Category Archives: economy

Rebuilding Better – Vision for the Performing Arts 2022

I’ve been speaking at two in-person conferences recently (Contact East 2021 in Moncton and Pacific Contact 2022 in Coquitlam) on the hot button topic of Rebuilding Better. I have been proposing this Radical Intent (aka vision) for the Performing Arts as the sector tries to emerge from the worst of the COVID restrictions. The presentation has been called inspiring and has been generating much hallway conversation. So here it is.

My Radical Intent for the Performing Arts to Truly Rebuild Better.

1. Stop doing more with less. Breathe. Go for a walk in the woods, on the beach, in the mountains. Educate your funders to help them see how your effectiveness as an arts worker matters more than pushing out sheer volume.

2. Do less with more! Good pay, reasonable hours, improve mental health, improve working conditions. Take care of each other, be there: we are in this together.

3. Embrace digital connection. It is real and it is rapidly growing, if you like it or not is immaterial!
Go ahead and assess digital opportunities in your context, your community and your organization and build digital business lines if it makes sense.
Think about what it looks like to meaningfully disseminate or present live arts digitally. Learn about and adopt industry backbone application (The Pitch, I want to showcase, block booking, PPN, Side door)

4. Be the change you want to see. #MeToo#blm#truthandreconciliation 

Act, don’t leave it at paying lip service; when its just words and intentions without action, folks see right through it – always.

5. Engage the public through the arts, not merely in the arts.
Climate change, housing availability, precarious employment, living wages/guaranteed income, fear-based politics / elections, dis- and mis-information, online bully pulpits – so many topics that could be made better for the majority of people as well as systemically marginalized people through creative and artistic interventions

6. Make a big difference in your community. What are the conversations that need to be had locally? Hot button issues? Get involved and convene people in conversations, curate shows to reflect on the issues, host solution summits.

Yukon Entrepreneur Podcast – Interview with Inga Petri – 2022

Thanks to host Kari Johnston who interviewed me as part of her Yukon Entrepreneurs Podcast series. Kari has been talking to Yukon business people about how they are deploying, leveraging, changing or transitioning their business models during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the case or Strategic Moves, demand skyrocketed as a result of our reputation for digital expertise and having championed digital adoption in the live arts sector in Canada over a decade. COVID simply unleashed the urgent demand to make sense of the digital world, as well as advancing on key organizational pressures, from equity, diversity and inclusion to elevating strategic planning work to a far more actionable, meaningful level.

Listen in!

Imagine Yukon’s Awesome, Global Digital Presence

On November 20, 2020, 31 Yukoners gathered via Zoom to talk to each other about big ideas from the starting points of:

How can we build a true Yukon digital platform to put our collective foot forward to the vast online population?

Chart showing the evolution of Yukon from a place to a global brand to a future global digital brand

What would Yukoners and Yukon businesses have to build together to achieve such an awesome, global online presence? What kinds of content would we need to have, what kinds of digital technologies would we use to create awesome digital experiences, and what kind of visionary web presence would we create to be a global online force?

Here is the full zoom recording with annotated chapter markers as well as a written summary report:

Several Yukon-led territorial and national projects were featured as part of the exchange of ideas and experiences:

  1. https://yfnarts.ca/ – online store for Yukon Indigenous arts and products (Charlene Alexander, YFNCTA)
  2. https://yukononlinemarket.ca/ – just launched online store for artisans and crafters (Jasmine Roush, Willow Gamberg, Yukon)
  3. https://availablelight.watch/ – launched in October 2019, ALD makes Yukon films and shorts available to Yukoners and the world for viewing and renting (Braden Brickner, Yukon)
  4. https://digitalartsnation.ca/ – national digital literacy and intelligence project (Inga Petri, Yukon)
  5. http://digitalinnovationcouncil.ca/ – conversations, insights from digital practitioners in the arts and culture sector (Inga Petri, Yukon)
  6. https://yukonorganics.ca/ – sharing food orders to get high quality foods into remote locations at good prices (Scott McKenzie, Yukon)
  7. Creative Lab North (Melaina Sheldon & Jayden Soroka, Yukon) – in development
  8. ThePitch.ca: Online Showcase for the Performing Arts (Debbie Peters, Yukon) – in development
  9. Yukon Transportation Museum – developing digital products and services (Janna Swales, Yukon) – in development

Guest speakers also contributed greatly to the conversation by expanding on approaches to digital technologies and opportunities: Tammy Lee, Culture Creates (Montreal), Margaret Lam, Bemused Network (Waterloo, ON)

For more on Inga’s digital vision take a listen to Yukon Entrepreneur Podcast Series recorded as part of Yukon Innovation Week 2020.

Yukon Innovation Week 2020 November

Designing Awesome Online Conferences

As an online conference organizer you have an awesome opportunity to create something far better than what we are accustomed to in the physical world.

