Fireside Chat: Institutional Change, Funding, and Infrastructure
Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Presents

Fireside Chat: Institutional Change, Funding, and Infrastructure

Evolution of the Arts in a Digital World
February 3, 2021 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM MST

Fireside Chat: Institutional Change, Funding, and Infrastructure

  Free Event • Register Now!  

Wednesday Feruary 3 • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM MST
Via Zoom

Presented by:
Annemarie Petrov | President and CEO of the Winspear Centre and Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
Tateo Nakajima | Arup Fellow
Annette Mees | Head, Audience Labs, The Royal Opera House
Gretchen Coss | Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Gallagher & Associates
Rafael Baldwin | Digital Media Storyteller, New World Symphony
Scott Smallwood | Director, Sound Studies Institute, University of Alberta
Milan Krepelka | Senior Manager, Exhibit Design & Quality, TELUS World of Science Edmonton

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About the Presentation

Our symposium is proving, without question, that there are a variety of factors to consider when making the jump to digital technology. At this event, we will be sitting down for some high-level discussion about some of the major and most daunting factors, to help set myths about them to rest. Here, you’ll listen to a group of experts engage in moderated conversation about the institutional change required to successfully integrate digital technology in day-to-day operations, finding and engaging with new funders and funding methods to make digital possible, and creating the infrastructure required for successful digital integration. You’ll leave this session with an understanding of the big-picture changes that your organization may need as you move forward into the digital realm.

About the Presenters

Annemarie Petrov
President and CEO of the Winspear Centre and Edmonton Symphony Orchestra

Annemarie is interested in the role of music in innovation, sustainability, and a healthy society. She has seen the Winspear Centre through the creation of the Tommy Banks Centre for Musical Creativity (The Banks Centre) and is currently leading its expansion into a state-of-the-art community hub due to open in 2022. Knowing that participation in live music is essential to our well-being, she wants to ensure it is accessible to everyone. Among various programs intended for all ages, The Banks Centre includes YONA-Sistema, a free inner-city afterschool program launched eight years ago.

A native of Montréal and a graduate of McGill University in music performance, the values of inclusion and equality instilled in her since childhood serves as her north star. Annemarie has held leadership positions with Symphony New Brunswick, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. She joined the ESO and Winspear Centre in 2008. She currently serves on the boards of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards, and the Edmonton International Airports Business Advisory Committee.

Annemarie is fanatical about a good cup of coffee, spending time in the mountains, a swim in a cold lake, reading just about anything, and spending time with her family and big, adorable dog.

Tateo Nakajima
Arup Fellow

Tateo Nakajima is an Arup Fellow and an internationally recognized leader in the design and planning of performing arts venues and the relationship the arts have with the built environment. Prior to joining Arup, Tateo was a Partner at Artec Consultants Inc, working on the theatre planning and auditorium acoustics aspects of a wide range of projects.

Tateo has lead projects around the world, working many of the highest profile architecture and design practices, and with some of the most influential artists and musical ensembles today. He has had overall design and management responsibility for consulting input to projects ranging from concert halls and opera houses to pop entertainment venues, museums, immersive experiences, and arts, culture & entertainment districts in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Tateo's formal training and early career experience was in violin performance and conducting, studying in Canada, Japan, and in The Netherlands. He has led orchestras and opera companies in France, Switzerland, Romania, and Bulgaria. In addition, he has guest conducted across Europe, including a new production of ballet at the Vienna State Opera.

Tateo Nakajima was trained in the design and planning of performing arts venues by the late Russell Johnson, who remains a guiding influence in his work.

Annette Mees
Head of Audience Labs, The Royal Opera House

Annette Mees is an award-winning artist and immersive theatre director. She has directed experiential work across art forms mixing live and digital experiences that put the audience at the heart. She advises and speaks on the future of culture, artistic innovation, creative R&D and models of art that allow dialogue with audiences.

Annette is currently the Head of The Audience Labs at the Royal Opera House - dedicated to exploring the artistic possibilities of immersive technologies. It partners leading artists with cutting-edge creative immersive technology and inter-disciplinary creative teams to create world-class work that innovates and pushes boundaries.

