Posts tagged ‘culture’

September 30, 2012

Sunday Round up September 30

Well, September went fast…and I didn’t even manage to get a round-up in place last week. So!

Where have you BEEN this week?

Linky Friday

Because We’re Singing Into Theatre Season Again

22 Rules to Live By

Post Now, Nap Later, Consult in the Fall

A couple other things that caught my attention last week:

Top Toronto city managers report culture of fear, bullying   – I’d find this disturbing to hear in any workplace, but even more so in the workplace that runs our city.

And this image is an excellent addition to 22 rules to live by, and I think now more than ever – you could add in so many other distractions.



August 30, 2012

An Announcement from Metcalf and A Dance Current Job Op

Announcement: New Programs to Support Performing Arts – Town Hall Meetings, Metcalf Foundation

In June 2012, the Metcalf Foundation decided to bring down the curtain on their Strategic Initiatives funding program.  Over the past 12 years, Metcalf has awarded 115 SI grants to 84 different small and mid-sized professional performing arts companies in Toronto, representing a total financial commitment of over $11 million.

Metcalf remains committed to its work of building multi-year partnerships with organizations in the performing arts, conscious of the importance of a healthy performing arts sector to a strong and vibrant city.  During 2012, the Foundation has been examining the SI program in order to determine how we can be more effective with our support for these companies and build collective impact by enabling collaborative learning or activity.

In the fall of 2012, they will be announcing a significant new program to support the performing arts.  They will be presenting our framework for this new program in three town hall meetings.

September 11, 2012; 3:30 pm at The Citadel (the studios of Coleman Lemieux et compagnie, 304 Parliament Street at Dundas)

September 12, 2012; 12:00 pm at the Canadian Music Centre (20 St. Joseph Street, one block north of Wellesley at Yonge)

September 19, 2012; 9:30 am at The Fringe Creation Lab (720 Bathurst Street, Suite 403, south of Bloor

In addition to presenting the new program, the Foundation will be looking for important input from the sector regarding specific areas of focus for our work in the upcoming year.  Please RSVP for one of these town hall meetings by contacting Program Director Michael Jones ( or Grants Manager Heather Dunford


Request for Proposals to Provide Management Services, CADAC

CADAC is seeking an independent managing consultant to lead the organization through a pivotal period in its development and beyond. The consultant will work closely with the Board, members and stakeholders to manage all aspects of the not-for-profit’s business and guide the organization towards greater autonomy and sustainable self-sufficiency.  CADAC (Canadian Arts Data) is an independent not-for-profit corporation serving professional arts organizations and funding bodies at all levels of government across Canada.

The deadline for proposals is September 20th, 2012. The Request for Proposals is linked below.

August 12, 2012

Sunday Round-up August 12

The first two weeks of August are usually quiet for my blog What went on?

Pro-Artist/Anti-Institution, PTTP deadlines and a Book Sale!


Two Very Different Shows

Since it was so quiet, here are a couple of great articles that were on the Creative Trust blog last week:

A Good Board at Work and We Have to Tell Our Stories. Thought-provoking – enjoy!

April 9, 2012

Reading for Easter Monday

Is it still the weekend? I’m not quite sure – some are working, some are not, I can go to the bank but not the library, you get the picture. Plus I was away for two days on my staff-retreat-of-one – which I highly recommend to small biz owners and entrepreneurs out there. More on that in another post.

So in honour of maybe you have time to read at home, and maybe you have time to read at work since you’re still in a chocolate coma, here we go –  from last week and now let’s flip through the bookmarks for things to share

What a Wonderful Thing to Come Back To  the billboard tax is happening!

The Future of Theatre  gotta love the Guardian.

I liked this article, made me do some thinking:  Emerging artist? Are you kidding yourself?The first section itself was cause for pause:

This is scary. Imagine. You’re anaesthetised on the operating table, on the cusp of unconsciousness, when in walks all scrubbed up, an emerging surgeon. Your last thought before you slip into a deep, dark sleep is “but … but … wait …”

Absurd the thought of an emerging anybody. There’s none of this wait-and-see tease to it. You are or you ain’t. To see how silly the concept is, take the word “emerging” and follow it with a job of your choice. Asinine in anyone else, but perfectly acceptable if you are an artist apparently.

Some food for thought as to how young you have to be to be emerging, how old you shouldn’t be. I remember a client of mine years ago saying, “make them stop emerging, I’m not done yet!
How long does one get to emerge for? What defines  “mid career”? When are you a “senior artist”?

Would love your thoughts on this one.




April 4, 2012

What a Wonderful Thing to Come Back To

Spent Monday and Tuesday on Toronto Island at the retreat centre getting my head together, doing some visioning exercises and just plain catching up and getting organized before the busy season starts (or continues, really, and gets busier.)

