AOC Artist Development Programs
Check out the 2021-2022 RBC Artist Fellowship Showcase
Click the images below to learn about each of our programs:
Information about the 2022-2023 programs will be available in fall 2022
“This assemblage of portfolio artists is an invaluable community through which skills, resources, experiences, and inspirations can be shared. Each meeting brought fresh excitement towards the potential paths of portfolio artistry and life at large. Through my relationships and conversations with my AOC colleagues, I feel like I can proceed with validation and a greater sureness to explore a path that is uniquely my own.” – Alex Chen (Fellow, 2020-21)
“I believe that this fellowship should be considered an essential course for ever early career artist. It helped me expand my professional network, and encouraged me to take risks and take steps towards creating the kinds of projects I want to see in the opera sector” – Participant (Fellow, 2021-2022)
“If I had to choose one word to describe the RBC Artist Fellowship Program, it would be transformational. This program has made me grow in every way: artistically, personally, and professionally.” – Participant (Fellow, 2021-2022)
RBC Artist Fellowship Program
The RBC Artist Fellowship identifies exceptional Canadian early-career artists from all disciplines in opera to participate in a year-long professional skills development and leadership training program. The program is intended for students at any level and freelance artists who are at the onset of their professional careers. Each Fellow receives personalized training through one-on-one mentorship, small group workshops, breakout sessions, individualized life and career coaching, and networking opportunities. Learning topics covered include (but are not limited to) effective consultation and facilitation, mediation, Anti-Oppression and Anti-Racism, grant writing, financial literacy, goal setting, career mapping, project management, time management, innovation, community engagement, arts advocacy, networking, delegation, team management, and more. Please note that all programming is offered in English.
Created by and for early-career artists, this program is designed to give and voice and agency to the next generation of artists.
Click here to meet our 2021-2022 RBC Emerging Artist Fellows.
This program is supported through the RBC Emerging Artist Program
“The AOC Mentoring program is one of the most gratifying and special projects that I have ever been involved with. I highly recommend this program for anyone wishing to meet like-minded artists and building a positive network and support system.” – Jessica Derventzis (Mentor, 2020-21)
“There are some things that you just can’t easily learn as a young artist, things you learn from on-the-job experience, or the reflections your career prompts. I love being able to help the artists coming up behind me to thrive a little more by helping them peer into their futures, and sharing whatever pertinent perspective I may have gained. ” – Rich Coburn (Mentor, 2020-21)
“We can’t help but grow and learn when we come together like this. My mentee and I
connected on a level and in a way I wasn’t expecting. I am incredibly grateful for the
many people I’ve met over these past few months.” – Participant (Mentor, 2021-2022)
RBC Artist Mentorship Program
The Mentorship Program engages mid-career artists from all facets of opera. This diverse group will support the RBC Artist Fellows through one-on-one mentorship focusing on professional skills development, personal growth, fostering community, and sharing ideas. Mentors receive training from the AOC team and experts in career development and coaching and are invited to small group professional development workshops with the Fellows and AOC Artist Members.
Click here to meet our 2021-2022 RBC Mid-Career Artist Mentors.
“For those crucial skills people always use as the example of, “Things I didn’t learn in school but should know how to do”. I’m so glad that AOC understands the needs of current artists who are diversifying their careers to include, more than ever, jobs from other sectors. Learning how to properly present our years of training in one field to be applicable in another crucial!”
“The LINK workshops continue to be a highlight of my month! These sessions create a warm, open, and supportive space, while bringing together artists from across the country with experts in the industry. The information shared is essential for our development! This type of learning must continue as we continue to move through and eventually past the pandemic.”
“The workshops provided by AOC are very effective and important for artists’ learning and growth throughout this confusing, hard time. I appreciate feeling like my voice is heard in terms of what is being offered. AOC continues to create a warm space for exploration and learning with each program they offer. Super grateful!”
LINK Artist Workshop Series
(Leadership – Innovation – Networking – Knowledge)
Our artist workshop series welcomes all AOC Artist Members for free virtual sessions exploring professional development topics, each geared towards helping artists develop portfolio skill-set. Not an Artist Member? Click here to join! During COVID and the sector-wide COVID recovery, The Opera Membership Extension Program will allow you access to the benefits and services of membership regardless of your ability to pay dues. If you are in need of dues assistance, we invite you to apply code “OMEP2020“.
Information on our 2022-2023 workshop series will be available in the fall of 2022. Workshops are offered with support from the RBC Emerging Artist Program.
Workshop 1: Grant Writing for Artists
Join us September 24, 2021 for a session exploring the grants currently available, and touching on the skills required to complete a successful grant request.