She was a Creative Fellow for WIRED and The Space, Guest-Artistic Director of the Danish Inspiration Lab and worked on the IK-prize winning Sensorium at Tate Britain. She started her career as one of the co-Artistic Directors of Coney.

Annette has worked with partners across sectors including Google, Tate Britain, UK Parliament, Ogilvy, WIRED Magazine, European Space Agency, British Council, King’s College, ICA, The National Theatre of Wales, SJ01 San Jose Biennale, & NESTA.

Gretchen Coss
Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Gallagher & Associates

Gretchen Coss is a visionary leader, educator, and designer with over twenty-five years of experience in global brand management, experience design, and placemaking. Prior to G&A, Gretchen was Vice President/Director of Graphics for Gensler LA; and owned her own agency, Coss Creative, where she led design and development for large-scale, mixed-use projects for over 11 years. Gretchen joined G&A at its inception to lead strategic visioning and pursuits, contributing to the firm’s worldwide growth and esteemed reputation. She is a passionate educator and active industry leader, serving on the board of the Society for Experiential Graphic Design for six years, where she was a past president and helped to launch their education foundation; and as a past adjunct professor for the Master of Exhibition Design at the Corcoran College of Art + Design, where she won a faculty award for exemplifying innovative teaching techniques. Gretchen continues to lead museum planning and visioning workshops throughout the world for organizations such as IMCC, MAAM, ICOM, SEGD, and AAM.

Rafael Baldwin
Digital Media Storyteller, New World Symphony

Rafael Baldwin is a single, multi-camera, and VR/360° immersive media director and producer working at the intersection of filmmaking, sound and music production, computer programming, and human interaction.

Experienced in non-fiction television broadcast, Baldwin has been in charge of news coverage and special transmissions of events of the highest international reputation, such as the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards; Cannes, Venice, Berlin, San Sebastian, Sundance Europe, and London Film Festivals; The Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in Great Britain; the Coronation of King Philip VI of Spain; the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; and the NFL at Wembley. In 2014, he won the 2nd place at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) World Cup Freestyles: an international music video competition organized by the BBC – the most important public media conglomerate in the world – broadcast in the context of the 2014 Brazil FIFA Football World Cup.

Rafael Baldwin’s work has been featured on media outlets such as ESPN, BBC, Variety Latino, Univision Networks, and Televisa Media Group, and he is a Lifetime Member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) of America.

Baldwin has been responsible for interviews with:
  • Film: George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Hugh Jackman
  • Sports: Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Roger Federer
  • Music: The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Scorpions
  • Classical music: Michael Tilson Thomas, Sasha Cooke, Gil Shaham
  • Politics: Ban Ki-moon, Lech Walesa, Boris Johnson

In the field of New Media, Rafael Baldwin is the Digital Media Storyteller at the New World Symphony – the main symphonic orchestra in Florida, led by eleven-time Grammy-Award winner conductor Michael Tilson Thomas – and Professor of VR/360º Immersive Filmmaking and Storytelling for undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Miami. He has been an Immersive Filmmaking consultant for PBS South Florida, an Insta360 featured video artist during the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup, and a guest speaker at important arts summits such as the Miami Arts Marketing Project and the National Conference of the League of American Orchestras. In 2016, Baldwin directed the award-winning Virtual Reality documentary "Mission: Frost Science" in collaboration with the new Phillip and Patricia Frost Science Museum of Miami.

Rafael has three postgraduate degrees: a Master's Degree in Screen Documentary from Goldsmiths, University of London, a Master's Degree in Interactive Media from the University of Miami, and a Master's Degree in Composition for Screen from the Royal College of Music in London.

