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CPAMO's News

Welcome to the 26th Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario  (CPAMO) newsletter. This is a regular digest that will introduce you to, and keep you updated on CPAMO’s initiatives, and act as a portal to relevant research in the field of pluralism in the arts, innovative artists, and links to interesting talks about pluralism in the arts. The newsletter is intended to be your go-to resource for information on cultural pluralism in the arts.
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What is CPAMO?

Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO) is a movement of Indigenous and ethno-racial artists working with presenters to empower the arts communities of Ontario. CPAMO seeks to open opportunities for Indigenous and ethno-racial artists to engage with presenters - in theatre, music, dance, visual arts - across Ontario and to enable presenters to develop constructive relationships with Indigenous and ethno-racial artists.
CPAMO is supported by Indigenous and ethno-racial artists who are involved in theatre, music, dance and literary arts. They are members of CPAMO’s Roundtable and include representatives of Sampradaya Dance, Nathaniel Dett Chorale, Little Pear Garden Theatre Collective, Centre for Indigenous Theatre, Kaha:wi Dance, Sparrow in the Room, b-current, why not theatre, urban arts and backforward collective, TeyyaPeya Productions, Culture Days, Sheyanne Productions, Obsidian Theatre, the Collective of Black Artists, CanAsian Dance and others.
With the involvement of artists from these organizations, CPAMO is working with Community Cultural Impresarios (CCI), Canadian Dance Assembly and their members to build their capacities, cultural competencies and understanding of pluralism in the arts so that these members engage artists from these communities and, thereby, enable audiences across Ontario to access artistic expressions from diverse communities on a regular basis.
CPAMO gratefully acknowledges the funding support it has received for its activities from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

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A Word from the Chair

As the first Chair of the Board for CPAMO, I’ve seen more closely how over the last few years public funding for the arts has not increased yet new arts organizations and artists are coming along all the time and that these new artists and arts organizations reflect the expressions of Indigenous peoples as well as our demographics.  Notwithstanding the promised increase in funding to the Canada Council for the Arts, we are on a journey to look for new models that move beyond the scarcity and abundance of public grants to sustainable revenue for Indigenous and racialized artists, as well as other historically marginalized artists and their communities – queer, women, deaf, disabled, mad and Official Language groups.
Building on over 5 years of dedicated work, the CPAMO model is based on a report we commissioned to position our collaborative practice as we have been doing it and as we continue to do. Prepared by Jane Marsland, this report gives an overview of CPAMO’s history and work and how we see our work continuing. There is more information on this in this newsletter. I have known Jane for most of my cultural career as one of the pillars in supportive consulting for arts organizations. To work with her on the report released Oct 21st was not only scattered with fun, memories but a mutual drive for correcting inequality.  I hope you find the report engaging and that it will push you to join us on our series of collaboration workshops . We cannot stand by and let another generation slip by unfulfilled.

As for now, since incorporation this past spring, I’ve had the pleasure to work with our new Board team through this energetic and impactful stage of CPAMO’s work. With the support of our Advisory Committee, the Board and staff - charles, Kevin and Victoria - feel all things are possible, a very big half full glass.  

What an amazing time to be involved with the CPAMO journey to build collaborative models and counter the what is often a life time of abundance and scarcity from government grants.

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‘Thinking Collaboratively, Acting Collectively’: Creating a Collaborative Learning Community for Indigenous and Ethno-Racial Artists in Ontario

With funding from the Canada Council for the Arts (Leadership for Change) and Ontario Arts Council (Compass Grants), CPAMO was able to work with Jane Marsland who prepared this report.  Based on her own collaborative style of work, Jane worked closely with CPAMO and led this review using research, focus groups and consultations with CPAMO’s Board and Advisory Committee.  After some eight months of work, the report was released on October 21 at the Arts and Letters Club.

