Hemispheric community and local belonging at the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games’ arts festival

Co-convenors: Susan Bennett (Calgary) and Karen Fricker (Brock)

The always-vibrant summer arts scene in Canada was amplified in 2015 by PANAMANIA, a 35-day arts and cultural festival staged as part of the Toronto Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. The festival brought together over 200 free live events with a program of multidisciplinary performances, including 28 commissioned world premieres. We invite proposals for two panels addressing the breadth and diversity of programming at PANAMANIA. We are interested in receiving proposals that address individual performances, whether staged in a theatre or public space, as well as “big picture” discussions of the festival’s presence and reception in the city. Topics and questions that proposals might address include: the relationships between the communities hailed by the programming and how, in reality, these communities participated and/or engaged the event; the festival’s aspirations to reflect the plurality of the Americas and Toronto’s diversities; the place of landmark Canadian/Québécois commissions within the broader Canadian and transnational performing arts landscape; and the integration of questions and realities of ability/disability into the festival. We encourage potential participants to consider the festival and Games from performance studies perspectives and as such, proposals involving consideration of the sporting events themselves, and the impact of the Games and Festival on the lived experience of Toronto and the GTA are welcome. Please send 300-500 word proposals to Susan Bennett (sbennett@ucalgary.ca) and Karen Fricker (kfricker@brocku.ca) by 15th January 2016. As co-convenors, we will share the duties of session chairs and provide short response papers; for this reason, full draft versions of papers will be due no later than 10th May 2016.