Idea Exchange

Idea Exchange

Ottawa City Hall 110 Laurier Avenue West Ottawa, ON
Ticket price: 75.00
Register Now

Documents from the Idea Exchange here!
Photos from the Idea Exchange here!

The Creative Capital Exchange has wrapped up Phase 1, and is now planning for the Idea Exchange, a full day packed with inspirational speakers designed to revitalize our arts and heritage community.

On Friday, June 12 the Idea Exchange will take over City Hall and engage participants to learn, think, and interact.

A French Idea Exchange session will be held in September, 2015.

At a glance:

8:00 a.m. Registration


8:30 a.m.


Opening Keynote – Jeff Melanson, President and CEO, Toronto Symphony Orchestra (former President, the Banff Centre)


10:00 - 10:45a.m.


Breakout Sessions:

  1. Focus on maximizing your current relationships and fostering new audience, donors, and partners with Brian Thompson 
    - In the competitive landscape of the nonprofit industry, the most important factor contributing to success lies in the ability to maintain engagement with current members and donors while continuing to build affinity with new constituents and audiences. 
  2. Grant Writing Tips and Tricks with Sean Devine 
    - A recent Canada Council grant jury was told that of the hundreds of applications that were submitted, only 12% of grants would be successful. How do you compete against those challenging odds?


11:00 - 11:45a.m.


Breakout Sessions:

  1. Ian Capstick navigates the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Communications
    - This interactive session will guide you through the communications landscape of Ottawa, and help your organization find its best fit.
  2. Dr. Orlaith McCaul conducts a session on building successful governance
    - Participants will evaluate the state of their current board, and assess the board’s future role. A plan of action will be created with the tools needed to implement these next steps.


12:00 p.m.


Lunch by Spread Delivers
Update on Ottawa's Renewed Action Plan for Arts, Heritage and Culture with Catherine Shepertycki and Dr. Lilly Koltun


1:30 - 2:15 p.m.


Breakout sessions:

  1. Dialogue on organizational change management with Julie Westeinde and Alexandra Badzak 
    - Learn how an Artist's Way can be applied to Boards, Business, and other organizations to leverage the dynamic of change to energize creativity and more personal and organizational effectiveness.
  2. Josh Greenhut discusses branding yourself and your organization
    - To attract new patrons or donors, you need to stand out from the crowd. But how can you compete against powerhouse institutions – not to mention everything else competing for people’s attention?


2:30 - 3:30 p.m.


Panel on Philanthropy with Barbara McInnes, Shannon Gorman, and Jenny Mitchell 
- Giving is changing, and expectations are growing. What do you need to know as you go out to make “the ask”?


3:30 p.m.


Closing Conversation


4:00 p.m.


Wine and Cheese Reception


Updates to the speakers’ list and session details will be made on a regular basis, so visit our site for new developments.

Subsidies may be available to those with financial constraints. Please contact Sharon Diamond at for more information.

By registering you agree to share your name, organization, and email with other participants of the Idea Exchange.

Confirmed Speakers:

Alexandra Badzak, Director and CEO, Ottawa Art Gallery

Ian Capstick, Managing Partner, MediaStyle

Sean Devine, Co-Artistic Director of Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

Josh Greenhut, Brand Strategy Consultant

Shannon Gorman, National Director, Community Affairs at TELUS

Dr. Lilly Koltun, Artist, Consultant, and Chair Culture Plan Renewal Steering Committee for the City of Ottawa

Dr. Orlaith McCaul, Executive Director, Ryan's Well Foundation; Visiting Professor, Carleton University (Special topics on Public Affairs and Policy Management. NGO Management. Non Profit Leadership and Governance)

Barbara McInnes, Former President and CEO, Community Foundation of Ottawa

Jeff Melanson, President and CEO, Toronto Symphony Orchestra (former President, Banff Centre)

Jenny Mitchell, President, Chavendar

Heather Moore, Producer and Executive Director of Ontario Scene (NAC)

Catherine Shepertycki, Coordinator, Cultural Development and Initiatives, City of Ottawa

