Diaspora Dialogues has launched Spur, Canada’s first national festival of politics, art and ideas. The festival is designed to engage Canadians in a feisty, cross-country search for ways forward on pressing issues.
In the first year, the festival will include Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver with more editions rolling out in 2014.
Spur Toronto runs from April 11 to 14:
“Now that the economy has become a water-cooler subject, The Bottom Line – Spur’s Toronto edition – looks at the intersection of money, politics, art and ideas, and asks how we might reimagine their connections in our society.
Spur Toronto’s eclectic mix ranges from panel discussions with The New Yorker senior editor Hendrik Hertzberg on vested interests in politics to politically hot theatre with playwrights Hannah Moscovitch, Michael Healey and Guillermo Verdecchia; debates from political operatives Chima Nkemdirim, Jaime Watt and David Herle on electoral alchemy to breakfast with first-time author Ayelet Tsabari with her brilliant short fiction collection and Ins Choi’s (Kim’s Convenience) brand new theatrical walking piece. There will be discussions, town halls, readings, performances, walking tours and funky late-night music at the Pilot Tavern to tempt you – and much more.”
Book early so you won’t miss out! Tickets can be purchased on the Spur site. Festival passes get you in to all events, as well as a private reception.
Visit Spur Toronto for the complete lineup of sessions and presenters.
Here are a few sessions we think might be of interest to our community:
Calling all political artists! Hosted by Andy Bichlbaum of The Yes Men, The Yes Lab is a three-hour workshop designed to generate ideas and get groups of people thinking creatively. Social justice organizations can take advantage of all the Yes Men have learned, including how to use humour to open minds and share ideas, figure out which culture-jamming activities are effective, understand “laughtivism” and collectively brainstorm potential project ideas.
Political messaging has become increasingly refined and tightly targeted. But do the subtle arts of political communication actually serve democracy, or seduce voters into abandoning rational or practical choices? A panel of distinguished political strategists, consultants and advisors discuss their personal favourite pieces of political storytelling and the quantifiable impact and ethics of artful spin.
In a town-hall- style forum that bridges the blogosphere and conventional media, Spur challenges journalists across genres to debate whether labelling something as “Canadian” builds our society or dooms our cultural industries to failure. Be part of the debate: join a local columnist and some of the city’s most-followed culture bloggers in an energetic conversation.
Canada invests significant amounts of public money in the arts and sciences through institutions such as hospitals or universities or through extensive grant programs. Who benefits from the commercialization of ideas generated from all that activity – and who should?
Playwrights – like politicians – have powerful roles in society, shaping and reflecting back to us relevant social issues and crafting persuasive stories in ways that may move us into action or news ways of thinking long after we turn from the stage. But is some content too hot to handle? Join Canada’s top political playwrights as they discuss the intersection of politics and theatre.
Do people with money have an undue influence on our political system? Well-informed panelists bring their expertise and experience to discuss comparative models of political campaign financing in Canada and the United States.
Join Diaspora Dialogues for what promises to be a fun, informative, irreverent series of presentations and discussions.