Archive for April, 2013

April 30, 2013

Our Illustrious Mayor and – no, just that.

mayor_ford_180I said a few months back I was tired of writing about His Worship because I can only have this look on my face for so long before it starts to become aging, and I felt he was doing a fine job on his own of having his – antics – tracked. But Edward Keenan’s piece in the Grid last week is really quite excellent. This struck me.

But if you have essentially given up on doing the job the people of Toronto elected you to do, the job they pay you to do, then it’s all a fun game of seeing what might turn into a wedge issue in the next election campaign. Rob Ford, mayor of Toronto, thinks he gets to run again on the anti-government, these-guys-running-this-place-are-incompetent load of hooey he ran on before. Neat trick. Who knows, it could work. It worked for him last time. It’s the only political point he’s ever known how to make, and the only one he’s ever had to make.

But it’s not leadership. It is beneath his office, beneath this city, beneath the trust of the voters and taxpayers who elected him. Instead of doing his job, he’s playing a cynical, cowardly, political game. Let someone else make the difficult decisions so he can complain about them. Read the article

Why did that strike me?

Because it could happen again.

Not enough people took him seriously last time, I mean as a credible candidate. Or rather, not enough people took the people who took him seriously, seriously. Voters don’t seem to vote for candidates anymore – they vote against candidates.  Not him-not-her-dear-god-anyone-but-him-or-her.

I will say that I’ve never really seen a city so activated and involved in politics, and I think that’s a good thing.

May I humbly make a suggestion? Talk to someone you don’t agree with on politics. Find out why they feel the way they do. Find out who they want to lead, not who they’d want have a beer with. Always drove me nuts that question, there’s tons of people I’d like to have a beer with, not many of them who I’d want for mayor. More importantly, we already agree. We’re on the same page as to what we want for this city, be it culture funding or bike lanes or no casino. We’re already convinced, we don’t need to convince each other any more.

Find the people who you don’t agree with. Talk to them. Find out why, and what they’re thinking. What makes them tick, and what makes them tick off a candidate’s check box on a ballot. Last election was the classic pendulum swing, from Miller to Ford. Perhaps this time, we could find something in the middle.

And have a beer together.

April 29, 2013

Starting the Week off Right

redlipstickMy week started like this:

I remembered to take the trash out last night, and there was just enough cream for a cup of coffee, and a dryer full of clean clothes to choose from, and when I pulled out something to wear a folded up five fell out of the pocket that turned out to be two folded up fives.  I do believe victory is declared over Monday morning. It didn’t stand a chance.

Meetings today with Jane Marsland, and The Theatre Centre, and Ryerson, and then a workshop for Fringe participants that I’m giving with the ever- awesome Ashley Ballantyne and the equally awesome Dayle Furlong and it’s a good day already, interspersed with library trips and looking through the CONTACT catalog and since we’re already on to a good day, we might as well continue with things we like.  Oprah and others do things they cannot live without like eight hundred-dollar pashminas and thirty dollar chocolates, but Lisa and I are hardcore members of a club we call reality – where we could live without these things, but we really really like having them. Her five, then my five. Onward to our list, and the day.

My Bike – Just went to Bike Pirates to tune up ol’ bikey the other day. Learned how to clean and oil my bike chain, remove and replace the brake and gear cables. I am basically a mechanic now. I am also a FREE woman. No longer tied down by the tyranny of TTC schedules, I can feel the wind in my hair, the burn in my legs and the fear in my heart as I swerve in and out of Toronto traffic. Going my own way, on my own time, with my own energy. Nothing better.

My Record Player – When I put on a record I’m making a conscious choice to relax. It instantly creates a comfortable, dreamy atmosphere where I can forget the day to day and let go. Ideal additions: cup of tea & a great book… or friends and a bottle of red wine!

My Vaseline Lip Gloss – Used it since I was a kid, know it’s a petroleum by-product, but can’t give it up. It’s my one-thing-on-the-island item.

