A Message from the Executive Director
The dynamic ARRAY ENSEMBLE is known for precisely distinctively performing music that knows no boundaries, for mentoring new generations of composers, for embracing new technologies and multi-disciplinary art, and for programming the world’s most enigmatic and daring voices.
Arraymusic is unique because it not only commissions exciting new works from composers around the world presenting them in an annual season of concerts for Toronto-based and digital audiences, it co-presents – through our eclectic Array Presents, Situated Sounds, Audiopolination, and Interstitial Space music series – other local and international multi-disciplinary artists whose work falls ‘in between’ genres. And Arraymusic offers space, instruments and technologies to artists affordably so they too can share their music with the world.
Array’s Space is that rare downtown venue that is welcoming, centrally located, accessible and well equipped, which helps Toronto’s new music scene to thrive.
Array is devoted to advancing its own and society’s aims to improve equity for BIPOC and marginalized peoples — you can read about Arraymusic’s Equity Action Plan below.
If you are a composer, sound artist or multi-disciplinary artist working with experimental music, check out Array’s programs that provide mini-grants and commissions (50+ Friends Who Care), mentorship (Young Composers’ Workshop and Indigenous Creators’ Workshop), a BIPOC fellowship, residencies within our space, free time for BIPOC individuals in need (by application) and (soon to launch) music workshops for at risk youth.
If you’d like to get involved, you can help us actively select which artists we will hire to write music for us this season by becoming one of our 50+ Friends Who Care, or you can donate to our general fund to help Array cover the annual facility’s operating expenses. We are currently seeking new board members, and we’re always happy to work with new volunteers! It’s your support that makes the difference!
If you are new to Arraymusic, we invite you to take a little time learn more about us, and to reach out anytime. We invite everyone to take in our concerts and explore our blogs, videos, composer talks, and interactive mini-zines this season to discover the rich array of artists we present from near and far.
We hope you enjoy!
– Sandra Bell, Executive Director
Equity is the single most important challenge in today’s contemporary music scene, and our work as artists, artistic directors, and curators cannot be separated from the social and political contexts in which we all live and create.<span class=”>
As a legacy organization receiving operating funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and numerous private funding bodies large and small, Arraymusic continues to benefit from the historical privileging of European art forms and the systematic suppression of marginalized voices. Much work has been done in classical music and contemporary classical music over the past half century toward achieving gender equity. However, as necessary as that work continues to be to promote women within our discipline, we have for too long overlooked the continued oppression of Black, Indigenous, and non-Black people of colour, of the LGBTQ2S+ community, and of the Deaf, Disabled, and Mad community.
Arraymusic has a relatively reputable history of inclusive programming, and our role as an artistic hub through our management of The Array Space has allowed us to actively support a diverse range of artists from a broad swath of Toronto’s cultural scene. We have publicly committed to gender parity in our own programming through the Canadian League of Composers Gender Parity Pledge, and over the last several seasons we have worked to include more work by composers from marginalized communities and to challenge the inherited values of the western classical canon. We offer Pay-What-You-Want ticketing to overcome economic barriers, and installed a ramp and elevator to enable access for people with physical disabilities. Nonetheless, without a specific commitment to a broader understanding of equity, we have continued to privilege whiteness over other identificatory factors.
Beginning now, in our 2020-21 season Arraymusic will take the following actions:
- We will actively seek out Black, Indigenous, non-Black people of colour, LGBTQ2S+, and Deaf, Disabled, and Mad composers, and will prioritize the inclusion of their works across the balance of our programs.
- We are establishing an annual fellowship for emerging BIPOC composers to support their participation in our annual Young Composers’ Workshop: providing housing and transportation subsidies, as well as a per-diem to offset the substantial costs of spending a month living and working in Toronto. We are able to fund one fellowship during 2020-2021 season and will work to fund additional equity fellowships in upcoming years.
- Other future initiatives include open calls for proposals to The Array Space’s Resident Ensemble and Co-Presentation programs, where priority will be given to Black, Indigenous, non-Black people of colour, LGBTQ2S+, and Deaf, Disabled, and Mad artists.
- We are seeking to change the organization from within in the coming years, focusing on diversity in all hiring and recruitment decisions: from curatorial leadership to artists, staff, and board.
Most important: we acknowledge that we will inevitably fail at points in this process, and we commit to continually listening, learning, and improving. We invite you to reach out directly to us with comments and criticisms, and will be available via email at:
David Schotzko, Artistic Director [email protected]
Sandra Bell, Executive Director [email protected]
Mark Wilson, Chair
We look forward to continued change, and to an ongoing public dialog with the many artists, audiences, peers, and supporters working for social justice in the arts and in the world.
The health and safety of our community, clients, and employees is our highest priority and we continue to work collaboratively with our renters to identify and minimize risk levels. We have put together a policy and set of best practice guidelines designed to be taken seriously and put into practice at all times while inside the Array Space. As the pandemic and government restrictions evolve, so too will these protocols.
Arraymusic’s mission is to ignite and sustain a passion for contemporary Canadian musical art within an international, interdisciplinary context. Three inter-related programs define what Array does, why we do it and how we realize our artistic, organizational, and community-based goals:
- Array’s Contemporary Music Program produces, presents and supports work on the cutting edges of current musical/sound art practice;
- Array’s Creative Music Hub utilizes the Array Space to foster a thriving contemporary music and art scene; and
- Array For All engages diverse audiences through innovative and inclusive programs.
Arraymusic believes that experiencing art can give rise to real change and that if one engages art fully, subtle but profound positive transformations can take place that by extension can impact communities and enhance our quality of life. Arraymusic is devoted to co-creating and presenting speculative new music—music that creates more questions than answers (for both the musicians involved and for listeners).
