Posts tagged ‘City Council’

March 31, 2013

Sunday Roundup – March 30

SNOOPYAnd with that, tomorrow is the start of April. And I know today is Easter Sunday but we remain on track for the website.

Last week was a quiet week on the blog post front, but a busy one on the Facebook Page and Twitter feed – not everything posted there (like info on ticket discounts, how to articles and political activism updates) winds up here so I invite you to check out either or both for extra content.

(Certainly not to say content here is going to drop regularly, it’s just something I noticed last week.)

About last week…

Our Work Is Never Quite Done an excellent letter to send to your councillor.

You’ll Find No Chinese Pandas In This Post – Just Canadian People – photos of the physical end of The Journey Of NISHIYUU.

Something else from last week:  New Money, New Opportunities from the Live With Culture site: In January, Toronto’s arts community celebrated City Council’s commitment of new funding for arts, culture and heritage. Council’s strategy is contained in Creative Capital Gains: An Action Plan for Toronto, but spending priorities need to be established and the City is looking to the arts community for input and direction. Public consultations have been arranged during the month of April in Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough and downtown. Your input is vital.

Further to the live feedback an online survey will be available here prior to the first public consultation on April 6 (please check back and fill out the survey on the Live With Culture site).

I asked about the format of the sessions and was told The sessions will be round-table style and staff will collecting feedback. See you there.

And of course, when in doubt, The Mission Paradox had a great post last week Promise and Deliver. Take a look, think about what you can promise, and then deliver on it.

And finally Seth’s Blog had something to think about this morning as well about not having just the good parts

If you’re wondering what Snoopy is looking at in the image above, it’s the link below. Happy Sunday!

March 25, 2013

Our Work Is Never Quite Done

Arts Advocacy Committee meeting last week, emails back and forth about arts funding, links posted and reposted and reminded, so of course I was all set to write an impassioned post this morning about how in terms of that 4 million in arts funding? We ain’t there yet.
Then I was on Facebook and found someone had already written one. And since I am a firm believer in not reinventing the wheel when the wheel has been invented well – I’m posting Emma’s note in full below. Read it. It’s good. If you don’t get something, it has links.
Well spoken Ms. Emma. Talk soon.
Get Arts Funding Passed
by Emma Mackenzie Hillier (Notes) on Monday, 25 March 2013 at 11:36

Hi friends,

So remember when we found out that City Council was going to approve an extra $4,000,000 to their arts budget and we all did a happy dance? We can’t quite finish doing the Snoopie until April 3 when city council will finally vote. I don’t know about you… but in my opinion it’s our job to let our councillors and mayor know that this extra funding is crucial. I mean.. I’d love it if Theatre Projects suddenly had an extra $50,000 grand to throw to companies… like my own.

Uh oh… but wait… I can hear the self-defeatists now: “But Emma… to do that would take work and I prefer to spend all my energy on creating work… except for when I’m on facebook procrastinating because art is hard to make. Administrative Work, Emma, it would take Work!!”

Yes… yes it would… if I hadn’t drafted a letter that you can copy and paste and send along to your city councillor (whose email can be found by clicking on this link http://app.toronto.ca/im/council/councillors.jsp).

Oh, wait… I hear another voice: “But Emma… I don’t really know anything about arts funding and how it benefits the sector in Toronto! How can I write and say I support something I don’t know enough about?”

Ah, well, my friend, simply click on this link: http://www.torontoartscouncil.org/ARTS-FACTS/Impact, read up, and maybe snoop around some more on the Toronto Arts Council’s website. There’s some useful stuff in there. Remember… an uninformed artist is an ignorant one (at least in my books). Know your shit, people. Otherwise how can you create for any community but the one in your own head?

So… all in all… it should take less time to fill out the letter below and send it to your city counillor than it did to read this note. Happy Arts Activism! You just did your good deed for the day… and your civic duty… two birds, one stone.