There is something wonderful about the Island – all the regular distractions are simply not there, and you find the focus you’ve been looking for. It starts as soon as you hit the dock to go over on the ferry.

Everyone is there to work on something, so no messing about. It’s beyond quiet – it’s thisclose to silent and you want to do what you came there to do. I highly recommend it to any artist looking for the space and time to get stuff done.

I still read the paper and came across this article – congrats, congrats big congrats to and Devon. Well done.

Toronto wins appeal on billboard tax

March 27, 2012

It’s World Theatre Day

I wish we did more to celebrate it in Toronto, outside of our industry, other than seemingly posting it on Facebook and awkwardly saying it to each other.

I wish it  were valued enough that it was a stat holiday, like Family Day and you could spend the day seeing theatre with your loved ones, free theatre, theatre at a discount, specially planned event, that everyone would be talking about what they did for World Theatre Day at the water coolers tomorrow and the morning talk/news shows would be asking people to tweet in what they did for World Theatre Day to win prize packages with the hashtag #WTD.

We’ll keep working on it. Meantime,  here’s a great presentation about the message from John Malkovich for the 50th Anniversary of ITI.  Definitely worth a watch.

Happy World Theatre Day.



February 10, 2012

Sometime the Art Touches You, Sometimes You Get to Touch the Art

Spent a lovely afternoon in the East End yesterday – had a great meeting  with the AD of Atrium Theatre and we’re going to work together on a couple of things. Then I trundled off with my friend Colette to Pentimento Gallery to see what John had up on the walls.

Never disappointed. John was delighted to see us and talk to us about the current exhibition, Duet – sculpture by Haydn Llewellyn Davies and paintings by Eva Koller Davies.

Mr Davies may be known to you for the 2005 dispute with Lambton College in Sarnia, which tore down his outdoor sculpture, Homage, claiming the sculpture was a danger to children who attempted to climb on it.Created in 1974 of red cedar, it was his first public commission — won over more than 100 other artists in an international competition. Davies sued the college for than $1 million over the destruction of his artwork, saying it was a violation of his rights as an artist and a cause of “emotional distress.”

He won. He’s done something marvelous with the money.

All the pieces in the gallery are obviously model sizes of these giant works – there’s a beautiful feeling the tension in them – like they’re all being held together by a breath. You can see Japanese influence, you can see Stonehenge influences.What do I like most about him?  That he resigned as senior vice-president and director of McCann-Erickson Advertising in 1976 at the age of 55 to become a full-time sculptor. To leave at the top of your game because you`ve succeeded and on to the next thing is truly admirable. To me, anyway.

I always stand with my hands clasped behind my back in sculpture galleries – something about them makes we want to touch them, the feel the smoothness of a curve, or the sharpness of an edge, to get the sense of heft of something. John asked why i was standing that way and I explained – and he said I could touch the art. Happy me. It adds another dimension of experience to the work.

Plus when we go visit during the week, John is usually alone in the gallery and so he has time to talk, really talk about the work, and the artist behind it – things that make them a human being (fun fact – Haydn and Eva met when they were children, selected to attend very special art classes at OCAD.  At the time of his death, they`d been married 60 years.) We`re lucky to have that opportunity to essentiall yhave a personalized tour of a gallery and its work.

It`s always a treat to visit John and Pentimento. I learn something every time I go, whether it`s about the current show, the last show or a showdown on the set of something. Lovely day indeed.




January 29, 2012

Sunday Roundup – January 29

It wasn’t that long ago that we were ringing in the New Year and making resolutions and yet within this week it will be February. Too many of my besties get a case of the drears this month, so we shall try to keep therir spirits up and make some merry.

So about last week…

Video Post: Pay The Writer – excellent video story. Pay people. Pay them what they are worth. Because we love what we do does not mean we should be giving it away for free.

Creation Lab and Doc Challenges – the Fringe Creation Lab was open for an afternoon last week for folks to go and work on creative stuff with other creative folks. It’s an excellent energy. Also, HotDocs has a great contest going.

Should Art Really Be For Its Own Sake? – oh we do love this question, don’t we? Highest clickthrough rate last week.

On Attending Workshops – I really do love them.

I saw a lot of things last week from Sing A Long Grease at the Lightbox, to Golden Dragon at Tarragon and Cruel and Tender at Canadian Stage, and the afore mentioneds workshop of Walk Like an Egyptian. There is a ridiculous amount of really good stuff going on in our fair city these days. Go see some of it.

Social Media Week is just around the corner, the workshop I am doing in partnership with Parkdale Village BIA is sold out, which is amazing, and  I’ve just confirmed to be on another panel as well. Busy week.

Quick note that a colleague of mine asked me to promote this survey to artist-type people. Artscape is planning a centre for creative sector entrepreneurship called Launchpad. Click here to tell them what you’d need, folks.

And I’ve decided that the 12 hour art marathon will be happening in February. More on that later.

