Conference Information

Creative convergence conference banner


The world has endured a collective traumatic experience throughout the past eighteen months. As arts and learning practitioners, we regularly see the impact that the arts have in students and participants’ lives. As we eagerly, yet tentatively, look towards pandemic recovery, we recognize the vital role that the arts must play in the health and wellbeing of Canada’s citizens, communities and society as a whole. We have also learned a great deal about the importance of technology and the intrinsic value it has to facilitate connectivity and broaden the range of arts and learning opportunities available to the public.

On October 28 & 29, 2021 we welcomed you all to take part in Creative Convergence, the biennial conference presented by the Canadian Network for Arts & Learning that took place virtually. We joined delegates from across Canada and around the world who are committed to arts and culture, education, recreation, health, therapy, medicine, humanities, social justice and community. We took part in a creative exchange featuring an overarching theme of “recovery” and including streams of health & wellbeing, and community connectivity. 

The conference featured thought-provoking speakers, rousing performances, panel discussions, real-life testimonials from artists and educators, parallel and poster presentations, regional break-out discussion groups, networking sessions and much more. 



The conference explored the following themes:

To ensure open accessibility for the conference we did not charge a fee, registration was by suggested donation only. All conference participants had access to the conference platform one week prior to the event to complete their profiles, explore the sessions and plan their agenda. 


Conference schedule

All times are indicated in Eastern Standard Time

October 28 – All events on this day were LIVE unless otherwise indicated

  • 11:00 am – Welcome and introduction of Natalie Sappier, Artistic Rapporteur
  • 11:30 am – Digital strategies in a global pandemic presentation
  • 11:45 am – KEYNOTE SPEAKER Dr. Brian Goldman
  • 12:15 pm – KEYNOTE SPEAKER – Andrea Menard
  • 12:45 pm – Artistic Performance by Randell Adjei, Poet Laureate of Ontario
  • 1:00 pm – PANEL DISCUSSION - Impacting health through the arts: International perspectives
    • Stephanie Montesanti, PhD - Associate Professor, Scientist and Thematic Lead for Supporting Healthy Indigenous Communities, University of Alberta
    • David McQuillan - Arts & Health Programme Manager, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
    • Isabelle Wachsmuth - Visual Artist, Art Impact For Health and SDGs, World Health Organization
  • 2:00 pm – Regional break-out discussion groups (via Zoom)
  • 3:00 pm – Regional responses presented in the national forum
  • 3:30 pm – Summary – Artistic response 
  • 3:45 pm – Conclusion

October 29 – Parallel sessions were pre-recorded featuring live chat with presenter

  • 11:00 am – Day Two Welcome
  • 11:15 am – Parallel Sessions
  • 12:30 pm – Networking session
  • 1:00 pm – Parallel Sessions
  • 2:30 pm – Networking Session
  • 3:00 pm – Parallel Sessions
  • 3:45 pm – Conclusion 
  • 4:00 pm – Annual General Meeting


All registrants will have access to the conference sessions and materials for one month post-event through the virtual platform. More information coming soon!