performing Arts, The Royal Conservatory of Music.
David Baile, ISPA’s Chief Executive Officer noted that the ISPA Congress had been held in Toronto in 1995 and that it was rare for ISPA to return to the same city twice. He further commented that, “the development of Toronto’s cultural infrastructure as well as the great diversity and quality of performing arts in Toronto made it a compelling choice for our 25th June Congress.”
“We are thrilled that Toronto has been chosen to host ISPA’s 25th annual Congress,” said co-chair Claire Hopkinson. “This event offers an unparalleled opportunity to showcase the truly outstanding quality of Canadian artists and local venues to the world’s top cultural curators. The Congress provides a platform to show the world what our artists are creating and gives us a unique chance to demonstrate what Toronto has to offer as a vibrant and diverse city of the 21stcentury.”
The Congress gets underway with the ISPA Academy for aspiring arts administrators on June 13 and 14, and continues with a series of sessions and panel discussions moderated by local luminaries including Gail Lord of Lord Cultural Resources, Chris Lorway, Artistic Director of Luminato, choreographer Nova Bhattacharya, and Lawrence Cherney, Artistic Director of Soundstreams, among others.
Des McAnuff, Artistic Director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, will be the keynote speaker for an audience of delegates hailing from 30 countries including Argentina, Canada, China, Italy, the Netherlands, South Africa, the U.S. and the U.K.
Among ISPA’s offerings are talks by a range of international guest speakers including Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of London’s Southbank Centre; director Tim Supple, “the leading storyteller in British theatre” (Financial Times); self-described musician and “creative troublemaker” Ramzy Suleiman; Director of Public Programming for Lincoln Center Bill Bragin— known as "one of the most influential figures in the New York live-music business" (The New York Times); and Moira Sinclair, Executive Director, London for Arts Council England.
Among the high-profile international cultural leaders attending the conference are Timothy Walker, Chief Executive & Artistic Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra; Jackie Wylie, Artistic Director of The Arches — “Scotland’s coolest arts venue” (The Sunday Herald); Hanako Yamaguchi, Director of Music Programming Lincoln Center for the Performing Artsin New York; and Vivian Ku, Novell Hall for the Performing Arts, Taipei.
ISPA delegates will visit many of the jewels in Toronto’s cultural crown and can choose from hundreds of performances at festivals running concurrently with the Congress including Luminato and NxNE. Delegates will sample performances by a wide range of Canadian and international artists and companies in every discipline including Montreal’s RUBBERBAND Dance Group, Halifax’s Zuppa Theatre Co., pianist Stewart Goodyear, jazz/world music pioneer Jane Bunnett, jazz/klezmer virtuoso David Buchbinder with Odessa/Havana, authorDaniel Levitin, Soulpepper Theatre Company, The Canadian Tenors, ARC Ensemble, jazz pianist Michael Kaeshammer, and Raoul Bhaneja’s Hope and Hell Theatre Company.
Venues chosen for ISPA's 25th June Congress include The Bell Lightbox, Roy Thomson Hall, the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre, the Royal Conservatory’s Koerner Hall and The Carlu, reflecting both the historical and contemporary aspects of Toronto’s architecture.
ISPA was founded in 1949 by Patrick Hayes with a mandate to develop, nurture, energize and educate an international network of arts leaders and professionals, who are dedicated to advancing the field of the performing arts. Today the ISPA network spans over 50 countries and includes more than 350 performing arts leaders.
Full 2011 Toronto ISPA Congress details can be found at
The ISPA Toronto Hosting Committee would like to acknowledge the generous support from government and private sector partners including: the Province of Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Royal Bank of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Bank of Montreal.



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