Posts tagged ‘Factory Theatre’

December 27, 2012

2012 Round-up

top-10-listI confess that I love year-end lists and round ups.Grat sense of satisfaction in them for me, they’re orderly, I like seeing if I agree or disagree, the whole thing.

I’ve read most of the Toronto culture (theatre) round ups – delighted to report that Proud has held its own Michael Healey was nominated for a Menschie (GridTO) for Proud, Proud made the Star’s top ten list, Maev Beaty made its top five list of artists, Proud made NOW’s top ten list of theatre productions, and Maev made NOW’s top ten list of theatre artists. I am – so very Proud. And maybe a little weepy.

With this in mind I present to you the top ten posts of for 2012.

Dear Rob
Hands down the most popular post of the year, with literally ten times the number of
views as an average post. Given the controversies he’s faced this year, perhaps he’ll see it, read it and take it to heart.
He Said, He Said, She Said, We All Said
More controversy. More on this later.
A Picture Is Worth a K.I.S.S.
A Pinterest post – I think my second. Though I personally still don’t partake in pinning, I absolutely see the value in it for other folks and my clients.
On Family vs Public
More controversy. More on that later.
Can’t See What He-She-They Said for the Words
Word cloud of controversy. More on that later.
I’ll Take Director Fury’s Advice
Still wise words – keeping it simple. Working around things.
Did Churchill Really Say That? Has Anyone Said Anything Since?
Apparently not. Apparently there are no more good quotes about the arts. We should make some.
SWF Seeks Basic Website – must be attractive, clean and open to sharing…
Y’all loved this post. Pure information.
Who Has the Keys to the Customers?
I felt like this was an incredibly practical post that came out of a moment of sheer frustration.
My Thoughts on Starting a Theatre Company
A combination of three ideas/posts in one, all of which occurred in my life at the same time.  These sentences speak to me: “if it is in your heart to start an organization then you HAVE to do it.  The world may need it. But if your heart isn’t in it.  If you aren’t committed.  Don’t even think about starting.” 

So! About that controversy! It was an angry year this year. 2012 – year of anger and hurt feelings. A lot of it. Not without reason. A lot of tempers flaring, and walking away or being sent away and arguments days, weeks, months later. Folks who couldn’t take a side, folks being forced to take sides, folks who wanted to be told what side to be on, and a lot of divisiveness throughout.I said, you said he said she said.

“You know I can’t take sides but-”

This was a public statement, that was a private one, she told me this, I told him that.

Exhausting. I will say some good thought and opinion pieces came out of this year, that we all learned something, somehow, somewhere. I just wish it didn’t take such controversy to bring us all out to the table. A lot of fiercely smart talented people out there – I’d like to hear more from them on other matters.

Tomorrow – kind of another list, but with pictures and things that made me happy. The above list was what you all clicked on the most – tomorrow will be the things that clicked inside of me.

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.

July 29, 2012

Sunday Roundup – July 28

Next roundup – it will be AUGUST.

It has been an insanely busy week with work on HOMEbody and work on Proud, and proposals for new and returning clients and not much time for blogging. So there you go.

In Which we Talked

post about a fantastic workshop on Monday – which led to an unposted post, which went unpublished due to timing, which I’ll post below:

Where are People Talking?
Was at a party last night, great smart people, the wine flowed, the ideas flowed. I stepped out on to the balcony with a couple of friends to continue a great discussion about a current arts topic  near and dear to our hearts. It was great until the host came out and told us he’d prefer that we have that conversation in the living room, as that’s where it had started, and he’d planned for it to happen there.

Of course this didn’t happen in real life. Can you imagine?

But it’s what you’re telling me online when you get annoyed that conversations about your post are happening somewhere other than where you  started them, be in website vs Twitter feed, Facebook vs blog post.
We talked about this on Monday as part of that great conversation. Conversations happen where they happen and in fact may be inherently more valuable happening off your site than on. Accept them where they are, and monitor as lovingly as you would if it was on your blog. And when your editor or boss demands to know why the post comments are so low, show them the dozens of Facebook threads that popped up because of it, or the fact that your org now has a new hashtag created by commenters. But don’t tell people where to talk – or they possibly won’t talk at all. And that is the end of your party, all but the sucking.

This happened last week too.

And then noises started being made about boycotting Summerworks because Factory is one of the rental venues. And I said it once and I’ll say it again, I’ve never heard of anything quite so ridiculous in quite some time.

