RBC Presents

The Walrus Talks The Future of the Arts (Toronto 2018)

Toronto 7 p.m. ET, Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Walrus Talks is a national series of events about Canada and its place in the world. Each event offers thoughtful, inspiring thinking from scholars, writers, performers, scientists, artists, and business leaders.

Questions about the Walrus Talks? Read our FAQ here.

General Admission: $25
Students/Seniors: $15

The Telus Centre for Performance & Learning
Koerner Hall
273 Bloor Street W.

A showcase of the writers, performers, musicians, and thinkers that are defining Canada’s artistic future.


  • Lido Pimienta, artist
  • Wanda Nanibush, curator of Indigenous Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario
  • Shary Boyle, contemporary visual artist
  • Adam Paolozza, artistic director, Bad New Days
  • Noor Naga, poet and novelist
  • Menon Dwarka, executive director of Arts Etobicoke
  • Sarah-Tai Black, film programmer and arts writer

Lido Pimienta is a Toronto-based, Colombian-born interdisciplinary musician and artist-curator. She has performed, exhibited, and curated around the world since 2002, exploring the politics of gender, race, motherhood, identity, and the construct of the Canadian landscape in the Latin American diaspora and vernacular. Her 2017 Polaris Prize-winning album La Papessa charts Pimienta’s evolution into an independent woman and artist who refuses to fit into preconceived notions of what a Latina pop artist ought to be.

Wanda Nanibush is an Anishinaabe-kwe curator, image and word warrior, and community organizer. Currently, she is the inaugural curator of Canadian and Indigenous art at the Art Gallery of Ontario. She holds a master in visual studies from the University of Toronto, where she has taught graduate courses. Her curatorial projects include Rita Letendre: Fire & Light (AGO, 2017); Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989 (AGO, 2016); Sovereign Acts II (Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, 2017); The Fifth World (Mendel Art Gallery, 2015); and the award-winning KWE: The work of Rebecca Belmore (Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, 2014).

Shary Boyle is well-known for her subversive, fantastical explorations of the figure. She works across diverse media, including sculpture, drawing, installation, and performance, and is exhibited and collected internationally. Shary is the 2009 recipient of the Gershon Iskowitz Prize at the AGO, and in 2010 won the Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for her outstanding contribution to visual arts in Canada. She represented Canada with her project Music for Silence at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, and her public art commission Cracked Wheat was installed in August 2018 on the front grounds of the Gardiner Museum.

Adam Paolozza is an award-winning theatre creator and artistic director of Bad New Days. Adam develops and produces original work through a collaborative creative process giving primacy to gesture, movement, and image. This work explores the intersection of contemporary performance, music, and traditional “popular” theatrical forms, guided by the belief that the live performance experience has the potential to open up radical new ways of thinking in the public.

Menon Dwarka is a composer, arts administrator, and writer who has worked primarily in New York and Toronto. He is currently the executive director of Arts Etobicoke and is the former artistic and managing director of 918 Bathurst. Prior to his return to Toronto in 2013, Menon spent 18 years in New York City, serving as music program director for the 92nd Street Y, Harlem School of the Arts, and Greenwich House. He was a member of the inaugural cohort of the Banff/Toronto Arts Council Cultural Leaders Lab and is currently a support lead for the Metcalf Foundation’s Creative Strategies Incubator; a member of the Toronto Arts Council’s Board Nominating Committee; part of the City of Toronto’s Economic Development and Culture Thought Leader Panel; on the board of Musicworks magazine; and an editorial consultant for Listen: Life with Music and Culture.

Noor Naga is a writer and poet whose work has been featured in The Common, The Offing, Arc Poetry Magazine, and more. She is the 2017 Bronwen Wallace Award winner, and she currently divides her time between the Middle East and North America.

Sarah-Tai Black is a film programmer and arts writer living and working in Toronto. She is one of the directors at the Royal Cinema, where she also programs a monthly series called Black Gold. Alongside her work at the Royal, she is also the programming coordinator for Images Festival. Her writing has been published by numerous outlets, including the Globe and Mail, Cinema Scope, MUBI Notebook, TIFF’s the Review, and cleo. As a programmer, she has worked as a member of TIFF’s festival programming team, served as a juror on behalf of Inside Out LGBT Film Festival and BlackStar Film Festival, and partnered with several local arts organizations and initiatives including TIFF Cinematheque, Inside Out, and Regent Park Film Festival. She is committed to intersectional feminist practices within the arts, and her work focuses heavily on the representation and experiences of black, queer, and body-positive communities.