Press Release: Power of the Arts National Forum

Ottawa-based arts activist Kalkidan Assefa to join Secretary General of La Francophonie Michaëlle Jean, French Rapper Jali, American Visual Artist Michael Rakowitz, & Filmmaker Jean-Daniel Lafond, as a Keynote Speaker During the Upcoming 2015 Power of the Arts National Forum
OTTAWA, Sept. 29, 2015—Engaged citizens from across Canada and abroad are preparing for the third annual Power of the Arts National Forum. Themed Sustaining Social Change, the 2015 forum will be held from Friday, Nov. 6 to Sunday, Nov. 8 at Carleton University in Ottawa. The forum will gather more than 200 people for three days of performances, workshops and thought-provoking discussions.
The Rt. Hon. Michaëlle Jean, Secretary General of the International Organization of La Francophonie and Jean-Daniel Lafond, the Co-Founder, Co-Chair and Executive Director of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation will speak alongside a variety of inspirational guests. Ottawa-based artist Kalkidan Assefa, whose artwork documenting the plight of Trans people of colour was recently vandalized, will be offering a keynote speech.  The recipient of the new Power of the Arts Family Medicine Fellowship—the first research fellowship of its kind in Canada—will be presented by Dr. Ralph Masi, Chair of the Research and Education Foundation of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Other keynotes include presentations by socially engaged French and American artists such as Marseille-based rapper and social activist Jali and Iraqi American multidisciplinary artist Michael Rakowitz. They will speak about the ways in which they use the arts as tools for social change.  
Co-hosted by the Michaëlle Jean Foundation and Carleton University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the main objective of the forum is to unite and mobilize a multi-sector network of researchers, practitioners, artists and organizations.  A revised and enriched version of the National Arts Action Plan will be the end-result of the annual event. The Action Plan aims to help reinforce national, regional and local arts initiatives which improve the quality of life of those in underserved communities. Previous versions of the National Arts Action Plan will serve as the basis for discussions at the 2015 forum. Click here to read last year’s Action Plan.
Registration for the forum is now open. Click here to register or to receive additional information. Media are invited to attend. Pre-event media interviews are possible.
When: Friday, Nov. 6 - Sunday, Nov. 8. 2015
Where: Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa

The National Power of the Arts Forum is the brainchild of Michaëlle Jean Foundation Co-Founder, Co-Chair and Executive Director 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. 

Media Inquiries:
Peter Flegel
Director of Programs and Communications

Chris Cline
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University
613-520-2600, ext. 1391