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CREATIVES EMPOWERED is the first and only non-profit organization in Alberta for film, tv, media & arts professionals who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour; a collective of artists + creatives empowering each other as an allied community. Founded by Shivani Saini and Atelier Culturati, Shivani also serves as the Executive Director, overseeing and managing the implementation of CE’s Vision, Mission & Values.

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PUSHING THROUGH RACIAL BARRIERS: a powerful and enlightening discussion on the challenges racialized talent face in Alberta’s screen-based industries – from emerging to established – and the solutions we all need to see. We share practical and supportive resources you can access now to create more opportunity and equity. This live, online event was moderated by Creatives Empowered Founder Shivani Saini, and included actor, producer, award-winning entrepreneur and activist Jesse Lipscombe, Emmy nominated Tonya Williams – the Founder and Executive Director of Reelworld, and award-winning Nigerian-Canadian filmmaker Omatta Udalor.

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WHY HIRE BIPOC? In this unprecedented time Alberta’s film + television industry has an incredible opportunity to start making its productions more inclusive and diverse, by creating real opportunities for media professionals who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. Industry pros provide insight to understand why you should hire BIPOC and invaluable advice on how to approach it. This live, online event was moderated by Shivani Saini (Blackstone), and panelists included Georgina Lightning (Trickster), Trevor Solway (Intertribal), Michelle Wong (Heartland) and Gillian Müller from BIPOC TV & FILM, creators of the newly released database HireBIPOC.com.

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AMAAS, The Alberta Media Arts Alliance Society is a Provincial Service Organization that celebrates, educates, and advocates for the media arts sector. AMAAS has been serving the media arts community and raising awareness amongst the public for almost 30 years. AMAAS represents and is composed of independent media artists, artist-run organizations and supporters of the media arts – and believes that media art is foundational to Alberta’s identity, culture, and society. In 2020 AMAAS engaged Atelier Culturati to refine and update its current Strategic Plan. Due to COVID-19, this in-person strategic planning session was successfully moved online with AMAAS’ board and staff, and facilitated to produce an actionable update.

Choreographer Nova Bhattacharya’s SVĀHĀ is inspired by women and the act of gathering. It’s inspired by ceremonies of life and love, birth and death, and the way women come together to create community. A vibration of faith, a sharing of joy, and ultimately a danced offering to this land. Created in collaboration with percussionist and composer Ed Hanley, Svāhā features 12 virtuoso dancers joined by the vital Body-Choir, an intergenerational ensemble of performers invited from our own Canadian communities. A feminist approach to reinventing tradition; Svāhā is a contemporary ritual for our times. Currently in development, Svāhā’s world premiere will take place at Meridian Hall in Toronto (TBA). Atelier Culturati was engaged from March to May in 2020 to provide Creative Writing services, and will provide Publicity & Marketing services for its Toronto world premiere.
• Photo: Dahlia Katz

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A COMMUNITY TELLING OF PAWÂKAN MACBETH – A Cree Takeover by Indigenous playwright Reneltta Arluk, is inspired by the youth and Elders of Frog Lake First Nation, following protocol. Set in Cree territory in 1870s Alberta before the numbered Treaties were signed, when Plains Cree were allied with Stoney Nakoda, and at war with Blackfoot over territory, food, supplies and trade. As the Canadian government made its way west, harsh environments brought immense fear, starvation, and uncertainty together to awaken the darkest of Cree spirits – an evil being with an insatiable greed. This play embarked on a 2020 tour of Treaty 6 territory, bringing professional theatre into Indigenous communities – for the first time. Atelier Culturati was engaged to provide Publicity, Marketing & Social Media services for this unprecedented tour (pre-COVID-19), and for its May 1, 2020 live online staged reading as part of the National Arts Centre’s #CanadaPerforms. Atelier Culturati also sold-out its Edmonton Presentation in November 2017.
• Photo: Donald Lee, The Banff Centre

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REELWORLD is the first groundbreaking initiative in Canada dedicated to creating more opportunities for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) Canadian filmmakers, content creators and all talent, in front of and behind the screen. Founded by Tonya Williams in 2000, Reelworld empowers people through the Reelworld Film Festival and the Reelworld Screen Institute. Atelier Culturati is currently consulting with Reelworld to provide organizational capacity building in the areas of branding, messaging, proposal, sponsorship and revenue development.

