Lobby Chats: “I got the grant! What now?” for DIY Producers

October 14, 2021, 1-2 pm (ET) on Zoom

More artists and collectives than ever have been applying for and receiving grants to create work during the pandemic. As a result, many of us have to learn what it means to produce without the support of a larger organization – from project management to contracts to protecting our personal finances and much more. Becoming a DIY producer comes with a lot of excitement and validation but also financial stress and uncertainty. This panel discussion will be helpful for anyone new to producing and managing project grants, as well as to those who have been doing it for a while but still feel like they have questions.


Accessibility: ASL interpretation and closed captioning provided.

This chat is presented by The AFC in partnership with the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts and Generator.

The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) is an arts service organization representing Toronto’s professional theatre, dance, and opera companies. The mission of TAPA is to nurture an environment in which theatre, dance, and opera may flourish and play a leadership role in the City of Toronto.

Generator is a mentoring, teaching, and innovation incubator that expands the skills, tools, and competencies of independent artists, producers and leaders. Generator’s programs include Financial Literacy, Artist Producer Training, and ArtistProducerResource.com. 

About Lobby Chats

The AFC’s Lobby Chats bring people together who have experience, passion, and knowledge of critical topics that directly impact the members of Canada’s entertainment industry. Whether we’re talking to freelancers, leaders, administrators, or service providers, these conversations offer a compassionate knowledge-sharing platform where our community can come together to help each other grow and flourish in the industry on both personal and professional levels.

Lobby Chats focus on the individual’s experience, the person who is navigating what is known to be a precarious career path in arts and entertainment. These conversations will hone in on the areas of financial wellness, mental health, and career sustainability. At the end of each chat, audiences will have a chance to ask questions and join the conversation in the spirit of community support and learning.


Rachel Krehm, panelist (she/her)

A multi-faceted artist, soprano Rachel Krehm is the co-founder and General Director of Opera 5 and newest member of Musique 3 Femmes. As a performer she works in opera, new music, art song, improvisation, and voice and web-series acting. Along with performing, she is a writer and producer.

Through the pandemic, Rachel co-wrote, produced, and performed in the Threepenny Submarine pilot, which is Opera 5’s new web series that follows puppets Lydian and Iona on deep sea adventures and combines puppetry and opera in collaboration with Gazelle Automations. Supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, eight more episodes will be created and produced in 2022. Upcoming performances include Come Closer by Ryan Trew with Kingston Symphony and selections from Anna Pidgorna’s new opera Plaything with Société de musique contemporaine du Québec and Musique 3 Femmes.

Kristina Lemieux, panelist (she/her)

Kristina Lemieux is an accomplished arts manager with more than 20 years of professional experience. She is also a contemporary dancer. Raised in Treaty 6 territory (rural Alberta), Kristina lived in Edmonton, attending the University of Alberta, for 10 years before heading to Vancouver where her passion for the arts has driven collaboration, creation, and innovation in the Vancouver arts scene for over a decade. After working with Generator in a freelance capacity for several years, Kristina made the move to Toronto in January 2017 to take on the role of Lead Producer of Generator.

Kristina has worked with many of Vancouver’s leading art organizations: Brief Encounters, Arts Umbrella, New Works, Out On Screen (Queer Film Festival), Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration, PTC Playwrights Theatre Centre, Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists/West Chapter (CADA/West), Tara Cheyenne Performance, Made in BC – Dance on Tour, Theatre Replacement, Progress Lab 1422, The Post at 750 (110 Arts Cooperative), Vancouver International Dance Festival (VIDF), Up in the Air Theatre (rEvolver Festival), Music on Main, and Vancouver Art Gallery. She co-founded Polymer Dance, a group dedicated to bringing dance experiences to non-professional dancers. Kristina remains tied to Vancouver through her project Scaffold, a coaching and skill development service designed to support performing artists and groups. She is the co-founder and Creative Producer of F-O-R-M (Festival of Recorded Movement) and works frequently with the Dancers of Damelahamid and Coastal Dance Festival.

Kristina is passionate about generating dialogue in the arts and, to this end, earned a certificate in Dialogue and Civic Engagement from Simon Fraser University. In all that she does she works to support independent artists across performing disciplines in finding ways to make art outside of the currently prescribed modes.

Alyssa Martin, panelist (she/her)

Alyssa Martin is a choreographer and director. She lives and works in Tkaronto on the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. Her feminist focused works use mischievous energy to explore the human psyche. Alyssa founded her creative home, Rock Bottom Movement, in 2012, and the group has since been graciously recognized with multiple Dora Mavor Moore Awards and the Canadian Stage Award for Direction. Alongside her collaborators, she has created new work in residence at The Banff Centre, Canadian Stage, Toronto Dance Theatre, The Stratford Festival Lab and The National Ballet of Canada through the CreativAction Programme.

In addition to her work with Rock Bottom, Alyssa creates new work for other dance companies, post-secondary students and collaborates in the theatre, film, musical theatre and opera realms. She recently premiered her first feature-length dance film, Bin Chicken, created as a commission with Toronto Dance Theatre, and spent this past summer choreographing I am William at The Stratford Festival. Alyssa approaches her dance with an openness for spontaneity and a deep consideration for the collaborators and audiences who come to play.

Saman Shahi, panelist (he/him)

Saman Shahi is an award-winning and published composer, pianist, conductor and educator based in Toronto. His compositions have been performed around the globe and include six orchestral works, three operas, two ballets works, and many works for choral, vocal and chamber forces.

Saman holds a master’s degree in composition from the University of Toronto, is an affiliate Member of the Canadian League of Composers, Associate Composer at the Canadian Music Centre as well as a SOCAN member. He is a co-founder and the Executive Director at ICOT, Music Director at the Peterborough Concert Band, and a composer and teaching artist with the Canadian Opera Company. In 2020, Saman’s debut composition album Breathing in the Shadows was recorded and released by Leaf Music. Two of the song cycles in this album have won awards both in Canada and the United States. His second album, Microlocking was released by People|Places|Records in 2021.

This event is a part of the educational component of The AFC’s Financial Wellness Program which is made possible through the generous support from Richard Rooney and Laura Dinner.

Introducing: Lobby Chats

The AFC’s new knowledge-sharing series in which community members can come together to help each other grow and flourish in the industry on both personal and professional levels.


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