Emotions are understandably running high, ideas and thoughts and for and against are getting muddled together.  I’m fascinated by everything that’s happening from every position as this rolls out. More and more opinions and options and angles are coming to light.

This weekend I noticed that although stirring the pot while cooking keeps it from boiling over,  it’s the opposite in social media.

In which case – if you are going to stir the pot, be there for the inevitable boilover. And if you’re stirring – have a damn good reason for doing so.

July 19, 2012

He Said, He Said, She Said, We All Said

In many discussions, both on and offline, on Facebook and over the breakfast table, it takes a bit of time to get to the root of things. Or ask questions you think need asking and haven’t been, and usually it opens a whole new can of something.

So that happened. Yesterday David Ferry wrote an open letter on Facebook about who was standing up and vocalizing dismay about the way things were panning out at Factory Theatre these days.

And Chris Coculuzzi wrote an open letter response about why some were and some weren’t.

And Lisa Norton wrote a response to both of them.

UPDATED July 20 Response from Aislinn Rose – An Open Letter to Some of the Old Farts

An unoffical count shows 81 likes, 12 shares 174 comments from various pages and walls. So there’s a conversation that needs to be had here. If Facebook/social media is like the house party I liken it to, then this conversation was happening in the living room, kitchen, hallway and out on the balcony, all at the same time, not to mention the chats and private ones happening in the elevator.

The conversation, ostensibly about the firing of Ken Gass and the Board of Directors at Factory Theatre opened up a lot more anger, opinions and thoughts than you’d think.

Who gets money? Who doesn’t? Who has to do all of the work? Who doesn’t? Whose problem is it? It’s bigger picture! Who is passionately involved, who feels disaffected by it? What is establishment? Kids today! Old farts today! You shut me out, you didn’t involve me, I am busy, twas ever thus.

Did anything get solved during this? Doubtful. But wow, were a lot of questions and answers raised that I didn’t anticipate. David mentioned near the “end” – Imagine a town hall meeting where we all actually do that…talk WITH each other about all this. In my fantasy, ADs and admins would come and listen, so too the arts councils and yes the reps of boards. We need to take ownership. no surrender.

But my response to that is – Yup. I’d be interested to hear the answers to the question, “is there something here, one issue that we all agree on?”

I don’t know. Fine we can all agree there’s never enough money and never enough time.  But how do you agree on things you need to move forward on?  Many people used the word “family” and I agree, but think about the actuality of family. I mentioned it here a while back on the same topic.

Is it really a discussion if it’s online? Also a maybe. But at least when we do see each other next in person, there will be a shorthand, a ground work down so we can jump right in. And I hope that happens.

Stuff to think about. I know my mind’s been whirling a lot lately.

David Ferry – An open letter to the newer generations of Toronto theatre artists from one of the old farts.

I have been following with interest the events and actions surrounding the recent firing of Ken Gass at Factory Theatre.
I have seen several letters from some extraordinary artists that offer actions or pathways forward in response to the Board of Factory actions, and have contributed my own modest thoughts to the debate.
One of the things that alarms me is the relative absence of voices from the younger generation of theatre artists…ADs of project centric companies, authors, actors, dramaturgs, designers,producers.
Not to generalize too much, but I have seen very few signatures on the various letters seeking either extreme, moderate or conciliatory activity…in fact very little commentary at all from the majority of Toronto theatre artists under the age of, say, 35. Perhaps many signed the initial petition that garnered 3000+ signatures, but where are the voices NOW?
I am not suggesting that the younger voices need to agree with Mr. Healey, Mr Walker, Mr. Moodie, Ms Stolk or Ms Gibson MacDonald and their various suggestions for action..but I am suggesting that perhaps more than any other group, you have a vital stake in what is happening and you need to express your opinions.
I ask myself a few questions here:
– Why is there such relative silence from your generations of theatre artists?
– How have I and my contemporaries failed in setting an example for you, so that you do not feel compelled to speak up in such a time?
– Why do we as a community of artists have so little to say politically about our own institutions in comparison to similar communities from other cultures..USA, Britain, France, Germany as well as the non-Eurocentric communities of theatre artists in the world?
Others of my generation of Canadian theatre artists have suggested that you are simply waiting, like Prince Charles for the old guard to slip away so you can take over the institutions that have been built.
Some have suggested that you live in fear of rocking the boat and so not getting hired by whoever does take over theatres such as Factory.
Some say you are just rigid with apathy about the issues that have challenged Canadian theatre artists from the beginning of our short professional theatre history. We are after-all, for all practical purposes, just 70 years old as a theatre culture.
But I have worked with many of you, and I have sensed a fierce intelligence and passion inside you. So your silence I know is not simply due to the above.