Brian Thompson, Senior Consultant, KCI Ketchum Canada

Julie Westeinde, Founder, Breakthrough Learning Associates


Venue support for the Idea Exchange provided by:
 City of Ottawa Logo              

Exclusive travel provider for the Idea Exchange:

Lunch provided by:


Funding provided by the Government of Ontario, the Community Foundation of Ottawa and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

Funding provided by the Government of Ontario, the Community                Foundation of Ottawa and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

Speakers Biographies:

Alexandra Badzak

Alexandra Badzak [B.F.A.-Honors, M.Ed] is the Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Ottawa Art Gallery where she has been leading the charge on a major gallery expansion project in the downtown core.She is currently a member of CAMDO (the Canadian Art Museum Directors’ Organization) and was one of the 13 member Arts and Heritage Steering Committee charged with renewing the City of Ottawa’s 20/20 cultural plan. Alexandra is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa and a member of the board of Director of the Downtown Rideau BIA.

 Ian Capstick

With over a decade of professional political and communications experience, Ian Capstick is MediaStyle’s strategic engine. He manages the creative and strategic side of your project from overseeing communications audits, strategic approaches, to communications and marketing plans and branding.

He has worked for Cabinet ministers and opposition members in the House of Commons, including some of Canada’s most colourful and influential political minds from both the New Democrats and Liberals. Ian is passionate about creating social change through communications. An experienced media coach, political tactician and engaging speaker, he is quoted widely in Canada’s media. He is a regular on CBC News Channel’s Power & Politics with Evan Solomon and is a go-to source for comment on the changing world of communications.

Ian has testified at Canadian Radio Television Commission (CRTC) hearings and been an invited guest to the Rideau Roundtable. He has served as a judge in many communications and video contests. Ian sits on the boards of director’s for Forum for Young Canadians, is an active advisor to and chairs Ottawa’s LGBTQ Village committee. His opinion work has been published in the Ottawa Citizen, The Globe and Mail and PostMedia newspapers across Canada. He has been featured on CTV National News, CBC’s The National and was on Global’s national election coverage team in 2011.

Sean Devine

Sean Devine is a playwright, director, producer, and co-artistic director of Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, a theatre company based out of Vancouver and Ottawa. He’s also been a festival producer for two prominent South Asian Festivals in Vancouver for several years, and worked in various management capacities for several other Vancouver organizations. He’s also written grants for all of these organizations and many more. Sean estimates that he’s written over 160 grants and landed over 100 of them, with a success rate of 63%. These grants have raised over $900,000 in grants for the non-profit cultural sector, as well as another $100,000 in corporate sponsorships. 

Shannon Gorman

A Canadian leader in corporate philanthropy, Shannon Gorman is National Director of Community Affairs for TELUS, responsible for delivering the company’s innovative community investment strategy. Shannon manages an annual budget in excess of $30 million and leads a national team of 14 senior Community Investment personnel and is responsible for 11 Canadian and three International Community Boards, which engage community leaders and TELUS team members in allocating funding to meet local needs. Prior to joining TELUS, Shannon was a senior executive with the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation for more than 13 years, where she played a key role in raising more than $30 million to increase cancer survivorship in Ottawa.

More recently, Shannon was instrumental in TELUS being the first Canadian company to be recognized, in 2010, by the Association of Fundraising Professionals as the most philanthropic corporation in the world. Shannon holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), and holds certificates in Corporate Social Responsibility from both Harvard Business School and Boston College. 

Currently she serves as a director on boards of local and national charities including; the Ottawa Humane Society and Women in Communications & Technology.  Shannon also enjoys volunteering her time at the Ottawa Mission and Youville Centre where she recently developed a mentorship program.

Josh Greenhut

Josh Greenhut ( is a brand and content strategist who helps organizations with limited marketing resources find a larger audience by more clearly projecting who they are, what they stand for, and why they matter. He’s worked with a range of for profit and nonprofit clients, including the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, the Sunnybrook Foundation, and Social Capital Partners. A former IBM speechwriter with a Columbia University MBA, Josh hones his ability to distill complexity by writing children’s books. To date, he’s published more than fifteen, including those in Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures (HarperCollins Children’s Books).

