Archive for November, 2011

November 30, 2011

Cool contest with Angelwalk Theatre

Quick little post today as it’s home stretch of Entrepreneuse School and I started the day with an 830 conference call about art so here we go.

Angelwalk Theatre is running a contest!

Justin Bott is creating a series of webisodes for the company, and the contest they are running is pretty straight forward. They are asking you to make a video of yourself performing your favourite musical number and post it on their  Facebook page.

It’s not about talent necessarily, but about creativity!

They’ll pick the Top 5 entries and ask their fans to vote on the best entry.

What’s the prize, you ask?

The prize will be a pair of tickets to their spring production, the Canadian premiere of the Off-Broadway hit I Love You Because, and  you’ll also get a backstage tour and the opportunity to meet and chat with the cast!

Fire up the Flip Camera and show us what you’ve got!

November 28, 2011

a tale as old as time, a 30’s style salon and our national anthem

(work with me – they all have something in common)

Last Friday night I was at Pentimento Gallery for the first in what I hope is a series of salon/cabarets put on by the owner John Rait. What better place to have a salon that an intime gallery with gorgeous art on the walls (Troy Brooks’ Collosus was showing – unbelievably beautiful work, and virtually sold out). A small bar in the corner, a handsome mustachioed man named Carl  pouring drinks – what better way to spend a Friday evening, surrounded by artists, art and their friends and colleagues?

The 1164 Cabaret began. If you’d like to see me freeze stock-still at a cabaret, please feel free to start off with the theme song from Disney’s Beauty and The Beast.  Thoughts included, “I’m never coming east of Yonge again” “what does one SAY in a Tweet about this?” and “JOHN! What have you gotten me into???

She was kidding. of course she was kidding, why on earth didn’t I trust John and more importantly, the fantastic Jane Ford!

The evening was a blast – very simple, very fun – we were treated to a few songs by Jane (which she writes, BTW) a fantastic stand up comedienne (the mayonnaise bit had me whooping), more music from Jane and a reading of a fantastic children’s story by a man named Greg (who looked suspiciously like Karl sans mustache).  Just little teasers of art to get you into the mood.

Break.  I love intermission – you find out who will drink more, who smokes, who wants to chat vs check their phone,  who’s with who and what they are doing there. I met several brand new people, all involved in art in some way, had a great chat about artists and our ilk with a fantastic photographer (check out her work!) and sat back down for Act Two.

Jane again, singing and pattering – her songs are beautiful and some are  hysterically funny (Don’t Bring Joan had me killing myself laughing) and next up were Tawdry Audrey and Mr. Scruffy – the talented Tracey Hoyt with songs and patter. After a few more songs from Tracey came Al – a young man who had been doing sound all evening and as it turns out is a singer/songwriter himself. His set-up involved a bit of a changeover and as we whispered restlessly to each other, two words came from the mustachioed bartender:

Ohhhh, Caaaa-na-DAAAA

The entire audience was there for “our home”, someone hissed, “we should be standing” and the audience was on its feet for the singing of our national anthem while Al finished his set-up.

Four words for you about Al – that boy can SING. I think Jane spoke for all of us when she said she’d be tearing down her Justin Bieber poster that night.

Jane finished off the night with a few more songs and a loudly requested encore – I will say that the inaugural 1164 Cabaret was a rousing success with music and art and people you want to meet and talk to more.

I asked John if he’d be doing more of them, he hopes to have them monthly – the gallery is small, holding only about 30 people for an audience so it’s an exclusive evening. I don’t know how you get on the invite list – but I highly recommend you do.

Reminder: It’s Budget Day. That is all.



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November 27, 2011

Sunday Roundup – November 27

Quieter week than I thought, but busier than expected so here we go.

City Mouse, Country Mouse – check out Small Print Toronto’s latest initiative for small city builders.

Theatre, Books, Dance and Interactive Stuff That Makes me Happy – bits and pieces of things to see and read and play with.

I mentioned last week that I am on the Social Media Week 2012 Advisory Board – they are doing Spotlights on each member – so here I am.

Old joke from Mission Paradox: “How do you build a small fortune in the arts?”

It is the second last week of Entrepreneuse School – I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone and how much we’ve learned in ten weeks. Complete business plan in hand by the 6th of December.

Tomorrow I’ll be writing about the 1164 Cabaret I attended on Friday – what a marvelous time. So many interesting people both on and off stage include one woman who is a fantastic photographer.

Sigh  – the 2012 City Budget is being released tomorrow. Tomorrow we shall see what will happen in our city, what is deemed important, what is not.

Deputations to the Budget Committee are scheduled for the 7th. I’ll be there.