Is it that you don’t feel these issues are YOUR issues?

Because, I believe they are. The real issues at hand here are the issues of artist voice and artists’ moral rights to have a say in how the theatres that live or die by our work as artists are run. The issue of Board control over artists and their institutions has been a challenge to our Theatre since the first professional regional theatres were born out of the ashes of amateur theatre and throughout the evolution of large regionals, the alternative movements of the 70s and early 80s and the new wave theatres of the 90s and beyond. The issue is far larger than the firing of one AD (one, I might add, that has had a major impact on many of your careers…it was not after all the board of Factory that gave you a break when you needed it was it?) The issue is one of ownership of voice through the determination of how our institutions are run. If you do not speak out on this issue (and again, I care not what side you may come from, I ask only that you speak) you are in danger of backing yourselves into a corner of irrelevance.
When Sara Kane’s play “Blasted” was first produced in England, it received some pretty vicious press. The major artists of various ages in England were quick to respond through a very vocal and activist series of letters to editors, op-ed articles and broadcast debates. Many of the senior “established” artists such as Carol Churchill, Harold Pinter and many more went to the barricades to fight for creative voice. This has happened in England, the US, France, Germany (as I mentioned earlier) again and again when artists and their institutions are attacked.

Why are we so complacent here?

Why are you being so silent?

The blogs and papers and theatre lobbies should be abuzz with thoughts, opinions, letters from YOU (DOB 1977 and beyond)..yet I sense in sad recognition that the issue is slipping so quickly to just another Facebook entry-du-jour.
Please do not let that happen. Please do not be silent. Theatres like Factory were built with the blood, sweat and tears (and physical/mental/spiritual currency) of your predecessors in our community. They were not built to be passed on to board membership after board membership for patriarchal stewardship. They were built to be passed on to you! And when I see with wonder the explosion of new babies in your circles, it bears remarking that what you inherit, you will too pass on to them.

But Goddamn it, you have to stand up to be counted first. You have to get off the fence. You have to speak. All silence is the silence of complicity in your own future being determined by others.

With respect, solidarity and hope.
David Ferry

Chris Coculuzzi- A Response to David Ferry

Dear Mr. Ferry,

I wanted to respond to your open letter because I think there are issues that you may be either unaware of or unwilling to identify. And just to let you know, I am an Indie artist over the age of 40, so this is not an angered response by a “youth” that you identify in your letter, but rather some critical feedback as an opportunity for sober reflection.
Commercial theatre in Canada is elitist. If you can’t recognize that, then you will have a difficult time understanding the “silence” of the younger generation. I can’t think of a better example of the 99% versus the 1% than Canadian Theatre. Canadian Actors’ Equity has a lot to do with that (but that is for a different discussion), but it also has to do with our limited options for commercial theatre. And although theatres like Tarragon, Factory, TPM and CanStage may have once been about “the little guy,” the firing of Mr. Gass has demonstrated how commercial and corporate those institutions have become.
The vast majority of artists today (including myself) have nothing to do with commercial theatre, because for the most part it is a closed system with the occasional opportunity for an actor, writer, director, dramaturg, or designer. It may be the world you inhabit, but for the rest of us—especially the young—we are not JUST an actor, a designer, a director, a producer, a writer…we are ALL of those things. We are entrepreneurs…mostly because we are forced to be. We are also graphic designers, publicists, box office managers, marketers, fundraisers, and janitors if need be. We do not have the luxury of being ONE thing. We are busy being indie producers and doing EVERYTHING. So that explains probably the biggest reason for the “silence”…they/we are too busy doing EVERYTHING to get outraged over the firing of one commercial AD.
So you are totally off the mark if you think that young artists are “waiting in the wings” to take over. The youth have no access to those institutions. The youth are creating their own opportunities. For over 15 years I have been renting theatres—many of which have closed their doors (Poor Alex, The Lab, Alchemy Theatre)—and ALL of them were cheaper than Factory, Tarragon, TPM, or CanStage. When those run-down and cheaper theatres close, like rats or cockroaches, we find other run-down spaces because we can’t afford your institutions, because we don’t receive any grants, and we don’t receive any large corporate sponsorships. We are busy pounding the pavement to see if a local restaurant will place an ad in our program.
The youth are not worried about “rocking the boat” so that they might get hired—for the 99% they never will get hired in those institutions, so they are busy creating their own opportunities. Far from being apathetic, they are busy busting their ass for little to no money—often putting their own money in their own productions—and contribute to Canadian theatre. Many of us also work full-time and have families.
So I suppose you are right—Mr. Gass’s issue is not their (my) issue. For the 99%, they are like Mr. Gass 40 years ago but not Mr. Gass (and Factory) today. And for the 99%, they will never have the opportunity to build their companies into a Factory—in the face of “austerity” measures those days are long gone.
And before you ask the youth to “stand up” and be counted…to break their “silence”…tell me again how many of the 1% stood up at the DORA awards to demonstrate their outrage? How many boycotted? How many protested?