Reflecting the report’s title and intent, the launch featured the following speakers who spoke to the importance of this report and CPAMO’s ongoing work:  Sedina Fiati (multidisciplinary artists and co-chair Actra Diversity Committee), Rebecca Burton (Playwrights Guild of Canada and co-coordinator Equity in Theatre), Helen Yung (multidisciplinary artist), Brandy Leary (multidisciplinary artist), Patty Jarvis (Prologue to the Performing Arts) and Cole Alvis (Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance).

The evening also featured performance showcases by:  Newton Moreas (dance), Gein Wong (spoken word) and Mahlikah Awe:ri with the Red Slam Collective (music and spoken word).

The feature of the launch was by Jane Marsland who gave a review of her report and how she came to write it.  

This is an important report – timely, challenging, and inspiring artists to work together in various ways to support and sustain the artistic expressions of Indigenous and racialized artists, and to do so in a way that shares and builds using collaborative practices.

For a copy of the report, you can download it here.

If you have any thoughts you’d like to share about the report or want to learn more about what CPAMO is doing to follow-up on it, let us know!!!

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Collaborative Workshops Series

CPMAO is undertaking some workshop facilitations and research on how to “Build Collaborative Practices” as part of an intended multi-year focus. On October 5th, I had the pleasure to co-facilitate CPAMO’s first workshop with Charmaine Headley of Collective of Black Artist (COBA) on Acting Collaboratively, Thinking Collectively.  This theme is part of the our year long investigation and documentation looking into how artists and art organizations cane work collaboratively, for the sustainability of themselves but also the field of the performing arts. The workshop was well-received and provided great information on the need to explore the nature of how collaborations in Administration, Organization and Artistic Practices. Here were some of the main takeaways from that session. 

The documentation and research I as Program Manager plan to undertake will be both external and internal and thought the information gathered from the workshops will add to CPAMO’s development of resources accessible to our members. We are aware through our work together that sustainability is a key factor for many arts organizations and we aspire to have small toolkits that will help in the development of you the artists and also our member organizations. Understanding the process and development do require your participation in the many ways that’s possible. I know we get tired, burnt out and sometimes disillusioned, could this be because of not thinking collaboratively? For workshops info click here.

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Canadian Arts Coalition

CPAMO’s Executive Director continues his work as a member of the Coalition Steering Committee.  During the fall election, the Coalition was quite busy inviting all parties to make clear their support for the arts and for increased funding to Canada Council.  As you’ll note in the weblink attached, the Coalition has also:

i) prepared an analysis of the 2015 Federal Budget;
ii) developed toolkits on how to engage your member of Parliament; and
iii) developed tools for advocacy, communications and networking.

With the arrival of the new government in Ottawa, the Coalition will engage with the new Minister of Heritage, Melanie Joly, to follow-up on the Liberal government’s campaign commitment to increase funding to the arts.

Take a look at the Coalition’s website, become a member and spread the word!

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Canadian Dance Assembly (CDA)

CPAMO has been active in the conversations on Dance and in fact have seen dance artists participating in manyof its activities than in many other forms of the performing arts. Through a long-standing relationship, CPAMO and the CDA have initiated a Pluralism Committee focusing on its advocacy in dance across the country. On September 29th, the Committee had an opportunity to engage with the Assembly at it’s 2015 Conference “CREATING A CULTURE OF SUCCESS: Getting Good Ideas Off the Ground.” Committee members Roshanak Jaberi and Kevin A. Ormsby (who also is the Assembly’s co-Vice President of CDA and CPAMO’s Program Manager) spoke about the Committee’s progress thus far in advancing pluralism and presented a document outlining the difference between diversity and pluralism. One of the main findings from the session was the concept of pluralism is still understood differently across regions in Canada with some areas placing pluralism into the concept of diversity when they are in fact two different entities. 

The presentation was well received and with some great feedback and discussion from the National Standing Council, the Committee is poised to undertake further processes with the Assembly to foster and improve the pluralist framework for the organization.

