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Future of Ottawa (arts and culture edition)

By Alejandro Bustos on April 20, 2015

Twitter users: use hashtag #futott if you want to discuss this series on Twitter.

This past January we published the Future of Ottawa series that looked at some of the major urban development projects in our city.  The original plan was to have a one-off group of posts, but after receiving a lot of positive feedback from readers we decided to do another series of articles.

As we thought about the future of our region, however, we realised that we should not limit ourselves to urban affairs.  The National Capital Region is evolving in significant ways in numerous other areas, so why not explore the future of these parts of Ottawa-Gatineau.

We therefore have decided to publish a weeklong series of guest posts that will look at how arts and culture is growing in our region.  Starting today, the Future of Ottawa (arts and culture edition) will focus on a different artistic/cultural topic each day.  The subjects that will be covered range from dance, writing and visual arts, to journalism, theatre and music.  We hope you enjoy this special collection of guests posts, which are summarised below.

Photo by Mike Taylor courtesy of Apartment613 Flickr pool

Photo by Mike Taylor courtesy of Apartment613 Flickr pool

Writing: Bookstores are closing and publishing houses are taking a hit.  With the changing economics in the world of books, Ottawa-based author Tudor Robins will open the series with her surprising thoughts on why we could be living in a golden age for writers.  Her post is sure to encourage authors from the National Capital Region.

Theatre: Eric Coates, the artistic director of the Great Canadian Theatre Company, will then offer his views on the local theatre scene.  In a very thoughtful guest column, he describes his fears, hopes and expectations for our region’s theatrical community in the coming years.

NAC Redevelopment: Rosemary Thompson, the director of communication and public affairs at the National Arts Centre, as well as a former correspondent for CTV and CBC, describes the significant plans to renovate the NAC, and how this cultural institution is being reimagined.

Journalism: With the problems facing the mainstream media, some people are predicting that local news organisations such as the Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Sun will disappear as we currently know them in the coming years.  What does this mean for local news?  And what is the future of local journalism?  We asked James Baxter from iPolitics to offer his perspective.

Photo by Ming Wu courtesy of Apartment613 Flickr pool

Photo by Ming Wu courtesy of Apartment613 Flickr pool

Visual Arts: Jason St-Laurent, the curator at Galerie SAW Gallery, has penned a comprehensive look at what is taking place in Ottawa’s art community.  With keen insight, he also offers his thoughts on what the coming years could hold for our city’s artists.

Music: Lesley Marhsall is a very talented person.  Among the many hats that she wears, she is the editor of a counter-culture zine, an award-winning filmmaker, music promoter, booker, musician, member of Kelp Records and a performance artist under the name LesleyDemon and Lesley 666.  With this impressive resume, we asked Lesley to offer her thoughts on the future of Ottawa’s music scene.

Dance: Finally, to finish the series, we asked Julie Houle Cezer, a co-founder of the Dance Network, to describe the future direction of our city’s dance groups and ensembles.

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