Massey Dialogues – The Arts today: a discussion on the impact of pandemic and racism

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Massey Dialogues – The Arts today: a discussion on the impact of pandemic and racism

Tuesday, September 8 at 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT


This event will be taking place online. Click here to tune in to the discussion.


Recent Massey Alumna Julia Kim, a cellist and a doctoral student at UofT Faculty of Music will interview top artists in Toronto to discuss the impact of the pandemic and racism on the arts. She will be joined in conversation by Ali Momen, actor and activist, Gaëtane Verna, Director at The Power Plant, and Olivia Shortt, multi-disciplinary performing artist.

Click here to watch the livestream. The Massey Dialogues are open to the public – we invite everyone to join and take part in what will be a very informative online discussion. Participants are invited to submit questions to the speakers in real time via the youtube channel’s chat function. For information about the Massey Dialogues salon series, click here.



Julia Kim is an active cellist based in Toronto. She is a recipient of the Career Development Grant from Canada Arts Council, which allowed her to pursue her studies with the legendary cellist Janos Starker at Indiana University in Bloomington. A passionate advocate for the arts, she has served as a faculty member at String Academy of Wisconsin and helped to initiate outreach programs in inner city schools of Milwaukee. As an active performer, she has performed in Canada, Finland, Germany, South Korea, and the US. Julia was a Junior Fellow of Massey College for four years and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in music at the University of Toronto where she serves as a steward for her Union’s local.


Ali Momen is an accomplished and award winning actor who has graced many of the largest stages North America; appeared and starred in independent and major films and has appeared in guest star, and recurring roles on many television shows.

A classically trained singer, Ali’s conservatory training was at Sheridan Institute’s Music Theatre Performance program where he graduated with the highest overall achievement in performance, and after many years as a pro, has returned to Sheridan as an acting instructor.

His theatre credits include three seasons at The Shaw Festival, and productions with Mirvish, Canadian Stage, Tarragon Theatre, Citadel Theatre, Theatre Calgary and Why Not Theatre. He originated the role of VIKRAM in Mira Nair’s stage adaptation of her hit film, MONSOON WEDDING.

Currently Ali plays Kevin J and Others in COME FROM AWAY at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto.

On the screen, Ali played the leading role of Nep in Oscar Nominated Director Deepa Mehta’s BEEBA BOYS and his other film and television credits include Kamran Gant on STAR TREK : DISCOVERY (CBS), Recurring rolesin THE LA COMPLEX (CW), and THE STRAIN (FX); guest stars on many shows including HOUDINI & DOYLE (iTV, FOX), INCORPORATED (SYFY), KIM’S CONVENIENCE (CTV), CRACKED (CBC), SATISFACTION (CTV), COMBAT HOSPITAL (ABC), and HOW TO BE INDIE (YTV)

You can catch Ali talk about arts, politics and how they intersect every week with Torquil Campbell on his podcast SOFT REVOLUTION –

Gaëtane Verna has been the Director of The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery since 2012. Previously, she was Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Musée d’art de Joliette (2006–12). From 1998 to 2006, she was the curator of the Foreman Art Gallery at Bishop’s University, Sherbrooke, while also teaching in the Art History department of both Bishop’s University and the Université du Québec à Montréal. Gaëtane Verna holds an International Diploma in Heritage Administration and Conservation from the Institut National du Patrimoine in Paris, France, and received a DEA and a Master’s degree in Art History from the Université Paris I Panthéon-
Sorbonne. Verna has years of experience in arts administration, curating, publishing catalogues, and organizing and presenting exhibitions by emerging, mid-career, and established Canadian and international artists, including: Terry Adkins, John Akomfrah, Vasco Araújo, Fiona Banner, Ydessa Hendeles, Alfredo Jaar, Luis Jacob, Kimsooja, Yam Lau, Oswaldo Maciá, Javier Tellez, Denyse Thomasos, Bill Viola, YOUNG HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES, and Franz Erhard Walther, to name just a few. She is the President of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Arts Council. In 2017, she was appointed Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) by the Cultural Service of the Embassy of France in Canada to spotlight and recognize her significant contribution to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world.


Olivia Shortt is a Tkarón:to-based multidisciplinary performing artist. They are a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, noisemaker, improviser, composer, sound designer, curator, and producer. Many highlights for Olivia include their film debut playing saxophone & acting in Atom Egoyan’s film Guest of Honour which premiered at the Venice Film Festival; their Lincoln Center (NYC) debut with the International Contemporary Ensemble and recording an album two kilometres underground with their duo Stereoscope in the SnoLAB (a Neutrino Lab in Northern Ontario, Canada).



Tuesday, September 8
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT
Event Category:


4 Devonshire Place
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2E1 Canada