Dear [insert councillor],

I want to take a minute to thank you for your hard work on city council. As a member of your ward, who reads your regular newsletter, I want to let you know that I appreciate what you do for the members of your ward when you represent us to the city.

I’m writing to ask for your support of Recommendation ED20.5 at the vote on April 3, 2013. The arts sector is a vibrant part of our community and as an [insert title here] who works within the theatre industry I know first-hand how crucial additional funding is to the sector’s growth. The extra revenue, delivered to the Toronto Arts Council and then on to artists, will impact the capacity of theatre companies and individual artists to create work that speaks to the vibrant and diverse culture in Toronto.

I’m sure you’re aware of the reports and statistics that have been released on the impacts of arts funding, but to reiterate a few of the highlights:

Grants allocated by Toronto Arts Council directly support:

Creativity:

  • On average 900 new works of art are created annually with support from TAC.

Economy:

  • 15,000 artistic and administrative staff are paid by TAC funded organizations
  • $40,000,000 is generated annually in ticket sales
  • For every $1 granted to an arts organization by TAC, $14.95 is received from other levels of government, the private sector or earned revenue

Arts Access:

  • 15,000 performances, exhibitions, events are presented annually
  • 7.5 million people including 1.5 million children and youth attend TAC supported events annually

The impact on Toronto’s neighbourhoods and communities of increased arts funding includes:

  • creation of a more beautiful city
  • promotion of understanding between cultures
  • provision of opportunities for at-risk youth
  • attraction of business
  • increase of citizen engagement
  • support for underserviced neighbourhoods
  • increase of tourism
  • reduction of crime
  • increase of volunteerism
  • improvement of the economy
  • creation of community pride
  • increase in community organizational capacity

Toronto has lagged behind the rest of country in its arts funding; this increase was recommended 10 years ago. I’m so excited to see that there has been such progress towards the goal and I hope that you will aid in its passing. Speaking as a member of the arts and [insert Ward here] community I can attest to the passion, drive, and personal impact the work of our artists has on the Toronto community. Please support Recommendation ED20.5 and increase funding for this vital sector.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Respectfully,

 

January 31, 2013

A Night of Celebration and How to Hail A Cab

From my Facebook status: what a great night. celebration of the arts and arts funding at Daniels Spectrum – Artscape’s newest creation, amazing to see so much joy and power in one room, all together, friends old and new to hug and exclaim and make plans with and then out for a bite and a drink with (A Friend) who rocks my world and home safe to finish bits and pieces and think about what good things the future will bring to the arts in Toronto. Well done, all involved. To quote Che – art is power. Fought for over a decade, celebrated tonight.

I hadn’t yet been to Daniels Spectrum it was still a deep pit in the ground when I finished working at Artscape and it is a beautiful building, with a state of the art hall for events and theatre – congrats Artscape. You’ve made another beautiful building.

Last night was truly great – the mix of folks there to celebrate this arts funding from artists to city councillors to the Mayor to children running through to their art classes – really a celebration of life. Still – a long day and I was glad to head home, which leads to

Liv+Tyler+Liv+Tyler+Hailing+Cab+New+York+City+Sx9sdY8pO4PlHow To Hail A Cabbecause sometimes we need practical, non-arts marketing advice

I am excellent at hailing cabs. A US friend of mine once said, “they turn around for you – you’d do well in New York” which is still one of the best compliments I’ve ever been paid. I may have to wear reading glasses but I can spot a taxi six blocks away and get it.

Now then – the basic trick to hailing a cab is  – look like you want a taxi. I cannot stress this enough. This means –

Standing at the edge of the sidewalk by the street;
Actively looking, not playing with your phone or talking to your friends.

Hand in the air, and get it up there – whole arm up. No sad little waves, no timid finger snapping (and don’t do that anyway, because really? Snapping your fingers at someone?)

You are on the side of the road that corresponds to the direction you want to go in. Unless you want the meter started and have to go two blocks out-of-the-way or be a partner in a U-turn turned three-point turn turned twelve-point turn and now you’re holding up traffic and folks are honking. Up to you.