Dr. Lilly Koltun

Born in Toronto, Lilly Koltun, PhD, is an interdisciplinary artist with a practice in both time-based and object-based works, ranging over and mixing video, performance, sound, sculpture and installation, and two-dimensional works. Following a noted career as a curator and cultural executive, including chairmanship of the City of Ottawa’s recent Arts and Heritage Renewal Plan Committee, she completed a BFA summa cum laude at the University of Ottawa in 2014. She was awarded the SAW Video Award and the faculty plaque for highest standing. She has exhibited in Gallery 115 in Ottawa, as well as in group shows on the University of Ottawa campus and during Nuit Blanche Ottawa Gatineau 2012 and 2013. She has recently completed sculptural commissions and a video screening at a Queen’s University symposium, and will exhibit a solo show of video and painted works at Studio 66 in Ottawa in August 2015. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Ottawa Art Gallery, as well as remaining an Adjunct Research Professor in Art History at Carleton University. Her work has generated media attention on the Internet and in the local press.

Dr. Orlaith McCaul

Orlaith McCaul is an experienced senior level international development specialist and has worked in international development for over twenty years.  She holds an MSc and PhD in International Development. She has spent most of her professional life living and working in Africa. Her career in the nonprofit sector began during the genocide in Rwanda where she managed refugee programs in Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania. Since that time she has worked with many nonprofit, nongovernmental, bilateral and multilateral organizations across many parts of the world. Much of her work has focused on nonprofit management and governance which she teaches at carleton University. Orlaith has recently left East Africa and since doing so has  served as Vice President, Development of WaterCan and is now Executive Director at Ryan’s Well Foundation.

Barbara McInnes

Barbara McInnes was with the Community Foundation since its inception in 1987, overseeing its growth to what is now one of the largest and most highly regarded of Canada's 190+ community foundations. Barbara was awarded the Order of Canada in 2008 for her contributions as a leader and catalyst for the development of community-based philanthropy in her city, across Canada and around the world. Active in her community, she has been a Governor of Carleton University, President of the Ottawa Estate Planning Council and of the Ottawa School of Art, board member of United Way and numerous other professional associations and voluntary sector boards. Having received many honours and awards for her work, she is now enjoying the next very active phase of her life.

Jeff Melanson

Jeff Melanson is the current President & CEO of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Before joining the TSO, he was appointed President of The Banff Centre in 2012, where he led the creation and launch of the Peter Lougheed Leadership Institute. He holds a bachelor of music from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, where he studied opera, Russian art song, and choral conducting.  Melanson also pursued vocal studies at the Oberlin Conservatory. He holds an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo.

Since the late ‘90s, Melanson has held leadership roles at Canadian arts institutions. He served as Dean of the Community School at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto from 2001-2006, when he was appointed executive director and co-chief executive officer of Canada’s National Ballet School. In his time there, he was instrumental in eliminating a significant annual operating deficit, increasing annual revenues by over 50 per cent, overseeing the completion of the school’s residence renovations, and creating new strategic partnerships with many non-profit and for-profit arts and entertainment corporations.

Melanson is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and a trustee with the National Guild for Community Arts Education (US). He is a frequent guest lecturer on arts management to arts students and MBA classes from universities across North America and around the world, and was the first arts leader to be appointed one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40™ for 2009. In 2010, Melanson was named Wilfrid Laurier University’s MBA Alumnus of the Year. In November 2010, Melanson was appointed special advisor on arts and culture to the mayor of Toronto.

Jenny Mitchell

Jenny Mitchell empowers and educates fundraisers to raise more money for their organizations. Trained as a classical musician, Jenny Mitchell brings her creative approach to the world of not-for-profits. In fact, Jenny discovered her love of fundraising by raising money for new pianos for her Conservatory’s concert hall!

A sought-after speaker and facilitator, Jenny has recently presented for the Council of Heritage Organizations in Ottawa (CHOO), the Women’s Business Network, Ottawa’s Unitarian House and the Diefenbunker Museum. Jenny is passionate about bringing her knowledge of “Fundraising Fundamentals” to organizations all across North America through online fundraising training sessions – Fundraising Masterminds. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario with her two ringette-playing daughters, and her hockey-loving husband.