Scott Smallwood
Director, Sound Studies Institute, University of Alberta

Scott Smallwood is a sound artist, composer, and sound performer who creates works inspired by discovered textures and forms, through a practice of listening, field recording, and sonic improvisation. He designs experimental electronic instruments and software, as well as sound installations and site-specific performance scenarios. Important to his process is exploring the subtleties of sonic texture through gradual transformations of timbre, particularly with sounds that may have originated from specific recordings of objects or spaces. His compositional and improvisational work makes use of space explicitly, and often involves multiple channel environments, found sounds, and non-conventional instrumentation. He works in a variety of sound and music genres, including instrumental concert and chamber music, electroacoustic music, sound art and installation, improvisatory performance, and more recently, audio game development. His work has been presented worldwide, including recent presentations at the Issue Project Room in NYC, the Burning Man Festival in Black Rock City, Nevada, the The Hong Kong Arts Centre, and Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, NY. His recorded work has been released on Autumn Records, Deep Listening, Wowcool, Simple Logic, Static Caravan, and Dead Definition Records.

In addition to his artistic work and research, Smallwood has been an educator in music composition and technology in the US and Canada for over 25 years. He holds music degrees from Seattle Pacific University, Miami University, Peabody Conservatory, and Princeton University, where he also held postdoctoral research associate position, working with the legendary Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk). From 1997 until 2003, he worked as a studio engineer, faculty member, and technical director in the electronic arts program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he developed a continuing interest in collaboration with artists in other media. He is currently the director of the Sound Studies Institute at the University of Alberta, where he serves as an associate professor of music composition and technology.

Milan Krepelka
Senior Manager, Exhibit Design & Quality, TELUS World of Science Edmonton

From a very young age, I was taking things apart to see how they work. At first I was just dutifully arranging their parts by how shiny they were, but by the age of 7 or 8, I finally began putting a few things back together. Much to the satisfaction of everyone that left me alone with tools and a machine of any kind, around 11 those things would occasionally work again. I’ve always been fascinated by the design of things, thinking about the energy and effort that go into the creation and production of things. Throughout my education and career that fascination has evolved to include learning about ways that technology and machines interplay.

In my current role as Senior Manager of Exhibit Design and Quality at TELUS World of Science Edmonton, I have the opportunity to help bring exciting and educational experiences to life. For the past 18 years I’ve been involved with many great projects ranging from small tabletop exhibits to full galleries of immersive and interactive elements. Before landing my current position, I had spent time as an automotive mechanic, and a mechanical engineering and computing science student before landing at the University of Alberta’s Industrial design department. Since finishing that program in 2000, I’ve been fortunate to take part in multiple design and consultation roles and teaching design and CAD part time.

More Information

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The ways we can interact with the world around us are infinite, and today’s technologies are powerful engines for digital participation. On Wednesday mornings from 10 AM – 11:30 AM MT beginning January 6th, 2021, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (ESO) is hosting a webinar-series symposium featuring presenters with expertise in specific digital technology fields. Our presenter list includes leads from arts organizations that have experienced a recent digital transformation, as well as digital experts from around the world. The symposium's goal is to educate, inspire, and guide local arts organizations and orchestras across Canada through their exploration of and introduction to relevant digital technology.

Evolution of the Arts in a Digital World will provide organizations with the tools they need to determine how and when to implement technology and identify how technology can be used as a tool to help tell a story. In addition, the symposium will act as a guide to implementing specific technologies such as immersive and digital interactives in budget-friendly and thoughtful ways. Through example-driven, hands-on approaches, our symposium will give participants an introduction to integrating technology in their organizations with confidence.

The Evolution of the Arts in a Digital World Symposium is proud to be featuring experts from the following organizations:

We encourage arts organizations, not-for-profit organizations, and orchestras to join us in national conversation about the ways in which digital technology can be included in everyday organizational functions with creativity and ease. Our symposium is aimed towards a variety of participants, including:

  • CEOs who want to understand how to introduce digital initiatives to their organizations in ways that will connect patrons to their organizational purpose and story.
  • General Managers who want to understand how to create teams for digital operations, who needs to be involved in decisions regarding digital initiatives, and what the end benefits are of going digital.
  • Educators who want to expand their outreach activities to include imaginative and curriculum-focused digital learning experiences.
  • Audience Engagement Teams who want to find new ways to share their stories with patrons in meaningful, memorable ways.
  • Everyone who wants to understand the power that creatively used technology can have on a patron’s experience at, memory of, and affection for an organization.

Any questions about the symposium should be directed to Kyra Droog at or 780-401-2593.

This Symposium is made possible through the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts.