For the first time, over 200 representatives from all sectors of Canadian society will gather in Ottawa to present, discuss and promote the importance of the arts and its positive impact on improving the quality of life at an individual and societal level. H’art will be presenting about our experiences integrating technology with the arts, launching our Media Arts program and presenting some significant research on the use of the iPad in the H’art Inclusive Post Secondary Education program during the forum running from September 27-29.
Disadvantaged youth will speak about the ways in which the arts enabled them to integrate into society, physicians will demonstrate how health outcomes are being improved through the arts, judges will remind us how the arts direct youth away from substance abuse, delinquency and prison, philosophers will expose how the arts have the ability to make humanity more human, psychologists will explain how the arts help resolve conflicts, and sociologists will demonstrate how the arts help to reduce violence. Political scientists will add that the arts and culture are weapons of mass construction that spur social innovation and sustainable development, particularly in underprivileged communities. In addition, with all their talents, artists will share their testimonies about the ways in which the arts saved their lives.
Among the many featured speakers, the Forum will hear from Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand, Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Marie Wilson, president of the College of Family Physicians of Canada Marie-Dominique Beaulieu, psychoanalyst and author Guy Corneau, president of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences Maria Maioni, philosopher and ethicist René Villemure, Juno-award winning jazz and soul sensation Kellylee Evans, choreographer Edouard Lock, and songwriter and singer Lynda Thalie. They will address ways in which the arts are helping them to develop effective solutions to challenges facing their respective sectors. Canadians unable to attend in person will be able to join the deliberations by watching a live webcast and by tweeting using the #POA hashtag.
The Forum’s honorary committee, co-chaired by the Rt. Hon. Michaëlle Jean and Carleton University President Roseanne O. Runte, consists of leading Canadian artists and key cultural figures who back the Forum, notably: Susan Aglukark, Measha Brueggergosman, Marie Chouinard, Peter Herrndorf, JRDN, Kellylee Evans, Paul-André Fortier, Paul Gross, Dany Laferrière, Alain Lefèvre, Edouard Lock, Moshe Safdie, Samian, Lynda Thalie, René Villemure, and Maestro Fresh Wes.
The National Power of the Arts Forum is the brainchild of Michaëlle Jean Foundation Co-Founder and Co-Chair Jean-Daniel Lafond. Following his appointment as Senior Scholar at Carleton University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in 2010, M. Lafond worked with Dean John Osborne to convene a national conference on the power of the arts. It emerged as a natural outcome of M. Lafond’s previous work promoting the arts in Canada, through 50 Art Matters forums he organized between 2005 and 2010 in Canada and abroad to support his wife’s mandate as governor general.