Heather Moore

Heather joined the NAC in 1994 and has held a series of positions of increasing responsibility, most recently as Producer and Executive Director for the Ontario Scene, one of the NAC’s most important national artistic projects. Heather holds a B.A. in Music (University of Toronto) and a Master’s in Arts (Carleton) where she her thesis examined the impact of corporate sponsorship on Canadian orchestras. 

After working at the Canadian Film Institute, the Montreal Symphony, and the Ottawa Arts Centre Foundation, she joined the NAC as a Marketing specialist for the NAC Orchestra, eventually becoming the NAC’s Director of Marketing. In 2004, she was named Producer and Executive Director of Alberta Scene (2005), and subsequently Quebec Scene (2007), BC Scene (2009), Prairie Scene (2011), Northern Scene (2013) and Ontario Scene (2015).  She will continue her role with the NAC’s Canada Scene in 2017.

As Producer for the Scene festivals, Heather has worked with hundreds of artistic partners, both in the National Capital Region and across the country, to create one of Canada’s most important multi-disciplinary arts festivals, with a reputation for making a major impact on the careers of Canada’s most talented established and emerging artists.

Catherine Shepertycki

Catherine (Kateryna) Shepertycki holds degrees in music (piano / ethnomusicology) and communication (human creativity) from the University of Ottawa with additional study in Arts Administration and Slavic Studies.   Her dance background includes professional classical, character and contemporary dance training at various dance schools in Ottawa, at the Saskatchewan School for the Arts and as a full-time student at the Kyiv Institute of Culture, Ukraine.

After working at the Ottawa School of Art for several years, Catherine joined the City of Ottawa’s Culture Division in 1989 and has worked in the areas of public art, cultural funding, arts development and cultural planning.  She led the transition of the municipal cultural portfolio into the amalgamated City of Ottawa (2001), and has successfully managed the development of various Council-approved plans/strategies including the Ottawa 20/20 Arts Plan (2003), the Arts Investment Strategy (2007) and the Renewed Action Plan for Arts, Heritage and Culture (2012) – all in full partnership with the community.

As the Co-ordinator, Cultural Development and Initiatives at the City of Ottawa, Catherine is currently working on a broad range of cultural initiatives with a diverse team of passionate people.

Brian Thompson

A veteran fundraiser with over ten years leadership experience in the non-profit sector, Brian Thompson joined the KCI team in January 2015 with a solid track record of implementing highly successful long-term strategic plans, major gift initiatives and communications strategies. His experience bringing an analytical perspective to decision-making and managing data and processes has helped him build successful strategies and fundraising capacity throughout his career.  Since his arrival, he has been working with La Nouvelle Scène, UQAM, St-Boniface University, and with the Gairdner Foundation. 

Prior to joining KCI, Mr. Thompson served as Vice President and Chief Development Officer for the Gairdner Foundation. Over the course of his tenure, his role was focused on building a sustainable fundraising platform designed to increase and diversify revenue streams. Focusing on donor engagement, he worked closely with internal and external stakeholders to build the organization’s visibility within the marketplace and to develop highly personalized strategies to intensify relationships with prospective donors and volunteers. Mr. Thompson has also held the position of Executive Director of Development, External Relations at the University of Ottawa and as Campaign Director for the University of Ottawa, where he laid the foundation for the new $400M campaign. He also managed a portfolio of 80 major gift donors, personally securing over $2 million annually from individuals, corporations and foundations.

Julie Westeinde

Julie Westeinde is a learning facilitator and founder of Breakthrough Learning Associates. She ignites personal, transpersonal and systemic shifts in awareness for individual, couple, team, organizational, and community transformation through the development and practice of Conflict Evolution, Healthy Conversations, and Strategy.

Julie has contributed to transformational change projects around the world. As a facilitator she has facilitated hundreds of meetings, working sessions and conferences. As a coach she has assisted leaders in Asia, Europe and Canada to further develop their people leadership skills and lead in rapidly changing business environments. As a consultant and learning facilitator she has worked with executive teams and cross-functional teams in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. Julie is a recipient of Ottawa’s “40 Under 40 Award” in recognition of excellence in business and community involvement.