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In her new play, THREE LADIES, dramatist and award-winning poet Lady Vanessa Cardona uses monologue, ceremony, poetry, hip-hop and traditional Colombian dance to tell the story of how her life’s most traumatic events – sexual violence and civil war – impacted her sense of identity. More than simply a story of struggle, Three Ladies uses diverse modes of story-telling in combination with unflinching, gritty, vulnerable performance to explore – and ultimately celebrate – her healing journey, and the possibilities of healing that exist in all human beings. Presented by Remix the Ritual, Three Ladies opened the Fringe Theatre’s ‘The Off Season’. Atelier Culturati provided publicity, marketing and social media services, selling out its four performances in November 2019.
• Image Design: KazMega

YYC POP: PORTAITS OF PEOPLE is an open call out to the community, the entire city and the world, from Calgary’s Poet Laureate (2018 – 2020), Sheri-D Wilson. This Legacy Project invites all Calgarians – whether writers or not – to create a portrait in the form of a poem, prose poem or snapshot / flash fiction – of someone they know who lives and works in Calgary. YYC POP explores: Who are we? What is our identity as a city? Who are the people that live here? And what are their stories? Submissions will be curated by a jury of professional writers, and selected portraits will be published in a hard-copy anthology being released in 2020. Atelier Culturati provided publicity, marketing and social media services for its November 2019 campaign.
• Image: Peter Moller

A NIGHT OF SEDUCTION featured legendary New York City Jazz Poet Quincy Troupe, YYC’s Poet Laureate Sheri-D Wilson and Calgary’s fabulous Redline Trio. Presented by JazzYYC and Calgary Spoken Word Society, this special festival performance was filled with beauty, wit, joy, word and music riffs, all with a full-on seduction in jazz. Atelier Culturati provided publicity, marketing and social media services for its two November 2019 performances.
• Image: JazzYYC

NO CHANGE IN THE WEATHER – A NEWFOUNDLAND MUSICAL explores and celebrates the culture, music, history and people of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), taking some of its finest songs, and combining them with traditional sounds and instruments, memorable characters – and a conclusion that turns the province’s past on its head – all working together to create a once in a lifetime theatre experience. Executive Producer is Winnipeg philanthropist Walter Schroeder, Producer is Bob Hallett (founding member of NL’s beloved band Great Big Sea), and Managing Producer is the incredible Ann Connors. Atelier Culturati provided publicity services for its 2019 western Canada tour through Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton.
• Photo: Ritche Perez

AZIMUTH THEATRE is a well-respected independent theatre company established in Edmonton in 1987. A producer and presenter of original performance, an avid supporter of local independent creators and an engaged community member. Azimuth Theatre believes in social change and in the vital role that professional theatre has in contributing to that change. In 2018 and 2019, Atelier Culturati was engaged as a consultant to help create the theatre company’s first official Strategic Plan.

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CHINOOK SERIES is a collaboratively curated performance experience, bringing artists and communities together to share and celebrate through live art, with amazing performances, engaging workshops and thought-provoking salons – all in one place. Featuring contemporary theatre, dance and performance art from local, national and international artists. Inclusive, integrated, and accessible – Chinook Series is committed to practicing social change through the intersections of live art. Chinook Series 2019 was collaboratively curated by Azimuth Theatre, Fringe Theatre and Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre in partnership with SOUND OFF (Canada’s only Deaf Theatre Festival), Black Arts Matter and Sinergia. Atelier Culturati provided publicity, marketing and social media services in 2019, and helped to produce its 2020 event.
• Photo: Remi Theriault

The new Royal Alberta Museum features groundbreaking ABORIGINAL MEDIA; a commission that saw Indigenous Peoples native to this land sharing their own stories – and authentically from their worldviews. 30 Audio and Video Media Elements were created, including a spectacular 360 Video Projection, for the museum’s new Human History wing; illuminating the cultures and histories of the Blackfoot, Cree, Denesųłįné, Dene Tha’, Métis, Nakota and Stoney Nakoda. These important and powerful Indigenous narratives are underrepresented in mainstream society and this province’s existing history. As the Senior Producer, Project Manager & Post-Production Supervisor, Shivani oversaw all aspects of the project through development, pre-production, production, post-production and final installation. #newRAM
• Image: The Royal Alberta Museum

