As announced on April 14th, Mass Culture’s inaugural conference Mass One: Festival of Arts Research has been delayed, due to COVID-19. 

The Mass One team is approaching this roadblock creatively, transforming the festival into a season, which will include interactive working sessions that will inform and culminate in the festival. On May 29th, Mass Culture will be conducting the first of three Mass One Study Dates. These 3-hour sessions will include guest speakers, case studies, and facilitated breakout rooms. Each session will see Mass One’s original 3 Research Leads pursue a community-based approach to their research concepts, inviting critical input from participants as a way of ensuring their research truly serves the sector.

Click here to register, and here to find out more.

Study Date 1: Future of Work, May 29 2020, 1 – 4pm EDT

Read Jeanne LeSage’s invitation: So Now What? How Do We Work in a Post-COVID Reality?

Who will be there?
From left: Jeanne LeSage, Ravi Jain, Kelly Read, Owais Lightwala


Jeanne LeSage, LeSage Arts Management, CHRL, MBA

Jeanne is an arts consultant with 30+ years’ experience in the sector.  She is a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL), holds an MBA in Management Consulting, and runs LeSage Arts Management with a focus on strategic human resources, organizational development, facilitation and strategy.  Proudly starting her career as a stage manager, and having considerable arts leadership experience in Canada and abroad – she now works with arts organizations to “Make Arts Work Better” through consulting, research, teaching, conference speaking, leadership transitions, and more.  Jeanne works with arts organizations and entities large and small, and is the researcher and author of “Reporting and Investigation Mechanisms for Workplace Harassment in the Arts” for the Cultural Human Resources Council – which includes key recommendations for the sector.

Ravi Jain, Artistic Director, Why Not Theatre

Toronto-based stage director Ravi Jain is a multi-award-winning artist known for making politically bold and accessible theatrical experiences in both small indie productions and large theatres. As the founding artistic director of Why Not Theatre, Ravi has established himself as an artistic leader for his inventive productions, international collaborations and innovative producing models which are aimed to better support emerging artists to make money from their art.

Ravi was twice shortlisted for the Siminovitch Prize (2016 and 2019) and won the Ken McDougal Award for Emerging Director, the 2012 Pauline McGibbon Award for Emerging Director and the 2016 Canada Council John Hirsch Prize for direction. He is a graduate of the two-year program at École Jacques Lecoq.

Owais Lightwala, Managing Director, Why Not Theatre

Owais Lightwala is a theatre producer, and currently the Managing Director of Why Not Theatre. Over the last 6 years working for Why Not, he has produced sold-out runs of award-winning new works, national and international tours, presentations from around the world, and co-helmed the creation of innovative new producing models like the RISER Project. He advises many arts organizations (including theatre and dance companies, music presenters, film festivals and more) as a strategic consultant, particularly on finding better ways of doing things, changing who’s on stage and in the audience, and anything to do with numbers. He also dabbles in theatre making as an artist, and is a prolific web and graphic designer. A lifelong learner, he was selected for the Impact Program for Arts Leaders (Stanford Graduate School of Business), has completed the CORe program (Harvard Business School), was a 2018 DiverseCity Fellow (CivicAction), a fellow in the 2018 Leaders Lab (Toronto Arts Council/Banff Centre), and a graduate of York University’s Theatre program.

Kelly Read, Executive Producer, Why Not Theatre

Kelly Read is a theatre facilitator. As Executive Producer at Why Not, she has produced and presented sold-out and award-winning shows around the world, as well as helped to develop and execute critical company strategy. Previously, Kelly worked with Soulpepper Theatre, both as Academy Producer and Associate Technical Director. She has extensive experience as a production craftsperson, working with dozens of companies in many capacities. She helped to found The Storefront Theatre, and received a Harold Award for her contributions to the theatre community. Kelly holds a B.FA in Performance Production from Ryerson University, completed the Soulpepper Academy, and the CORe program through HBX Harvard Business School.

Mass Culture started in 2017 as a conversation on culture, research and policy dreamt up by a group of arts enthusiasts. In just three years, hundreds more conversations have taken place across the country, inviting people from all sides of the sector to gather and address the research provocations that matter most to them. 

It is now time to celebrate how much the network has grown and learnt. 

Mass Culture, in partnership with the Creative Communities in Collaboration research lab at Ryerson University, invites you to its inaugural conference, Mass One: Festival of Arts Research at Ryerson University, Toronto. 

Join us for the Opening Night for a free conversation and reception on Art & Space, sponsored by the City of Toronto; and book your place for the Festival Day to exchange knowledge and know-how with 100 arts leaders, researchers and policy-makers dedicated to build a thriving and innovative Canadian arts sector. 



