Colourful birds flocking together with text "FLEX: Collaboration, Festival Learning Exchange Program" and WIC logo


As arts and heritage festivals move beyond crisis management and enforced isolation, cancellations, and closures, strategic collaborations will be crucial in their ability to adapt, recover, and prosper post-pandemic.

WorkInCulture, working closely with a topic specialist and regional delivery partners, will develop and pilot a FREE virtual training intensive focused on providing the skills and knowledge required to form and implement effective collaborations among arts and heritage festivals, located in Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa, and Sudbury. The project objective is to provide non-profit arts and heritage festivals with the tools, expertise and processes to create and implement an effective collaboration strategy.


Welcome to the FLEX Coffee Break Series – a series of short insights from past participants of WorkInCulture’s FLeX (Festivals Learning Exchange) Program on the overarching topic of collaboration. Learn from 4 festival leaders located in Kingston, Sudbury, and Toronto about how they approach collaborating with Peers, Artists, and Society. Grab your coffee and let's take a break together!

NOTE: We will be releasing new coffee chats every week for the next 4 weeks. See you here every Thursday for a new conversation on collaboration 😄

  1. A conversation with Liam Karry of Kick & Push Festival in Kingston on how to collaborate more effectively with peers.​

SPOTLIGHT SESSIONS(Open to program participants, their colleagues, and the general public)

Wed, Feb 2 2022 | 10am -12pm EDT FLEX Spotlight Session: Collaborating with Peers 
Learn how to collaborate with arts and heritage festivals, make space for conflict amongst peers, and grow, maintain and end professional relationships. Learn from inspiring examples of peer-based collaborative frameworks from Canada, Spain, France, and Belgium. Featuring: Clayton Windatt, curator, multi-arts performer and filmmaker, Benoit Geers from NEXT Festival, and Mike Ribalta from FiraTàrrega.

March 16 2022 | 10 am - 12pm EDT FLEX Spotlight Session: Collaborating with Artists 
A festival is like an iceberg: the collective experience is the tip, the rest is all the underground work going on year-round to make it happen.
In this second Spotlight, with guests from Manchester Jazz Festival (UK), Queens' Council on the Arts (USA), and Owais Lightwala (Canada) we'll look under the surface to consider year-round collaborations with artists: from outreach & participation projects to talent development programmes, co-productions, commissions, interdisciplinary experimentations, and intersectoral explorations.

April 13 2022 | 10 am - 12pm EDT FLEX Spotlight Session: Collaborating with Society

Can festivals transform the world? Can they lead social change by experimenting with equitable structures, environmental responsibilities, power redistribution? Can they inspire new collaborations with society, beyond the arts & culture sector?
This third Spotlight will feature EVVI (France), 64 Million Artists (UK), and Kevin Matthew Wong (Canada).

Patrick Breton from Centre franco-ontarien de folklore
Kimberly Dolan from Blue Canoe Theatrical Productions Inc.
Liam Karry from Kingston Theatre Alliance (Kick & Push Festival)
Tricia Knowles from Calliope Collective
Katya Kuznetsova from Dance Together Festival
Kristen Leboeuf from Kingston Theatre Alliance
Mark Mannisto from Sudbury Performance Group
Pierre Paul Mongeon from Concerts La nuiit sur l'étang (Les)
Lisa O’Connell from Pat the Dog Theatre Creation
Krishna Patel from Northern Lights Festival Boreal
Brandon Patry from Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival
Colleen Renihan & Dean Burry​ from The Watershed Festival - Reimagining Music Theatre
Suzanne Wilkie & Isabela Solis-Lozano from Toronto Fringe Festival

Ontario Culture Days – Advisory Committee
City of Toronto Economic Development and Culture Division – Advisory Committee
Economic Development, Tourism and Culture - City of Greater Sudbury​ – Advisory Committee and Delivery Partner
Ottawa Festival Network – Advisory Committee and Delivery Partner
Kingston Arts Council – Advisory Committee and Delivery Partner

Curriculum Consultant and Facilitator: Fanny Martin

Profile photo of Fanny with bangs and long hair and greenery in the backgroundFanny is an international creative producer & facilitator specialised in festivals, networks, interdisciplinary projects and art in public space. Born and educated in France, she developed an eclectic freelance project portfolio in the UK before moving to Canada and founding Art of Festivals, a creative company that designs transformative events to spark change and enchant everyday life. In collaboration with artists, educators, researchers, technologists and activists, her work focuses on producing memorable shared experiences, shaping change strategies, experimenting with participatory frameworks and designing learning & evaluation programmes.


If you have any questions about the project please contact: 
Stephanie Draker, Program Manager at  

To keep updated on the project progress and related training activities, please sign up to receive more information.  

Funded by the Government of Canada.