Keep your arm/hand in the air. Keep scanning. Try to be on/near a corner of an intersection, as it broadens your search area. Step away from the bus stop – because then you look like you’re waiting for the bus, not looking for a cab. Someone standing on the sidewalk by the edge of the street wants a cab.

If there are no cabs coming towards you, keep that arm up anyway. Why? Because there are cabs coming in the other direction and they can now see you want a cab. Listen behind you – if you hear a little peep-peep! horn – keep your arm in the air , but check the source as it’s probably a cab. Also, cabs going by with their lights off are taken, but sometimes drivers will communicate to other drivers that there is a “flagger” at X Street West and Y Avenue. Get all the taxis on your side!

Since he is going the opposite direction you will need to communicate to him to turn around – this be done with either the over the shoulder thumb movement in te direction you wish to head, or the circle the index finger turn around movement. Either one should be accompanied by mouthing or saying the words “that way“, or “other way“.

If there is a cab coming towards you and he is picking you up, odds are good he will flash his lights to indicate “I see you”. You can respond with a thumbs up, arm down and wait and keep watching them.  In my view, these actions constitute a binding contract for services on the part of both parties, so if another cab comes peeling around the corner and tries to nab you, you must shake your head no, and point at the original taxi, thus cementing the contract. They will thank you for waiting when they pull up.

If – and this rarely happens to me, but if it does – you have flagged a cab and someone a block ahead of you steals it – sorry. It’s a pain but it’s New York rules: If someone steals your cab, it wasn’t your cab.

Bonus info: If you call a taxi and wind up hailing one in the wait time for whatever reason, you must call back and tell them to cancel it. There’s a cab on the way spending time and gas to come get you – you can’t ditch them. Besides, they now have your cell number and you are the person who calls and ditches. Poor form.

And that’s how you hail a cab.

December 7, 2012

Whatcha Gonna Do With All That Data?

imagesShort post today. Man what a week. And am giving a deputation at budget committee Monday, so expect to hear about that too.

ANYWAY.

I keep seeing more and more analytics/SEO/data mining seminars, webinars, in person conversations being offered, there seems to be a big bump lately. I think it’s excellent. I think more arts orgs should be taking courses like these.

But I have one question – once you know, what are you going to do with this information? Once you’ve SEO’ed, then what?

Are you going to change your poster distribution areas?
Stop telemarketing?
Start holding talkbacks? Stop having talkbacks?
Post more (or less) on Facebook and Twitter? Add or subtract video?

Information is an incredible thing. I love stats. But having them is one thing, and using them is another. Collect your data. More importantly – use it to better market your art, please. If you’re not going to, then it was just an afternoon out of the office.

November 28, 2012

Fringe Lottery Results and a New Poet Laureate

(Love spelling Laureate. Just keep spelling)

The Fringe Lottery happened Monday night, and although results were live tweeted, you can click here for the whole list in a row of who was picked out of the hat.

Didn’t get in? Console yourself by attending Next Stage. Tickets here.

Did get in? You need to start Fringe socializing by attending Next Stage. Tickets here.

Toronto has a new Poet Laureate! From Live with Culture:

Respected Toronto-based poet, dramatist, novelist, and professor George Elliott Clarke has been appointed by City Council as Toronto’s fourth Poet Laureate. He takes the reins from outgoing poet Dionne Brand.

“It’s a great honour,” the gregarious Clarke (said). “I am humbled to follow in the brilliant wake of Dionne Brand, Pier Giorgio di Cicco, and Dennis Lee.” Read more

 

 

November 26, 2012

Fringe Lottery Tonight!

Apparently Mayor Rob Ford has been removed from office. There are nine thousand other places to read about that, so instead I will remind you that the FRINGE LOTTERY is TONIGHT!

The Lottery Party for Fringe 2013 will take place on November 26th, 2012 at Theatre Passe Muraille! Doors will open at 6:00pm and the event will kick off at 7pm. This event is FREE.

