Post Pecha Kucha group shot at SummerWorks 2016. Photo by Dahlia Katz

Summer Learning

Generator’s ongoing partnership with SummerWorks Performance Festival is now part of the “Exchange” stream of the festival. Just announced: dates for 2019.

August 2019 SummerWorks Exchange

After a successful inaugural year in 2018, The Exchange returns to SummerWorks Performance Festival in 2019. Save the dates August 11-14 for this industry series, aimed at expanding dialogue and promoting collaboration among artists. More details to come in June. Pictured below: the 2018 Exchange, photographed by Henry Chan.

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August 2018 SummerWorks Exchange

The SummerWorks Exchange is a new stream of the Festival, encapsulating our professional development and industry activities. Exchange Events are included for Accredited Industry Pass Holders, and members of the general public can purchase a ticket that gives them access to all events during the day. For more information, visit

SW Exchange Day 1 - August 13, 2018 

Monday, August 13, 2018 12:00pm-1:30pm
Venue: Toronto Media Arts Centre

An opportunity to connect with colleagues, as well as meet new artists and presenters. ASL Interpretation will be provided for this event.

Monday, August 13, 2018 1:30pm-4:30pm
Venue: Toronto Media Arts Centre

Presented in partnership with Ad Hoc Assembly, Artscape Launchpad & Generator

Participants will have the opportunity to choose between concurrent workshops providing tools for generous listening, decolonizing performance practice, and equitable engagement within cross-cultural collaboration. ASL Interpretation will be provided for all workshop sessions.

Session 1: Affinity Gathering

Facilitated by Ad Hoc Assembly: Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, Grace Phan-Nguyen & Cole Alvis

Ad Hoc Assembly (AHA) in association with Generator and SummerWorks will lead a workshop to equip Indigenous and culturally diverse artists for equitable engagement. Tools include holding space and empowering yourself within cross-cultural collaboration. AHA Affinity Gatherings engage with local artists to identify barriers/resources and strengthen their practice through the exchange of knowledge and experience. We welcome settler arts practitioners who identify as members of an equity-seeking cultural community (i.e. Deaf, disabled, Trans, gender non-binary, etc). AHA is dedicated to the sustained forward movement of ethno-cultural and socially diverse performance works, processes, and traditions.

Session 2: Systems by Design

Facilitated by Artscape Launchpad: Jerrold McGrath & Peter Toh

We have all experienced getting stuck in structures that make responding, learning, and participating hard. This program is for those interested in how we can shift how we show up with each other to do new things. Participants will receive practical tools and direct interactions with a live case in the arts community. Our systems — organizational, community, or societal — are defined by a set of spoken and unspoken rules and assumptions. By pointing out these unspoken patterns, we can redesign the moments in which we come together to better reflect the world we want to see. Pulling back from habits and rituals is time-consuming and difficult. This session will provide the structures and the discipline to do this in the systems we care about.
In this session we will explore:

  • Intervening in systems: Practices and approaches for changing how systems work

  • Disorganizing by design: Breaking up routines so that new things can happen

  • Reorganizing from our values: Redesigning structures that embody the values we want to see

  • Properties of spaces: Imagining them in new ways

Session 3: Talking Treaties: Quick Creation with the Dish with One Spoon

Facilitated by Ange Loft

A continuation of last year’s workshop Re / Colonizing – Decolonizing Performance Practice, Ange Loft takes participants through the history of the Dish With One Spoon, followed by participants creating a multidisciplinary performance response shared in small groups, and concludes with group reflection and sharing. The Dish with One Spoon is a regional agreement between Indigenous Nations to uphold shared responsibility for the land. This three-part workshop begins with presentation and exploration of the conceptual origins, historical documentation and challenges to the understandings held in the wampum-based agreement. A generative mapping of images, symbols and key phrases serves as the base for improvised vocal interpretation, but also as the generated content for speedy collaborative creation in small teams. The final phase invites participants to witness and perform in the impromptu spectacle. Time is given for brief reflection and for discussion.

SW Exchange Day 3 - August 15, 2018

Info Fair                                                                                                                                              12:00pm-1:30pm
Venue: Theatre Centre – Gallery, 1115 Queen Street West
Free Event

An opportunity to meet with and ask questions of funders before the next grant deadline as well as learn more about resources and initiatives impacting the community including ArtsVote and Coffee and snacks will be provided. ASL interpretation provided at this event. 

Venue: Toronto Media Arts Centre

Presented in partnership with Generator and Why Not Theatre

Can we keep doing this? Change comes when a community rallies together with an idea, time, and resources. It is time to shift the ways we make and work together. Instigations from various sectors, including theatre, music and gaming, will suggest alternatives to current systems, make recommendations for what is needed to create a healthier and more sustainable ecology and spark smaller discussions among those in attendance. Be prepared to commit to a new future. This is a space to talk about what we will do and find folks to do it with. Do you have an idea that needs more momentum, bring it here to find collaborators and resources?

