St. John’s Creative City Summit Speaker Spotlight

October 3 – 5, 2023
St. John’s Convention Centre, Newfoundland

The Creative City Network of Canada and City of St. John’s invite you to Newfoundland this October for the best conference on municipal cultural planning in the country, the Creative City Summit. This year’s program is themed: You Are Here: At the Intersections of Creativity, Culture, and Place.

From a keynote address by one of the country’s most innovative economic development placemakers to panels on municipal placemaking and rural and remote tourism to one of our largest Peer-to-Peer learning programs ever, the 2023 speaker list is on another level. Don’t miss out!

Day 1

Zita Cobb, CEO and Founder of Shorefast, Keynote Speaker for the St. John’s Creative City Summit. Photo: David Howells

Keynote: Zita Cobb, Founder and CEO of Shorefast

Zita Cobb is an eighth-generation Fogo Islander, Founder and CEO of the registered charity Shorefast, and Innkeeper of the award-winning Fogo Island Inn. Zita established Shorefast to put another leg on the Island’s struggling economy to complement its ever-important fishery. With an enduring commitment to Fogo Island, Shorefast is expanding its mission through its pan-Canadian Community Economies initiative to strengthen place-based economic development within the global economy.

Peer-to-Peer presentations

Strengthening Cultural Engagement: Local to National Perspectives
Shannon Bowler, Culture Days National moderates a panel of municipal planners featuring:
Lisa Washington, Town of Yorkton, SK
Caroline Ivey, City of Kelowna, BC
Carly Anderson, City of St. Catharine’s, ON

The Roadmap of Public Art, North of Latitude 56
Victoria Butler, City of Fort St. John, BC
Collin Zipp, STEPS Public Art

Including the Community in Toronto’s Public Art Commissions: Recent Lessons
Katriina Campitelli, City of Toronto, ON

Community Development through Different Mediums: A Walk through the City of Thunder Bay’s Cultural Development 2020–2023
Louisa Costanzo, City of Thunder Bay, ON
Karen Basi, City of Coquitlam, BC

Day 2

Image of Wanuskewin Heritage Park from above. The Visitor Centre is at the centre and surrounded by green plains. Dancers dressed in regalia are seen in front of the centre at a distance.

Wanuskewin Heritage Park, Saskatchewan. Courtesy of Wanuskewin Heritage Park

Panel: People and Place

A conversation about places that hold the stories of the people connected to the land and the symbiotic relationship between the two. This panel will focus on past, present, and future as well as the importance of celebrating communities that have been built around cultural identities and shared histories and inclusive placemaking.

Mary Rowe, President and CEO, Canadian Urban Institute moderates a panel discussion featuring:
Darlene Brander, CEO, Wanuskewin Heritage Park
David Schimpky, Director of Secretariat, Canadian Commission for UNESCO

Peer-to-Peer presentations

Ādisōke Public Art and Engagement, Ottawa
Dawn Saunders Dahl, Curator and Artist
Julie Dupont, Public Art Consultant

Accessible Public Spaces
Chelsea Carss, Evergreen

What’s Here and What Could Be Here: Mississauga’s Public Art Collection Equity Audit
Rachel Pennington, City of Mississauga, ON

Museums for Mapping: Positioning Museums as Safe Community Hubs for Cultural Mapping and Planning
Patricia Huntsman, Cultural Planner
Barbara Berger, City of Kamloops, BC
Julia Cyr, Kamloops Museums and Archives

Inspired Art Impact and Shaping Space: A Hands-On Workshop to Measure the Impact of Public Art Initiatives and Create Culturally Responsive Public Spaces
Sophie Mitjavile, STEPS Public Art
Bridget MacIntosh, STEPS Public Art

Day 3

A parade of people brightly dressed with faces covered by various materials walk down a street carrying a blue banner that reads “MUMMERS FESTIVAL” in yellow letters. In the background, a brightly painted row of houses.

The Mummers Parade in St. John’s, NL, courtesy of Destination St. John’s.

In Conversation with Nancy Duxbury and Pam Hall

Two of today’s most respected researchers of place will meet in St. John’s to share their thoughts, theories, and visions for the world of placemaking and place-keeping.

Nancy Duxbury, one of the founding members of the Creative City Network of Canada, returns to share her work with the University of Coimbra’s Centre For Social Studies in Portugal. Current research through the IN SITU and the recent CREATOUR projects will be overviewed and begin the conversation around remote tourism and place.

Dr. Pam Hall, St. John’s local and the author of Towards an Encyclopedia of Local Knowledge, a publication of renowned importance for those wishing to “revalue the local in a time when global monoculture seems overwhelming”, brings a deep knowledge and appreciation for the traditions of rural Newfoundland – and of the process of documenting the stories of the land.

Panel: Events as Placemakers

A conversation around how events become a part of a place’s identity and how the place in question supports or impacts its flagship event. Panelists bring their perspective around celebrating and shaping locations through events like snowy Edmonton’s Winterruption YEG and Toronto’s Nuit Blanche. The relationship between events, residents, tourism, and reputation will all be discussed in this program.

Mike Gillett, Chair, Canadian Municipal Events Alliance moderates a discussion featuring:
Brent Oliver, Events Consultant, Winterruption YEG
Jeanne Holmes, Programming Manager for City Cultural Events, City of Toronto

Peer-to-Peer presentations

From Asphalt to Activities: How Municipal Strategy Supports the Development of Unique Event Sites
Marcello Castronuovo, City of Calgary, AB

Saying Yes: Funding Artist and Creative Projects in Hamilton
Andrea Carvalho, City of Hamilton, ON

Making Mistakes, but Not the Ones We Thought
Sonya Poweska, City of Waterloo, ON
Alejandro Romero, City of Saskatoon, SK

Explore Art NL: Newfoundland’s Public Art App
Amy Henderson, Business and Arts Newfoundland

Canada’s Parliamentary Precinct: Local, National and International
Jillian Savage, Public Services and Procurement Canada
Rosie-Anne Thibodeau, Public Services and Procurement Canada

The Creative City Summit will take place October 3–5, 2023 at the St. John’s Convention Centre in St. John’s, NL. The SJCC is an accessible venue.

St. John’s Convention Centre (SJCC)
50 New Gower Street
St. John’s, NL A1C 1J3

Contact for more information!

Find us online:
Twitter: @creativecity

St. John’s Creative City Summit 2023 from October 3–5 in St. John’s, NL. Theme: You Are Here: At the Intersections of Creativity, Culture, and Place