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HUFF is the wrenching, yet darkly comic tale of Indigenous brothers, caught in a torrent of solvent abuse and struggling to cope with the death of their mother. Their fantastic dream world bleeds into haunting reality, as they’re preyed on by the Trickster through hallways at school, the abandoned motel they love more than home, and their own fragile psyche. With his signature biting humour and raw, vivid imagery, Huff is a daring solo show by award-winning Indigenous playwright Cliff Cardinal, one of the most exciting new voices in Canadian theatre. After touring extensively across Canada and Australia, this breathtaking piece came to the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe as part of CanadaHub, in association with Summerhall. Produced by Cunning Concepts & Creations, Shivani was the on-site Producer for Huff at the festival. Huff was 1 of 6 plays shortlisted for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award. • www.cliffcardinal.com • #hufftour #canadahubfringe #edfringe #IntoTheUnknown
• Image: CanadaHub

POETROLOGY brings poets and creators together to produce unforgettable experiences that include many dimensions of poetry: Sound, Music, Visual Poetic Play & Poetry Hacking. Accessible to everyone – creative or not – Poetrology creates a space for its audience to interact with poetry in unique ways, and leaves them feeling inspired. Produced by Sheri-D Wilson, Calgary’s Poet Laureate (2018 – 2020), and The Calgary Spoken Word Society, “Poetrology are poetic experiences that stimulate the community into their own creativity.” The inaugural, sold-out events took place on June 29 & 30, 2018 in Calgary, Canada. Atelier Culturati raised awareness of Poetrology through marketing, communications, publicity and social media. #yycpoet #Poetrology
• Image: Peter Moller

VITAL BONDS is a fascinating journey inside the evolving science of transplants, where breakthrough discoveries are tackling the organ shortage and transforming the future of medicine. With unprecedented access to surgeries and intensive care units, this one-hour documentary encounters the realities of life, death and the movement of human organs between donor and patient with unflinching authenticity. Produced by Rosvita Dransfeld and directed by Niobe Thompson, Vital Bonds made its world broadcast premiere on November 17, 2016 on CBC Television’s The Nature of Things with David Suzuki. Shivani was the Social Media Producer for Vital Bonds and the award-winning companion feature film Memento mori. She created high quality social media content, and curated a comprehensive social media strategy to promote the launch of both films.
• Photo: ID: Productions

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SCHOOL OF THOUGHT is educational in nature – this incubator featured 8 curated events that brought poets and social activists together to share ideas and exchange perspectives with an audience, on the theme of “Languages Lost & Found”. School of Thought was created and produced by Sheri-D Wilson, an internationally recognized poet, educator, producer and activist, who founded the Calgary Spoken Word Society. This unique gathering showcased an exciting ensemble of spoken word and literary talent, and took place April 19 to 24, 2016 in Calgary, Canada. Atelier Culturati’s role was to raise awareness of this event through marketing, communications, publicity and social media.
• Image: Peter Moller

COASTAL REVIVAL tells the story of how passionate environmentalists and First Nations are using the power of ecotourism to preserve the majestic animals of British Columbia’s west coast. These groups are making a concerted effort to save grizzly and spirit bears from trophy hunters, by purchasing the expensive hunting rights to these territories. This 5 part documentary series launched in May 2016 and was produced by Brandy Y Productions. Shivani lent her expertise as a Researcher, conducting pre-interviews and organizing key logistical information to move the story forward into production.
• Image: Brandy Y Productions

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THE RUBABOO ARTS FESTIVAL is a multidisciplinary, emerging arts festival committed to redressing the erasure of culture and moving us in understanding and inclusion. Rubaboo showcases Aboriginal theatre, music, dance, art, food, family / youth events, artist / cultural workshops, Aboriginal crafts – and is the only festival of its kind in Alberta. Rubaboo is a Métis-Michif word meaning a stew that’s full of life, and food that feeds the spirit; it’s a philosophy about what sustains us. Established in 2009, this annual festival focuses on developing and presenting new artistic works, and invites audiences of all backgrounds to experience these vital and inspiring Indigenous perspectives. From 2016 to 2019, Atelier Culturati has raised the overall profile of Rubaboo in Edmonton, Canada, through significant mainstream & Indigenous media coverage, social media, marketing and consulting. In 2011 Shivani was a Festival Manager and helped to produce all aspects of the festival, managed relationships with Aboriginal artists & stakeholders, and created partnership & sponsorship deals.
• Image: Marc J Chalifoux Photography