And finally I was at the Cameron House last night to see Little Jimmie’s Chicken Pickers which is always a fun night of friends and laughter and music. It is also a kid-friendly event and there are usually a half dozen smalls there dancing like crazy. We come to listen and sing a long, they come to dance with purpose and feeling.

The highlight for me was a little sprite named Eliana.  We had a little chat in the backroom, where we discussed her age (2)  and the age of her stuffed animal (Elliot, also age 2) and how much she had liked the music.  I said I really liked her dancing, and it looked like she was having a lot of fun. She agreed, nodding vigorously, and said, “Yes it was fun, I was doing amazing twicks.”

I hereby declare February to be the month of Amazing Twicks. Go out and do some.

January 13, 2012

Reading Productivity Articles Does Not Make You Productive

January comes with a slew of resolutions. Some are about getting organized and being more productive, and the inevitable batch of articles from everyone about how to be more productive. And they have stock images of harried looking people surrounded by stacks of paper. (I think my choice is much more soothing).

So you spend hours reading such articles. Not productive.

And you spend hours setting up systems and files and meetings and Gantt charts that nobody can quite get the hang of using because it is your system and way of working, not theirs and so they are rejected.  Not productive.

I don’t think productivity is about your beautifully colour coded files, or code phrases (although I read the Staples catalogue like others read the Victoria’s Secret Catalogue). I think productivity is about actually doing what you’re meant to be doing, not spending time organizing what you’re meant to be doing.

A couple of articles that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Tips For Getting More Organized – Don’t.


Managing Yourself With Your Smartphone.

Things I like that have made me more productive? Given that I spend most of my communication time emailing it’s mostly about email.

Gmail’s Boomerang – which allows me to tag a sent message to come back to my inbox if nobody responds in X number of days.  Now I don’t have to remember when I’ve sent it, did they respond, go through sent file, go through email files find and resend. Gmail will tell me. One less thing to worry about until I need to worry about it. It also allows me to write the email now and schedule it to send later – not sitting in drafts where I keep clicking and wondering what that is – it just deals with it so I can do other stuff.

Gmail also suggests people to add to an email chain. If I usually email Ashley, Rhett and Scarlett at the same time, and this time only email Rhett, it will suggest I add Scarlett and Ashley before I send it, saving time on the Fwd: whoops! forgot to add you! front. Which is essentially another email chain. Not productive.

And my favourite: Dear Rhett, attached please find the commendation for Ashley as a true gentleman. And I go to hit send, and Gmail pauses and asks, “you used the word attached in your email but there is no attachment. Continue?”


If you would like to continue reading productivity articles, by all means do so. But I’m going to mix my suggestion metaphors here.

Kaizen – long story short (no, I’m not linking to an article, you have two articles up there to read and I will not enable your habit).  Small steps. One thing. Not hundreds of dollars of organizing tools and equipment from Staples, but one thing you can do to get organized. Thousand mile journey, single step idea.

And from The Table Comes First by Adam Gponik which is a wonderful book about food. In the chapter on recipes, he points out that most recipes by celebrity chefs are too daunting to create as a whole, by yourself, in your little four burner, one strainer kitchen.  Instead we “read a long recipe and take away from it a singly feature – a new way of reducing onions, the idea of adding the cubed potatoes to the green beans – a gesture, rather than a gestalt.

TORONTO BUDGET: Arts Won’t Be Cut. – many thanks to  Councilor Gary Crawford, Councilor Michael Thompson  the Executive Committee,  the members of Theatre Task Force. I’d also like to add in a big thank you to everyone who wrote letters, emailed, called, went and gave deputations, blogged, facebooked, tweeted and generally rallied around the idea that cuts to the Arts are cuts to our City and our quality of life.

November 20, 2011

Sunday Roundup – November 20

Bit of breathing room this week  there were no deadlines at Entrepreneuse School, but a lot of art hit critical mass with things coming to and end and other things beginning. Off we go:

Some of my best friends are Equity members – Not being an Equity member myself, I sent you over to the Praxis blog to read about tonight`s meeting and some of the reasons it`s important. Still time to read this – the meeting is tonight at 7 pm at Wychwood Barns.

Day at the City and What Would you Do with a Brand New Space? – TAPA and Friends of the Arts Descended on City Hall to stress the importance of the cultural sector, and Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre wants to know what you would do in their new theatre.

Embrace The Fear – Bit of a marketing tangent from me, inspired by a post from the Mission Paradox blog

Arts Funding petition  On November 29th, this petition will be presented at City Hall. This will be a vital time when councillors will be considering the 2012 Operating Budget. The petition is currently at 20,000 signatures which is fantastic! However, more would be even better. Please sign it if you haven’t already and pass it along. Thank you.

Lesson #54357 – How to Stay on a Comp List – no further explanation required.

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