MANO/RAMO was founded in 2008 as an arms-length provincial counterpart to the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA). In order to ensure unification on provincial and federal advocacy issues, MANO/RAMO’s bylaws allocate three permanent seats on its Board of Directors to IMAA provincial representatives.
Since incorporating in 2009, MANO/RAMO has been able to achieve a number of critical objectives in a short period of time. It has built a membership base of 24 organizations and collectives (production centres, distributors, festivals and exhibitors in film, video and new media) across the province. It has established an active and diverse Board of Directors comprised of leading media artists and administrators from Toronto, Ottawa, and northern Ontario.
In 2008, MANO/RAMO presented its first programmed event, the one-day symposium “Media Art Matters”, that featured a lively discussion on current issues in the field with a roomful of participants and panelists including Richard Fung, Steve Loft, Vera Frenkel, Clive Robertson and others. The organization also obtained seed funding from the Ontario Arts Council to initiate the formal development of the organization and to undertake preparatory work for the delivery of the ON.Fire IMAA national conference that took place in Toronto in June 2010. The five-day conference marked the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) and offered an incredible opportunity for artists and arts organizations from Ontario, and across Canada, to come together in a vibrant, scholarly, and inclusive environment. The IMAA conference was hosted by MANO/RAMO, in partnership with CARFAC Ontario and with the support of the Trillium Foundation, the Canada Council and the Ontario Arts Council.
The resounding success of ON.Fire solidified MANO/RAMO’s place in the media arts landscape and the organization’s capacity to deliver a high-level and logistically complex event. The attendance and enthusiasm of conference participants demonstrated a demand and necessity for more learning and networking opportunities specifically for media artists and organizations in the province.
In 2011, building on the momentum of the national ON.Fire conference, MANO/RAMO received its first operating grant from the Ontario Arts Council. With this funding, the organization has embarked on the first phase of its organizational development, putting in place systems and functionalities that will create a stable and sustainable base for future development. MANO/RAMO has recently received funding from the Ontario Trilium Foundation to support the organization’s next key initiative: a community consultation tour that will take place in communities across Ontario.
For more information about the MANO/RAMO community consultation tour, click here.