Archive for ‘music marketing’

March 4, 2012

Sunday Roundup – March 4

Let’s get to it.

Meetings, Grants, Meetings and a New City – a lot of meetings last week for everyone.

Tomorrow is the 12 hour Arts Marathon – your update on what was going to happen during #12hAM.

February 29 – Arts Marathon – weather conditions, clothing conditions and equipment. For the rest of the day is was all on Twitter at #12hAM.

Job Posting: Executive Director, Toronto Fringe -self explanatory.

Art Is Too Expensive and There’s Nothing to Do Anyway. – the culmination of #12hAM – with pictures!

Blog Post from Mission Paradox – Is Admin an Art? Good article. Good question. And I agree with the final answer.

Today is an admin day, no doubt about that. And some of it consists of government forms and try as I might, there is no art in them.I cannot find it for the life of me. But as in life, some things have to be done.

But after than I’m doing a social media plan for one new client, and reading the play of another, then figuring out a marketing nad PR plan for that play,  and figuring out a VIP list of just who needs to see the art of another client. And I’m also going to start thinking of visual ideas for some online advertising for someone else.

Three pages of government forms ain’t nothin’ compared to doing the rest of it. Have a good day.

February 28, 2012

Tomorow is the 12 hour Arts Marathon!

Leap Day is tomorrow and within 24 hours of writing this I will be out the door for the first ever 12 hour Arts Marathon, sponsored by me.

The weather is scheduled to be gross, then again it’s supposed to be raining right now and it’s sunny, so we’ll see what happens.

Now then!

11:00 am
Parkdale Public Library
– literature – and it means I can get a book to read in between times.

11:30 am
– visual art – I’m not going to see a specific exhibition, rather I am going to see MOCCA. It is a fifteen minute walk from my house and I have never been there. This is the point of living downtown.

1:30 pm
Canadian Stage
– dance – ticket booked for Dark MattersInnovative and award-winning choreographer Crystal Pite’s work integrates original music, text, rich visual design, and a keen sense of wit and invention.

430 pm
Bell Lightbox
– film – ticket booked for Monsieur Lazharone of the most acclaimed Québécois films of the last decade and Canada’s submission for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film

800 pm
Factory Theatre
– theatre – ticket booked for Theatre Ad Infinitum’s The Big SmokeIn a courageous physical performance with a completely original text and score sung a cappella, Amy Nostbakken tells the story of a brilliant young artist from Toronto given the opportunity of a lifetime: solo exhibit at London’s Tate Modern Art Gallery.

1000 pm
The Cameron House
Nichol Robertson is scheduled to play the front room at 10 pm.

There you have it – clearly no blog post tomorrow, but you can check in with me on Twitter and I’ll be using #12hAM.

In case people are wondering how much all this costs, numbers will be posted tomorrow. I think this can be done for less than $100.

A demain!

February 26, 2012

Sunday Roundup – February 26

Sunday is here! A great week – what went on, and what’s coming up?

To Do, To Don’t, To Done, ToDay – to do list vs not to do list – what do you think?

Some of My Best Friends are Equity Members, Vol. 2 – important CAEA meeting coming up tomorrow at the Gladstone.

Today I’m off to Totsapalooza with Small Print Toronto at Revival – I can’t wait. If you’ve got smalls you should completely stop by.

The 12 hour Art Marathon is coming along nicely – an absolutely stroke of luck has slotted in Crystal Pite (dance) at 1:30 pm at the Bluma, and Monsieur Lahzar (film) at 4:30. I’m especially excited about Crystal Pite – I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find dance within the boundaries of the marathon – I was going to see Pina and combine film and dance but I’m glad it’s getting it’s own time slot. I’m booking theatre and music next, and Wednesday will be here soon!

Something for the playwrights I know: Call for Submissions: New Canadian Plays, Embassy of Canada in collaboration with Heritage Canada – NEW  CANADIAN  PLAYS  is a bi-annual project which aims to introduce and to promote new anglophone and francophone Canadian plays on the German-speaking theatre scene. A jury consisting of German theatre experts reads, evaluates and selects the best plays.

We’ve all known this for a long time, and here’s an article about it – Tapping music’s power to heal the brain

January 22, 2012

Sunday Roundup – January 21

I have been in meetings all week, and bookmarking things  like crazy to post about and thinking about blogposts and not having had a chance to do anything about it as I sort out an  influx of new clients for marketing, for media, for business planning and continue to work with current clients on marketing and web, and meeting with potential clients for the months ahead, reading scripts, and sending notes to folks I want to work with and talking to them about their future plans. Working, dreaming, creating.

Things are marvelously busy and I’m happy as heck.

So it’s Sunday, and I’ll hook you up with some interesting reading – get another cup of coffee and there you go.

Monday was Library Day and I’ll recommend When She Woke which I got out and finished on Thursday. It said on the back cover that it channels Nathaniel Hawthorne by way of Margaret Atwood in this fast-paced, dystopian thriller and you know? It DID.

