Artists’ Capacity Building Clinics


Legal advice          Marketing          Grant writing          Publicity          Accounting


While the pandemic continues to isolate artists from their communities, collaborators, and mentors, ELAN recognizes the deepened need for one-on-one support and guidance. As a step towards this, we are excited to announce our first round of Artists’ Capacity Building Clinics, which will provide subsidized, private consultations with experts in the following areas:

  • Legal advice - Fully Booked

    with Maître Patrycja Nowakowska

  • Marketing - Fully booked!

    with Amy Blackmore

  • Grant-writing for Canada Council for the Arts - Fully Booked!

    with Anna Leventhal

    Please note: grant-writing clinics as part of this project are specifically for Canada Council for the Arts applications. ELAN continues to offer free advice for provincial applications; if you are interested in support related to CALQ, SODEC, or or la Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, please contact

  • Publicity - Fully Booked!

    with Barbara Ford

  • Accounting - Fully Booked!

    with Dael Foster

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Clinics will be scheduled between February and March and provide one hour of consultation (in full or divided into two, depending on the specialist. See below for details.)

Priority will be given to ELAN members (membership is pay-what-you-can, and you can sign-up here, and participants will otherwise be selected on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost to attend a clinic is $12.00, payable by interact e-transfer.

How to apply:

To reserve a spot in any of the clinics below, interested applicants must:

Following the completion of these steps, your consultation will be confirmed. Depending on the clinic, you may also be asked to provide support materials in advance – these will help your consultant make the most of your time together. Please consult the “how to prepare” sections below for specific information.

Following your session, we will also circulate a feedback survey. Ultimately, we would love to integrate one-on-one consultation into our regular, ongoing programming – as always, member feedback will lay the groundwork for how we proceed.

Please find clinic dates, topics, and registration links below.


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Legal Support
with Patrycja Nowakowska – Fully Booked

Participants will receive two half-hour consultations with Maître Patrycja Nowakowska. The first will give participants the opportunity to introduce their specific situation and legal concerns. Areas of discussion may include:

  • Contractual agreements
  • Copyright, moral rights, trademark, and licensing
  • Exhibition rights
  • Commercial leases
  • Employment issues
  • Business structure for the art entrepreneur
  • Getting paid what you are owed
  • Travel Visas and immigration law

After learning about your situation and exploring potential options, a second half-hour consultation will be scheduled for follow-up.

Available dates (for first consultations): March 16, 17, 18, 19 (mornings). Second consultation TBD.

How to prepare: Please come prepared with a list of questions and succinct description of your situation. You do not need to send documentation in advance – Maître Patrycja Nowakowska will review your case in between your first and second appointments.

About Patrycja Nowakowska:

Pat Nowakowska is an attorney hailing from the Westmount law firm of Bergman & Associates with academic and professional background in litigation, contract law, and intellectual property.

Prior to pursuing legal studies, Pat graduated with honours from Concordia’s Graduate Diploma Program in Communications with a focus on documentary filmmaking. 

As a law student at McGill University, Pat was an active contributor to student print publications, founded the IP, IT and Policy Club (IPITPol), initiated a course on Cyberlaw, and worked alongside faculty members for the McGill Centre for Intellectual Property and Policy (CIPP).

As a member of both the Quebec and Ontario bars, Pat now acts on behalf of clients at all court levels in both the common law and civil law jurisdictions however her fondest memories of performance still date back to her undergraduate days as a drama nerd for McGill’s Tuesday Night Theatre (TNT) troop.

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Canada Council for the Arts Grant Consultations with Anna Leventhal –
Fully booked!

About the session:

These hour-long grant clinics are open to members applying to any of the following Canada Council for the Arts programs:

  • Explore and Create (Research and Creation + Concept to Realization)
  • Professional Development for Artists
  • Arts Across Canada
  • Arts Abroad

Note: due to the current restrictions on travelling, priority will be given to applicants for Explore and Create and Professional Development for Artists.

Participants will receive private consultation with Anna Leventhal, who will offer support and advice tailored to your stage in the application process. For example, this might include:

  1. Feedback and tips for strengthening an in-progress application
  2. Support understanding budget forms, eligible expenses, and other necessary support material
  3. Help developing an idea into a grant-able project, and identifying the best program to apply to

In addition to answering specific questions, a general tip sheet will be provided to all participants.

