Slow Touring Research Document

In 2022, Ontario Presents commissioned three reports on Slow Touring.

We requested that the researchers engage with the artistic community to discover existing challenges and potential, and produce suggestions for revolutionary touring models.

Slow Touring is influenced by the broader Slow Movement, like Slow Food and Slow Tourism. It aims to transform the touring industry by fostering stronger connections between artists and local communities, enabling artists to take more creative risks, enhancing their well-being and financial stability, and minimizing the environmental impact of touring.

Commissioning and other engagement activities have been common in the artistic community, and hosting touring artists with a care-based approach has been embraced by many communities, particularly IBPOC.

The goal of this project is to explore ways to transform the mainstream touring and presenting sector using those approaches.

These areas were:

  • Community Engagement on Tour - Fanny Martin (Art of Festivals)
  • Commissioning & Residencies - Franco Boni
  • Indigenous Approaches to Touring - Brit Johnston

Each of the experts consulted with members of the artistic community, focusing on the experiences of touring and presenting, and prepared a report featuring reflections and recommendations.

Climate and Sustainability

Many artists and arts workers are interested in reducing the climate impact of our sector, but the burden of making changes often falls to under-resourced independent artists, and climate initiatives tend to be simplistic rather than addressing the wider implications of sustainability.

Collaborating with Indigenous Artists

The mainstream presenting sector as a whole still significantly lacks cultural competence when working with Indigenous artists.

Presenters should consider: supporting Indigenous artists in finding connection with the local community; creating safe space and time for cultural protocols like smudging; and ensuring that front-line staff are meaningfully trained in equity, inclusivity and cultural awareness.

Relationships and Collaboration

Working together and sharing resources is a clear way forward for Slow Touring.

Presenters should consider the artists they present as equal collaborators; partner with other community organizations beyond the performing arts to expand opportunities; and connect with one another to generously share ideas and resources.

Download the Reseach Document here