The Access Activator Programme is a multi-year initiative actively advocating for access in the arts through Relaxed Performance research, training, and resource sharing.

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Michelle Peek Photography. Erin Ball at Cripping the Arts. Toronto, Canada, 2019.

The many facets of this programme were inspired by the advancement in policy changes and actions towards disability arts in the UK. The British Council and its collaborators in Canada want to support and strengthen the sector to become more proactive and engaging in the global discussion on arts, disability and human rights.

In October 2015, in collaboration with the Harbourfront Centre, British Council invited Include Arts (UK) to Toronto to offer a Relaxed Performance pilot training session to 30 arts professionals. Following this pilot session, British Council in partnership with Include Arts and Tangled Art + Disability designed a Relaxed Performance Training Programme for five facilitators (Access Activators) based in Ontario. This extensive Train the Trainer programme took place between Toronto, and London (UK) and included a stop at the Unlimited Festival. With the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council, Relaxed Performance trainings were delivered by the Access Activators to 25 arts and cultural venues across eight Canadian cities between 2016 and 2018.

In February of 2020 a new cohort of 20 Access Activators from across Canada attended a four-day training in Toronto to support their facilitation of Relaxed Performance training and consultations.