Launching “Materials for Creation”

Creation sans titre
"Around the Sun", Mairi and Simon Brascoupé's artwork is featured in Materials for Creation.

"Why not call it a month of creation?" asked my gifted colleague and co-editor, Sarah Conn, when we were talking about the lead up to the launch of our book: Materials for Creation. A great idea, and for those of you who follow me on the socials, thanks for giving me the head room to speak to the interplay of all things creative. As Artistic Producer for the National Creation Fund, I feel tremendous pride in witnessing the transformative power of our investments while, all the while, challenged by the question I packed in my suitcase when I first came to the job: Why does creation matter to Canadians? And is there a definition for creation that is singular enough that, when this question is asked, people immediately have an idea of what national creation means? 

Two questions. First: what's national about us? Second: how do we define creation? The first question, while complicated in the most important ways by things like the two historic solitudes, reconciliation, and an evolving idea of national, is still the simpler of the two. To us, it means: do our best to respond as representatively as is possible given the relatively small amount of works we can fund annually. 9 to 11 projects is a small number even for a country as light in population as ours. Taking this into account, we attempt to amplify the reach of our work and it shows up in how we connect, collaborate and communicate. National for the month of June means representation at 4 festivals: Stages in Halifax, FTA in Montreal, FOLDA in Kingston and Luminato in Toronto. And shows happening in many other places too! The ratio of shows per year that we are able to fund gets supercharged by the ways the works intersect both nationally and internationally.  

Creation is a lot more fun to think about, and a lot more fun to do. It is also a lot harder to define. Because, truly, who isn't doing it? On some level? But when does it start? And why is it so important to support? Throughout this year I have been spending a lot of think time on this one. And the book, the one we are launching June 2nd in Montreal at FTA and June 14th at Luminato in Toronto, is partly a response to the thinking. 

I wanted there to be something tangible. Something that creators, donors, presenters, people who love performance could hold in their hands. I hoped that it would reflect a cross section of artists, thinkers, leaders who could offer insight into the ways in which ideas surrounding creation strike them. I wanted an artifact that could tell a story of a movement of expression, of reach and charisma that makes the picker upper of the book proud. To feel proud. To feel pride is hard fought and therefore hard won. I am so proud of the work the Creation Fund has accomplished over the years. I am so excited by the work that is yet to come. I believe in what we do but I am fully aware that it is something done together. That without the support of donors we can't continue the transformative work we have been privileged to do.

So I hope you will join us in our National Creation Fund journey. And I hope you might encourage others to join as well. It's a worthwhile mission that we believe is reflecting beautifully on this land. 

And we hope to see you at one of the 4 festivals coming up in June and always at the NAC!

Have yourself an amazing month of creation and please - as ever - reach out! I love to hear your thoughts!! 

We are so excited to announce our new investment: A New Creation from Kidd Pivot. 

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