SmartStage Conference

MT Space, as part of the activities of its international intercultural theatre festival IMPACT 15 presents


Technology, Social Media, & the Revolution

September 24th – 26th, 2015 (Conference Reception September 23rd)

Join theatre artists, presenters, producers, and technologists from across the country as we examine the effects of technology and social media on performance practices in the light of recent political movements and current global events. Push the conversation forward as we ask ourselves: How do we use smart technologies to make our stages smarter? How can our smart stages become the revolution?


Conference Schedule

Wednesday, September 23rd | Conference Opening

5:00pm | The Art of Getting Married @ Conrad Centre – Blair Hall
6:00pm | Conference Reception @ Conrad Centre – Board Room
7:00pm | Copper Promises: Hinemihi Haka @ Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts

Meet fellow conference delegates after the The Art of Getting Married during the conference reception, followed by the one woman dance piece, Copper Promises: Hinemihi Haka by Victoria Hunt from Australia, all at The Conrad Centre for Performing Arts.


Thursday, September 24th | Border Crossings – Modern World?

Today’s morning session will be chaired by Starr Muranko – Artistic Associate / Raven Spirit Dance.

10:00 – 12:00 | Session 1: Preserve – Embody - Evolve @ KW Art Gallery

This session has been sponsored by the KW Art Gallery.

The use of technology in conjunction with performative ritual, ceremony and tradition reinforces the paradigm of living culture, and defies the relegation of culture to artefact. What accounts for the perceived sense of “trespass” evoked by this practise? How can contemporary artists maneuver around issues without setting precedent?


Margaret Grenier – Artistic Director / Dancers of Damelahamid | Victoria Hunt – Creator & Performer / Copper Promises: Hinemihi Haka | Diane Roberts – Director / Dramaturge / Writer


2:00 – 3:30 | Session 2: Tomson Highway presents A Tale of Monstrous Extravangance @ UW Campus (Theatre of the Arts)

Hosted by the Aboriginal Student Association at St. Paul’s University College

Join us for an engaging presentation by acclaimed Cree playwright, author, and musician Tomson Highway. Tomson will draw from his wealth of knowledge of Canadian and Indigenous literature, theatre and music, language and world travel, and much much more!

Tomson Highway enjoys an international career as playwright, novelist, and pianist/songwriter. His best known plays are The Rez Sisters, Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her
, and The (Post) Mistress.

His best-selling novel is Kiss of the Fur Queen.


Friday, September 25th | Act-vocating

Both of today’s sessions will be chaired by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard – Artistic Director of New Harlem Productions.

10:00 – 12:00 | Session 3: Amplified Advocacy @ KW Art Gallery

This session has been sponsored by the KW Art Gallery.

How are we as allies of marginalized, culturally diverse, and Indigenous artists and arts organizations connecting and contributing to the ongoing dialogue of diverse representation? Is the pursuit of acknowledged intersectionality at odds with representation of a specific equity-seeking demographic? Does the “mainstream” still exist when there are so many intersecting sub-cultures? #IntersectingInterests #NoncompetitiveDecolonization #AllLivesMatter #CanYouHearUsNow?


Jennifer Dawn Bishop – Artistic Associate / Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company | Stephanie Rozek – Director / Year of Code | Brittany Ryan – Network Coordinator / Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance

2:00 – 4:00 | Session 4: The Animated Stage @ KW Art Gallery

This session has been sponsored by the KW Art Gallery.

The use of projection and other onstage innovations offer complex interpretations of symbolic density. The interpolation of direct human interaction with sounds and images can present challenges to artists and audiences, while offering opportunities for sensory experiences that shape, supplement or counteract surface narratives. How can we engage in these innovations effectively while being aware of its complexities?


Michele DeCottignies – Artistic Director / Stage Left Productions | Andrew Moro – Co-Artistic Director / ARTICLE 11 | Jill Tomasson Goodwin – Executive Member / REAP

Saturday, September 26th | Techno-Maya-Schema-Jaaaaaaaaaaaaams

Both of today’s sessions will be chaired by Jivesh Parasram – Artistic Producer / Pandemic Theatre.

9:30 – 11:30 | Session 5: Dramaturging Technology @ St. Paul’s University College

While many of our most daring creators go beyond the possible, none are equipped to go beyond the conceivable. Working with designers in creation/development can expand the realm of the conceivable and dislodge perceptual barriers. Two works in development are used as case studies for design-based problem solving, in scenarios alternatively predicted on infinite equipment or resource scarcity.


Michelle Olson – Artistic Director / Raven Spirit Dance | Shahin Sayadi – Artistic Director / Onelight Theatre | Isabella Stefanescu – Artistic Director / Inter Arts Matrix | Daniel Thau-Eleff – Artistic Producer / Moving Target Theatre

12:00 | Grand Entry of Annual Pow Wow @ St. Paul’s University College

More info about the Pow Wow here.

2:00 – 4:00 | Session 6: Programming Patches @ University of Waterloo

Presenters and producers are required to go beyond the limits of their own experience to program work by diverse artists, and no community comes with a ready-made audience. This will be a frank discussion of programming priorities, intercultural consultation, staff education, and ethical audience development.


Ryan Cunningham – Artistic Director / Native Earth Performing Arts | Patti Flather – Artistic Director / Gwaandak Theatre | Cheryl Foggo – Artistic Producer / Ellipsis Tree Collective | Christine Quintana – Co-Artistic Producer / Delinquent Theatre


Conference Passes

You can register for the conference NOW by purchasing the $175 Conference Pass Online. The conference pass includes participation in the conference, as well as access to all ticketed productions and events at the festival!


Student Registration

Students can register for the conference at a special rate of $20 per day, including access to all conference events!

Just email with 'Conference Student Registration' in the subject line. If you would like to register for ONLY the conference, you can reserve your spot by emailing with Conference Registration in the subject line. The $40 per day registration fee includes access to all conference events.

Conference Pass Notes

  • Conference Pass does not include Tomson Highway concert or Picadillo presented by Neruda Arts.
  • Conference events include panel discussions, lunch and refreshments.