Archive for ‘theatre marketing’

May 14, 2012

Sheep Nation, Princess Aduwuaamban, and advice from the Lang Sisters

Friday night I headed east to Pentimento Gallery for one of John’s fantastic every-so-often salons. I love going to them, there’s always a great art show on the walls, and interesting entertainment and people to meet.

Davide Luciano’s Sheep Nation is the current gallery exhibit at Pentimento – models made up as sheep to demonstrate the followers in society.  What I really thought was interesting was that he made up the models and wouldn’t let them look in the mirror til it was done – the images are their first reactions to themselves as sheep.

For the rest of the truly marvelous evening – a Cape Breton fiddler, a reading from Victoria Ward’s Little Red Riding Hood Manifesto, a great short film, Prom Storm (as always) by Kirsten Johnson, all held together by Bridgette Gall our host who effortlessly distracted us from tech set ups with impromptu soft shoe routines, and childhood stories about the Lang Sisters, who grew up down the road from her. As children, the Lang Sisters had wonderful advice on how to handle a bully that did not end with violence, but the self-confidence to know you could handle it yourself.

You know those emails you get every so often from a deposed princess in a country that is torn with strife and civil war and her husband or father is held captive and if you’ll just send your bank account number they will give you a share of the millions they will not lose if you help? Most people delete. Kirsten Johnson responds. When you tell someone “I listened to someone read emails out loud on Friday night” you would not expect the shrieks of laughter and applause this correspondence created.

We were also treated to two fifths of a jazz duo, one of whom is heading back to Korea soon.

I have saved the best for last  – as did John  – the final offering was a chat with Dr. John Nash, who is a research geonomicist (I don’t think that’s a word, but you get the idea). Ending the evening with a science guy was FASCINATING. John says he wanted to have someone where you learn something, and get answers to questions you might have from someone who really knows the answers.  We talked about e coli, and germs in animals vs germs in people and believe it or not, it was possibly the best part of the evening.

All in all, it was a wonderful evening, a proper salon and congrats to mein host – I will ALWAYS be back for things like this. Below is a deliberately fuzzy picture of my favourite piece from Sheep Nation – if you look closely, you can see they’re all reading the same latest greatest improve your life detox book that is advertised in the bus shelter. And I LOVE that her nails are did.


April 30, 2012

Rules of Engagement

Great article by Michael Kaiser on Engaging Audiences. This paragraph struck me in particular:

It is ironic to me that this topic is the focus of so much current attention since, for decades, the mission statements of most not-for-profit arts organizations include explicit mention of the desire to influence, educate, inspire or entertain specific audiences — in other words, to engage them.

He’s got three simple questions that need answering. I personally like the first one – just exactly who are we trying to engage with? Most of the audience engagement techniques being used are youth oriented – Tweet seats and eating in the theatre are big topics right now,with as many for as against. (It’s interesting to note that there’s a fairly clear divide in age segments in this argument.)

From the Globe article: Canadian conductor Julian Kuerti privately expressed frank dismay at the way North American orchestras were jumping on the social-media bandwagon in attempts to draw new, younger audiences.

“As an artist, I care deeply that there is a lot of meaning, a lot of substance in what we do. That is what is attractive about it,” he said in a recent interview. “Instead, we try to bait and switch, to fool people into coming to a concert because it is supposed to be interactive … If we are not careful, we will wind up with an audience who is not there for the same reasons as the musicians are on the stage.”

This of course brings up and even bigger question about attending an arts event – Why are we there? What are the rules of engagement in attending the arts? Do we need a whole new set? Do the previous rules need to be examined and added to or subtracted from? Or can it be viewed as a challenge to audience members – asking the question, are you capable of unplugging for 90 minutes? Or, to a whole new tech generation, is that even an option? From the G+M comments (abridged)

I can’t think of anything more stifling than paying to sit next to strangers in a dark room, with the all that entails, shoot me now. Life is physically hard enough having to commute to work every day and take public transit. Why would anyone thinks this is a commendable activity…?

Lots to think about today. While I’m thinking I’m gonna go book some rehearsal space at the Creation Lab.

April 5, 2012

The Future of Theatre

Great article from the Guardian

It’s not enough for theatres to rely on the same old programming, even the same old buildings. Which is why what’s happening at Exeter is so exciting read more

Along those lines, a friend forwarded me this article that’s been making the rounds since 2008, I recall seeing it more than a few times. Anybody doing any of these things? I’d say some of the suggestions are a bit tongue in cheek, but surely some are doable.

Just some food for thought – it’s the day before the long weekend, so maybe you have time to read them.

I’m also going to be closed for said weekend, so I’ll see you next Monday. Have a good one!


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

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 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 29, 2011

Sorry, I Can’t Quite Hear You

Excellent article over at MoreInMedia which I found as a RT from  my colleague Angela Crocker.

Social Media Voices – Can you Hear Them?

What exactly is your social media voice? The article explains that ” The voice [I’m] referring to is your Social Media Voice.  It is your voice, amplified on all social media platforms and outlets.  It’s your voice, branded for business.  It’s your voice, calling clients, customers and business partners together.  It’s your voice; a clear authority.”

There are a few good links to take a look at within the article as well.

Take a peek at your social media initiatives  – not your personal ones, but the ones that bring home the (soy) bacon. The company.

What’s the company’s voice? Is it the voice of the CEO? Or is it Stacey the intern who is in charge of social media?

Think about the point of you having a LinkedIn profile/Facebook page/Twitter feed. Don’t have something because someone said you should and then realize it’s not the right medium for your company voice.

I’m off to think about it. You should too.


Oh and from the Globe – check out the Maximum City course – “I thought if I had a better understanding of how things work, I’d be better positioned to try and make a difference in the future,” said Isabella Chiu, 15, a Grade 11 student who was one of the successful applicants out of more than 50 who applied for the pilot program.

The future feels okay today.

August 28, 2011

Sunday Roundup – August 28

What a big and busy week it has been – lots going on, lots to ponder, hmmm…

Smartphome Viewing, a Contest and Some good Art News – good article from a colleague about folks viewing your website and newsletter posts on their phones. More and more people are using only their smartphones to look at this stuff – get yourself optimized. From personal experience – everything I get via email is automatically vetted upon receipt through my phone. If I can’t read it – it’s trash. “delete on handheld and inbox”? Yes.

Facebook Promos – bit of riffing on an article in the Grid about Facebook invite overload.  And here’s a bit of bonus reading on the subject  via Rebecca Coleman.

I’m A Little Distracted – Wednesday is general known as hump day, but was more of a lumps-and-bumps day this week. So I reminded you about one thing only – the My Library Matters contest – it’s open til September 9th, so go and enter!

Summer Friday – IDEAcity video on the fusion of science and art – I personally love this topic.  Here’s another favourite of mine – I was there for the shoot and it was a HILARIOUS time.

I think that’s all for today – talk tomorrow, have a great Sunday, and do your Sunday-ing to the fullest.

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