The Internet – All at once amazing and terrible, destructive and useful, disturbing and amusing… I take the good with the bad and try to find a happy balance of productivity and procrastination. I love the internet and don’t care who knows!

The Sun – A warm embrace, light in the would-be-darkness, life-giver, fun-time-bringer, all-around- good-time-guy, the sun is everyone’s best friend, every day.

My Phone – my lifeline, my calendar, my work, my contacts, my email, my social media, my photo album, my alarm clock – everything important in my life (and some things not) is somewhere to be found in some form in my phone at some point or another.

My Library Card – twenty books on hold at any given time, five books on the go, at least six dollars in fines. Access to reading material. Impossible to live without.

My Red Lipstick – makes you feel good on a bad day, makes you feel great on a good day – red lipstick means business, whether professional or personal, it’s a get things done colour. Putting it on instantly means something’s brewing.

Earl Grey Tea – I am a heck of a coffee drinker – drip, Americano, you name it. If I am having a cup of tea it means it’s time to slow down, relax and usually there’s a book or a chat involved.

Art – it’s a big one, and yes it’s my job, but it’s more than that – it’s what I do. I mean art everywhere, from public to logos to drawings to photos to buskers to galleries to theatres. It’s everywhere and I like it that way. I can’t imagine life without it.



April 28, 2013

Sunday Roundup – April 26

shayshaytIt’s May starting this week, and The Charge of the Expormidable Moose is opening on the 10th – small house, large cast, amazing show, so best get your tickets soon! After that we have The Dumbwaiter at Odyssey Studios and MidLife Crisis at the Cameron and Sister Mary’s a Dyke?! at Aki Studios.
And there’s a great group show on at Pentimento through May 25th.
And The Shape of Rex for a week at the Royal in June.
And it’s the ninth anniversary of the mad craft shoppe and a show and sale at the Press Club to celebrate.
And the War of 1812 at the Young Centre is an incredible piece of theatre as always, I said after seeing it that only VideoCab and Mac Fyfe could send me home with a wildly inappropriate crush on Captain James Fitzgibbon.
And Simple Damned Device played a furious set of rhythm and bruise at Lee’s Palace last night.
Nothing to do in this city? Try harder.

About last week:

Sunday Roundup on a Monday

What’s YOUR link to the TAPA Audience Project?

Website changes, Some Participant feedback, the War of 1812

Next week is a busy one with a marketing and PR seminar for Fringe participants, and chaperoning one of the fantastic classes from Mowat as they venture into Hot Docs territory (that’s on too. Hot Docs. I repeat – try harder) and voicework for the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards and I’m looking forward to it all.

Supposed to be gorgeous out today, so this is an early post so we can all get out and enjoy it sooner than later.

Image: A Nick Cave Song by A. Shay Hahn, 10x12inches,acrylic on canvas, framed, at the Press Club in April/May

April 25, 2013

Website changes, Some Participant feedback, the War of 1812

Lisa and I spent a couple of days updating the website, including a more specific contact form. We’re pleased with it.

There’s also the addition of a page called “Things Fringe” – I get a great deal of info on the Toronto Fringe year-round but especially coming up to January and July  – usually items like lottery announcements, job opps, etc – I normally post them in the blog section but it made sense to me for them to have their own permanent space. We’ll see how it goes.

Got an email about participant feedback in the Funding Opportunities round tables a little while ago:

Thank you for your contribution at the consultations on arts and cultural investment in the City. Together with the Toronto Arts Council, we have now held four public consultations in each part of the City. We’ve also heard from the film and screen-based industry sector, the fashion and design sector, and the museums and heritage sector. We’ve listened to over 300 people give their suggestions on what should be the principles and priorities for new investment, and what kind impact this support will have on themselves, their organizations, their communities and the city a whole. As well, we have had over 800 responses to our online survey. This process has again confirmed what a vibrant, creative, and entrepreneurial community we serve.  The survey will remain open until April 30th, and we encourage you to complete it and circulate it to your networks if you have not done so already.

A draft summary of the findings was attached. Here it is.