MAKING TREATY 7 WORLD PREMIERE 2014 was a groundbreaking live theatrical performance featuring over 20 First Nations and non-Aboriginal performers, musicians, dancers and poets. This presentation explored the historical significance of the events at Blackfoot Crossing in 1877, while investigating the consequences and implications of Treaty 7, today. The performance embodied the notion that “We Are All Treaty People”. Fundamentally, it is relevant to people of all backgrounds and ages, and invites each of us to better understand one another. Making Treaty 7 was founded by the late MICHAEL GREEN (Executive & Creative Producer) and NARCISSE BLOOD (Cultural & Spiritual Advisor). Shivani worked closely with Michael Green on the 2014 World Premiere as its Marketing & Communications Director, and reprised her role in 2015 (selling out both years). Her foundational work infused Making Treaty 7 into the public consciousness of Calgary and Treaty 7 territory, and has helped propel this project into an annual, must-see event.
• Photo: Arnell Tailfeathers

REDx TALKS is Canada’s first international Indigenous speaker series promoting stories of Resilience and Empowerment, while facilitating Discourse (RED) around issues important to Indigenous people worldwide. A platform for traditional knowledge and contemporary culture, REDx Talks is an ever-growing community of some of the most influential Elders, creatives, thinkers and agents of change on Indigenous and conciliation issues. The inaugural REDx Talks took place on October 10, 2015 in Calgary, Canada, and featured Mrs. Universe Ashley Callingbull (2015), renowned Indigenous academic Dr. Leroy Little Bear, and award-winning Indigenous actress Roseanne Supernault. Shivani facilitated this special event as a Consultant in the areas of publicity, outreach and social media.
• Image: Iiniistsi Treaty Arts Society

ELDER IN THE MAKING is an award-winning feature length documentary that invites all residents of North America to explore the tragic and hopeful history of their home. Through the journey of two unlikely travel companions, this film uncovers our responsibility as stewards of the land and of the generations yet to come. Elder in the Making made its world premiere at the Calgary International Film Festival on
September 26, 2015 to a sold-out theatre, and future screenings have followed. Atelier Culturati was engaged to provide an overall marketing & promotions strategy leading up to the film’s launch.
• Image: Hidden Story Productions

PRISMATIC ARTS FESTIVAL is Canada’s only multi-arts festival featuring culturally diverse and Aboriginal artists. Established in 2008, the festival showcases spectacular performances in theatre, dance, music, spoken word, visual arts and media arts. As the Assistant Producer of Industry Events, Shivani facilitated outreach and on-the-ground coordination of a special gathering organized by the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance. These conference and industry activities also focused on introducing Atlantic Canadian Aboriginal and culturally diverse artists to national producers and presenters. Prismatic 2015 took place August 19 to 23 in Halifax, Canada.
• Artwork: Prismatic Arts Society

IN CONTEXT was a captivating live event designed to provide a greater context of Berlin-based artists and their ideas. Known as “poor, but sexy”, Berlin is full of creativity, artists, galleries and exhibits. There is no shortage of art that one can view, and sometimes navigating these creative waters requires a little more background. In Context created an intimate dialogue with specific artists, providing more depth on their personal stories, their creative processes and their work. Set in the style of a live interview, which consciously included the public, this event ultimately fostered a greater understanding of how we experience art and one another. Shivani was the Creator, Producer & Host of In Context, which took place January 2015 at The Ballery in Berlin, Germany – a thriving gallery dedicated to finding new and contemporary forms.
• Photo: The Ballery

FUNKSHÖN was the ultimate Art Show / Party. The purpose of this large-scale live event was to celebrate artists and salute those devoted to creativity. Artists worldwide were invited to submit their works, which included painting, photography, multi-media, sculpture, illustration, film, theatre, poetry and music. This exhibition truly became a unique experience with a tangible energy. Shivani was the Creator, Executive Producer and Curator of Funkshön. She secured partners, generated sponsorship deals and successfully executed a strategic marketing campaign via TV, radio, print, online and grassroots initiatives. She cultivated artist relationships, directed exhibition lay-out and installation, and managed the event. Funkshön took place pre-social media in October 2002 in Edmonton, Canada, and was well-attended with over 450 guests.
• Artwork: Perpetual Notion Design