What’s that…? Oh, right…SILENCE.

Chris Coculuzzi


Mister Ferry and (especially) Mister Cocoluzzi,

As a slightly younger fart than either of you, and one who does feel heavily invested in the recent happenings at Factory Theatre, allow me to throw in a few cents of my own.

David, I think you make a valid plea. And you acknowledge that young people in our community are smart and passionate, so their relative silence on this issue baffles you. But simply put, some of this is a numbers game. We’ve been around longer; we’ve had a chance to work at Factory over the years.

As for me, I worked front of house at Factory when I was starting out, and personally saw Ken Gass painting the stairs and mopping the floor at the end of the day; later I was lucky enough to act in a few shows there and see his dedication to the art and not just the peeling paint. A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of taking part in a workshop process Ken spearheaded, looking at Canadian plays with a focus on cross-cultural/colour-blind casting – a workshop that ultimately lead to the recent ethnically diverse production of the Rez Sisters – and heard Ken speak passionately about the need for more diversity in our theatres, and his desire to do better on that front. (And if anyone reading this wonders, as you naturally might, whether this is a kiss-ass move to stay in the favours of a director who hires me all the time, I can also tell you that I’ve auditioned for Ken tons of times and NOT been hired and may never be again for all I know. I’ve come out so vocally on this issue he’ll probably never hire me now for fear it’ll look like my brown-nosing worked.)

All that to say that you and I, David, have had a chance to get to know Ken, among many other of those Mister Coculuzzi describes as the old guard “elite” ADs in town. So naturally, we feel more immediately and directly connected to the issue. Would you or I have been so easily, instantly outraged about the firing of a stranger?

Mister Coculuzzi, you make the point that things have changed. Many Toronto theatre artists, young and old, are looking (by neccessity, or by choice) outside the mainstream theatres, and beyond one discipline, in order to cobble together a living. (You may not realize that Mister Ferry himself is among that number, as am I.) But along the way, those people, in their varied journeys, may make a stop at the Factory Theatre now and then. Some people just haven’t done so because they merely haven’t had the chance yet. If Ken’s fight is lost, and they later work there, they may find themselves working at a very different Factory than has existed in the past. They may find a place run by corporate interests (which I can assure you it hasn’t been before now); a place where the artists, from the top down, are beholden to a board of directors which doesn’t necessarily include any artists whatsoever; a place which perhaps can no longer lay claim to the name “Home of the Canadian Playwright”, and has become, as some have suggested, “Home of the Board of Directors”.

Or perhaps, Mister Coculuzzi, you’re right. Maybe these young people you speak of will never work at Factory. Obviously not all of them will. Many of them won’t want to. But I’ve firmly believed from the beginning that, my personal/professional bias aside, this issue is bigger than Ken Gass, and bigger than the Factory Theatre. And that even if you don’t care for Ken as an artist – hell, even if you hate the guy – this is a dangerous precedent that cannot afford to stand.

You want to talk 99%, Mister Coculuzzi? How about the fact that a Board of Directors comprised of nine people has dug in and ignored 3596 (and counting) signatures on a petition asking them to step down and reinstate Ken Gass? Almost 3600 voices of theatre artists, supporters and patrons: the very community which it is their mandate to serve. How about the fact that they shut out the one artist on the board, designer Shawn Kerwin, from the decision-making and firing, telling her she “wasn’t needed” at key board meetings? How about the fact that this was a power play over renovations, and that the board admits – even brags – that the theatre is in great artistic and financial shape (as if little gnomes ran around in the night making things run smoothly last season and it had nothing to do with the leadership of Ken Gass)? Or that the firing itself took place in the callous manner of the most sudden and disrespectful corporate layoff (“Clear out your desk by the end of the day”)?