Off to the Young Centre tonight to see VideoCab’s The War of 1812 – super excited. It will be interesting to see them outside of where I always see them – the back room of the Cameron House. Stunning reviews so far, both media and people. Will keep you posted!

Photo by Michael Cooper.



April 23, 2013

What’s YOUR link to the TAPA Audience Project?

Here’s mine! I consider you  my audience, patrons and members so read on, and click the link at the bottom to get started!

Sue Edworthy Arts Planning is taking part in a broad survey of performing arts audiences across the Toronto region.   This survey is being organized by The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) in partnership with the Strategic Counsel.

As someone who has attended one or more of our performances we invite you to share your views regarding what you have attended and what you like about the performing arts in the region.  This will greatly assist our company and the performing arts community in the Toronto region to better understand how to reach out and connect with audiences and the types of experiences our audiences are seeking.  Please take a few minutes to complete the survey by clicking on the link below.

Please be assured that your answers will be strictly confidential. All completed surveys are submitted directly to The Strategic Counsel.  Your individual responses will not be made available to anyone. A report of the findings will be prepared, but will only include analysis of the aggregate responses, not individual responses.

All those responding to the survey will have their name entered into a draw for a Kobo ereader. To enter, simply type in your email address at the end of the survey. This information will not be used for any other purpose.

If you have trouble accessing this survey, please contact Nancy Gottlieb at

If you are an active performing arts attender you may well receive more than one survey from companies whose performances you have attended.  Please respond to only one and disregard the rest.


Please complete the survey by Friday May 3rd, and thank you in anticipation of your responding to this important initiative.  Click HERE access the survey.


April 22, 2013

Sunday Roundup on a Monday

Whoops! Out of town this weekend. Here you go.

A 21st C Radio Play tells a story, so does your brand

Product is Not More Important than Brand  – a Flowchart

The Promised Arts PSAs

Into the day – it’s a week full of needing to be places.

April 18, 2013

The Promised Arts PSAs

PLAY-ProudI said yesterday that once I’d finished shaking my head, I’d be back today with a stack of art-type PSAs . Lisa and I have compiled  the following.
Actually, before we get to them, I wanted to tell you how immensely thrilled I am that Proud has been picked up by GCTC in Ottawa to open their 2013 season in September. So very, very pleased.

1) The Gladstone Hotel offers life-drawing classes almost every Wednesday night at 8 pm, usually in the Art Bar. Bring your own materials.

2) Call for Submissions: Applications Open for the Next Stage Theatre Festival – click here for details.

3) Seth Godin’s Field Guide to the Meeting Troll – we’ve all been in meetings with this person.

4) From Imagine Canada – Five Common Mistakes in Grant Writing

5) Call for Submissions: StART Mural Program, StreetARToronto and an excellent accompanying article about street art

6) The 2013 Fringe Festival is just around the corner, and having completed the first read-through of Dan Reddican’s musical It’s Always You  last week, the hunt for rehearsal spaces has begun. Luckily for us (and you!) the Fringe has compiled a list of rehearsal spaces around the city. It’s a reliable and comprehensive list with specific details about sizing and pricing, and it will depend on what suits your needs. Our top three spaces so far are COBA (585 Dundas St. E, Suite 130 Daniels Spectrum), the Bloor St. United Church (300 Bloor Street W) and Lower Ossington Theatre (100A Ossington Ave).

7) And finally – further to yesterday’s post about your product and your brand – from courtesy a friend of mine – How to Communicate in the Midst of Tragedy.  Number Six is a doozy.

April 17, 2013

Product is Not More Important than Brand – a Flowchart

Tragedy in Boston the other day. Tragedies like this worldwide every day. I don’t know what to think anymore. So I didn’t post anything.

And in true foolish form, there’s always some company who, whether tongue in cheek or sales blinded, intentionally or unintentionally, makes a foolish error and tries to capitalize on said event. We had Kenneth Cole for the riots in Egypt, we had that store and the #Aurora dress and this week we have epicurious:


shortly after they took these tweets down because of course the twitterverse is speedy in its reaction. As an aside, epicurious,  your tweet didn’t “seem” insensitive – it was insensitive. That’s an “I’m sorry you feel that way” style apology.

