In June 2021, the AFA sought expressions of interest from qualified organizations or individuals for a consultancy contract to analyze, research, report and make recommendations on the implementation of its recently established Pluralism arts policy.
The AFA received six eligible proposals. After a team of staff and board members compartively assessed all proposals, it was determined that Parodos Social Marketing was the successful bid.
Parodos Social Marketing is a company based in Edmonton that focuses on communications and engagement work in equity-deserving spaces. For this project, it assembled a team of specialists that includes:
- consultants with expertise in the public service with a focus on developing and implementing intercultural and equity-based policies
- the Indigenous Relations firm Naheyawin to provide expertise and knowledge of Indigenous spaces and best practices
In addition, four of the six project team members are professional artists. Scroll down for bios of the team members.
About the project
The AFA has contracted the Parodos team to make recommendations on implementing the Pluralism policy throughout its operations. Recommendations for implementation actions will be approved by the AFA board and/or the AFA Research and Engagement Committee.
In their proposal, Parodos committed to the following seven deliverables:
- policy and programs assessment
- best practices assessment
- interim recommendations report
- communications strategy and stakeholder engagement plan
- micro-training workshops
- interim evaluation
- final recommendations report
The project team anticipates its first round of arts stakeholder discussions to take place in early September.
The AFA will provide relevant updates and information on all initiatives related to its Pluralism policy, including updates on this project, on its website.
Marliss Weber is the principal and founding partner of Parodos Social Marketing, a boutique communications firm with a focus on shepherding social change.
She has led change-making communications projects for all levels of government and non-profits, and is especially proud of her work with initiatives like Women’s Initiative Edmonton, EndPovertyEdmonton, Basic Income Alberta, It’s Time Edmonton and many other equity-seeking organizations and communities.
A visual artist, writer, actor and filmmaker in her ‘other life,’ she has won awards internationally for her artistic pursuits. She holds an MA in Communications and Technology from the University of Alberta, and a smattering of other arts degrees.
Randy Brososky is the chief communications strategist with Parodos Social Marketing. Grounded in behavioural economics and Moral Foundations Theory, Randy crafts messages that ‘stick’ and that resonate with audiences across a wide diversity of communities. He, along with his partner, Marliss, have led award-winning, comprehensive communications projects for organizations large and small across Alberta.
A TEDx fellow and frequent guest lecturer, Randy is a consummate storyteller, honed by years of performance, writing and producing for theatre, film and television. In his creative life, he’s the creator of the international award-winning webseries, Necessary Evil, amongst other projects, and he may just be the only communications strategist in Alberta who also breathes fire…
Jacquelyn Cardinal is a sakāwithiniwak (Woodland Cree) entrepreneur and Indigenous technologist from the Sucker Creek Cree First Nation in northern Alberta. As Managing Director at Naheyawin, an agency based in Edmonton, Alberta, Jacquelyn works to integrate and mobilize diverse knowledge systems in order to realize the promise of our treaties.
She has received an Esquao Award for Achievement in Business and a SHEInnovates Award from the UN Women’s Global Innovation Coalition for Change for her ongoing entrepreneurial pursuits and has received the 2019 Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Outstanding New Play given to Lake of the Strangers, her first play co-written with her brother.
Hunter Cardinal is a sakāwithiniwak (Woodland Cree) theatrical artist and Indigenous myth architect from the Sucker Creek Cree First Nation in northern Alberta. As Director of Story at Naheyawin, an agency based in Edmonton, Alberta, Hunter welcomes all people into ancient Indigenous worldviews to reveal old solutions to new problems.
Notable artistic achievements to date including the 2020 Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role in a Comedy for his work as Fink in Titus Bouffonious and the 2019 Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Outstanding New Play given to Lake of the Strangers, his first play co-written with his sister.
Kate Gunn, SISU Communications, works on a diversity of community building projects and social change initiatives focused on building a vibrant and equitable community. Recent projects include a review and analysis of policies and programs impacting the daily experiences of newcomers in Edmonton.
As Director of Community Initiatives, City of Edmonton, for 17 years, Kate and her teams led numerous strategic change initiatives including Edmonton’s Women’s Initiative, EndPovertyEdmonton, the Art of Living Implementation Plan and RECOVER: Edmonton Urban Wellness Strategy. Central to all were policy review, analysis and development, reflecting the pivotal role governments play in convening people around policy and system change.
Lucenia Ortiz currently serves on the Board of the Multicultural Health Brokers (MCHB) Cooperative. Recently retired as a planner with the City of Edmonton, she has led innovative social development initiatives. She completed a PhD in Human Ecology at the University of Alberta with a focus on health equity.
Lucenia has strong connections with Edmonton’s culturally diverse communities with her ability to work with respect and empathy, gently steering people in new directions. Her community work included: Board of the New Canadian Health Centre, co-chair from 2019-2021 of the Alberta Anti-Racism Advisory Council and member of EPSB’s Equity Advisory Committee.
About Pluralism and the AFA
The AFA's Pluralism arts policy is the next step in the foundation's work towards supporting and encouraging the full and equal participation of all citizens in the arts in Alberta.
Through this policy, pluralism is considered as an overarching philosophy that encompasses issues of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility. It articulates the key role of pluralism as a driver of dialogue, sense of belonging, trust, and innovation in Alberta.
The policy is intended to be a cornerstone for all decision making for the AFA, and includes broad descriptions on how to apply a pluralism lens to ongoing management and development of the main areas of AFA business: grants/funding programs, the AFA Art Collection, and research and engagement activities.