Part 1: Early Career Artists
Part 2: Mid-Career and Established Artists
Workshop 2: Standing Out in the Crowd: Applying and Interviewing for Jobs
Join us on October 28th for two sessions exploring how to pursue multi-faceted work opportunities in the opera sector and beyond! These sessions offer simple tips on how you can highlight your talents to meet the needs of employers, prepare a stand-out cover letter and resume, fine-tune your materials to fit a variety of applications, and be ready for any interview environment.
Session 1: October 28th, 3:00-4:30pm EST – Demystifying the Job Application Process with AOC’s Executive Director, Christina Loewen
Session 2: October 28th, 5:00-6:00pm EST – Demystifying the Interview Process (Panelists TBA)
Workshop 3: Safe Networking for Entertainment Careers
November 30, 2021, 1-2:30 pm EST
Virtual Chat on Zoom
ASL interpretation w/ closed captioning
One of the most nebulous, anxiety-inducing aspects of an entertainment career is networking. Many people hate doing it, especially since there is no perfect rulebook to show the way. At its best, it can lead to a growing sense of community and new work opportunities. Conversely, it can also be riddled with uncomfortable moments, blurred boundaries and misunderstandings.
The AFC’s second Lobby Chat will discuss building professional connections while maintaining a sense of safety by identifying personal boundaries and respecting the ones of others. Moderated by mental health professional and Senior Program Worker at The AFC, Christine Rossi-Wright, MSW, RSW (Ont.), this chat will approach the important topic of networking through a mental wellness lens.
CW: Safe Networking for Entertainment Careers may include sensitive subject matter.
Christine Rossi-Wright (Registered Social Worker, Senior Program Worker at The AFC)
- Astrid Baumgardner (career coach, Coordinator of Career Strategies and Lecturer on Careers in Music at the Yale School of Music)
- Adanya Dunn (mezzo-soprano, Founder of Red Light Arts & Culture)
- Pratishtha Kohli (concert curator, arts administrator, Co-Artistic Director of The Tawoos Initiative)
- Hari Krishnan (choreographer, Artistic Director of inDANCE, Chair and Professor of Dance in the Department of Dance at Wesleyan University)
- Kimberly Rampersad (actor, stage director, choreographer, Associate Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival)
This Lobby Chat is hosted by The AFC in partnership with WorkInCulture and the Association for Opera in Canada.
Workshop 4: #OnBrand: Personal Branding, Digital Media, & More
December 14, 2021, 3-5 pm EST
Branding, digital marketing, and social media can feel like a necessary evil for artists, but they can also be one of our most important tools to stay connected. This workshop, facilitated by Leah Johns and Jenna Wolf of Lenny’s Studio will explore topics like how to present yourself online in a professional and authentic way and provide some tips on how to use social media, digital marketing, personal websites, etc. to our advantage through networking and engagement.
Workshop 5: Fundamentals of Anti-Oppression
February 24, 2-4 pm EST
Fundamentals of Anti-oppression dives deeper than your typical diversity and inclusion workshop. In this workshop, participants are given the opportunity to explore systemic oppression, social justice, privilege, identity and allyship through a variety of engaging activities. Through self-reflection, community- based inquiry, lessons from history and collaborative problem solving, participants gain the knowledge and skills to view the world through an anti- oppressive lens.
Facilitated by Kenza Derkaoui of Bakau Consulting
This session is open to all AOC Artist Members and will be recorded for viewing for up to two weeks after the workshop date.
Workshop 6: Creative Money
March 17, 1:30-3:30 pm EST
Chris Enns is a certified financial planner (CFP) and opera singer. He has spent the last 10 years as a performing artist and learned the hard way that ignoring money doesn’t really work. He is the founder of Rags to Reasonable – an advice only financial planning & money coaching firm that specializes in working with creatives and people with other non-traditional financial situations.
- Setting financial goals
- Mapping the cost of your life and figuring out irregular expenses
- How to separate your business and personal life
- How to manage variable income
- The fundamentals of tax: what you need to know as a self-employed person
- What tools can help manage your money
Workshop 7: Connecting With Your Community
April 20, 2022, 1:30-3:30 pm EST
This workshop will discuss practical ways to practice citizen artistry through creating and implementing arts programming which meets the needs of the community you are working with.
We will address the first steps in creating programming, and how we as professional artists can build and sustain trust in spaces that may be new to us. Together, we will consider how performing artists can use their skills in a way that is welcome, appropriate, and useful, so that they may facilitate creative experiences with people from all walks of life.