What is common to a specific language may trigger a revolution in a different one.


The Institute for Creative Exchange - Americas (ICE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing artistic expression by providing a platform to artists so as to deepen contemporary creative processes across the Americas. We envision a society where art is used to transcend and expand insight into the different cultural expressions that move us beyond geographical borders and confinements of language.

ICE cultivates and fosters the imagination of artists in Canada, and across the Americas, by creating a space where artists can freely explore diverse cultural creative processes and multi-disciplinary artistic expressions.

The Institute for Creative Exchange - Americas (ICE) is a non-profit organization that brings together artists, writers, academics, and cultural practitioners in an interdisciplinary international exchange that allows untapped stories and artistic practices to unfold.

As our world becomes increasingly polarized, artists require new tools to discuss forms of resistance and to explore different cultural expressions that move beyond Canada’s geographical borders and language. Our goal is to support artists expand their views and explore modes of communication that lie outside of their current realm.

In Canada, we have learned to identify with our neighbour to the South, but less with our peers in the Americas. Yet, our collective history and the history of the indigenous peoples of this continent point to the need to reposition ourselves as part of the Americas. While our goal is to eventually host artistic exchanges between artists from around the world, we believe that as Canadians we must first understand and reconcile our Pan-American identity in order to fully understand our relationship with others.


Founding members

Salvador Alanis, Executive Director

Salvador Alanis is an award-winning writer, TV producer, and marketing executive. With 25+ years of experience, he has developed communication campaigns for Fortune 500 brands and produced prominent reality TV shows such as Big Brother, Fear Factor and One Last Shot. In 2008, he founded The Bakery, a forward-thinking content creation agency in downtown Toronto.

Salvador has completed an artist in residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts, and has received numerous awards from the National Fund for the Arts in Mexico. Salvador has also published six literary works, and his visual media arts have been displayed in several solo and group exhibitions in Canada and Latin America.


Ximena Berecochea, Program Director

Ximena Berecochea is an internationally-recognized photographer who has combined her artistic works with a distinguished career in academia.

Ximena holds a PhD in Latin American Literature from the University of Toronto, a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma in México, and a Master’s degree in Spanish and Latin American Literature from the University of Toronto. Ximena studied photography in Mexico City, and abroad, in Spain and in the United Kingdom with professors Humberto Rivas, Manolo Laguillo and George Krauze, among others. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, including in Mexico, Spain, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Japan, China and Indonesia.

Art and language are forms of resistance as expressed through different disciplines. At ICE, we believe that encountering a work of art presents a difficulty in reading and grasping for a meaning and relevance. When we pass this level of resistance, it gives us different dimensions and expands our comprehension of the world we live in, the geography of a particular place or situation, the people who live in it, and their composite identities. Through ICE activities, we seek to discuss the value and forms of this resistance, by means of integrating and exchanging languages, culture, and expressions in contemporary art.

Given to its multicultural composition, we believe that Canadian society has the potential to host real plural forms of resistance in art. In the contemporary global context of persistent intolerance, the disposition to coexist harmoniously with those different from us, not only is insufficient but urges for tools that enable a true disposition of understanding and acceptance.
— ICE Executive Director, Salvador Alanis