From the GuardianShould theatre leave more to the imagination? I remember discussing an offshoot of this idea in Grade 12 English class and how the words on the page could convey just as much as any set.  It was a thought-provoking discussion and I bet it would be even more so today. Shining example? Read on… The moon shines bright: in such a night as this,

From slate.comWhat’s the Best Way To Get Users To Embrace Mass Transit? – I liked this quote – “ “A transit map that makes all the lines look equal,” writes Walker, “is like a road map that doesn’t show the difference between a freeway and a gravel road.”

I do love mashable. Always something to think about: Why Social Media Is The New Gallery.  Many interesting points and some success stories – but I can’t imagine them completely replacing the chance to go in somewhere and see the work up close and personal.

A reminder that Social Media Week is fast approaching, is FREE and sessions are filling up so I’d advise you to decide what you’re going to and get registered. I’m down for four sessions so far, plus the one I’m doing and don’t forget there’s a party every night.

Oh if anyone missed what happened with the City Budget last week, I am sending you to torontoist to find out. Once again they’ve done a fantastic job with coverage of all things municipally political. I will also send you to this fantastic article by Edward Keenan – we actually had some political intrigue going there!

Anyone who knows me knows I tend to frequent the Cameron House on a Thursday evening to listen to Corin Raymond and the Sundowners, and Corin is making headlines these days – if you’ve been hearing tell of a musician who’s paying for his studio time in Canadian Tire money – that’s Corin. It’s coming in from all over Canada – so go check the junk drawer and visit for more info. It’s good for your soul. Speaking of which, so is this – have a listen, it’s one of my favourites:

January 12, 2012

Bits and Pieces of Art and Enterprise

It’s that first full week back and everyone is jumping in head or feet first and so it’s been busy. Add in the Next Stage festival and you’ve got yourself day and night busyness.

Last weekend for the afore-mentioned festival, things selling out all over the place so I recommend you find out what still has tickets and get one in advance  – then pre show go chill in the (heated) beer tent,  listen to some music, meet some folks and chat and then head in to see a play – Mooney on Theatre and NOW have reviewed them all should you require some guidance.

I’m looking forward to seeing Golden Dragon tonight at Tarragon.

I looked at my calendar and realized I will hear a yea or nay on two exciting projects by tomorrow. Friday the 13th indeed.

A reminder that if you’re thinking about any of the following – it is the new year, after all –  we should chat.

  • marketing plans for next season or your next project;
  • boosting your social media impact, and creating a proper social media policy;
  • organizational development;
  • making the most of your communications efforts.

Another reminder if you think the cupboard is bare and it’s not in the budget to hire, upcoming deadlines include:

Compass Grant deadline March 1 for more info.
Flying Squad deadline April 1 for more info.

And a story in the Star today that made me smile.

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.

August 23, 2011

Facebook Promos

Interesting article in the Grid today by Denise Benson  – Has Facebook ruined the art of party promotion?

Facebook invites have all but replaced flyers and posters as the primary means of event publicity. And now, thanks to easily-abused new features in the Groups section, Facebook fatigue is giving way to outright hostility….
I tend to agree with a lot of it – and not with some of it. But it’s true, you get inundated with event invites to everything from baby and bridal showers to opening nights to CD release parties and it`s really hard to separate the wheat from the chaff when all you can see is the phrase 27 event invitations, or the first words and they’re CD RELEASE or OPENS TONIGHT.
I’ll be the first to say that I used a Facebook invite for my birthday party, knowing I’d get about a 50% response rate. That’s based on the fact that I personally knew every person I was inviting. I’ll follow-up with the other 50% – and that’s the big thing – and I’ll follow-up in person, via text, and by email with some. Again good PR/invites aren’t necessarily about the invite – it’s about the followup.
I don’t necessarily think that it’s the death of well written press releases or flyers or posters – I still read and get a ton of those. But at the same time, I get those from folks who are good at PR to begin with. And odds are they’re using that well written press release as the basis for their FB invite. For a production I worked on in the summer we did posters, flyers, marketing collateral including fans and temporary tattoos, issued a press release, ran online and paper ads and THEN – issued a Facebook invitation.
I think that Facebook invites can be part of a strategy, but can’t be the only thing you do, otherwise it’s simply an online version of this and you’re holding your breath.  “well I sent out a Facebook invite” is not good enough.  And you must remember and believe it or not –
Some people aren’t on Facebook.
Or some people don’t check it religiously.
Or some people opened an account and forgot they did it.
I heard tell once of a company who did all their show promo via Facebook – a page, invites everything. Guess who didn’t come? Their sponsors. The ones who you are contractually obligated to invite and give tickets to. Why not? Because they weren’t on Facebook.
All I am saying is that it’s one thing to use Facebook invites to pad or up your numbers (I have NO idea why I get invited to some things then I remember you can ‘choose all’.)  But think about why you’re inviting someone. Are they interested in your show? Do you know them personally? Or are you just hoping they click something and it helps you promote?
Just because it’s easy to click “invite” doesn’t mean you should.
Know why? Because it’s just as easy to click “remove this event”.
This image  is beautiful. Photo by Andrew Louis, courtesy of Torontoist.
August 19, 2011

August 19th

summer Friday darlings, and I can tell many of you are out of town/heading out of town/wishing you were elsewhere. I leave you to your own devices today and remind you that the Ex is in town and at time of this post was set to open in less than half an hour.