More information here:

August 2017 SummerWorks Leadership Intensive Program (SLIP)

SummerWorks Intensive Leadership Program (S.L.I.P.), is a series of public events that explore how we can remove barriers and dismantle systems of oppression through artistic practice.

All SLIP discussions are FREE and will take place at Artscape Youngplace Studio 103 (180 Shaw Street, Toronto). 


Tuesday August 8, 10am-1pm
Facilitator Barak adé Soleil

Photo by Dahlia Katz from our  (RE)conciliation: a workshop on integrating Indigeneity and decolonizing performance practice.

Photo by Dahlia Katz from our (RE)conciliation: a workshop on integrating Indigeneity and decolonizing performance practice.

Barak adé Soleil, Artistic Director of Tangled Art + Disability and disability arts scholar Eliza Chandler will co-facilitate a core dialogue and presentation on the ways in which cultural production and accessibility co-exist. What is disability aesthetics? And, how does our understanding of aesthetics expand when we consider how people access and relate to our work? **ASL Interpretation Provided

Presented in partnership by SummerWorks, Generator, and Tangled Art + Disability


Tuesday August 8, 2pm-5pm
Facilitators Cole Alvis and Jill Carter

The land acknowledgement perfunctorily performed by rote will not serve the fraught, complex project of reconciliation; indeed, it may, at the end of the day, render such an endeavor an exercise in futility. How do artists go beyond the learning of names, or geography, or historical fact to begin decolonizing their practice? How do we re-imagine our relationship with this land upon which we create? Cole Alvis (Métis) and Jill Carter (Anishinaabe-Ashkenazi) lead a workshop for artists on how we can more actively engage in (re)conciliation. **ASL Interpretation Provided

Presented in partnership by SummerWorks and Generator


Wednesday August 9, 10am-1pm
Facilitated by Access Activators

Relaxed Performance (RP) as a cultural practice helps to make theatre spaces more comfortable and welcoming to audience members with autism spectrum disorders, sensory and communication disorders or learning disabilities. This workshop will explore how cultural producers, artists and arts organizations can more widely and independently integrate RP principles within their work and creative process. This workshop will be led by Access Activators, a Relaxed Performance pilot consulting project. **ASL Interpretation Provided

Presented in partnership by SummerWorks, Generator, Tangled Art + Disability, and the British Council


Wednesday August 9, 2-5pm
Facilitator Rania El Mugammar

This workshop for artists explores the language, theories and practices of anti-oppression in depth. Institutional, community based and organizational strategies for building equity and unlearning oppression are central to the content and objectives of the workshop. Creative, technical and collaborative models for building equity and liberation will be explored. Group activities, case studies and discussion are critical tools to apply the learnings of this workshop. Participants will have access to a plethora of digital and print resources to continue their learning journey beyond the scope of the session. **ASL Interpretation Provided

Presented in Partnership by SummerWorks, Generator, and b current performing arts


August 2016 SummerWorks Leadership Intensive Program (SLIP)

Photo by Dahlia Katz

Photo by Dahlia Katz


A curated event featuring artists, thinkers, makers, doers, activators, and leaders from Toronto and beyond. Following the fast-paced Pecha Kucha format, speakers have seven minutes each to give mini-presentations focusing on the question “How do you imagine arts and culture 20 years from now?”

FEATURING: Dr. Mary Fogarty,  Alex Johnson, Jane Kirby, Andy Moro, Christine Quintana, Joseph Recinos, Katie Sly, Donna Michelle St. Bernard, and Joshua Vittivelu.

Monday August 8, 7:00pm
The Koffler Centre of the Arts

Photo by Dahlia Katz

Photo by Dahlia Katz

Click here for a short and sweet look at the Pecha Kucha on Generator's Vlog

Click here to watch the full Livestream on Koffler's Digital Streams


What are the future needs of artists and cultural leaders? We want to know what you think. Help us imagine where we take S.L.I.P. moving forward.

An open source community dialogue where YOU are at the heart of the conversation! Putting the communal voice at the centre, this conversation gives power to the people allowing everyone present to set the agenda. Come prepared with a brain full of ideas!

Saturday August 13, 4:00pm
Factory Theatre Studio


What can be better than great company and conversation, with food to unite us all?

Come celebrate with us at our communal meal that wraps up the Open Source S.L.I.P. event where creative minds gather over a communal feast! Best part: the food’s on us!

Saturday August 13, 6:00pm
Factory Theatre Studio