November 25, 2011

Theatre, Books, Dance and Interactive Stuff That Makes me Happy

It’s Black Friday and I’m not interested in $4.00 wafflemakers or camping out to get a $20.00 TV or being trampled by people who are interested in such things,  so instead:

Happy Birthday Next Stage!

The Next Stage Theatre Festival, turning 5 this year,  is on sale, and the brochures are in! Great looking shows this year (as always) and I will be attending them all.  The 2012 Next Stage Theatre Festival runs January 4-15 at Factory Theatre (Mainspace and Studio Theatre) and of course do NOT forget the heated beer tent in the courtyard!

I highly recommend getting your tickets, buying a pass for someone for a present, or asking for a pass yourself as a present – this way you can keep your New Year’s Resolutions of “seeing more theatre” and “spending less money” all in one fell swoop!


The 35 Most Amazing Libraries in the World – Sigh. Drool. Sigh.


Two more chances to catch Dance In Vancouver at Scotiabank Dance Centre, curated by Toronto’s very own Michael Trent, Artistic Director of Dancemakers.


good stuff, Canadian Stage.  Love this latest take on online marketing of a show.

PS  – I am on the Advisory Board of Social Media Week 2012 – held at different locations throughout Toronto over five consecutive days, it features thought-provoking sessions with industry leaders, free of charge to registrants. Am  already very excited about some of the sessions, including an event by Praxis and an event by the AGO. Stay tuned for more info.

November 23, 2011

City Mouse, Country Mouse

Short but worthy post today – seems appropriate given the topic.

Ran into Chris Reed on Queen Street the other morning just after Small Print Toronto‘s Mouse City Summit – judging from Chris’ over the moon mood it was a great success. I may have to borrow a child to go to see this in it’s next incarnation at Totsapalooza – sounds like an amazing time was had by all. Here’s a link to the article from The Grid about the event.

And for full-grown mouse urbanists and artists – Living the Creative Life: How do Artists support the community and vice versa?

November 20, 2011

Sunday Roundup – November 20

Bit of breathing room this week  there were no deadlines at Entrepreneuse School, but a lot of art hit critical mass with things coming to and end and other things beginning. Off we go:

Some of my best friends are Equity members – Not being an Equity member myself, I sent you over to the Praxis blog to read about tonight`s meeting and some of the reasons it`s important. Still time to read this – the meeting is tonight at 7 pm at Wychwood Barns.

Day at the City and What Would you Do with a Brand New Space? – TAPA and Friends of the Arts Descended on City Hall to stress the importance of the cultural sector, and Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre wants to know what you would do in their new theatre.

Embrace The Fear – Bit of a marketing tangent from me, inspired by a post from the Mission Paradox blog

Arts Funding petition  On November 29th, this petition will be presented at City Hall. This will be a vital time when councillors will be considering the 2012 Operating Budget. The petition is currently at 20,000 signatures which is fantastic! However, more would be even better. Please sign it if you haven’t already and pass it along. Thank you.

Lesson #54357 – How to Stay on a Comp List – no further explanation required.

November 19, 2011

Lesson #54357 – How to Stay on a Comp List

Every place I’ve worked has the comp list – not necessarily the opening night list, but a list that is made up of individuals who are occasionally offered free (comp) tickets to a performance during the run of a show for whatever reason.

I have such a list, I’ve had such a list for every place I’ve worked. The folks on that list are there for various reasons, the main one being that I like them and will only offer them comps to something I think they’d like. I comp for a couple of main reasons: to bump an audience on a quiet night, or to do a little word of mouth marketing towards a different audience for a successful show.

If you accept comps, please do one of the following things:

Show up – that’s the best one.

If you discover you can’t make it (and they are transferable), give them to someone else, in which case they are responsible for showing up.

If you can’t make it, please call, text, fax, message, Facebook, Tweet or email that you can’t make it, and say to please release the tickets to someone else. Even up to ten minutes before curtain, this message is appreciated.

Because when you just don’t show up, I’m left holding the bag on either a) two empty seats in a smallish house that I was counting on helping fill, or b) two empty seats on a fullish house that I can’t do anything with because I’m not sure if you’re having trouble finding a parking spot and are about to come racing in.

And if you just plain forgot? Been there. But then you do have to mention this fact at some point.

Because otherwise I think you’ve left the country, and have to take you off the comp list.



November 18, 2011

Arts Funding Petiton

On November 29th, this petition will be presented at City Hall. This will be a vital time when councillors will be considering the 2012 Operating Budget. The petition is currently at 20,000 signatures which is fantastic! However, more would be even better. Please sign it if you haven’t already and pass it along. Thank you.

November 16, 2011

Embrace the Fear

From the MissionParadox blog – which I quite like.

