Posts tagged ‘Ontario Arts Council’

July 23, 2013

Live Love Art… Vive l’amour de l’art…

I’m low on inspiration so far this week, perhaps my head is too full of to-do lists for the upcoming season, and perhaps my head is full of August being on its way.

This video was released the night of the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts, take a watch – it’s definitely inspirational. More later this week.

January 27, 2013

Sunday Roundup – January 27

And there goes January.

Before I forget,  a reminder to all working towards that Toronto Arts Council February 1 deadline that grant apps need to go to their new place of residence at Toronto Arts Council 200-26 Grand Trunk Crescent Toronto, ON  M5J 3A9.

You see where my mind is at these days. Don’t forget the Ontario Arts Council February 1 deadline as well.

Last week? Last week.

Documenting Your Show – the incomparable Dahlia Katz explains why show photograph is wildly important

Three Articles on Social Media. Two Artists Doing it Right

A Room Full of Participants

I mentioned last week I’d be tag-team teaching a course at Ryerson – the Chang School, to be precise – here are the details – I’m doing CDAM 101 Communication and Promotion for the Arts.

Totsapalooza is in less than a week and I’m sensing a sold out event. Small Print Toronto does amazing work in the realm of kid-lit, and this one is no exception, with the talents of Oliver Jeffers being a major part of the day.

He’s lovely.

 

December 2, 2012

Sunday Roundup – December 2

Am pleased to report I have finally kicked this horrifying cold, and am about to begin work with two new clients: The Quickening Theatre and a co-production with Harold Green Jewish Theatre and Obsidian Theatre Company. Delighted about both.

Last week:

Fringe Lottery tonight! – so it was, and a great time was had by all with celebrity drawers, 25th anniversary announcements and a birthday!

Fringe Lottery Results and a New Poet Laureate – there they are!

OAC Podcasts, The Arsonists and Cahoots – really hoping the OAC continues with their podcasts. I think it’s a great idea.

It’s a Wonderful Toronto – NTOW am really looking forward to National Theatre of The World’s holiday show

Since it’s been so busy lately, I haven’t mentioned reading and good books as much. Here’s what I’ m currently reading: Let’s Pretend this Never Happened, Jenny Lawson ~ Alligator, Lisa Moore  ~ The Cocktail Waitress, James Cain ~ The News From Spain, Joan Wickersham ~ It Must’ve Been Something I Ate, James Steingarten.(Last one overdue at the library. Eep.)

And this is Slate’s list of Best Books of 2012. I’ve read three of them, and looked at one yesterday in the bookstore.

Also, saw this on The Charlebois Post‘s Facebook page yesterday: From December 22-28 we will be presenting the best photos of the year at CharPo-Toronto, CharPo-Montreal and CharPo-Canada (different photos on each site so check them all out). On December 29 we will announce the finalists for the first CharPR Prize (for best PR) including best photographers. On December 30, 2 runner-up photos will be presented on each site (separate from finalists). On December 31 the best photo of the year for each site will be presented. On January 1 the single Photo of The Year will be announced. Finally, on January 2, the CharPR winners will be announced including best photographer, best PR (small, medium, large and indy).
I’m going to go and look at the photos. And tham do some book balancing. Happy wet Sunday!

 

 

 

 

August 9, 2012

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

My computer has been acting up this week, especially with blogging. I think it’s time for a physical.

Anyway, I thought this was an interesting article and so am sharing it with you.

When did being pro-artist make one anti-institution?

Interesting paragraph:

The artistic director of a large institutional theater referred to me as “pro-artist” a few years back. It was meant to be a derogatory comment. When did being “pro-artist” make one an enemy of resident theaters? When did large theater institutions begin to see their own interests as threatened by the interests of artists? And do we think this is a positive development for the American theater?

I find it disturbing that those that have attempted to shine a light on the needs of artists and the fact that those working in institutions have fared rather well relative to the artists they employ over the past thirty years, are now seen as divisive.

In other news, Theatre Ontario has reminded us that the October 1 deadline is coming up for the Professional Theatre Training Program

Our Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP) offers financial support for unique and flexible training with a chosen mentor in any theatrical discipline except performance.

And finally – Playwrights Guild is having a Summer Book Sale!  you got your Michael Ondaatje, your Rick Salutin, your George F. Walker, your Moynan King and many others. Take a wander to their website to see what they have and how to get it.

July 24, 2012

In Which We Talked

I led a workshop yesterday on marketing/PR/social media, for a very specific group of arts administrators. Smart, savvy folks that I’ve either worked with or will be working with in the future. On one hand it was great not to go to a go-to Powerpoint presentation that starts with “what is Twitter?” – on the other hand – what was I going to talk about?

And then it occurred to me that one of the most lacking resource in our world (well, everyone’s, I suppose) is time. Time to get things done, time to sort things out, and something that gets sadly left behind is time to spend with your peers and just talk about what we’re doing – what’s working, what’s not, how did you do this, here’s how we did that. Sometimes it happens one on one, sometimes over a beer after an opening night,

And so we did. I asked everyone to write down three things about marketing/PR/social media that they had questions about, or wanted to talk about. And we spent five hours doing just that – not listening to a presentation, or holding questions til the end, but talking. Getting ideas, getting advice, making suggestions. It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, and everyone seemed to get something out of it. For companies without dedicated marketing staff, or publicist for shows only, these type of conversations do get understandably left behind in favour of payroll, budgets or contracts.

We don’t have the luxury to do this nearly often enough. Even when we’re talking, it’s email or a scheduled meeting about one thing. If art communicates something, then that’s exactly what we did yesterday.

Big thanks to Sue from Modern Times for asking me to present to this fantastic group of folks, and to Rupal  and big thanks to the OAC for funding it.  And thanks to the participants for making time and really engaging. I think it was both time and money well spent. I’m looking forward to working with these folks again in many capacities – despite the shouts of laughter when I asked if anyone had caught a certain article in the Economist. Here you go.

May 25, 2012

Modern Dance, Canada Council News, Internet Gender and Summer Reading

Four disparate things, but I figure it’s Friday so it might be nice to graze.

From the Huff Post – What the Heck Is Modern Dance? – a question many have asked and I think this article is a good answer. “Sometimes it would seem audiences are afraid of modern dance because it’s not evident what it’s about, or what you’re supposed to get walking away from it.”

A week after Compass changes (four deadlines a year to two) the Canada Council Flying Squad is doing some reviewing of  its own.
I tweeted this yesterday:
OAC Compass deadlines down to two from four, now Canada Council Flying Squad Oct. deadline “on hold for program evaluation.” hmmm…

and a colleague responded:
@sueedworthy Result of flat-lined funding for the Councils. Will be same $$ for 6 years for most companies which means 15% behind inflation.

If that’s the case, I liked the phrasing in the press release: “With our financial situation stable for the next three years, we can move forward with this review as part of our ongoing efforts to ensure our programs continue to be relevant, cost-effective and responsive to the changing needs of the community.”

New book in the Summer Reading Section!

And finally – infographics! If you’re segmenting your marketing efforts in a boy-girl-boy kind of way,  this is kind of neat.  From informationisbeautiful.net.

May 16, 2012

Reduction Policies for Operating Grant Recipients/Changes to Compass Deadlines

Got a note from the OAC today, here’s a heads up:

OAC has established more stringent assessment reduction policies for operating grants, effective in 2012. Organizations applying for operating support that fail to meet standard in either or both categories – artistic quality and contribution, and organizational effectiveness – will see reductions as follows:

· 0 to 5 per cent reduction only for strategic priority organizations and/or operating organizations that were new within the last three years.

· 10 to 20 per cent reduction if the organization falls below standard on one assessment category for the first time.

· 20 to 30 per cent reduction if an organization falls below standard on both assessment categories for the first time.

· 30 to 50 per cent reduction if an organization falls below standard on one assessment category for the second time in the last five years.

· 50 to 100 per cent reduction if an organization falls below standard on both assessment categories for the second time in the last five years.

Over the last three years, project applications to OAC have increased by 32 per cent. As a result, creation project programs are being protected through strategic reductions to a small number of programs, including a 50 per cent reduction to Compass.

· The Compass program now has two deadlines: July 3, 2012 and November 1, 2012.

April 18, 2012

My Thoughts on Starting a Theatre Company

This article was making the Facebook rounds yesterday:

Please, Don’t Start a Theatre Company

“Neither the field nor the next generation of artists is served by this unexamined multiplication of companies based on the same old model. The NEA’s statistics on nonprofit growth, set against its sobering reports on declining arts participation, illuminate a crucial nexus for the field, a location of both profound failure and potential transformation. The proliferation of small theater companies sits at the intersection between the necessity to imagine different structures for making theater and our field’s failure to provide career paths for the next generation of artists. Since the Ford Foundation’s investments kicked off the regional theater movement fifty years ago, there has been tremendous collective buy-in to what has become a fossilized model of a particular type of nonprofit theater. Within this structure, there is now a critical lack of opportunity for emerging artists and leaders, leaving the next generation of artists no alternative but to start companies of their own, companies that often replicate the problems of established theaters on a smaller scale. “

So it seems we know what’s wrong with the current model, but aren’t able to do anything but participate in the current (some would say broken) model because funding and expectations are geared towards the current model, namely  “a building with staff and a season, subscribers and youth programs, and a healthy mix of earned and contributed income.”


The cycle continues.

So what do we do? Go read part two of the article it’s got some interesting ideas.  I also think we have to change our picture of what success looks like – is being a venued theatre a badge of success if you can’t afford the building? Is a large subscriber base a badge of success if you’ve gone from producing edgy avant-garde work to “crowd pleasers” to keep the doors open on the unaffordable venue?

And are we a success as a community and industry if we, as some of the most creative people out there, cannot change because the current model is the only one we know?

