Intervene has worked at a variety of scales on a range of topics and themes. We have chosen to organize the work according to the level of focus, though it should be noted that most work spans organizational boundaries and the distinctions drawn here are intended to facilitate understanding.
Decolonizing Canadian Dance
Systemic Design - Decolonizing Canadian Dance
Attitudes about race and diversity have changed over time in Canada. Unfortunately, many of our institutions and systems continue to embody assumptions that privilege Western European traditions and tastes. This project focuses on national service for dance and a desire to update systems to support more diverse conceptions of dance. The rationale for favoring ballet and Western contemporary dance work is almost entirely historical and much harder to justify today. We need to change how the system operates now but also look to address the effects of past actions. This project, championed by the Canadian Dance Assembly, the national service organization for dance, is an effort to understand and design national service for a decolonized world.
The Canadian Dance Assembly has initiated a multi-year investigation to re-imagine service for the dance sector and an organizing structure to deliver on that service. The intention is to transform service for dance to be radically open, inclusive, and more reflective of Canada’s identity. The initiative aims to identify areas of duplication, gaps in service while creating new opportunities for under-served communities and evolving with the current social and political landscape in order to truly serve the national sector. Intervene was contracted to design the engagement and restructuring process to address calls of duplication and gaps in service.
Music in the Barns
Systemic Consulting - Music in the Barns
Founded in 2008, Music in the Barns transforms spaces into uniquely immersive, live concert experiences. The company has produced critically acclaimed performances, including bringing together over 1000 performers and onlookers of all ages in Toronto's City Centre and presenting Song of Extinction, a film and live score concert premiered in June 22, 2016 at the massive 400,000 sq. ft. Hearn Generating Station as part of Luminato's tenth anniversary season.
This success has not resulted in financial or operational stability. Intervene was commissioned to develop a set of strategies to continue the growth and energy of Music in the Barns while building resilient structures to sustain the work. Establishing strategy in creative organizations can be complex. Work is often project based and involves non-standard ways of operating and organizing. Unorthodox collaborations have been necessary and has resulted in diverse agents coming together in Canada and more recently in New York, where the work is finding new audiences and new homes.
Regent Park Film Festival
Systemic Development - Regent Park Film Festival
Created in 2003, the Regent Park Film Festival is a free community film festival that presents work of relevance to the Regent Park community in Toronto, Ontario. Often, the films address issues such as immigration, inner city life, and multiculturalism. The festival includes local and international works.
Intervene worked with the staff team at the Film Festival to address issues of collaboration, particularly as large numbers of volunteers and presenters were being added to support the annual festival. Unspoken rules and assumptions about how work gets done can undermine desired changes or responses to the external environment. Organizations often don't critically reflect on how they are organized and can imitate models ill-suited to their intentions. The coordination of action provides the most basic source of leverage or advantage. Intervene offered a capacity-building workshop to prepare the team to design and sustain the conditions within which solutions could thrive.