The members of the CDA Pluralism Committee are:

-    Kevin A. Ormsby. KasheDance and CPAMO
-    Roshanak Jaberi, Independent Artist
-    Susan Chalmers Gauvin, Atlantic Ballet
-    charles c. smith. CPAMO
-    Charmaine Headley, Collective of Black Artists (COBA)

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Cultural Leaders Lab

The Cultural Leaders Lab Fellows program by the Toronto Arts Council offers successful applicants leadership training and professional development geared at creating and enhancing the skills of arts leaders throughout Toronto. As part of the inaugural cohort, Program Manager for CPAMO- Kevin A. Ormsby has spent time in Banff with 17 other Fellows getting to understand not only how to lead but also the skills to lead effectively in an ever changing creative ecology. We are already benefitting from some of the tools Kevin has learnt in this program and encourage our members to apply and get involve in changing the face of the Arts in Toronto. Click here for more information.

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CPAMO In Ottawa

CPAMO is continuing its work with artists and arts organizations in Ottawa.  With a grant from the Ontario Arts Council’s Arts Services Organizations Projects, CPAMO will convene three Town Halls in the winter 2016.  Each of these will focus on the development of collaborative projects and feature key note speakers, workshops and artist showcases.

As the planning team, CPAMO works with:

-    Melissa Gruber, CARFAC National
-    Lynn McGuigian, Ottawa Little Theatre
-    Victoria Steele, Arts Ottawa East
-    Eric Coates, Great Canadian Theatre Company
-    Alicia Borisonik, World Folk Music Ottawa
-    Audrey Churgin, MASC (Multicultural Arts in Schools and Communities)
-    Rohinni Bhalla, One World Dialogue
-    Maria Gomez Umana, ArtWise

Building on work with CPAMO in 2013-14, these Town Halls will begin the process of getting interested artists and arts organizations to develop collaborative practices that engage Indigenous and racialized artists as well as other historically marginalized stories and bodies.

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National Arts Services Organization (NASO) Annual Meeting

For the past four years, CPAMO’s Executive Director has been attending the annual NASO meetings with Canada Council and has been an active member of its organizing committee.  This annual meeting had been an opportunity for NASO’s to meet with Canada Council’s CEO and Section Heads to discuss issues in the arts and changes happening within the Council.  For the past two years, the organizing committee has taken more of a lead role in shaping this event and, while maintaining dialogue with Canada Council, has also structured sessions for professional development of the NASO leadership.

For the first time, in 2016 CPAMO will be the secretariat for this annual gathering which will take place in February 2016.  The session will be for one-and-a-half days and be under the theme Partnering for Changes in the Arts.  This theme will focus on the following:

1)    the changing funding model of the Canada Council for the Arts;
2)    the development of collaborative practices and shared platforms to support the arts;
3)    the uses of new technology for administration, data gathering, outreach, community
       engagement, audience development and collaborative practices; and
4)    the development of arts activities in historically marginalized communities.

As the secretariat to this gathering, CPAMO convenes meetings of the organizing committee which is made up of:

-    Carol Ann Pilon, Federation Cultural Canadian Francais
-    Emmanuel Madon, Independent Media Arts Alliance
-    Clayton Windatt, Aboriginal Curatorial Collective
-    Kate Cornell, Canadian Dance Assembly
-    Meagan Black, Canadian Craft Council
-    Moira McCaffrey, Canadian Art Museum Directors Association
-    Michelle Decottignies, Stage Left
-    Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, Ad Hoc Assembly

CPAMO also carries out the administrative functions securing the location, translation/interpretation, ASL and all other logistics.  This is an important development for CPAMO as it continues to have an impact across Canada in working with its peer organizations and placing the issues of pluralism within the context of contemporary changes in the arts.

Following this meeting, CPAMO will release a report on its results and next steps to support the professional development of the leaders of national arts services organizations.

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artsVest Toronto Sponsorship Workshops

Business for the Arts invites you to our artsVest Toronto workshops and information sessions!
artsVest is a matching incentive and sponsorship training program designed by Business for the Arts to spark corporate engagement in arts and culture. It will continue in Toronto from 2015-16 and will provide local cultural organizations with:
  • Free live sponsorship training workshop;
  • Ongoing mentorship with Canada's top sponsorship experts NEW!
  • Marketing and branding webinars NEW!
  • A City total of $330,000 in matching incentive grants.
Combined with sponsorships of equal or greater value from local businesses, this will translate to an influx of at least $660,000 into Toronto's creative economy this year alone!
For more information on the program, please visit
The Toronto artsVest program is made possible with funding from the Toronto Arts Council and the Government of Canada.

Sponsorship Training Workshops
This Sponsorship Training Workshops provide valuable tools to help small and mid-sized cultural organizations secure and nurture long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships with local businesses.
  • Open to local arts, culture and heritage organizations with an annual budget of under $1M
  • Organizations must take this short, self-administered quiz in order to identify which workshop they will attend before registering above
  • Oragnizations must then register for one of the workshops of their choice in their community (above)
Please note that workshop and information session attendance is mandatory in order to apply for artsVest matching funds.

Sponsorship 101 Workshop
Sponsorship experience level: beginner to moderate. Covers the basics of sponsorship, answering such questions as
  • What is the difference between a donation and sponsorship?
  • How can I identify prospects in my community to partner with?
  • How do I create an effective sponsorship proposal?
  • How do I close the deal?
Advanced Sponsorship Workshop
Sponsorship experience: moderate to advanced. Delves in deep to the 5 stages of the sponsorship cycle, answering such questions as
  • How do I move up a level to larger financial partnerships?
  • How do I refine my approach and pitch?
  • When I have multiple sponsors on the go, how do I steward them effectively?
*Advanced workshops will be offered in Downtown Toronto locations only. If you self-identify as Advanced outside of these communities, you will be able to participate in a recorded version of the workshop as your attendance. Please contact us for more details.
November 23 - Downtown City Hall
Toronto City Hall, Members Lounge
100 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON
Sponsorship 101 Workshop and Information Session - 9:30am - 2:00pm
Information Session and Advanced Sponsorship Workshop - 12:00pm - 5:00pm

November 24 - Scarborough
Scarborough Civic Centre, Committee Room 2
150 Borough Drive, Toronto, ON
Sponsorship 101 Workshop and Information Session  - 9:30am - 4:00pm
November 26 - Etobicoke
Arts Etobicoke, Gallery
4893A Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON
Sponsorship 101 Workshop and Information Session  - 9:00am - 2:30pm
November 27 - North York 
Toronto Centre for the Arts, Lower Gallery
5040 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON
Sponsorship 101 Workshop and Information Session  - 9:30am - 4:00pm
November 30 - Downtown Toronto Public Library
Lillian H. Smith, Toronto Public Library, Basement Auditorium
239 College Street, Toronto, ON
Sponsorship 101 Workshop and Information Session - 9:30am - 2:00pm
Information Session and Advanced Sponsorship Workshop - 12:00pm - 5:00pm

To register click here!

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Lives and Trials of the Kamloops Kid
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 | Two Performances: 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre 
6 Garamond Ct.  Toronto, ON M3C 1Z5

Encore Presentation of Interrogation: Lives and Trials of the Kamloops Kid. After the successful world premiere of Interrogation: Lives and Trials of the Kamloops Kid at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival (July 1–12, 2015), Karri Yano and Evan Mackay (co-writer and director) are delighted to present two encore performances of the production at the JCCC on Wednesday November 18, 2015.

“For years I had heard snippets here and there from family members about Kanao Inouye, a.k.a. the Kamloops Kid, the notorious interrogator of Canadian POWs, who, I learned with a little bit of research, was tried first for war crimes as a Japanese interrogator and failing that, was tried for treason against Canada. At the same time, his sister, my grandmother Martha, along with 22,000 other Japanese Canadians were deemed ‘enemy aliens’ by the Canadian government and forcibly evacuated to internment camps in BC’s interior.

“We wanted to tell the story because it is a part of Canadian history, but also I am grateful for the opportunity to share my grandmother Martha’s story and her optimism. It is her optimism that, when looking back, allows us to remember those tragic events and injustices, so that they are never repeated, but also to forgive and move on.” – Karri Yano

Written by Karri Yano and Evan Mackay. Directed by Evan Mackay, Starring Loretta Yu and Benaldo Yeung.