At Clayton Lord”s presentation this week the question was raised, which is more important, economic or intrinsic impact? Why, intrinsic, of course.

Then why does only economic get a form to fill out in the grant application? Budget form, earned revenue form, subscribers vs single ticket, foundation vs government.  Economic gets a very important form in the grant application.

Where’s the form for intrinsic?

Then today a Quick Riff from Mission Paradox: “I find the whole “people should stop forming arts organizations” conversation to be interesting.  It’s interesting because people make a very logical case for not starting.  The issue is that starting an organization is an emotional issue.  It isn’t driven by logic.  By the way, this isn’t a good or bad thing . . . it is just reality.  My own point of view is that 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.”

Anyway….

April 13, 2012

Cook a Meal. Do Laundry. Experience Art.

A wonderfully thought-provoking plenary session at APASO yesterday. Just as I thought. Simon Brault is so – interesting, and smart and makes you think and want to talk to other people about what you’ve learned and are thinking about.

Discussion around arts education. The lack of it. The lack of importance of art in everyday life. Cultural omnivores. Folks for whom art just does not register.

Lack of formal arts education. In schools. Which got me thinking.

Why can’t art be taught as a life skill? The point I made yesterday at the session was that we go after the students, the schools, we bring kids in by the busload for student matinees and talkbacks. Our numbers are great – we reached 5000 students this year, and the sponsor got some serious name recognition (thank you to the sponsor for allowing this to happen. Seriously, We couldn’t afford to do this otherwise.)

Perhaps some are affected by the work they saw, past having to answer a question from the Outreach and Education Coordinator. Perhaps not.

What have we taught them about experiencing art? What have they learned?

I think in many cases they haven’t been taught about the art experience, they’ve been taught how to go on a field trip for the afternoon.

How many are coming back of their own accord? I don’t know. And it occurred to me we do not teach experiencing art as a life skill. We teach children how to tie shoelaces, cook dinner, fold the laundry (I’ve taught my fairy godchildren how to hail a cab – city girl life skill).

We teach adolescents how to fill out college applications and try out for football or debate team or just how to get themselves to the mall so we don’t have to drive them.

And adults learn all their lives, whether it’s a excel workshop for your business, or how to find a reputable plumber or why exactly your child is making that ungodly racket.

What can we teach people? How can we give them access to our work?

Have we taught them what they need to know to experience and appreciate art of their own accord? That they can do this any time, of their own accord, but it takes a bit more work to find out what’s going on? (This is where the internet access generation comes in – it’s all on the internet).

What have we taught them?

Did we explain that PWYC means pay-what-you-can and you can go to that show and pay a toonie or a twenty and see the play? And those performances usually sell out so best get there early?

Have we taught them that some shows have rush seats for as little as $10? What does “rush seat” mean anyway?

That out of respect to the other audience members and the actors you turn off your phone, take off your hat if it’s in the way and try not to talk to your companion during the show? (We won’t get into hard candy. It seems nobody can be taught not to open them during the show).

Do they know about TO TIX and HIPTIX and that a lot of museums are by donation?

Have we taught them that we really do want them there, of their own accord, outside of the Wednesday 1:30 matinee?

Much more to think about.

(Yes I bought Simon’s book. It’s awesome and he autographed it for me. In FRENCH.)

ETA: you type too fast you get some nasty typos. Apologies.

March 30, 2012

Federal and Provincial Budgets – What do they mean for the arts?

 

In my inbox from the Toronto Arts Foundation.

 

Federal and Provincial Budgets – What do they mean for the arts?
Artists and arts organizations will be relieved to learn that the federal and provincial governments have both protected the arts councils from cuts to their granting programs.  The Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Ontario Trillium Foundation will not sustain budget cuts despite broad based reductions in other areas.
The full impact of the government budgets will be determined over the next few months.  It is clear that reduced investment in the culture sector will have a ripple effect   Major items are listed below:

2012 Federal Budget Arts Highlights:

There will be no cuts to the Canada Council for the Arts.

The CBC has been cut by 10% ($115 million) over three years.

The Department of Canadian Heritage’s operating base of $2.8 billion has been cut by 6.9%.

In addition to the Canada Council, the National Gallery and national museums will not face budget cuts.

Telefilm’s budget is being cut by $10.6 million and the National Film Board is being cut by $6.7 million.

2012 Provincial Budget Arts Highlights:

There will be no cuts to the Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Trillium Foundation and Ontario Media Development Corporation.

Luminato’s funding from the Ontario government will be cut by $1.5 million for 2012-13 and $2 million for 2013-14

The operating budgets of Ontario’s Cultural Agencies including the AGO, ROM and McMichael Canadian Arts Collection will be cut by 1% for 2012-13 and an additional 1% for 2013-14 and thereafter.

Cultural industry Tax Credits will be maintained.

For additional information contact: Susan Wright 416-392-6802 x 211 susan@torontoartscouncil.org.

 

 

%d bloggers like this: