Archive for ‘Municipal Politics’

July 28, 2013

Sunday Roundup – July 28

Things are ramping back up again for the fall, and I’m starting to work on shows with Bound to Create Theatre and Obsidian Theatre and Theatre Rusticle and Modern Times Stage Company, and adding in a three-part social media workshop with DTRC/Artist’s Health Centre this fall and teaching at Ryerson again, also in fall and putting a few more irons in the fire for September.

A reminder It’s Always You has two more shows as part of Best Fringe up at the TCA. And then that’s it!

Last week was a bit of a visual and aural week, as words weren’t quite doing it for me. Here you go!

Live Love Art… Vive l’amour de l’art…

art and architecture and music – paintings and places to read and listen to this

it’s the LabCab Festival: Parkdale!

What Should I Read Next? Here You Go!

Quick video to remind us that even things that are possible the dullest thing to watch can benefit from a good ad. Love it.

May 26, 2013

Sunday Roundup – May 26

moose13rv2It’s apparently the end of May. Please let the weather know.

Today’s your last chance to experience The Charge of the Expormidable Moose with the folks at One Little Goat. You can also hit The Dumbwaiter and previews have begun  for Sister Mary’s a Dyke. I was at dress rehearsal last week. It’s enchanting. And if you went to Catholic school – pick a joke, any joke.

Personally? I’m off to be on a panel  – Fresh Ideas in Puppetry Day  -We’ll be discussing the theme of producing and working with producers, and marketing for theatre, facilitated by Dahlia Katz. Other panelists include  Louise Lapointe of Casteliers in Montreal and Anne Barber of Shadowland Theatre. Fresh Ideas Day is an annual mini-conference and festival showcasing artists, both emerging and established, who are taking new and ground-breaking directions in puppetry. This one day convivial gathering is packed full of presentations, demonstrations and discussions, and culminates in an evening of short, fresh works-in-progress along with excerpts from new works. Robert Gill Theatre. Looking forward to it!

Last week! My GOODNESS what a week and you all know why so I won’t even get into that part of it

Uh – thanks? Edited

Take our Junk Mail – please?

It’s Come to This, Has It?

And a quick Sunday read that is both amusing and true – Seven Marketing Lessons From Pulp Fiction

May 24, 2013

It’s Come to This, Has It?

CT  CT 070611-ENT ent-0706-texting MJWTitle doing double duty today – a couple of great (great’s an odd word for it) articles on how we seem to be getting ruder and ruder in public places. And we’re starting to react.

The Great Fight Way: Broadway Audiences Are Behaving Badly, and Someone Is Going to Get Hurt

In Mr. Zavelson’s opinion, it’s not just the technology audience members have in the palms of their hands that’s to blame. He suspects that on-demand and streaming media services have accustomed people to viewing “shows” in the casual atmosphere of their own homes, and now they are bringing those manners with them into the public space.”

I guess for me the part where I wasn’t in my pajamas and had paid money to be there would remind me I wasn’t at home, but there you go.

and last week

Theater Night: Vigilantes 1, Vulgarians 0
“The lady seated to my immediate right (very close quarters on bench seating) was fairly insistent about using her phone. I asked her to turn it off. She answered: “So don’t look.” I asked her whether I had missed something during the very pointed announcements to please turn off your phones, perhaps a special exemption granted for her. She suggested that I should mind my own business.”

I  was at a movie a couple of weeks, the couple sitting three seats over from me carried on a discussion about the movie the entire two hours. I am going to give them a small benefit as their stupidity seemed to be  – uh  – chemically induced. One of those couples who were talking during an exposition scene then when the exposition became reality, were full of questions because they’d missed the exposition.

I don’t even know any more. I don’t know about a lot of things. I do know I mentioned there might be another “Dear Rob” post this week and it didn’t happen. The story gets sadder and more ridiculous by the day. Instead, here’s a link to Ivor Tossell’s Dear Rob. The most upsetting paragraph holds the most truth for me –

“Bad as they are, things could keep getting worse. Irrespective of the allegations themselves, Ford has terminally damaged his credibility by leaving the city hanging when it needed to hear from him most. And with his credibility goes our credibility, in our own eyes and the eyes of the world on which we depend. Toronto cannot keep on until the end of 2014 with a mayor who won’t address the charges against him that have ground government to a halt, who’s turned his city into a global laughingstock, and who could well be self-destructing in the grips of an addiction. The status quo is not an option. Yet the courses that aren’t an option are the ones Ford has historically been most determined to pursue.”

Reminder to take a break every so often from the 24 hour newsfeed. Go outside for a bit, I know it’s cold but you know what I mean.

 

 

May 22, 2013

Uh – thanks? Edited

ETA 11:25 am May 22  – Due to unforseen circumstances, the Wednesday May 22 evening performance of The Charge of the Expormidable Moose has been cancelled. If you have purchased tickets in advance for this evening’s performance, please contact the Tarragon Box Office at 416.531.1827. We are pleased that the remaining performances will continue as scheduled, visit the One Little Goat website for updates. Many thanks!

 

Sorry – I got distracted by work stuff and other stuff. So much stuff.

Let’s see   – we do not have a casino. Thank you city council.

We do have a mayor who has made the Daily Show, and not in a cool “being interviewed for his newest book on great city building” kind of way. I don’t know who to thank for that.

We do have a Prime Minister in Peru. Uh – thanks?

Moving on. Mission Paradox is back!

When I begin working with people I often ask this question: Give me an example of marketing that you really like or love.

The ones that end up struggling the most with their marketing don’t like anything that anyone is doing. One of the side effects of modern life is our ability to find the flaw in anything.  We can rip big organizations for being greedy or small ones for not being ambitious enough. Read more

This of course gets me to thinking – the post a while back on What You’ve Got is What I Need let’s add that to the list – stuff you’ve seen and liked. And we’re not getting into the “well of course it’s great, they had hundreds of thousands of dollars” thing. I’ve seen terrible marketing for a quarter of a million, I’ve seen great marketing for a hundred dollars plus tax (true story). And let’s look at the stuff you’ve done previously. The (in)consistency can tell me a great deal.

Trapped in the house today waiting for a UPS delivery. I’ve received  the coveted “somewhere between 10:30 a.m. and 7 pm” slot. Besides working on press kits for Sister Mary’s a Dyke (previews May 25!) and pulling press quotes for Dumbwaiter (runs through June 2!) and some work for the final week of Moose I’ll be doing this today – Ten Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Small Business

May 19, 2013

Sunday Roundup – May 19

What a – week. SO much going on in the theatre world with One Little Goat continuing to get amazing reviews for The Charge of the Expormidable Moose, The Dumbwaiter opening at Odyssey Studio, Sister Mary’s a Dyke gearing up to preview on the 25th of May, and Atrium Theatre bringing us Midlife Crisis, inspired by M.Frisch’s novel Gantenbein for three nights at the top of June.

No post tomorrow – it’s a holiday.  But I think Tuesday will bring the second post in what I feel like could be a sad, sad series entitled “Dear Rob.

A Play Reading and The Harold Awards!

What You’ve Got is What I Need

Infographics and an Article or Two. Maybe three.

To add to our content today, our intrepid Communications Coordinator Lisa has created the post below from a discussion we had on the Queen car westbound. I like the look of all these folks – they’ve been a pleasure to work with, and we’ll work together again.

When I arrived at 288 Queen Street for the Sister Mary production meeting, I didn’t expect to know anyone but Sue in the room. I left realizing just how small the Toronto theatre scene is. Here is a quick visual for some (this is in no way complete) of the connections we’ve had between shows at Sue Edworthy Arts Planning.

 It seems that every time I meet a new person in the theatre world I soon find that I know of their work, or have worked with someone they’ve worked with, or am friends with their friends. People often complain about this becoming claustrophobic or ‘incestuous’, but the reality is: people who do good work continue to work together.

 Reputations and relationships matter, and even in a city of 2.615 million people, amid competition and the feeling of anonymity, communities arise. Like-minded people come together to create. Talent is rewarded and shared and I think it’s important to keep this in mind… both as a warning and as a celebration.