6.30-9pm, Downtown Toronto


Mass One launches on the evening of May 28th with a Long Conversation on Art + Space. This is a free event, sponsored by the City of Toronto. True to Mass Culture’s beginnings of 100+ one-on-one meetings, this Long Conversation format – first developed by the Artangel Longplayer project in 2009 – is a relay of two-person dialogues around a central theme for a set period of time, followed by a reception to continue the lively conversation. Space is limited, so make sure to RSVP! 



9am-5pm, The Catalyst at Ryerson University

$45 – $125 (plus tax)  

In partnership with Ryerson University, Mass Culture has embarked on a research study to look at arts service organizations and the instigative role they play in deepening the capacity of the arts sector. Based on this project and Mass Culture’s nationwide Gatherings, three research pathways will be explored throughout the day to chart our collective learning journey towards the future of the Canadian arts sector. For this inaugural national convening, the three pathways will be:  Future of Work in the Arts, curated by Jeanne LeSage  | Linked Data, curated by Frédéric Julien  | Arts & Civic Impact, curated by Christina Loewen.  

In addition to the three pathways, a series of interactive rooms will offer time and space to reflect, share, conspire and investigate further. Artist-researcher Dylan Robinson will punctuate the day with invitations to listen, reflect and share. 

Bring your own knowledge and curiosity to this marketplace of arts research, where we’ll trade knowledge and know-how, grow a stronger network of practitioners, researchers and policy-makers and dream up innovative collaborative projects. 


Mass One : Festival de la recherche en arts

Mass Culture / Mobilisation culturelle a commencé en 2017 sous la forme d’une conversation sur la culture, la recherche et la politique culturelle portée par un groupe de passionnés des arts. 

Ces trois dernière années, des centaines de conversations supplémentaires ont eu lieu dans tout le pays, invitant des professionnels de toutes les disciplines à se réunir et à examiner les thèmes de recherche qui les intéressent le plus. 

Le moment est maintenant venu de célébrer la formidable croissance du réseau et de nos connaissances collectives. 

Mass Culture / Mobilisation culturelle, en partenariat avec le laboratoire de recherche Creative Communities in Collaboration à Ryerson University,  vous invite à sa conférence inaugurale, Mass One : Festival de la recherche en arts à l’université Ryerson de Toronto. 

Venez vous joindre à nous pour la Soirée d’ouverture – une conversation et réception sur les arts et les espaces culturels – commanditée par la ville de Toronto,  et réservez votre place pour la Journée du festival pendant laquelle vous pourrez échanger connaissances et savoir-faire avec une centaine de leaders culturels, de chercheurs et de décideurs qui se consacrent à la consolidation d’un milieu des arts dynamique et innovant au Canada. 



de 18 h 30 à 21 h, centre-ville de Toronto

Entrée gratuite

La conférence Mass One s’ouvre le 28 mai avec un dialogue soutenu sur les arts et les espaces culturels. L’entrée est gratuite et la soirée est commanditée par la ville de Toronto. Pour rester fidèle aux débuts de Mobilisation culturelle avec sa centaine de réunions en tête à tête, le protocole du dialogue soutenu – élaboré à l’origine dans le cadre du projet Longplayer d’Artangel en 2009 – prévoit une série de courts dialogues à deux personnes sur un thème donné, suivie d’une réception pour amplifier la conversation.  Les places sont en nombre limité – réservez la vôtre sans tarder ! 



de 9 h à 17 h, The Catalyst à la Faculté des communications et du design (FCAD)

entre 45,00 $ et 125,00 $ (plus taxe)  

Mobilisation culturelle, en partenariat avec l’université Ryerson, a entrepris une étude sur les organismes de services en arts et sur leur rôle de catalyseur pour la consolidation du secteur des arts. À partir de ce projet et des rencontres nationales de Mobilisation culturelle, trois filières de recherche seront examinées pendant cette journée pour baliser notre parcours d’apprentissage collectif en faveur du secteur des arts canadien. Pour cette conférence nationale inaugurale, les trois filières sont : L’avenir du marché du travail dans les arts, filière dirigée par Jeanne LeSage ;  Décloisonner les données, dirigée par Frédéric Julien ; et Arts et impacts sociaux, dirigée par Christina Loewen.  

En plus de ces trois filières, une série de salles interactives sont prévues pour des périodes et des espaces supplémentaires de réflexion, de partage, de mise en commun et de recherche. L’artiste-chercheur Dylan Robinson interviendra au cours de la journée pour offrir des invitations à mieux écouter et partager. 

Venez partager vos idées et  stimuler votre curiosité à ce marché de la recherche en arts, où nous pourrons échanger connaissances et savoir-faire, consolider notre réseau de praticiens, de chercheurs et de décideurs, et imaginer des projets de collaboration novateurs.


Mass One made “festival like” through the support of / Mass One, festival unique en son genre, est réalisé grâce au soutien :