We believe that through sharing music involved in exploration which finds wonder in the discovery of the unexpected, the imagination is stimulated, questions are asked, alternative ways of thinking are considered, and a sharing of ideas takes place. We are devoted to presenting music that draws listeners in, and encourages them to embrace musical experiences as experimental (both words derived from the Latin root expiri—‘to try’) and know that they are active, co-creative participants in the experience. Music focused on this kind of productive interaction is not confined to any style, methodology or genre. Arraymusic embraces and nurtures work that is radically in-between.
Progressively, Arraymusic situates its creative activities in a cultural context that goes beyond traditional definitions of contemporary classical music. One critical aspect of this broadening of context is the ongoing development of the Array Space as a creative hub. We see our creative endeavours as being very much in conversation with the pursuits of everyone who uses the Space, our resident organizations, key artistic partners and and those many who rent our Space for all manner of events (not only musical).
We also see our activities as part of a global conversation, which has driven us to be at the forefront of web-based initiatives, live-streaming most of our events, and making audio-visual records of our and our partners’ work available online through ArrayTV. It is in the context of these extremely diverse sets of cultural enterprises that Array works to bring its own artistic vision to fruition.
Artistic Director -David Schotzko
As a soloist, chamber musician, and curator, percussionist David Schotzko is a passionate advocate for contemporary composers, having premiered over 300 works with percussion by composers from around the globe. He was a founding member of the renowned International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) in New York and Chicago and was ICE’s Program Director from 2002 to 2008.
Since moving to Toronto in 2010, David has served as Artistic Advisor for Ottawa Chamberfest, and curated programs for Arraymusic, Intersection, the University of Toronto, and more.
Executive Director – Sandra Bell
Sandra merges a strong business acumen with extensive business experience spanning many fields. A multi-disciplinary artist herself, she has been a passionate champion of contemporary music and experimental artists for 20 years. With 15+ years’ experience in music management and a career spanning the creative sectors of orchestral (Esprit Orchestra) and popular musics (Jeff Healey), journalism (Globe&Mail, Toronto Star, London Free Press), magazine editing (Page Publishing), high technology (Hubley & Associates), film/television (Alliance Atlantic/Showcase), advertising (Chiat Day Mojo), and corporate administration (American Barrick), Sandra draws upon a wide range of knowledge to manage the day-to-day operations, creative projects, and strategic business of Arraymusic. She conceived of, fundraised for, and managed the retrofit of The Array Space, including securing a new elevator and livestreaming gear, launched a new Resident Artists program, conceived of and fundraised for the Array Legacy album, created a new music program for at risk youth (MusicALL), oversaw the creation of Array’s first Strategic Plan and Business Plan, assisted with the successful transitions between many Artistic Directors, and created with Arraymusic Director Kendall Kiddie a new website for Arraymusic in 2021.
Technical Director – Dan Tapper
Dan Tapper is a creative technologist working in interactive media and multichannel sound diffusion. Since starting at Array Dan has developed a lightweight and highly customisable system for live streaming which allows anyone from one person shows to small production teams access to multi camera real-time broadcasts. As concerts return Dan is looking forward to engaging with the Array community and utilizing his skills in interaction design to help facilitate unique concert experiences.
House Manager – Conor McSweeny
Conor McSweeny is an arts administrator, musician, and photographer with a passion for connecting people through the arts. After finishing his MA in Popular Music and Culture at the University of Western Ontario, he spent three years at 918 Bathurst Centre as the administration and production manager helping to produce hundreds of events. In 2019, he left 918 Bathurst to become the City Director for pop-up concert company, Sofar Sounds Toronto. When he’s not producing events, you can usually find him behind a camera, or in front of a loud band.
Board of Directors
Mark Wilson, Chair & Treasurer
Artistic Associate – Martin Arnold
Martin is an Assistant Professor in Cultural Studies at Trent University and is an active member of Toronto’s improvisation and experimental jazz/roots/rock communities performing on live electronics, banjo, melodica, and electric guitar. His music is performed and recorded across Canada and internationally.
Martin holds a PhD in music composition from the University of Victoria.
Artistic Associate – Kristina Guison
Kristina Guison is a Manila-born and raised, sculpture/installation and performance artist. Her practice is a pursuit of ontological questions that present themselves in the interaction between science and culture. She is interested in finding structural patterns that create conversations, questions and conflicts in our perception and experience of reality from the distance of the scientific method and the intimacy of subjective experiences. Drawing from philosophy, psychology and other related fields, she approaches current phenomena and issues from a functionalist perspective.
Artistic Associate – Mehrnaz Rohbakhsh
Mehrnaz Rohbakhsh is currently living in Toronto, Canada. She has presented her work in Canada, the US, Italy, and Japan.
Artistic Associate – Michael Lynn
Michael Lynn is an improving musician and the organizer/curator for the improvising music series ‘Audiopollination’ in Toronto at Array Music, which has been running since January 2013. Michael has been an active participant of the improvised music scene since 2008 as a performer, organizer and patron.
Artistic Associate – Dan Tapper
Dan Tapper is an artist and creative technologist who explores the sonic and visual properties of the unheard and invisible. From revealing electromagnetic sounds produced by the earth’s ionosphere, to exploring hidden micro worlds and creating imaginary nebulas made from code. His explorations use scientific methods alongside thought experiments resulting in rich sonic and visual worlds. Dan also regularly uses his skills as a creative coder and interactivity designer to help artists and musicians facilitate projects, these range from building a 20 ton stone boat embedded with interactive soundscapes and pressure sensors to digital video feedback software and audio reactive light environments.
To ensure the safety of all Array Space users we have adopted and enforced a strict Anti-Harassment and Discrimination Policy.