You can know Ken or not, you can feel a connection to Factory or not, you can see yourself working there in future or not….but this decision – and the sudden disrespectful way it was carried out – is indefensible and wrong and, I believe, should matter to all of us. And no, this isn’t the only example of this attitude lately in this country (not just the disregard/lack of understanding of art and artists but the lack of respect): for one stark example among many, look to Alberta’s Keyano College, where reportedly, this past May, the entire arts department was laid off and walked out by security within fifteen minutes.

If you believe in the spirit of the Occupy movement, as it sounds you do, I urge you not to use it to divide the theatre community, but to help us stand strong together and make a statement that theatres are a home for artists, and that if there’s ONE place left in this country where we should have a little bit of power, it’s in our own institutions. Trust me, Ken Gass is not the one percent. He’s part of the big, fat, beautiful, artsy-fartsy ninety-nine. I stand with him.


Lisa Norton

*An addition: For what it’s worth, if anyone reading this hasn’t signed the petition and gets the urge to do so, here’s where you’ll find it:

Where does a family go to have this big a discussion?

July 13, 2012

Final Weekend of Fringe!

Here are your Patrons’ Picks

Rare: Sunday, July 15th at 9:15pm – Tarragon Mainspace
Mahmoud: Sunday, July 15th at 9:15pm – Tarragon Extraspace
Tinfoil Dinosaur: Sunday, July 15th at 7:30pm – Solo Room
One In A Million (a micromusical): Sunday, July 15th at 9:15pm – Randolph Theatre
A Funeral for Clowns: Sunday, July 15th at 9:45pm – Annex Theatre
Help Yourself: Sunday, July 15th at 9:30pm – George Ignatieff Theatre
The Other Three Sisters: Sunday, July 15th at 6:45pm – St. Vlad’s Theatre
Medicine: Sunday, July 15th at 9:15pm – Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse
21 Days: Sunday, July 15th at 6:45pm – Robert Gill Theatre
pomme is french for apple: Sunday, July 15th at 6:45pm – Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace
With Love and A Major Organ: Sunday, July 15th at 7:30pm – Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace
The Dinner: Sunday, July 15th at 9:15pm – Factory Theatre Mainspace

Tickets go on SALE starting at noon on Friday, July 13th.

I myself think you should go see Dirty Butterfly, Ladies In Waiting, The Gravity Hour, and in my very own Fringe-Lottery-within-a-Fringe-Lottery pick – Release the Stars.

Swing by Artists Alley and get yourself a Fringe 2012 necklace, with a dollar from each going to the Fringe. have something to eat, something to drink, catch a tent talk and enjoy yourself – it’s the weekend and it’s FRINGE!

June 21, 2012

On Family vs Public

It has been a strange 48 hours.  On Wednesday night the Wrecking Ball played to a sold out house as the final of eleven encounters at the Edward Bond Festival.#wb13 focused on Bond and his work.

“For the past decade Edward Bond has focused heavily on what he calls The Third Crisis: the intensive injustice of authority in our present capitalist society. He had been investigating how language, ideas and humanity are being co-opted for rational capitalist means. Bond writes of people being “asleep” to injustices committed around them by being lulled into complacency through both apathy and the media.”
wrecking ball website

And at around the same time, Artistic Director Ken Gass was being shown the door at Factory Theatre – a door that is quite frankly there because of him.

If this were a movie, there would absolutely have been cut shots alternating between the Wrecking Ball and I assume, the Factory Theatre. This is not a movie.

Ken has spoken to the media with his side. Factory has issued a press release with theirs. It does not contain a satisfactory answer to the barbaric YAWP of WTF? that is resounding through the theatre community tonight.

I had a chat with someone about “the public’s right to know” today, an idea which  of course has increased thousandfolds in the last decade. And it’s increased at lightning speed with the advent of social media.  (Quick link –Using Social Media In A Crisis). And that’s why a press releases sometimes says nothing. I know – I’ve been the person to have to write that type of release. Not enviable work, and you do the best you can under the circumstances.  Unfortunately, saying nothing doesn’t help a situation like this for those who want to know why something so seemingly impossible has happened.

Maybe the “public” doesn’t need to know. Fair enough. But here’s my issue with that. Whether we are referred to as an “industry” a “community” a whatever – we are essentially a family. And I don’t mean cheesy Partridge style family where all is ever sunny. We see each others work and work with each other in hours and conditions most would find insane. We fight, and argue, and laugh, and drink too much and go to team softball games. We share remnant ad space and discounts, and talk to each other and learn. We know each other, we know who we should know, and let me introduce you to someone you should know.