Also on the agenda:

  • More information about the Fringe’s 25 Anniversary season!
  • “Celebrity Pullers” from the Fringe’s 25 year history
  • The announcement of the New Play Contest Winners
  • A re-cap of the CDAP, National and International winners. (FYI: these draws will be live-streamed on Friday Nov 23rd at 2pm and Monday Nov 26th at 2pm. Check our main page for details.)
November 13, 2012

Next Stage Festival!

Today as you hopefully know is Friends of the Arts Day At The City and we’re meeting with over half of Toronto City Council to talk about arts and culture. Full release here.

ALSO…it’s coming….from the Toronto Fringe…

You may know the Toronto Fringe as a raucous, fun-loving indie theatre festival that takes place every July. BUT! We also curate a vibrant festival called the Next Stage Theatre Festivalevery January at Factory Theatre.Next Stage is where we take the edgiest shows from the festival circuit, the most innovative up-and-coming emerging artists and most vivacious local companies and throw them together for 12 days of the best indie theatre in the country. You should come! Whether you’re a theatre veteran or a first-timer, Next Stage is a fun post-holiday outing for one and all.

What else?

! gift vouchers, so Next Stage tickets are great for stocking stuffer
! a heated beer tent in the courtyard of Factory Theatre
! no ticket over $15
! catch the latest indie sensation before it catches fire and say “I was there when…”

To buy tickets, starting November 19th, call the box office at 416-966-1062 or visit the website.

November 12, 2012

They Don’t Need You

really good post in Mission Paradox the other day Getting Along Fine Without You.

Last night my day job did an arts performance.  Since the venue only holds 250 people and a lot more people than that read this blog it’s very probable that you missed the show.  

How do you feel about that?

Do you feel like you missed out?

Probably not.  That’s because you are probably ok with whatever you did last night.  Maybe you watched TV, maybe you read a book, maybe you got drunk and did lines of cocaine.  Whatever you did, you were ok with it.

What’s my point?  The point is that you got along fine without what the art I offered.

That new audience you’re looking for?  The younger one?  The more racially diverse one?  The one with more (or less) money?  The one from the other part of town?

They are doing fine without you.

Day at the City is tomorrow, we shall descend on City Hall to meet with various City Councillors to stress the importance of the arts in a city that wants to be great. You can follow #artsdayTO on twitter to tag along for the journey. It’s also the release of the TAPA Stats report which will let you know just what the state of the  arts is in Toronto.

November 7, 2012

Big Night Last Night

It’s a good speech.

I’m off to do a webinar, and then do some work for art & lies theatre company  production of In Adagio, and do some word tweaking for The Quickening theatre company, and a social media editorial calendar for OCAF and for Young Associates.

And then I’ll do some work for Tuesday’s Day at the City.

Congrats to YPT and Nancy Webster – delighted you’re back!

October 14, 2012

Sunday Round-up October 14

Some days in the office at home, some days  on the Island, paperwork and organizing for the next rounds of new clients and workshops and STUFF.

Cool Stuff Over and Under the Ground

Other People Might Not Know This

This week brings a sea of potential new client meetings, all of which I’m happy about. It also brings a double workshop day on the 17th: I’ll spend part of my morning talking to a friend’s George Brown class about Indie Producing, and finish the day giving a workshop at Parkdale Library on social media for artists. Wonderful stuff.

Off to Ottawa next week to participate  in Arts Day On Parliament Hill.

I’m also working on a social media strategy for Young Associates, and we’re turning that into a webinar on Nov 7th. Details coming.

And speaking of the Parkdale Library they have a visual art exhibit on called Young Voices and the deadline for the 2013 applications is coming up. Check it out. The photo above is not great but I was balancing books and trying to take the picture and the drawing was up high and well, you get it.

Have a good Sunday, whether you are marathoning on the streets or cooking in your kitchen or deep in a book.

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