Arts Advisory Commission - The Big Picture 2017

Big Picture event promo banner with cityscape illustration

The Arts Advisory Commission extends their thanks to the over 70 members of the arts community that came together for the Big Picture 2017. Participants reflected on the recent period of dramatic growth in Hamilton’s arts and cultural community and shared their ideas for finding opportunities for further growth and improvement.

Those members of the arts community that were not able to attend or would like to add to the comments they already provided are encouraged to take The Big Picture 2017 Survey.

Review The 2017 Big Picture Presentation (PDF, 6.6 MB)

The Big Picture 2017 Survey

If you could not attend or want to augment information already provided at the event please take 10 minutes to complete this on-line survey. Responses will be accepted until Monday May 15, 2017.

The results of the Big Picture 2017 group discussions and the survey will be included in a report to be assembled by the Hamilton Arts Council for the Arts Advisory Commission (AAC). This report will be posted on this webpage and will serve to guide the work of the AAC in advising City Council on arts issues in the coming years.

Moderated Panel Discussion Speakers


Image of Ivan Jurakic

Ivan Jurakic

Instagram Logo@ivanjurakic 

Ivan is the Director/Curator of the University of Waterloo Art Gallery. He received his MFA from SUNY Buffalo and an Honours BA from the University of Guelph. Since 2004 he has curated numerous exhibitions, sat on the curatorial panel for the 2009 Sobey Art Award, co-curated Zone C for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2013, and his writing has appeared in numerous publications. He is also a principal of TH&B, an artist collective whose projects address the intersection of urban and rural environments. He lives in Hamilton. 


Image of Kojo "Easy" Damptey aka K.E.D

Kojo Damptey


Instagram Logo@kedmusic 

K.E.D aka Kojo Easy Damptey is a songwriter, musician and music producer. He has been involved in the music scene in Hamilton since 2006. His music is a fusion of Hip-hop, High-Life music from Ghana, funk and soul music; he describes this mixture as Afro-Soul. His passion for music in Hamilton led him to start a music festival called Renaissance Music, that is dedicated to contemporary music genres influenced by African and Caribbean culture. With social activism in his roots he is also concerned about the lack of representation of non-white artists in the arts scene, thus he initiated the creation of COBRA (Coalition of Black and Racialized Artists). This collective is now working to provide opportunities for current and emerging Black and Racialized artists to participate actively in the arts scene.


Image of Colette Kendal

Colette Kendall


Colette Kendall is the Executive and Artistic Director of The Staircase Theatre.  Here she incubates new and emerging local talent, and programs and creates upwards of 100 cultural and artistic events monthly. Colette is a recipient of the City of Hamilton Arts Award for Established Theatre Artist and a multiple nominee in the Performance and Arts Administration categories. She is a three time Canadian Comedy Award nominated performer/writer for her lone woman productions. She has appeared in several festival featured award winning independent and feature films including the  Sundance selection, Ten for Grandpa and the HBO/Julia Roberts produced Kit Kittredge: An American Girl.


Image of Shirley Madill

Shirley Madill


Shirley Madill moved to Hamilton in the spring of 1999 from Winnipeg to take position of Chief Curator and Director of Programming at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, a post she held until 2006. At the AGH, she played a role in its renewal, through new exhibition and public programs and developed collaborations with national and international arts organizations. She received the Ontario Association of Architects Certificate of Recognition for the Future Cities international exhibition project in Hamilton as well as the Ontario Association of Art Galleries Award in 2007 for the exhibition Sublime Embrace: experiencing consciousness in contemporary art. She is currently the Executive Director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery.  She still lives in Hamilton and loves it.


Image of Petra Matar

Petra Matar


Instagram Logo@bonpetra 

Petra Matar is a multidisciplinary artist and creative professional living and working in Hamilton. Petra grew up in Dubai, UAE, where she received a Bachelor of Architecture from The American University of Sharjah in 2011. Since moving to Hamilton in 2011, she has worked with dpai architecture inc. Petra is also a practicing artist and a member of the local art collective HAVN. Notable works include The Cocoon, an occupiable art installation featured in Supercrawl 2014, and Toward Anarchytecture 2015, a visual exploration of alternative architecture in familiar Hamilton sites. Recent visual art exhibitions include a solo show at the Seedworks Gallery (Summer 2016), and a two-person show with Juliana LaChance (Fall 2016).


The AAC would like to thank the Hamilton Arts Council, a valuable community partner, that we have contracted with to assist in the planning and delivery of this event. 

Images of past Big Picture events

Photo credit: Cees van Gemerden