Dog days of summer indeed.

Final thought before we head into the weekend – was at the Cameron House last night listening to Corin Raymond and the Sundowners making beautiful music as usual in the red velvet twilight – Corin brought along another wandering minstrel by the name of Scott Nolan who painted some beautiful musical word pictures.

I highly recommend you check him out.

PS Dear WordPress, why, based on this post are you recommending I tag it with the phrases Chanel and George W. Bush? Do you know something I don’t know?

August 9, 2011

What’s a QR Code? Part Two

So yesterday I talked a bit about QR codes, what they are, where we’re seeing them, and posted a handy infograph from mashable to explain what folks seem to be doing with them.

So what can you do with them?

I look at QR codes as a way to get even more info on to your poster or flyer. Hard copy collateral holds a certain amount of information (both sides) but a QR code allows you to bring your audience even further into the project.

I wrote about one of the best QR code non-marketing uses I’ve seen. Good read, good use, good art.

Okay. So the most basic use is to send people to your website. Backing  up a bit – does your audience know what a QR code is and how to use one? A bit of knowledge goes a long way.

I hope we’ll be seeing this a lot in the future




similar to the way the image below became ubiquitous.




Hand people the tools they need at the moment they need them.


So you could send them to your website. Fair enough, here we go:



You’re now at the homepage of So?





Maybe I should have been more specific – brought you to something new I wanted you to see.


You’re now on the new blog page. See where I’m going? Direct them specifically to something you want them to see. Why did I want you to see this? Because in the survey, it was a hands down fact that most of you were here to read the day’s blog post. The last layout wasn’t very laid out – so I’ve got a new design that allows you to see multiple posts with a little less searching. I thought it might make it easier for you to read and search previous articles. That’s right – something else I played with. You bet I read your survey comments.



Other uses? If you’re in the middle of a fundraising campaign, a QR code directly to your on-line donation page is handy. If you want traffic to a specific production, send them to that page. An audience member should never scan a QR code only to ask, “why am I here?”

My favourite use thus far is the QR coupon. Five bucks off the show. Scan the code, be taken to a page with a coupon code. Dead easy. And TRACKABLE. Because now not only can you tell who got a coupon, but where they got it from many places – put your QR codes in very specific places so you can determine which of your advertising efforts worked. Maybe there’s a split run of flyers and posters and you track where you put the coded ones. Maybe the code only goes in every second ad in the paper. Maybe you send it only to donors and subscribers first, then branch it out as you see how it’s working. I am a firm believer (data geek, stats slut, whatever) in knowing exactly how my marketing is working. QR codes are an amazing way to track. And yes – “nobody used it” is a tracking statement.

I’d like to see them in print newsletters, “scan here to read more“.  I’d like to see them added to/in place of the teasers on envelopes. I’d like to see blurbs on your sites letting people know you’re going to start using them, and what they can expect.


And honestly? Make it an actual rewarded effort. A straight up one. Make them part of the QR club – they got something good for a little effort. A call to action that is rewarded is a call to action that will be heeded again.

Remember this? Not a reward.



July 10, 2011

Sunday Roundup – July 10

Let’s face it this week has been about Fringe for me – a lot of time seeing shows, comparing notes, promoting shows and hanging around the tent. It’s fantastic this year – there’s a great vibe to it and people seem to be spending a heck of a lot of time there.

What went on this week?

Fringe Plays I Apparently Should Not Have Bothered Seeing – bit of a response to an article in a daily indicating that things like venue and dramaturgy (having it) are what makes a show a dud. I disagree.

Packing Up My Tickets In My Old Fringe Bag  – since better folk that I write great articles on how to Fringe, I choose to  let you know what I keep in my bag of tricks that keeps me Fringing happily.

Fringe Day Two – a good time is being had by all. Highlights for me include Awake (yes, I know I’m working on it, but I do like it outside of that) and Remember Maggy.

Fringe Day Three and the Idea of a Survey – I will check the poll tally tomorrow, and proceed from there.

Quick PSA for the Artist’s Health Centre Foundation Don’t Forget to Register with AWHIP Many of you have asked about affordable health insurance options for those not covered by an employer or union insurance plan.  One month remains for you to register with the new Arts Workers Health Insurance Plan (AWHIP). As 200 participants are required in order for this plan to become a reality, carefully review the information, available on our website and contact the insurance provider directly with any questions.

Tweets i Enjoyed This Week
beyondwallsTPM Kisses and theatre? It’s #nationalkissingday and the first day of #FringeTO . Coincidence? We think not.
At the official opening of the 2011 #fringeTO. What are you going to see?
Shelley Carroll
At last! A use for the alleyway @ Honest Ed’s! #FringeFest #tocouncil

A couple more photos – click for an article. And as promised  – video of the Poster Sprint courtesy Ms. Hyunju Park – thank you! And a direct link to the NOW reviews – they’re coming in!

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