Screen shot 2013-05-17 at 12.05.54 PM

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 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

newbattle-w-flags
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 7, 2013

Sunday Roundup – April 7

rc_fluteNo rest for the weary this week as I spent yesterday afternoon at the first of four public consultations for spending priorities for the new arts funding. Online surveys and other consult dates are here. It was an interesting afternoon, with a full house and a great deal of discussion on spending and where artists and arts workers envision this new money going. I hope the responses are taken seriously by those collecting them, and thoughtfully added into the grand scheme of things. And I hope the momentum of the past year is maintained. It needs to be.

Sometimes Hearing is Believing  The Whipping Man is running for another week and I urge you to go and see it. Some wonderful work there.

About Yesterday…

Supporting the Arts in Many Ways, Legoland and Social Influences

Arts Funding, Social Media Presence, and Where We Work

Brendan Healy wrote an extremely brave letter last week. From TorontoistIt’s no secret that many of Toronto’s theatre companies have seen the numbers of paying customers coming through their doors shrink over the last few years. Companies have had to adjust in response—a process known euphemistically as “right-sizing.” But when the artistic director of one of Toronto’s most iconic companies—which Buddies In Bad Times, “the largest facility-based queer theatre company in the world,” definitely is—has to write a letter to the citizens of Toronto (theatre-going or not) expressing his surprise at low attendance for a new play from one of Canada’s most acclaimed and accomplished playwrights (Daniel MacIvor’s Arigato, Tokyo, in this instance), there’s a problem. ADs are not usually ones to admit a show, especially one they’ve directed themselves, isn’t performing up to their expectations in the box office.

TAPA has been working for quite some time on documenting and understanding these numbers. Quick article in the Globe and Mail last week –
Healy’s actions come less than a month after he attended a meeting to which the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts invited the artistic directors of some 185 professional theatre, dance and opera companies “to discuss the current climate … the current challenges.”
Details of the March 11 meeting are confidential. Nevertheless, it’s likely attendance was discussed as TAPA, established in 1979, has been gathering statistics for almost 10 years with respect to Toronto performing arts. In a brief interview Thursday, TAPA executive director Jacoba Knaapen noted that between 2005-06 and 2009-10, ticket sales to professional theatre, dance and opera performances declined by eight per cent, going to 2.3-million tickets purchased from 2.5-million.
Read more

Giving a workshop in Social Media 101 for DTRC’s Living Creatively conference. I like the setup of this one – Tierney of Tech Soup is doing the tech part, I am doing the social part. I like new formats, and am looking forward to seeing who’s there.

Off into the day. Apparently it’s spring. I wish I could see more proof of that.

OH! Was at the opening of Opera Atelier’s the Magic Flute last night – so, so beautiful. Go and see if you can. It’s an easy intro opera – populist if you will, it’s  in English and it’s  a singspiel and it’s wonderful to see so many people under the age of twenty, heck, under the age of twelve at the opera and loving it.

April 3, 2013

Supporting the Arts in Many Ways, Legoland and Social Influences

Lots going on at City Hall this week – Toronto City Council is about to vote on whether to approve $6 million in arts funding for the 2013 budget. Volcano has put together a comprehensive blog post on the number of ways you can show your support in Erupting Now.

You read that correctly –  the six million in arts funding we all celebrated? It’s not a done deal. They still have to approve it. Our work is not done, make your voice heard.

I mentioned yesterday on Facebook and Twitter that the City is  collecting feedback on what we think the funding priorities are in an online survey (click here). Given the public consultations about this begin on April 6th, I’d be inclined to fill it out prior to that.

Speaking of arts, I was at the opening night of Legoland last night, and had a great time, it’s always a treat to head over to Passe Muraille, see art, see people, and talk about art and lipstick with folks.  Legoland was a favourite of mine when it was in the 2010 Fringe, and it’s still as darkly quirkyfunny. Much fun.

From alltop.com – Social Influencers: Digital Marketing’s most overlooked and misused resource. If anyone from CDAM 101 is reading today – this infographic describes what we were talking about in last week’s social media class when we ran out of time. Enjoy!

social-influencers-infographic

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