The sudden rush to digital due to COVID-19 has made video meetings an anywhere, anytime reality for many in the arts and culture sector, and beyond. From online staff meetings to live performances delivered digitally, one-to-one and one-to-many video conferencing has proven its ability to keep us connected, keep us working together and keep moving forward.

Early in the pandemic response in March 2020 we saw quick pivots toward digital events and conferences. They made clear: event organizers, hosts and speakers – many relative newcomers to these digital spaces – needed to make the leap toward digital engagement, learning and interaction.

The bottom line is: your digital conference or online event has real costs, requires different skills to produce and host well, and you have to figure out how to raise the revenue you need to make it sustainable.

Through Future Perfect, we have been researching and evolving a strong framework for a new breed of digital conferences which are more engaging, more accessible, more affordable, and minimize the digital divide that impedes communities with less access to high-speed internet from participating fully online.

PDF SERIES for download: How to design and deliver awesome digital experiences

  1. Fundamentals of Great Online Conferences: A Practitioner’s Perspective on Design and Technology
  2. Online Conferences Thrive on Attendees’ Participation: From ‘Attendee’ to ‘Participant’ in 7 steps
  3. Accessibility and Inclusion: Creating Better Online Conference Experiences for More People More Often
  4. Financial Considerations of Online Conferences: Cost Drivers and Revenue Streams
  5. Online Conferences: Essential Tips for Speakers Or How to Achieve True Participation and Learning Online

Webpages with this same content

The BC Museums Association and Heritage BC have embarked together on Future Perfect, an initiative funded by the Canada Council for the Arts’ Digital Strategy Fund. Led by Inga Petri, Strategic Moves with invaluable support from Lynn Feasey, Points North Consulting, and Jason Guille, Stream Of Consciousness and Felicity Buckell.

Interview about Digital Innovation in the age of COVID-19

As part of Yukon Innovation Week, Kari Johnston interviewed Inga Petri about her work in arts & culture in the digital world. I discuss my mission to help artists and arts & culture organizations use digital technologies in profound and new ways and build successful digital business models. It’s not about merely building a website, but about leveraging the latest web technologies and ways in which web 3.0 works to secure viable spaces for artistic and cultural expression and experiences.

Part of Yukon Entrepreneur Podcast Series

Yukon Innovation Week 2020

Friday, Nov 20, 2020 from 3 pm to 4:30 on Zoom. Register now.

Imagine: Yukon’s awesome, global digital presence

This session is designed as a bold conversation where current limitations are cast aside and we imagine a world of our own making.

Imagine

People around the world are flocking to the Yukon: for fun, entertainment, cultural experiences, our multi-facetted histories, outdoor experiences, guided tours, culinary extravaganzas, unique Northern products. And they are doing that online right now.

Let’s talk

How can we build a true Yukon digital platform to put our collective foot forward to the vast online population?

What would Yukoners and Yukon businesses have to build together to achieve such an awesome, global online presence? What kinds of content would we need to have? What kinds of digital technologies would we use to create awesome digital experiences? And what kind of visionary web presence would we create to be a global online force?

How do we develop a business model that returns the revenue generated to Yukoners and Yukon businesses, while maintaining the technology backbone of this made-in-Yukon solution?

This conversation is inspired by a readiness to embrace the persistent new digital age that might follow the life-altering effects of COVID-19. It also connects to several other conversations in recent years about creating a digital window or storefront for the Yukon.

Who this is for: YOU!

  • web developers, extended reality media makers, technology builders and innovators and so on
  • tourism businesses, wilderness guides, cultural centres, heritage and museums and so on
  • visual and performing artists, musicians, makers of wearable art and cultural expressions and so on
  • people from all four levels of government, anyone with access to innovation funding

Register in advance for this open conversation here. 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Presented by Strategic Moves as part of Yukon Innovation Week 2020

A perspective on Universal Tax Debt Relief

COVID-19 Government Aid

Canadian governments at all levels responded to COVID-19 by telling people to stay home and shuttering large parts of the economy resulting in massive job losses along with creating massive liabilities for business owners and threatening the survival of businesses ranging from theatres, to restaurants and airlines.

Federal COVID-19 relief as of April 24, 2020 was $145.6 billion according to news media.  In the first month COVID-19 emergency funding was already 3.5 times of Canadians’ old tax debt and it has continued to rise rapidly. As of May 26, 2020 news media reported that the $2,000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit had paid $40 billion dollars to 8 million Canadians. 8 million people represents a staggering 42% of Canada’s workforce, including sole proprietors, and self-employed Canadians.

The Government of Canada also immediately extended tax filing and payment deadlines from April 30 to September 1, 2020, ostensibly to reduce Canadians’ stress and anxiety of being unable to pay their outstanding 2019 taxes due to COVID-19 decimating their financial capacity to pay their regular bills for shelter, food and communications, let alone any outstanding taxes.

