Digital Infrastructure in Rural and Northern Communities


Three rounds of compelling exchanges on digital artistic practices, physical barriers, conceptual barriers, and what the possibilities for the future are.

Event Details

January 19, 1 – 2:30pm Eastern

Mass Culture, in partnership with Gros Morne Summer Music, is proud to host their second of three Play-Go-Round events with speakers whose life and work is greatly impacted by the question: How do we build capacity for digital artistic practices for creatives who reside in rural and northern areas throughout Canada? 

During this event, which will be recorded, we will explore and discuss ideas surrounding digital artistic practices, physical barriers, conceptual barriers, and what the possibilities for the future are.

As a lead up to this event, Todd Hennessey, Holly Cunningham, and Michael Mooney are each developing a thought piece, spurred by their experience and perspectives relating to digital infrastructure in rural and Northern communities. These will be released in early 2022!

The event, emceed by Thinking Rock’s Cassandra Spade will be an enriching exchange, delving even deeper into their commissioned thought pieces through Mass Culture’s Play-Go-Round conversation inspired by the ArtAngel Longplayer project’s Long Conversation format. As audience members, we invite you to join us in exploring the arts sector’s relationship to digital technology  and the possibilities it affords to a rural and northern Canadian perspective.  

Thought Pieces

These thought pieces, created by the event’s content experts, provide insights into their areas of expertise within the realm of digital infrastructure in rural and Northern communities.

Todd Hennessey

Holly Cunningham

Michael Mooney


Cassandra Spade is a grassroots, human rights activist from the Mishkeegogamang First Nation, located in Northwestern Ontario. She is the founder of Gaa-Minwaajindizowaaj, a grassroots organization that works to provide Youth programming. Her work is community-driven, and focuses on relationship-building, (re)localization, Youth leadership, community healing and accessibility. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba with a Major in History, a certificate in Community Economic and Social Development (CESD) from Algoma University and is a graduate from Ojibwemotaadidaa Omaa Gidakiiminaang (OOG) Ojibwe language immersion academy.

Featured Content Experts

Holly Cunningham is an arts administrator and musician based in North Bay, Ontario who is currently the Executive Director of the Near North Mobile Media Lab. She is a graduate of Sheridan College’s Media Arts program and holds a BA in Fine Arts from Nipissing University. Her professional work focuses on bridging gaps in media arts access for artists in northern Ontario, specifically through her work on the Digital Creator North program. Her board work includes the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA), Film Advisory Committee of Cultural Industries North, and currently sits as chair of the Media Arts Network of Ontario.

Micheal Mooney is a Certified Engineering Technologist, (Ontario), and Applied Science Technologist, (British Columbia), with 20 years experience in technology and engineering sector, driving collaboration, change and innovation within highly complex and heavily regulated environments.  He has been extremely successful at change management and adept at deploying highly resilient governance/organizational models, to foster collaboration and develop performance driven teams able to realize objectives within startup, rapid-change, regulatory and governance environments across multiple sectors. Micheal is currently, active as the Executive Director of Creative Lab North, President-Elect of OACETT, and a Policy & Strategy Advisory for NGO’s, Coalitions and, province/territorial agencies across Canada.  A Dedicated advocate for diversity, inclusion and human rights in both physical and digital realms, Micheal focuses on the role technology can play, (when developed and deployed for social good), in bridging the growing equity gaps and promoting economic development in disadvantaged or remote populations/communities.

Bart Simon (He/Him), is the co-founder and director of Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology and Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University in Montreal. His areas of expertise include game studies, science and technology studies and cultural sociology. In the area of games, he works on diverse topics ranging from embodied play and physical interfaces, playgrounds, the cultural politics of indie game development, and Minecraft modding cultures. His current research on liveness in immersive theatre and games is funded by the Social Science and Humanities Council of Canada.

Graphic Recorder

Devon Kerslake started graphic recording before she knew it had a name! She holds her Masters Degree in Cultural Studies and is fascinated by graphic narratives and comics. When she isn’t illustrating or scribing, Devon is making art with her three young boys in Guelph.

This Event is Made Possible through the Support of

Canada Council for the Arts / Conseil des arts du Canada
Mass Culture logo