Incubating Infrastructure

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Exploring the infrastructure response to our digital curiosities, this panel discusses how to optimize the technical and human resource dimensions of our facilities in order to incubate efficient and adventurous experimental processes. Highlighting best practices from Canada, the U.K., and Europe, we look to see what’s missing in the Canadian landscape and how we might fill that gap.  


Nathan Medd

Nathan Medd oversees performing arts programming at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity as managing director for music, theatre, dance, and opera. There he wrangles a talented faculty group that includes numerous recipients of Grammy, Oscar, Tony, Olivier, and Juno awards.

Nathan was previously managing director for English Theatre at Canada’s National Arts Centre, where his team was charged with strengthening the organization as a national theatre. In the process, they worked with stakeholders across the land to initiate plans for the world’s first national Indigenous theatre company, launched in 2019.

He has co-founded or consulted on the design of a number of new performance creation facilities across Canada, including a co-op in East Vancouver called Progress Lab 1422; a former CBC staff cafeteria in downtown Vancouver called The Post at 750; and a vibrant performance space in Victoria called the Metro Studio. Electric Company, an acclaimed performance creation ensemble that he guided as managing producer through its international emergence from 2008-2013, was one tenant of these spaces. A dual Canadian and American arts manager, Nathan was raised in a west-coast island village called Qualicum (named for a Straights Salish word meaning “where the dog salmon run”).


Chalo Hancock

Chalo Hancock is a thoughtful leader with a passion for starting, scaling, and sustaining organizations. He is honoured to join Artscape Daniels Launchpad as the new Managing Director. A clear communicator, proven relationship builder with excellent operational and analytical skills, he is excited to compliment the dynamic team at Launchpad. As the co-founder of U for Change, an award-winning charity in Toronto, he helped design the programs which have successfully graduated more than 2,500 young people in the arts. Chalo was also involved in the launch and growth of Christopher Paunil Designs - a celebrated bridal and eveningwear brand with global markets. In 2012, he received a Diamond Jubilee Award from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales for his outstanding service, and in 2017, he received an Emerging Leader Award from the Lawson Foundation for his work in community building. Chalo’s heart has always been with artists, creatives, and the community.

Sharon Clark

Sharon is a playwright, dramaturge, producer, and Creative Director of Raucous, a British theatre company that fuses performance, music, film, and creative technology. She has written 16 plays for theatre and her work has been shortlisted for the Yale Drama Prize, the National Theatre Playwright’s Award, and the PapaTango Prize. In 2018 she was awarded a Bruntwood Judge’s Prize for Playwriting. 

In 2017 Sharon worked with Aardman Animations on the BBC virtual reality film Is Anna Okay?. She is a resident at the renowned Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol, an Associate Artist at the egg, Bath, and lecturer in writing for theatre and writing for digital platforms at Bath Spa University. In 2018 she was awarded a Fellowship with the South West Creative Technology Network exploring advancements in immersion and performance, and in 2019 she was made a Royal Shakespeare Company/Magic Leap Digital Fellow.

Maurizio Ortolani

Maurizio leads the Digital Engagement team at Canada’s National Arts Centre (NAC) in Ottawa. Their work includes the NAC website, livestreaming, podcasts, recordings, as well as distance learning, and telematic programming — part of the NAC’s, Hexagon project. 

The Hexagon project allows the NAC to produce high-fidelity, low-latency interactive videoconferences using research networks like CA*net in Canada and Internet2 across the United States and around the world. The Hexagon project now produces over 50 network-based events each year. Projects include telementoring sessions, public masterclasses, auditions, multi-site symposia, and performing arts lectures. The NAC has produced distance-enabled education and outreach events across Canada, the US, Mexico, Israel, Europe, and China.

The NAC recently completed its architectural rejuvenation project as well as a production facility renewal project. These two important projects made possible an advanced connectivity retrofit. The centrepiece of the infrastructure upgrade is the third iteration of the Hexagon studio, a cutting-edge multimedia studio and control centre connected to all of the NAC’s stages, rehearsal halls, public spaces … and to the world.

The NAC produces six very popular performing arts podcast series, among them the NACOcast and Explore the Symphony. In September 2019, the Digital Engagement team launched a weekly livestream for the popular music series, Fridays at the 4th Stage, as well as a pilot project to stream NAC English Theatre performances to a select number of Canadian university theatre departments entitled, Thursday Night LIVEstream.