Given that there are at least the two examples I’ve given above regarding poorly considered tweets, do we really have to lay down ground rules about how to NOT capitalize on tragedy to sell cargo pants, dresses and cereal? Do we really need this flow chart?


Apparently we do. It is so simple I made it in Word and it took ten minutes. Feel free to print and post in your office. Because if it’s really that important for you to sell cereal, if you cannot think past that end result, then you’ve forgotten it’s more important to have people actually like you enough to buy your cereal.

Shaking my head today. Tomorrow I’ll be back with a stack of arts PSAs.

April 15, 2013

A 21st C Radio Play tells a story, so does your brand

Titanic_by_amadscientistHanging out for dinner with friends last night and one kept checking her phone – I asked what she was looking at, and she tuned me in to this extremely cool twitter feed  – Titanic Real Time – within minutes I was fascinated too. “Experience Titanic’s epic journey with minute-by-minute tweets as if from on board the ship itself. Created by @TheHistoryPress  – the UK’s largest local and specialist history publisher.

Utterly amazing – a live-tweeting (sort of) thread telling the  complete story of an event we all know quite well – the night the Titanic sank. It’s told from the viewpoint of  various individuals, during the sinking of the ship, all marked by hashtags  – #crew, #captain, #firstclass and so on. Absolutely amazing to read as a thread, and was completely riveting to watch as it unfolded in real-time. It made me think of a radio play, in that you couldn’t see what was happening, you were reliant on tweets from various individuals, and their perspectives of what was happening. I guess it seemed a combination book/radio play because you were getting the information of what was happening in 140 characters or less, without the benefit of Foley. Remember a while back I wrote about Sometimes Hearing is Believing ? It’s that same sort of feeling – pure storytelling.

What is this in aid of? History Press is the UK’s largest local and specialist history publisher. They’re booksellers. They have come up with what I think is a fantastic way to engage the internet/social media generation in their paper product.  Brilliant. It’s made me even happier to know that – excellent innovative way to marry these two things.

Anyway – loved it. They’re doing WhitechapelRealTime in August  – Follow the Whitechapel police investigations of 1888 from the perspective of the detectives, officers and Whitechapel residents  – and I will definitely be tuning in.

Speaking of stories,  post from Seth Godin – in class a few weeks ago I was explaining what brand is, and what brand is not. And here it is again.

Have a good Monday – the sun is shining. So far.




April 14, 2013

Sunday Roundup – April 14

RMK1248SCS-595I took a proper weekend as the last one was spent at City Arts Funding Consultations and giving a workshop. Both excellent uses of a weekend, but sometimes you need a couple days of Netflix to wind down.

Quantifying the Qualifiable

Social Media Rockstars?

Rainy Friday


Tomorrow is the last class of CDAM 101 and it’s been a pleasure working with the participants these past seven weeks, they claim to have learned a lot and enjoyed the class and I can say the same thing about them. I wish them every success in their ventures and hope to keep hearing about what they’re doing in the arts and culture world. I hope I get to teach at Ryerson again, now that I know how it works (and have my teacher ID!) I’d like to go back.

My Arts Planning partner in crime Lisa spent some time last week looking for rehearsal spaces for There’s Always You – the Fringe show I’m producing – expect a blog post PSA this week on the good half-dozen places she found.

Here’s something wonderful for a Sunday from If you need a shot of colour right now, watch this.

This December, in a surprisingly simple yet ridiculously amazing installation for the Queensland Gallery of Modern Ar, artist Yayoi Kusama constructed a large domestic environment, painting every wall, chair, table, piano, and household decoration a brilliant white, effectively serving as a giant white canvas. Over the course of two weeks, the museum’s visitors were given thousands upon thousands of colored dot stickers and were invited to collaborate in the transformation of the space, turning the house into a vibrantly mottled explosion of color. How great is this?

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