Canadians’ Tax Debts

In 2018, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) reported that uncollected taxes had risen to $44 billion and “…unpaid tax owed is set to hit more than $47 billion by 2020. The steady increase in the tax debt — up by about $2 billion annually [since 2015] — comes despite a major investment in the 2016 federal budget to wrestle down fast-rising levels of uncollected tax debt.”

Importantly, “close to half of the unpaid tax debt is owed by individual Canadians. Corporations and businesses account for the remainder, which includes unpaid GST and payroll deductions not turned over to Ottawa.”

Source: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/tax-debt-liberal-budget-collections-1.4715967

To be clear, tax debt includes neither tax revenue lost to the underground economy (the black market) nor tax evasion, for instance through offshore tax havens. Tax debt means tax owed by Canadians who actually have filed their individual and business tax returns, i.e. people who rather than cheating are dealing with capacity to pay issues.

Universal Tax Debt Relief

Universal Tax Debt Relief is an efficient way to give affected Canadians a chance at recovery and rebuilding their lives, or at least some peace-of-mind. Meaningful tax debt amnesty has to extend to 2019 and perhaps include COVID-19 Year 1, ie the current year.

It would give affected Canadians a chance to wind down their businesses responsibly, perhaps even avoid personal and business bankruptcies, and stop having the millstone of CRA debt around their necks, potentially until the end of their lives. An utterly hopeless situation.

Eliminating their CRA debt would give affected Canadians a chance to begin the long but hopeful process of rebuilding their lives, their credit and start with a fresh slate in terms of their relationship with CRA. They could work to avoid poverty becoming a burden to Canada’s social safety system.

Unprecendented? Not really.

CRA has not collected from tax evaders despite having access to the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers, for instance.

CRA has hired more tax collectors since 2015 to deal with the tax debt backlog, and they have assigned a few staff to tax evasion as well. But CRA simply does not have sufficient enforcement capacity and uncollected tax debt keeps growing – and no one seems to track what the other group, tax evaders, are doing overseas to avoid or evade taxes in Canada..

In 2012, the federal government simply wiped out about 280,000 skilled immigrant applications because they were backlogged and doing so gave the government a clean slate rather than have a years-old millstone around its ability to act in the present time.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-s-skilled-immigrants-backlog-to-be-eliminated-soon-1.1290847

But what about fairness?

COVID-19 isn’t fair. Falling into debt because of following ones passion
isn’t fair. Missing a single tax payment and learning the hard way how big a stick the government carries isn’t fair. Life isn’t fair.

My proposals isn’t suggesting anyone should not be paying their taxes – I pay mine and I expect all tax payers to pay theirs. This is simply a
recognition that there are groups of people who have ended up in dire financial situations, while they have been building businesses, communities and making all manner of contributions. With COVID-19 all bets are off. The fall out will include business and individual failures. This is a chance to give back hope for a better day.

COVID-19 relief has been fast and effective at saving the lives of millions of Canadians. It is time to save the lives of those Canadians who have been living under the unyielding choke-hold of tax debt and CRA tax collections.

Some added notes

Tax Debt and CRA’s punitive penalty and compound interest regime

CRA uses a punitive daily compound interest regime coupled with severe penalties for late filing or not being able to pay all taxes by the due date. This is applied in the harshest ways related to payroll taxes. GST debt and income tax is treated with somewhat less punishment in comparison. The penalties and compound interest exceed the average profit margin of many businesses by a wide margin, making catching up exceedingly difficult, if not impossible.

“The penalty for late filing payroll remittances is:

  • 3% if the amount is one to three days late
  • 5% if it is four or five days late
  • 7% if it is six or seven days late
  • 10% if it is more than seven days late, or if no amount is remitted
  • 20% if this is the second or subsequent time you are assessed this penalty in a calendar year, if the failures were made knowingly or under circumstances of gross negligence”

Amongst other penalties there is a “penalty for failure to file information returns over the Internet.” And for some tax remitting organizations, “payments made on the due date but not at a financial institution can be charged a penalty of 3% of the amount due.”

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/businesses/topics/payroll/penalties-interest-other-consequences/payroll-penalties-interest.html

Importantly, any monies owned to CRA including penalties and interest CANNOT be used as a tax write off. Normally, interest on a loan is a tax write off, but interest on CRA debt has to be paid out of after-tax income, making paying old debts dauntingly difficult.

Getting a loan to pay off CRA debt?

Banks will not make loans to people carrying CRA debt. Loan sharks on the other hand charge more than 30% on loans they give – again, most businesses do not achieve such high profit margins. This spiral of despair is a set up for failure.

Does bankruptcy wipe out CRA debt?

Important to understand is that debt to CRA is unlike any other debt – even in bankruptcy CRA debt is not automatically wiped out and can persist to the end of a person’s life. In effect CRA can keep a bankrupt person from ever emerging from bankruptcy. CRA can and does claw back Canada Pension Plan payments, which average around $650 a month, leaving seniors with tax debt in a despairing situation.