That’s not the “public”. That’s family. And I do think a family maybe has a little more “right to know” that some random public guy who does not know Ken’s contribution to Toronto theatre, to its artists, its playwrights.  I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

My two cents. I am sure details will continue to come out – I can’t imagine they will make this look any better, or they would have come out immediately. But I do wonder what is going on in Toronto theatre these days.

March 2, 2012

Art Is Too Expensive and There’s Nothing to Do Anyway

it also takes too long and is hard to get to.

Don’t count on it. I have proved that statement wrong.

Wednesday, February 29th was the 12 hour Arts Marathon #12hAM. I left the house at 10:50 am, and returned to it just under 12 hours later at 10:37 pm, having spent my day in search of all the genres of art in one day, in one section of our city.

My rules were easy – transportation by TTC, and no comps or deals that an average person couldn’t find.

Here we go.

LiteratureToronto Public Library, Parkdale Branch – a book came in that I had on hold. Am almost finished The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and I recommend.

Cost: FREE. We`re at $0.

Visual Art – Off to MOCCA, somewhere I pass every day and had never been in. Three exhibitions: Tasman Richardson, Necropolis; Spectral Landscape Peter Doig, Tim Gardner, Sarah Anne Johnson; Daisuke Takeya .GOD Loves Japan. Loved Necropolis as it’s interactive and you walk through the art and it makes you face a primal fear – the dark. Admission is by donation.  I looked to see what most people had put in the box.

Cost: $5. We’re at $5 total for a work of literature and three art exhibits.

Dance: Down to the St. Lawrence Centre for a Canadian Stage Matinee of Crystal Pite/Kidd Pivot’s Dark Matters. Get a ticket now. It was incredible. Full house, BTW.

Cost: $39. We’re up to $44. Note: I expected this ticket to be a bit more, it’s a full-fledged production. I did find a deal on Canadian Stage’s website or Facebook page, so my $39 ticket was about a 30% discount. I was also sixth row centre. If you think $39 is still too much, I also could have gotten a ticket from the TAPA ticket wiki – Arts Worker price of $22.

Film – over to the Bell Lightbox for a screening of Monsieur Lazhar. Great movie. See it.

Cost: $12. We’re at $56.

Theatre – Factory Studio for The Big Smoke. The actor – she has a helluva set of pipes.

Cost: $25. We’re at $81.

Music – long day means heading home – or rather your second home. To the Cameron House – live music seven days a week.

Cost: $5. We’re up to $86.

Factor in service charges: add $8.50.


For less than one hundred dollars, in less than 12 hours I experienced a sampler of every major genre of art. On a WEDNESDAY. Mid week, mid day.

If I had a bucket list, I’d put this on it so I could cross it off. I had an amazing day of art and experience and talking to people who were also there to experience art. Totally worth it. You should try it sometime.

Behold my usual selection of blackberry pix of my journey. You may notice some production stills filling things out – I will credit them asap.

Thanks to everyone who helped! An excellent end to February, the month of Amazing Twicks. This was the most amazing yet.

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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!

January 6, 2012

Aparently it’s Your Year…

Interesting article from on how 2012 will be ther year of the artist-entreprenuer and why. Reductions in costs, increases in techbological ability – apparently it’s a great time to be an artist. Or is it? What does the idea that “anyone can do it” do to the idea of art in general?  Read more…


Equally interesting article from the Times about the joy of being quiet. This struck me – In barely one generation we’ve moved from exulting in the time-saving devices that have so expanded our lives to trying to get away from them — often in order to make more time. The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us seem desperate to unplug. It’s well timed as I saw a play last night called Modern Love in which the main character decries the fact that she has “661 Facebook friends and nobody to go to a movie with IRL”. (I’m paraphrasing). Food for thought. And now I want to read Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows.


And of course Next Stage is up and running at Factory Theatre. Ticket sales are brisk, hot toddies are hot and everyone you want ot know in the know is in the tent in real life. Apparently on Day One three shows sold out hours before opening and two more on Day Two. I’ve booked all my tickets to see all the shows and I can’t wait. So in case you thought, “oh, nobody goes to theatre in January” – I advise you to  get your tickets and your seat in the (heated) beer tent as soon as you can. We do art in the winter. WE ARE CANADIAN.


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