Admission: $18 (JCCC members, seniors, and students) and $20 (General)

13th Annual Regent Park Film Festival
November 18-21, 2015
Daniels Spectrum
585 Dundas Street East, Toronto, ON M5A 2B7

The Regent Park Film Festival is Toronto’s only free multicultural community film festival, dedicated to showcasing local and international independent works relevant to inner-city communities like Regent Park, the largest and oldest public housing project in Canada. Running November 18th-21st, the 13th Annual Regent Park Film Festival will present a variety of free film screenings, as well as a series of workshops, talkbacks, and panels focusing on different aspects of filmmaking and community activism. To check out our programming, visit: 

Admission : Free | Free Childcare
For more information:  416-599-7733 | 

Presented by Sinha Danse and Constantinople
November 19-21, 2015 at 8pm
Fleck Dance Theatre
207 Queen's Quay West, Toronto, ON M5J 2G8

SUNYA (in Sanskrit, «zero») refers to the fundamental paradox of being, of language, of movement... The movement of exile, the movement of art-hybridization.
Four dancers, three musicians and a visual artist experiment here, guided in turn by the Indo-Armenian dancer and choreographer Roger Sinha and Iranian-born gatherer of musical pearls Kiya Tabassian.
From the universal quest for identity to the collective epic, a creative gesture like the dreamlike echo of a world reconciled.
This is what migration is about; not only when a group of people move from one place to another, but when diverse groups of people meet, commingle and find a common language.

"This creation amazes and touches through the depth of the artistic approach and the high sensitivity that emerges from it. Sunya is definitely a strong work that truly challenges us."
- Laure Ghelfi, PatWhite

"An enchanting atmosphere. A particularly beautiful and fabulous show."
- Marie-Christine Trottier, Radio Canada, April 2013

Admission: Regular $35 | Student/Senior $30 | Groups $25 | Under 25 years old $15 | Art industry professional 20% off | FLEX PASS PROGRAMME avalable

Information: | 514 524 7997
Box Office (Harbourfront Centre): 416-973-4000

10th Anniversary Reel Awareness Film Festival
Presented by: Amnesty International 
November 19-22, 2015
Thursday - 7:30pm | Friday - 7:30pm | Saturday & Sunday - 2:30pm 

Amnesty International Toronto presents the 10th Annual Reel Awareness Documentary Film Festival. The festival kicks off on Thursday, November 12th with a 10th Anniversary reception and panel discussion at the Paint Box Bistro. Titled “Human Rights Through a Unique Lens”, the panel will focus on the arts and film as a medium to further human rights. Lead by Toronto Star's Olivia Ward, the panel features acclaimed filmmakers Shelley Saywell and Jennifer Podemski, amongst others. The festival itself takes place at the Carlton Cinema from November 19 to 22, this volunteer-led festival features a collection of critically acclaimed human rights documentaries from around the world. 

Admission: $10 - $19
To buy tickets in advance:

Arab Jazz Series: Kinan Azmeh City Band
Saturday, November 28, 2015 at 8 pm
Aga Khan Museum
77 Wynford Drive, Toronto ON M3C 1K1

Performing music from their acclaimed album Elastic City, this New York City-based quartet led by clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh (also of Silk Road Ensemble fame) brings its virtuosity to the Aga Khan Museum after wowing audiences in Europe, the Middle East, and the US. Western classical music, jazz, and the music of Syria are balanced in Elastic City. Azmeh’s clarinet soars and weaves with Kyle Sanna’s guitar, energized by John Hadfield on percussion and Petros Klampanis on double bass. - See more at:

Admission:  Tickets starting at $45. 10% off for embers!

