My name is Greg Thomas and I have just started my role as SPARC’s new Network Coordinator.
Firstly, I would like to thank Elisha Barlow, the previous coordinator, for all her hard work, helping to lay the foundations and creating the momentum to make this project very successful. I have been told I have big boots to fill.
Over the next three years I am really looking forward to working with the SPARC community across Ontario, the Network Steering Committee and the Arts Council-Haliburton Highlands to help realize the vision of a strong, supportive network of rural performing artists in Ontario.
I have experienced the many barriers facing artists in both rural and urban areas in Canada and the UK as well as the many triumphs. I am really looking forward to hearing from as many performing arts individuals and organizations as possible about their ideas, hopes and struggles of making art in Ontario. No matter how big or small.
Please feel free to get in touch with me or use our online forum here to get the conversation rolling. Our goal is to create dialogue and link individuals and organisations together that can support each other. Together we can celebrate successes and work through challenges.
I’d also love to hear about people’s ideas for our website and forum – the good, the bad and the ugly.
We want to make it a valuable resource for all those involved in the arts so the more feedback we can get from you the better.
We have lofty goals for the next 3 years including: two symposium’s which will bring together performing artists from Ontario and beyond, the first one is fast approaching; the setting up of regional hubs to bring people and resources together and to help mentor the next generation of artists in our communities and of course the creation of the world’s best on-line forum for rural performing artists … ever.
We have a strong commitment to making this an inclusive network and would greatly appreciate you spreading the word to help us to reach out far and wide to ensure that we’re truly reflective of the many voices that make up our rural communities.
I look forward to hearing from you all and seeing how we can make the artist’s dream, of being able to perform whilst putting food on the table, a reality.