Available Dates: February 15 – 17

How to prepare:

Once you’ve confirmed your spot, we ask that you send all supporting material *at least* one week in advance of your session. This can include a draft of an application or simply a project proposal, depending on where you are in the process. Documents can be sent to

About Anna Leventhal:

Anna Leventhal is a Montreal writer, editor, and consultant with over ten years of grant-writing experience. As the former Executive Director of the Association of English-language Publishers of Quebec (AELAQ), she was the organization’s sole grant-writer, managing organizational and project funding from Canada Council for the Arts, The Department of Canadian Heritage, and SODEC. She’s also written, edited, and consulted on grants for individual artists in a wide variety of disciplines, including visual arts, dance, and theatre. She has served on peer assessment committees for the Canada Council, and has provided grant-writing support to disabled artists through the CCA’s Access Support initiative. She looks forward to helping empower ELAN’s members to submit the best grant application they can.

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Marketing with Amy Blackmore – Fully Booked!

About the session:

Sell yourself without selling out. Learn how to craft your messaging in order to propel your career forward in this straight-forward consultation with Amy Blackmore. Sessions may cover important topics ranging from creation of your own personal branding, to online presence, to in-person networking tips and interview skills.

Dates: March 9, 10, 11 (mornings)

How to prepare: Our survey will prompt you to answer a few questions about your marketing background and needs. You do not need to prepare further documentation for this consultation.

About Amy Blackmore:

Amy Blackmore is the Executive and Artistic Director of MainLine Theatre, the St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival and the Bouge d’ici Dance Festival. A META-nominated (Montreal English Theatre Awards) choreographer, Amy studied contemporary dance at Concordia University. Recent credits include co-direction/movement for Gratitude (Hyper-Allergenic Productions), direction for Malunderstood (KS Presents) and direction/choreography for Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show (MainLine Theatre).

Spearheading innovative projects over the years, Amy’s recent collaborations include the visioning of the Fringe World Congress taking place in Montreal in 2016. This event garnered MainLine Theatre a nomination to the prestigious Grand Prix du Conseil des arts de Montreal. This event inspired Amy to then move on to chair the QDF Congress: Shaping the Future of English Theatre in Quebec which took place in February 2018 at the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts.

An eager advocate for the arts, Amy is a former English Language Arts Network (ELAN) board member and is currently the Past-President of the Quebec Drama Federation (QDF). In 2019, Amy was a finalist for the Montreal Junior Chamber of Commerce’s Young Cultural Entrepreneur award and a leadership fellow at the Canadian Arts Summit.

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Publicity with Barbara Ford – Fully Booked!

About the session:

Participants will receive one hour of private consultation with arts publicist Barbara Ford, who will offer advice on topics including:

  • Copywriting for writing effective press releases, newsletters/e-blasts, brochures, advertising copy, etc.
  • Creating a successful publicity campaign
  • Attracting traditional media attention from TV, radio, online & print media
  • Co-ordinating media calls/press conferences & live remote media events

Available Dates:

  • Various times on February 10 (first session)
  • Various times on March 3 (follow up session)

How to prepare:

Once you’ve confirmed your spot, we ask that you send all supporting material *at least* one week in advance of your session. You will receive further instructions upon submitting your application survey, and documents can be sent to

About Barbara Ford:

Barbara has been involved with the performing arts in one way or another for most of her life: on stage as a professional dancer and behind the scenes as a choreographer and instructor. In 1998, she shifted her focus to marketing and communications for the arts. She has had the great privilege of working closely with many local, diverse artists in various capacities and for companies large and small—including but not limited to Centaur Theatre, the Segal Centre, the National Film Board of Canada, CBC Television, ELAN and Just for Laughs—as well as for retail outlets and international theatre and dance companies. Additionally she has given marketing workshops to college students and consulted for local theatre groups and Quebec arts events.

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Accounting with Dael Foster – Fully Booked!

About the session:

Participants will receive two half-hour consultations with arts accountants Dael Foster. The first, on February 10, will give participants the opportunity to meet with Dael, to introduce their specific financial situation and accounting concerns, and to ask any questions. Dael will offer advice and next steps, which can be revisited three weeks later during an optional follow-up on March 3.

Available Dates:

  • Various times on February 10 (first session)
  • Various times on March 3 (follow up session)

How to prepare:

To make the most of your consultation, please come prepared with:

  • A list of questions and a place to record answers
  • Any papers related to your questions (bank statements, T4s and T4as, grant information, etc.)

About Dael Foster:

Dael Foster is a self-employed bookkeeper and accountant with 30+ years of experience in preparing personal income taxes. When not adulting, she can be found singing (badly) and doing costume design for community theatre.