December 2019

From the Executive Director


This is the time of year when many people delight friends and relatives with the family activities of the past year:

“Little Frankie came 17th in the spelling bee this year. The other 16 children in his class applauded when he was awarded the Participation Medal. Little Darlene joined atom hockey and almost scored a goal, except that she fell down as she was skating towards the open net.”

We hope you will find our year-end CSARN Newsletter every bit as engaging…and possibly even more so.


Scott Walker, Executive Director

CSARN Welcomes New Chair


CSARN is delighted to announce the appointment of the Honourable Marie-P. Charette-Poulin as Chair of the Board of CSARN. Ms. Poulin is a former Canadian Senator, former Founding CEO of the tribunal for the self-employed in the cultural industry, former Deputy Secretary in the Privy Council Office of Canada, and a former CBC/Radio-Canada Executive. While sitting in the Senate, she also obtained a law degree.

Ms. Poulin takes over from Elise Orenstein, who is stepping down after six years as Chair. CSARN is very pleased that Ms. Orenstein will continue to lend her expertise to the CSARN board as Past Chair.

Fourth Annual Conference an "Inspiring" Success

On October 16th, close to 200 senior – and junior – artists gathered in Toronto for a day of discussion and discovery at Maintaining Creativity 4: Inspiration. Our annual conference began with a viewing of Night Shoot, a short film written by CSARN’s Honorary Board Member, Gordon Pinsent. It stars Gordon and Sheila McCarthy, and was produced and directed by CSARN Mentor Penny Eizenga.
The viewing was followed by a Keynote Conversation between Sheila and CSARN Executive Director Scott Walker. The day also featured panel discussions on inspiration featuring a cross-section of generations. 
Videos of Sheila’s Keynote, along with comments about the conference themes by our panelists, are now available on the conference page and our video section.
Sheila McCarthy & Scott Walker

The final event of the day was the presentation of the first CSARN Visionary Artist Lifetime Award, given to Patty Gail Peaker for her tireless work in the founding of PAL [Performing Arts Lodges] and its Supporting Cast program. The award was made possible through the Distinguished Mature Artist’s Fund at Toronto Foundation. This award will become an annual event.

Patty is pictured here with her award surrounded by [from left to right]: Julia Howell of the Toronto Foundation, award donor Joan VanDuzer, CSARN Executive Director Scott Walker, and CSARN Chair the Hon. Marie-P. Charette-Poulin.

CSARN Westward Ho

With support from the Canada Council for the Arts, CSARN began a national expansion in December of 2018 with a visit to British Columbia to introduce our services. We continued with a tour of the three prairie provinces in September 2019. CSARN Executive Director Scott Walker visited Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg to talk about CSARN’s programs. We followed that with a series of seminars on Social Media in November.

Another round of seminars on Intellectual Property and Copyright is planned for January 2020.

CSARN Mentorship Program Hits a Century

CSARN is proud to announce that we have just signed our 100th mentorship between a pair of writers in south-central Ontario. 
In the past year, CSARN has facilitated mentorships from Montreal to Victoria, including one inter-provincial mentorship between Winnipeg filmmaker and mentor Guy Maddin and Monteal mentee and Cayle Chernin Award-winner Sonia Gemitti.
Our Mentorship Program began in 2014, supported by the generosity of our founding donor, Janis Neilson, who provided funding for our first three years; and more recently by Joan and Jerry Lozinski, who made the next three years possible. We also owe a deep debt of gratitude to founding directors Joysanne Sidimus and Deborah Windsor.

You can find out more about the program on our website here.

Speaking of our website…

CSARN Website Sports a New Look

If you haven’t dropped by our website recently, we encourage you to do so. It has a completely new look. The site plays on one of the new buzzword in business, ‘disruptive.’ Just as Amazon, Facebook, Uber and Air B’n’B are considered disruptive to the standard business model today, so the artists in our Community were disrupting the notion of culture 40, 50 and 60 years ago. And we’re still doing it. Thus, Disruptive…Yesterday and Today.

Our eternal thanks for the design go out to CSARN Community member Christopher Laspa of 999 Art Direction and to feature photographer and Community member Gregory Edwards. Thanks also to our four artist models [clockwise from top left]: Lily Eng, Patrick Young, Nina Keogh and Bruce Eves.

website panels

You’re only as young as the last time you changed your mind

Timothy Leary

CSARN is a registered Canadian charity devoted to telling the world — or, at least, Canada — that artists get better as they age, continuing to work and create art to make this a better country for all of us; and to helping artists maintain their creativity.


Our charitable registration number is 80588-6603-RR0001. We gratefully accept donations on our secure website here; or by cheque at our address below