The Professional Arts Organizations Network for Education (PAONE) is a home for professionals who are committed to meaningful arts education activities within their organizations and the community at large.

As a member-driven service organization, we provide networking and professional development opportunities.  We advocate for the value of arts education and strive to elevate the broader standards in arts education practice.

Contact PAONE at: info@paone.ca

PAONE began in 1992 when eight professional arts education administrators from five organizations met to discuss their work. The challenges of developing and maintaining education programs were many and they wanted to create a foundation of support for each other and a means to share resources.

Twenty-four years later, PAONE represents more than 45 professional arts organizations, with 60 individual members, who all share a commitment to arts education and outreach.

Our current members represent all disciplines – dance, theatre, TYA, orchestras, opera, film and independent artist educators. We host three to four mini-conferences each year that provide networking and professional development opportunities for our members, issue newsletters and create partnerships to advance and advocate for stronger and more sustainable arts education programs.

For those responsible for arts education programs, the challenges reflect the spectrum of focus, intent and commitment to consistent outreach, education and life-long learning within arts organizations. We see this as a major concern for the future health of the arts community and the meaningful experiences of our audiences and participants. We are committed to supporting the growth and development of the sector within the arts community.

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Since 2011, PAONE has hosted a series of professional development workshops that provide support for arts educators and arts education administrators. They feature guest speakers, moderated round-tables. They are held by host member organizations, at a variety of venues in southern Ontario throughout the year. Additional delegates and non-members are welcome to attend for a nominal fee.

  • provide meaningful networking and professional development opportunities.
  • address specific challenges and successes in the field.
  • build support for increased resource sharing and best practices within the field.
  • support emerging arts education administrators.

For recaps of past conferences, click here.

Library of an Interaction Designer (Juhan Sonin) / 20100423.7D.0

Research Club
In 2015, PAONE began its Research Club, co-hosted by Lois Adamson (PAONE Board Member, Member Schools & Education Manager, Young People’s Theatre) and Anne Wessels (PAONE Member, Director of Education, Tarragon Theatre).

The group examined a variety of different education-based research through the lenses of:

  • Rationale
  • Literature Review
  • Methodology
  • Findings and Implications

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Past Events and Accomplishments
T-Dot (Toronto Dance, Opera, Theatre for Youth)
From 2002-2009, PAONE members created the T-Dot program to introduce youth from across Toronto to multiple performances and workshops from all performing arts disciplines. Participating PAONE companies provided performances and workshops including the Ballet Creole, Canadian Opera Company, Canadian Stage, Danceworks, Young People’s Theatre, National Ballet of Canada, Opera Atelier, Soulpepper Theatre, Sprockets and Tarragon Theatre.

TDSB Partnership
In the fall of 2008, PAONE worked with the Toronto District School Board to coordinate a Professional Arts Organizations Trade Fair for a secondary school PA day. Organizations ranging from publishers, theatre and dance companies, media studies opportunities, and service organizations participated in this vital opportunity.

MODD (Music, Opera, Dance, Drama)
In February 2002, PAONE produced and presented a full production of Romeo and Juliet that represented four disciplines – symphonic music (Toronto Symphony), ballet (Ballet Jorgen), opera (Canadian Opera Company) and drama (Stratford Festival). Directed by Richard Rose, the piece had five sold out performances and exposed more than 7000 young people to a multi-disciplinary production of Shakespeare’s classic story.

Arts Leaders Advocacy
In 2006, select PAONE members brought together the leaders of their organizations to discuss how best to approach the Ministers of Education and Culture about arts education funding. This meeting included artistic directors from Canadian Stage, Soulpepper, TSO, COC, the National Ballet of Canada and The Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

Performing Arts Education Overview
PAONE worked in partnership with Creative Trust and Hill Strategies and developed research into the reach, target groups and range of arts education programs being offered by arts organizations in Toronto. Using a survey to all arts organizations and an interview process, the PAEO Report was publicly available in June 2011.

Professional Arts Educators Exchange: Tools for Transformation
PAONE, along with the generous support and guidance of The Stratford Shakespeare Festival, hosted a national conference in June 2011, bringing together arts education administrators and teaching artists from across Canada to share best practices and develop a national voice for the promotion and support of arts education in the professional arts community.