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The Rozsa Foundation first began convening arts leaders to discuss and strategize solutions for problems arising from the sudden onset of COVID-19 in 2020. Since then, the Foundation has continued to identify questions and concerns confronting the arts sector and gather leaders from the community to help guide a conversation around them. If you have any suggestions or proposals for future webinar topics, don't hesitate to get in touch with Director of Storytelling Lisa Mackay.

Re-Opening the Arts was our first series of webinars beginning in September of 2020 as the 2020-21 season opened amongst new guidelines and great uncertainty.

Critical Conversations continued these conversations in 2022 as the Omicron variant complicated matters once more.

We now host webinars on various emerging topics, beginning in 2023 with Ethical AI in the Arts. To be notified about upcoming conversations, please sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page.


Katrina Ingram, Founder and CEO of Ethically Aligned AI, and Marilène Oliver, Mixed Media Artist and Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta joined Rozsa Foundation's Director of Storytelling Lisa Mackay for a conversation about the ethics of AI, the intersection of AI and the arts, and developing AI commitments and policies.

During the discussion, several examples and references were made, and below is a list of resources supplied by the speakers:


Ethics guidelines for Marilène's project:

Know Thyself website:

Marilène also has a great TED talk about her work:

Katrina's website:

Credo23 (Justine Bateman) -

Glaze – for visual artists -

No Robots– code to place on websites -

Watermark technologies (in development) -


Katrina also shared the Generative AI Statement that was discussed, attached here:

Critical Conversations

This monthly webinar series in 2022 continued to provide a community forum, following the format of our previous Re-Opening the Arts series in the fall of 2021. We heard from guest arts leaders who were tackling timely and shared arts-related challenges, then opened the floor to create space for questions, conversations, and success sharing from the community.

Presented in partnership with:

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This arts community conversation will focus on moving into a world without mandated health restrictions. Beginning March 1, 2022, masking indoors and capacity limits will no longer be required by the government, but where does this leave your organization, your venues, and your patrons? On April 21, government relations firm Global Public Affairs will brief us on the 2022 federal budget and its implications for the Alberta arts sector. This is an opportunity for artists, arts administrators, and arts organizations to ask questions about funding or supports, and get clarity around programs.

Special guests:

Elizabeth Seip and Abby Tait from Global Public Affairs



As of March 1, provincial mandates regarding masks and capacity limits have been dropped. What does this mean for the arts and arts venues? Should places continue to ask for vaccinations? What are patrons expecting? How do the artists feel? The webinar also features an update from Global Public Affairs government relations firm about federal programs and supports for the arts, and what might be coming our way.

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Special Guests:

JS Ryu, National accessARTS Centre, discusses the specific needs of the disabled population the Centre serves, and the difficulty in weighing information to make decisions.

Marc Stevens, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, talks about creating a common policy in Arts Commons, and the factors that differentiate each resident company.

Rohit Chokhani, Alberta Theatre Projects, shares ATP's process for looking at the protocols around their next production and how they are planning for the 2022-2023 season.

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This arts community conversation is around holding, cancelling, or postponing your events. In the absence of mandated policies or guidelines, it is difficult for arts presenters and producers to know what to do, and we discuss all the elements to consider when making these decisions. Global Public Affairs also has an update on Federal supports and programs.


Special Guests:

Alex Sarian, Arts Commons, shares his perspective on safety and events as a venue for multiple organizations of varying sizes and disciplines.

Johanne Deleeuw, One Yellow Rabbit, talks about the difficult conversations and consideration in light of Omicron that led to the decision to cancel the High Performance Rodeo.

Franca Gaultieri, Chinook Blast, discusses the implications of holding the city-wide winter festival without the Rodeo, and how other factors had to change and adjust to the covid situation.

Sol Zia, Calgary Hotels Association, shares successful collaborations with the film and sports industries, where hotels were able to help bubble people and maintain a safe environment to continue with programming.

Re-Opening the Arts

This monthly webinar series held in the fall of 2021 discussed relevant and timely issues faced by the Alberta Arts Community regarding how to reopen, re-engage with stakeholders, and rebuild after the pandemic. The webinars provided a community forum where we heard from guest arts leaders tackling these challenges, then opened the floor for questions, conversations, and success sharing.

Presented in partnership with:

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This is a discussion around other, less traditional sources of revenue. We look at endowments, how they can be set up, and the kind of annual revenue they can generate; online revenue-generating programming that can last beyond the pandemic; and how merchandise might help close the gap left by partial-capacity halls and smaller ticket sales.

Special Guests:

Shelley Youngblut, Wordfest, will share her organization's journey into online programming, and where it fits in to their mission post-pandemic.

Su Ying Strang, The New Gallery, will talk about how the gallery set up an endowment fund through the Calgary Foundation to create dependable annual revenue.

Courtney Ilie, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, will explain how and when the CPO decided to sell merchandise, and the impact it has had on their bottom line.

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Special Guests:

Rose Brow, Vertigo Theatre, will walk us through how they have set their sales projections and created budgets amid this ever-changing environment.

Nicole Pemberton, Sound Kreations and Footprint Dance Project, will give us insights into how in-school programs have changed and what this looks like moving forward.


Kim Griffin, Stone-Olafson, will present the latest findings in their on-going research into audience attitudes and confidence in attending the arts this fall.

Held on November 18 at 1:30pm, the third webinar in our series tackles several current issues of the Covid-19 context on the arts. These issues include budgets and sales projections, school programs in-school and on-site, and the latest audience research on patron confidence and expectations around returning to live arts events amid the ongoing threat of Covid-19.

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Special Guests:

Paul Muir, Executive Director of Rosebud Theatre, will talk about implementing safety protocols and the REP outside of a major city centre. How was it received by patrons?

Kanika Anand, Assistant Curator at Contemporary Calgary, will discuss how Covid-19 has affected operations at the arts gallery. What changes have they had to consider to invite visitors back?

Kim Stadelmann, Associate Executive Director at the Citadel Theatre, will share their experiences with patrons and programs since they began presenting live theatre in August.

Leslie Biles, VP, Operations, Venue and Event Management from Arts Commons, will explain how and why they developed a common approach to Covid-19 safety expectations throughout the facility and resident companies. What lessons might apply to the sector?


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Do you feel like you are navigating brand new territory all on your own as you produce live art experiences?

In the 2nd webinar of our series, host Simon Mallett (Rozsa Foundation) and guests talk about the practical implementations of Covid-19 safety protocols and the Restriction Exemption Program.


This monthly webinar series will provide a community forum throughout the fall. We will hear from guest arts leaders who are tackling these challenges, then open the floor to create space for questions, conversations and success sharing. What programming considerations are being made? What's being communicated to audiences? What's being done in venues to ensure safety? How do masks and vaccines impact plans and policies? How can we learn from each other as we navigate this shifting new reality?

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Special Guests:

Sara Leishman, Executive Director of the Folk Festival Society of Calgary: Folk Fest put on outdoor, large-scale, live arts experiences this past summer. What were the most important lessons they took away from that experience?


Janet Bwititi, Director of Marketing & Sales at the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra: The CPO just kicked off their 2021-22 season with a socially distanced concert for frontline workers. How will that experience shape future performances this season?

Maya Choldin, Executive Director of Theatre Calgary: Theatre Calgary's 2021-22 season kicks off in October, what programming and logistic considerations went into their planning to return to live theatre?

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