If you were a cannabis producer, how would you seek to engage and educate the legally aged Canadian public on the strengths of your brand, while still working within the parameters defined in the Cannabis Act?
The Canadian government legalized cannabis use on October 17, 2018. Since then, cannabis producers and sellers have suffered under the yoke of draconian advertising and marketing restrictions that do not foster brand education or loyalty, causing a massive dip in sales and a shrinkage of the industry through closures and takeovers.
The City of Brampton, Ontario has an emerging creative sector encompassing a broad range of industries, including and not limited to: dance, design, digital media, fashion, literary arts and publishing, music, theatre and performing arts, visual arts, and multi/inter-disciplinary arts. The City of Brampton’s Culture Master Plan identifies space for creative production, presentation and administration as a critical need for advancing the development and professionalization of creative industries in the city. How can the City best support the expansion of available space inventory for this purpose, while meeting the diverse practical needs of local creative sector users?
The guiding document for cultural development in Brampton is the Culture Master Plan, which was approved by Brampton City Council in 2018 (a copy of the plan is provided below). The City of Brampton’s Cultural Services unit is responsible for working cross-departmentally and with community, institutional and industry stakeholders to advance the Culture Master Plan. Goal #3 of the plan speaks directly to the need for expanded and diversified cultural space in the city.
Brampton is a youthful, diverse, and rapidly growing city in the Greater Toronto Area. As of 2021, Brampton has a population of 656,480 residents, representing 234 cultures and 115 languages. Geographically, Brampton covers a land area of 265 square kilometres. While there are many library branches and community recreation centres located across the city’s ten wards, municipal spaces dedicated to arts and culture use are generally limited to the City’s municipal theatre and related spaces (The Rose, Lester B. Pearson Theatre, Civic Centre rehearsal rooms for music and Dance, the Cyril Clark Lecture Hall, and Garden Square).
The majority of Brampton’s arts and culture assets are located in Downtown Brampton, which is undergoing a transformation focused on revitalizing the area to create a vibrant and connected community where residents and businesses can thrive. Web link: brampton.ca/EN/City-Hall/downtown-brampton/Pages/Welcome.aspx. An integral part of this initiative is the development of an Innovation District, an ecosystem built to help entrepreneurs and start-ups build and scale their businesses in the heart of the city. Web link: investbrampton.ca/locate-here/innovation-district/
While municipal space provision and supporting the ongoing transformation of Downtown Brampton are critical factors in addressing the space needs of Brampton’s creative sector, it is important to also consider neighbourhood access to decentralized spaces across Brampton’s land mass and how the City could best engage and incentivize external partners and service providers in meeting this challenge.
Of note, there are two key municipal supports available to Brampton’s creative sector that play a role in assisting creatives to connect with available spaces for production and presentation needs:
– The Brampton Entrepreneur Centre, which provides guidance, training and resources to local entrepreneurs, many of whom work in the creative industries. Web link: brampton.ca/bec
– The Arts, Culture and Creative Industry Development Agency (ACCIDA), a unique organization incubating under the City of Brampton focused on growing, celebrating, advocating for and connecting the sector through the provision of a range of programs, services and resources. It is anticipated that ACCIDA will transition to become an independent non-profit organization in 2024. Web link: ACCIDA.ca. In September 2021, ACCIDA launched the Big Brampton Artist Space Survey to assess the space needs of the local arts community. 30 local artist organizations and 160 individual artists and creatives provided their feedback, a summary of which can be found at the following web link (page 11): brampton.ca/EN/Arts-Culture-Tourism/CulturalSrvs/Documents/ACCIDA-2021-End-of-year-report.pdf
How can Mali reappropriate the cultural heritage and the industry cotton transformation and how and why can it go from local to global in the textile and fashion sector?
The New Cotton Road
Mali is the leading cotton producer in the continent of Africa with a production of 770 400 tons for the 2021-2022 season. The sector employed approximately 5 million people on the value chain from the production to the transformation (agriculture, manufacturing, export). Mali cotton production fulfills 6 SDG’s making it a sustainable solution for many purposes; however, the cotton sector does not benefit the people of Mali because less than 2% is transform locally wich is a shortfall for the industry and employment for Malian.
How does a nonprofit organization with a small budget engage with audiences digitally for live programming activities?
Small World Music has primarily been a live music presenter. We could not host audiences for more than two years during the pandemic. As we emerge from the pandemic we are finding that audiences are not returning. We find ourselves starting audience engagement from scratch. The newer audiences we are trying to connect with are younger and more social media and digital savvy. However, without the big budgets, we have been struggling to make any meaningful inroads to connect to those audiences. There is a lot of clutter on various digital and social media platforms and organizations with larger budgets seem to win with sheer volume. On the flip side insights and audience, data are also difficult to get for smaller organizations. Are there proven and effective strategies to employ to make a meaningful connection with audiences digitally?
Over the next 20 years, Canada’s Senior population is expected to grow by 68%. Three-quarters of Canadians say they want to die at home, yet just 15% manage to do so. Creative industries look towards the youth as both their audience and inspiration. How can we flip the script in many creative industries to highlight the richness and value of aging populations as both consumers and co-innovators and to support the ability to normalize home-based care and strengthen the capacity for those to be able to be cared for and die at home?
How does Sportsnet transition customers from using our platform as a sampling service to becoming paid subscribers?
We struggle with getting Sportsnet Now users that sign up for a “big event” (ie 2019 Raps finals) to convert to being a regular paying subscriber.
What can we do as a theatre/performing arts community to reassure patrons of their safety in our spaces so they will spend their time and money on our work?
We know that audiences are still not coming back to performing arts events in large numbers and that there continues to be hesitancy about attending live productions in enclosed spaces.
In a sector which historically cannot compete on a wage rate basis with for-profit employers, and which demands more dedication and time from staff – how do charitable creative industry employers solve this issue?
Recruitment and retention of employee talent is a major issue facing the creative industry post pandemic. We are looking to identify recent trends impacting this challenge and forecast what the economic market for the next few years that might be of help to alleviate some of this pressure.