Pick the Brain

Pick the Brain for Manitoba Showcase 2018


Schedule a one-on-one networking session with one of our experts! The meetings are designated time slots that provide an opportunity to chat with a seasoned professional from the arts community. Ask questions regarding performing or visual arts. depending on each professional’s area of expertise.

To secure your spot, please sign up at Registration, or register through the mobile app.

Pick-the-Brain Facilitators

Since 2015, Aimé has worked for the Government of Manitoba’s Department of Sport, Culture and Heritage as a Community Arts Consultant. In this role, he is recognized as an effective financial analyst and a helpful consultant for community arts organizations.  Prior to this role, Aimé was Executive Director of Le 100 NONS, Manitoba’s francophone music organization, for seven years. In that role, he systematically improved services and programming to meet the members’ needs and the organization’s values, mandate and vision.




Anita Baerg and Arryn Varls are senior program advisors with the Department of Canadian Heritage – Prairies and Northern Region.

The Canada Arts Presentation Fund (CAPF) provides financial assistance to organizations that professionally present arts festivals or performing arts series (arts presenters) and organizations that offer support to arts presenters. Through the CAPF, Canadians have access to a variety of professional artistic experiences in their communities. Each year, the CAPF supports approximately 600 professional arts festivals and performing arts series, as well as other activities related to art presentation, in more than 250 cities or communities across Canada.

Douglas Riske was appointed Executive Director of the Manitoba Arts Council in 1998, following two years as Executive Director of the Yukon Arts Centre Corporation in Whitehorse. Prior to moving into the public sector, Riske worked in the arts and culture sector for over 40 years as an actor, stage manager, director, artistic director, producer, consultant, teacher and cultural manager. He founded two theatre companies in Calgary, one of which, Alberta Theatre Projects, continues to produce challenging new Canadian work as a regular part of each season. He served as artistic director in Kelowna at Sunshine Theatre and at the New Bastion Theatre Company in Victoria. As a freelance director he was an Assistant Director at the Stratford Festival, and directed a number of productions at Stage West Dinner Theatres and at the Manitoba Theatre Centre. As an actor he performed on stage as well as in film, television and radio. Riske has also been active in various industry associations including Canadian Actors Equity Association and ACTRA, the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres and was the founding chair of the Canadian Public Arts Funders.

(photo by Leif Norman)

Eric Plamondon is a Winnipeg based multidisciplinary artist, arts administrator, and current Executive Director of Artspace, a three decades old, bold, and audacious project that supports over forty arts organizations throughout Manitoba. Before joining the Artspace team, Eric was the director of the artist run centre, La Maison des artistes visuels francophones. It is in this role that he made Manitoba history by obtaining an entertainment facility liquor license for an art gallery. These innovative actions continue to influence Eric’s decision making, proving that he is never afraid of doing things differently to give value to space, assets, and the arts! This might be why he transformed the Director’s office, and originally the Mayor of Saint-Boniface’s office, into Le Studio, a malleable space for members to create and showcase their work. Eric also dived into projects that valued temporary art installations that interact with the community. From that philosophy he gave life to le Jardin des sculptures with Mayor of Winnipeg award winning projects such as Nuit de_ART and through partnerships with Cool Gardens. In addition, Eric was a key organizer of Nuit Blanche Winnipeg and is a former co-chair of Culture Days Manitoba. It is through these roles that he furthered his capacity to link community and art through public and private spaces transformed by art!

Since 2013, Josh Gennings has been the Theatre Supervisor for the city of Fort Saskatchewan’s Shell Theatre. His 20-year career in the arts has provided opportunity to serve as project manager, production designer, and organizer throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe. From Cruise Ships, (RCI) to international conferences and large-scale awards shows (NASCAR), his varied operational experience is highly sought after. Developing relationships with presenting organizations and committees as a board and jury member, Josh now enjoys the thriving arts community in Alberta. A fervent musician, his balance of creativity and technical experience gives a unique perspective to finding success through innovation, process development, and technology.

Leanne Foley is the Arts-in-Education Program Consultant at the Manitoba Arts Council. MAC is scheduled to launch its new Artists in Schools program on November 14. This is a chance to learn about all the new opportunities available to Manitoba professional artists, arts/cultural professionals, Indigenous Knowledge Keepers, professional arts groups and organizations interested in applying for funding to work in schools.

The new Artists in Schools program will support funding for: workshops, short-term projects, and three-year projects.

Loricia Pacholko-Matheson is the Executive Director for Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba. AANM is an organization in Winnipeg that was founded in 2008.  Established by disabled visual artists struggling to establish their careers, they have created a community of inclusivity. Projects funded have benefitted disabled, Deaf, and Mad artists in showing and selling their work, while bringing awareness to the community of what ‘outsider’ art is.  They have been assisting art organizations/productions in obtaining ASL services for an annual events. They have a small gallery space and are looking to feature rural disabled artists for 2019, with each show running for about three weeks.

DIVERSITY through ACCESS to TECHNOLOGY + Art (DATA) is our most recent mentorship partnership with Video Pool. The Making our Mark (MoM) collaboration with Martha Street Studio is wrapping up its third year, with a show opening during First Friday’s on November 2, 2018.

Seeking a place to feature your art, videos, events, shows and/or organization?  Needing assistance in your emerging career as a disabled artist?  Wanting more information about how to promote inclusion?

Nick Beach is the General Manager of the Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing arts Centre on the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus in Camrose, Alberta.  He has been at the Lougheed Centre since mid way through construction of the building, which opened in Oct of 2014.  Nick has worked at several performing arts centres over the last 18 years including the National Arts Centre, E. A Rawlinson Centre for the Arts, and Keyano College before moving to Camrose.  Nick is a graduate of the Technical Production Program at the National Theatre School of Canada.

Shawna Dempsey & Dana Kletke  are Co-Executive Directors of Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA), a visual art education centre in Winnipeg. They successfully fundraise through foundations, events, sponsorships, memberships, and donations each year. Dempsey is also an instructor in Women’s and Gender Studies at University of Winnipeg. Dana Kletke is a freelance financial consultant for the not-for-profit sector and a coach with Creative Manitoba. Both are practicing artists.

Fundraising, Sponsorship & Donors

Looking to develop new relationships with potential supporters of your organization?  Get concrete ideas on how to increase your organization’s budget by learning how to navigate and nurture different types of donor and sponsor relationships. Hear from two seasoned leaders in the arts community who have grown support their not-for-profit organization.

Wendy Bobby Originating from Northwestern Ontario Wendy’s education, background and passion in dance and recreation, combined with her interest in rural regional development has kept her involved in Manitoba for over 30 years. Her love of dance and performing arts lead her to teach in Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, Steinbach, various south eastern Manitoba communities and for 26 years the development of Sunrise Performing Arts Centre of Excellence (the SPACE) Inc. based out of Oakbank. With this continued passion for rural development Wendy recently became Dance Manitoba’s Rural Outreach Coordinator and Rural Development.

Since 2007, Stuart Desnomie worked for the Government of Manitoba’s Department of Sport, Culture and Heritage as an Arts Consultant. Stuart reviews and assesses the arts development project support (ADPS) and Indigenous Cultural Initiatives Program.