5X Festival (a project of Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration Society) is Canada’s largest South Asian Youth Event. Initially focused on their summer Festival which attracts crowds in excess of 15,000, they have expanded to include year-round digital programming including online culture zine 5X Press, numerous digital content series, and their own bespoke Festival Mobile App. Working in close, intensive collaboration since 2019, we have increased their grant streams from 7 to 32, bringing in over $1,062,000 in revenues to date (March 2021), and increasing their seasonal and permanent staff capacity by over 50%.
Sunny Drake’s transformative and inventive works have been translated into 4 languages and presented in 90 venues in over 60 cities across the world. Working in close collaboration primarily as grant writer, but also as producer (CHILD-ISH Summerworks 2019), markets adviser and strategic advisor, Joel and Sunny have achieved a near-perfect record over 3 seasons of grant writing, including Canada Council’s first-ever multi-year composite funding award for theatre production by an individual artist.
The Bulkley Valley Concert Association is the most significant multi-disciplinary arts presenter in the Bulkley Valley, with a catchment of 10,000 people spanning a 450 km stretch of BC’s northern highway 16. After facilitating and advising the BVCA on their 2018 strategic planning and restructure process, Joel has remained a grant adviser and writer for ongoing operational funders (BC Gaming, Heritage) and for a significant group of projects focused on cultural bridging among local Indigenous and Settler communities (BCAC, Canada Council, and Vancouver Foundation).
After advising the Dancers of Damelahamid as they built and maintained tours across BC and across Canada, Joel was contracted to act as a liaison among Indigenous artists and Dance Presenters as part of a multi-year commitment towards cultural learning by members of the CanDance Network. Joel continues to work with the Dancers of Damelahamid on Coastal Dance Festival Industry Series programming, with an international cultural sharing event planned for March 2022.
Joel had already independently researched small-scale opera production and touring throughout England and Germany, and had collaboratively built and nurtured a network for indie opera producers in Western Canada (Indie Opera West). With this background he was contracted by Canada Council to co-ordinate and facilitate a Spring 2020 Canada Focus event at OperaDagen Rotterdam. Meant to feature key Canadian talent and works and to build robust networks for Canadian producing artists, this project was placed on indefinite hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funded by a grant from Global Affairs Canada, the Association for Opera in Canada contracted Joel in 2019 to research and develop a multi-year International Business Development strategy for Canada’s opera sector. After a significant period of international research, the Strategy was presented and accepted in late 2019. With the COVID-19 pandemic putting all International artistic projects on indefinite hold, Joel has continued his link to the Association, taking the role of General Manager in spring 2021.