Feeling the fear

So a guy with a relatively high profile in the little world of the arts writes an article for the Huff Post.  In the article he talks about the “death” of traditional arts criticism and the growing influence of blogs, message boards, etc.

He described this change as a “scary trend.”

Moments after the article went live, I checked my Twitter feed (@missionparadox) and saw the predictable Tweets.  People jumped on the author for being “scared of the future” and trying to “maintain the status quo.”

Can I be honest for a second?

Both great articles. Both talk about a subject I find endlessly fascinating. How are we getting people interested in our art? What are we doing, when is it working?

Throw you another link from the Creative Trust website.

I can talk about, read about, listen to others talk about, how to get people into theatres forever. What worked?  What didn’t? How did you do it? Then what happened?

I embrace the fear. Niche marketing is my specialty – how to figure out if, I only have one postcard left, why you are the best person to give it it, if you are the person who will come see the show based on it. targeting audiences by demographic, by interest, by anything that makes me think they match the show I am working on is one of my favourite-est things to do. I read books on neuromarketing and try to figure out how to apply those techniques to getting people into art. I rephrase, I reframe and I storytell.

I often laugh that I “use my powers for good, not evil”.

I love what I do.

I should mention it was financials day in Entrepreneuse School today. I like financials, I’m good at them, today was a bit odd because I usually do my best numbering  with ACDC for company and that wasn’t an option, but it went well.

Still –  this post feels like coming home to do what I love best.

November 15, 2011

Day at the City and,What would you do With a Brand New Space?

Yesterday was TAPA’s Second Annual Day at the City, an event where Councillors spent part of their day meeting with arts representatives who descend on City Hall to stress the importance and value of the arts to this great city of ours.  This year it extended to include Friends of the Arts – a network of arts supporters including  Arts Vote Toronto, Arts Etobicoke,, Business for the Arts, Creative Trust, Lakeshore Arts, Scarborough Arts, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, Toronto Arts Foundation and Urban Arts.

Successful meetings and a lot of knowledge shared about the value of our sector – Check out some of the #artsdayto tweets:

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Speaking of art….

Artscape is Now Accepting Expressions of Interest for Use of Performance and Event Space at the Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre

Artscape is currently seeking expressions of interest for the performance and event spaces at the Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre, slated to open in late Spring 2012. This 60,000 sq. ft. purpose-built facility is poised to become the artistic, cultural and social core of the Regent Park and the newest addition to downtown Toronto’s thriving cultural landscape.

The Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre has four street-level performance and event spaces suited to a diversity of disciplines and organizations. Imagine world-class dance performances and community film festivals in the Performance/Event Space, open-air concerts and plays in the Outdoor Performance Court, poetry slams in The Café, exhibitions in the South Lobby, and more!

Designed by the award-winning Diamond & Schmitt Architects, the Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre is located on Dundas Street, just east of Parliament St., in the heart of the Regent Park Revitalization. With approximately 17,000 new and returning community members, new parks, pedestrian-friendly mews and over 40,000 sq. ft. of new retail space, Regent Park will soon emerge as a new hotbed of cultural activity in Toronto.

The Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre will be a central meeting place rooted in Regent Park and open to the world. It will be a place where people of all ages, walks of life and cultures can come together to learn, share, create and be inspired. Those interested in using performance and event space in the Centre should submit an expression of interest to be reviewed by a Programming Advisory Committee. Scheduling of the performance and event spaces will be prioritized according to the vision and values of the Centre. To view the selection criteria, click here.

The 6,000 sq. ft. Performance/Event Space will be fully-equipped and supported by an A/V booth, kitchen, green room and dressing rooms. The space can also be partitioned into three distinct smaller spaces to accommodate smaller events. The Café, South Lobby and Outdoor Performance Court and can be used as independent programming spaces or as spillover space for events inside the Performance/Event Space.


  • 22 ft. floor-to-ceiling height
  • Theatrical lighting system
  • Flexible sound system
  • Video projection
  • Full series of catwalks
  • Semi-sprung floor for dance performance
  • A 300-seat retractable seating system with an option for an additional 100 chairs on the floor
  • Structural steel rigging points and dedicated sound & lighting power
  • Access to technical staff & crews

Artists, arts organizations and arts collectives interested in using the performance and event spaces should submit an Expression of Interest online through the Information Form found on the Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre REOI website.

The Expression of Interest Information Form asks for basic information about the nature of your event, when it takes place, and additional requirements you may have. The form takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. You may find additional information such as the project background, vision and values, and selection committee criteria on the Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre website helpful in completing this form:

The deadline for submitting an Expression of Interest is December 2, 2011 at 12:00 pm.

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