Creative Collingwood Symposium

Record Breaking Turn-out for the 3rd Annual Creative Collingwood Symposium!

Parks Recreation and Culture & the South Georgian Bay Small Business Enterprise Centre hosted a record breaking turnout for the 3rd annual Creative Collingwood Symposium on Wednesday November, 9th at the Simcoe Street Theatre.

Over 100 ‘creatives’ from across the South Georgian Bay area who describe themselves as artists, creative professionals, business owners, volunteers and cultural enthusiasts enjoyed a keynote presentation given by Jeremy Frieburger of Cobalt Connects in Hamilton. The theme – Inspiring the Extraordinary – created a buzz in the auditorium that was followed by a variety of well considered questions.

Two breakout sessions following Jeremy’s presentation prompted much reflection. One offered solutions for creative’s to find success online and the other discussed the ‘business’ of being creative with a panel of local professionals.

The event wrapped up with a networking session in which new connections were made and opportunities for collaboration initiated.  

All Photos by Dave West Photography


 Simcoe Street Theatre                                                                               Keynote presenter, Jeremy Freiburger


Guests settle into the 100 seat theatre                                                    Welcome from Mayor Sandra Cooper


Panel discussion with Erica Angus, Chris Robinson and Lory MacDonald          Networking and nibbles


Kirsty Stevenson discusses steps to online success                                 Lively discussions about the Symposium

Keynote Address

Jeremy Freiburger, Chief Connector and Cultural Strategist.

Jeremy has been a leader in Hamilton’s creative community for over 15 years. His experience ranges from producing award-winning theatre and ballet with the RBC Festival of Classics and Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble, to developing more than 100,000 square feet of studio facilities, to writing policy and plans for municipalities around creative sector development.  

Focusing primarily on regional and municipal partnership development, and organizational development, Jeremy is the founder of Cobalt Connects. Jeremy has spoken at dozens conferences on the subject of creative community economic development, and sits on many boards and committees including the Our Cultural Community Committee (Chair, City of Hamilton Cultural Plan) and the Bay Area Restoration Council.

Jeremy lives in Hamilton with his wonderful partner Kim, son Miles, and puppy Frackelton.

Breakout Sessions

Breakout Session  - Kirsty Stevenson - 3 Steps to online success for the ‘Creative’
     Which online store is right for you?
     How to drive traffic to your online store
     Tools to simplify your digital efforts
As a lifelong and successful entrepreneur she is an excellent communicator who will use many pertinent and motivating real-life examples in her presentation.

Kirsty Stevenson

Kirsty Stevenson talks the talk of small business directly and informatively.

Kirsty has been an entrepreneur throughout her business career: she had the first landscape lighting company in Canada, invented Bling Snaps, a pin-type decorative accessory, and founded the Georgian Bay Titans Rugby Club.

Kirsty is a small business marketing expert. Her seminars and workshops provide practical advice and strategies.  Look for her book, the Uncorporate: The Marketing Manual for Small Business, later this year.

She is an excellent communicator and uses many pertinent and motivating real-life examples in her presentations.

Breakout Session - Expert Panel - The 'Business' of Being Creative
Being creative should inspire you but if it’s your business you want it to also bring you income.  A panel of local artists and entrepreneurs offer some practical advice for those in the business of being creative and discuss finding the balance between doing what you ‘want’ to do creatively with want you ‘should’ do as a business. Moderated by Jeremy Freiburger.
Erica Angus
Erica Angus came to Theatre Collingwood in 2013 as Executive Director, where she programs over 30 professional live theatrical presentations each year, in addition to their successful drama education programs. She is supported by 10 Board Members, a staff of 5, and over 100 volunteers.  
Prior to working for Theatre Collingwood Erica was the Associate Producer for Theatre by the Bay in Barrie.  She was a board member for Tourism Barrie for 6 years.  Erica was also a founding member of Barrie’s “Lawn Chair Luminata” (arts festival) and was on Barrie’s Downtown Community Theatre Advisory Group where she played a key role in the development of a new theatre space, The Mady Center for the Performing Arts.  She coordinated the highly successful Shakespeare to the Classroom program that toured to over 25 schools each year.  
Erica loves to support individual artists and arts companies in any way she can, and lives by the philosophy that it does not matter who’s art you experience, but that you EXPERIENCE GREAT ART! 
Lory MacDonald
Lory MacDonald is a professional artist, designer, Artfest Ontario show producer, and just launched the new Artists Advantage membership business in 2016. Her art career has been diverse; creating, inspiring and promoting artists of all ages, teaching art and selling her art pieces across Canada the USA.
Lory got her show producer start 10 years ago at the Distillery Historic District in Toronto. After 4 years as an assistant producer, she took over the shows and founded Artfest Ontario. She has since added Artfest Kingston and Artfest Port Credit to the series of four events.
Lory also founded The Magic of Children in the Arts Show. This is the largest children’s art show in Canada with over 1000 local participants last year. Magic looks forward to its 23rd year in 2017. She was presented the Collingwood Arts & Culture Award in 2016.
Chris Robinson
Over 35 years Chris Robinson has built a career around his passion for the sport of skiing.  He describes his company, Double Black Diamond Productions, as being built on a combination of people skills, creative talents in the areas of TV/video production and salesmanship resulting in a successful business doing something he loves.
Starting out as an athlete in Freestyle Skiing he began his career in a number of sport related positions including coach, event manager, program administrator and sponsorship sales before seizing an opportunity to start his own business in 1993 when he acquired Ski Base TV program from CKVR TV in Barrie and started Double Black Diamond.  In addition to his TV series, Robinson grew Double Black Diamond by specializing in snowsports event coverage.  
In 2010 he also co-founded Snowsports Media Inc, creating the only multi-platform media company in North America with fully integrated TV, print and digital content focused on snowsports.
Having recently sold his interest in S-Media, Robinson describes his next venture as a creative collaboration with his wife that will combine her passion for fashion and his interest in art.