November 18–29, 2015
Harbourfront Centre Theatre
231 Queens Quay West, Toronto, ON M5J 2G8

Described as "one of the most powerful and urgent pieces of human rights theatre ever made" (The Herald), Nirbhaya is inspired by the true events that occurred on the night of December 16, 2012 when a young woman and her male friend boarded a bus in urban Delhi heading for home.

Written and directed by the internationally acclaimed Yaël Farber, with an extraordinary cast and creative team, Nirbhaya (Hindi for "Fearless") is a tapestry of personal testimonies, which tears away the shame that silences survivors of sexual violence.

Recently named Critic’s Pick by the New York Times, Nirbhaya premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2013 and won the coveted Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award, the Scotsman Fringe First Award and the Herald Angel Award for Outstanding New Play. It is an unforgettable work that moves and inspires audiences with the sheer capacity of the human spirit to rise, bare witness, survive and turn the tide.

Written and Directed by Yaël Farber. Presented by Nightwood Theatre

Admission: Regular: $45 | Students: $20 | Arts Workers: $35
Group Sales: Call 416 973-4000 ext. 4856
Box Office (Harbourfront Centre): 416-973-4000

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Ted Talks

Marisa Fick-Jordan: The wonder of Zulu wire art
In this short, image-packed talk, Marisa Fick-Jordan talks about how a village of traditional Zulu wire weavers built a worldwide market for their dazzling work.

About the speaker: Marisa Fick-Jordan is the co-author of Wired, the authoritative work on Zulu wire art. Using castoff telephone wire -- those plastic-coated copper strands you sometimes find outside switching boxes -- practitioners of this art create tightly woven pieces with bold patterning and fields of shimmering color.

Working with these talented African artists, Fick-Jordan has brought this art to the world, developing products and building a distribution network for a worldwide market. The end result: a traditional art form is preserved and developed -- and a village of weavers can earn a living through their art.


Taiye Selasi: Don't ask where I'm from, ask where I'm a local
When someone asks you where you're from … do you sometimes not know how to answer? Writer Taiye Selasi speaks on behalf of "multi-local" people, who feel at home in the town where they grew up, the city they live now and maybe another place or two. "How can I come from a country?" she asks. "How can a human being come from a concept?"

About the speaker: A writer and photographer of Nigerian and Ghanaian descent, born in London and raised in Boston, now living in Rome and Berlin, who has studied Latin and music, Taiye Selasi is herself a study in the modern meaning of identity. In 2005 she published the much-discussed (and controversial) essay "Bye-Bye, Babar (Or: What Is an Afropolitan?)," offering an alternative vision of African identity for a transnational generation. Prompted by writer Toni Morrison, the following year she published the short story "The Sex Lives of African Girls" in the literary magazine Granta.

Her first novel Ghana Must Go, published in 2013, is a tale of family drama and reconciliation, following six characters and spanning generations, continents, genders and classes.


Jimmy Nelson: Gorgeous portraits of the world's vanishing people
When Jimmy Nelson traveled to Siberia to photograph the Chukchi people, elders told him: "You cannot photograph us. You have to wait, you have to wait until you get to know us, you have to wait until you understand us." In this gorgeously photo-filled talk, join Nelson's quest to understand — the world, other people, himself — by making astonishing portraits of the world's vanishing tribes and cultures.

About the speaker: In his quest to photograph endangered cultures, Jimmy Nelson has endured Kalishnikov-toting Banna tribesmen, subzero reindeer attacks, and thousands of miles of hard travel. With a blend of humility and humor, Nelson won the trust of each of his subjects, using an antique plate camera to create stunning portraits of 35 indigenous tribes. 

The result is Before They Pass Away, a photo treasury that Nelson hopes will not only help preserve the lifestyles of people the world over, but also perhaps inspire readers in the developed world to ponder their own connections with their ancestral environments.


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Contact Us

charles c. smith, Executive Director
Lecturer, Cultural Pluralism and the Arts/University of Toronto Scarborough
Victoria Glizer, Project Assistant
Mailing Address:32 Costain Avenue, Toronto, ON M4E 2G6
Phone: 416-686-3039

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Copyright © 2015 Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO), All rights reserved.

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