Organizational History

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.