Archive for October, 2013

October 31, 2013

From the Blog Post File

Double Facebook day – I had one of these hanging around the file, then saw the second one courtesy Rebecca Coleman ,both courtesy Mashable. Take a read through.

14 Facebook Tools You Didn’t Know Existed 6, 10 and 13 are big parts of my life.


Are Facebook Ads Working? The Clicks Say Yes absolutely agree. All my client have them. It’s an incredibly cost-effective way to get messaging out about their shows.


October 29, 2013

an Arts Shared Platform Survey and cdap is back

The Metcalf Foundation has engaged db 3rd Sector Consultancy to study the feasibility of creating a shared platform for the arts and explore the greater potential for the arts community to share high quality administrative services. read more


CDAP: Deadline November 4, 2013

PROJECT GOAL: To encourage participation by culturally diverse* artists in the Toronto Fringe Festival as a creative opportunity they may traditionally feel excluded from.

The Toronto Fringe is committed to offering creative opportunities to artists and arts lovers.  With the generous and invaluable support from TD Bank, we are able to launch our final year of a three year project to encourage greater participation in the Fringe Festival by artists who self-identify as culturally diverse by removing some of the traditional barriers to participation, including financial concerns, awareness of the Fringe, artistic support and a sense of being excluded from mainstream events.

Fringe Festival participants are chosen by lottery and are required to self-produce their work.  Festival organizers can never interfere with the work on stage and 100% of box office revenue is returned to the artists.  This has meant that the Fringe Festival has become the most accessible arts opportunity for emerging and otherwise unsupported artists to tell their stories.  Nonetheless, after researching the participation trends we see at the Festival each year we feel that artists who self-identify as culturally diverse are not applying to the Festival in the same capacity. CDAP is an attempt to begin a dialogue with this community of artists and encourage them to access the opportunities the Fringe makes available. read more

October 28, 2013

A New Canada Council Program

From the Canada Council:

Arts organizations play a key role in bringing the arts to Canadians. They are contributing to the vitality of our communities and artistic practices – all while managing rapid changes due to demographics, technology and the economic downturn.

That’s why the Canada Council is taking a more strategic approach to organizational development – one that helps arts organizations to build resilience and the capacity to face change and adapt creatively. This approach includes a new grant program, Leadership for Change: Grants for Organizational Development, and a number of related initiatives. Leadership for Change has been developed from the review of Flying Squad program. read more

October 27, 2013

Sunday Roundup – October 27

Shout out to the two guys on Queen West last night in full on lighting up Ghostbusters costumes.

Day of Art yesterday with an afternoon of Ai Wei Wei at the AGO (closes today, Bowie still on til November 27) and Opera Atelier’s opening of Abduction of the Seraglio. GO see. It is SO beautiful.

Quick Refresher on Permission-Based Marketing since I wrote this, I’m up to my fourth reminder about your fundraiser that you don’t have permission to send to me. Even if you did have permission –  four is too many.

2013 Siminovitch Prize  – a great night.

Theatre Lab continues to remind you that You Can Sleep When You’re Dead, so go get some tickets as they are closing Halloween.

Bound to Create reminds you they go into previews with their re-envisioning of debbie tucker green’s dirty butterfly – get tickets for that too.

Emails. Oh the emails.

Wrecking Ball 15 on the 29th.

And I love this ad.

October 25, 2013

Emails. Oh the emails.

67-too_many_emailsGreat article today in the Globe and Mail by Ivor Tossell – Why email is broken. It goes further than talking about one of the programs created to solve the issue, and deeper into the problem.

I was just talking about this on Facebook with someone the other day – it’s too easy. It’s too much. Underlines mine.

“The average worker spends 28% of their workweek—about 13 hours, based on a 46-hour week—dealing with e-mail, according to McKinsey Global. That’s 70-odd workdays a year. And that doesn’t even count all the times we check e-mail off the clock or, for that matter, the volume of messages that reach us through “social” services like Facebook and Twitter.
Stats like these would bug me less if I felt that this time was spent actually communicating. Rather, as Gentry Underwood, the man behind Mailbox, is fond of saying, e-mail is really a kind of grim to-do list. The sound of an e-mail ping is the sound of somebody wanting you to do something, even if it’s just to slog through the salutations, pleasantries and compulsive best wishes to simply acknowledge that you got the note in the first place.”

Some days I have a Sorcerer’s Apprentice feeling about email. Different things I’ve tried?

– trying to remember than because it sends instantaneously, doesn’t mean it needs an instantaneous response;

– turning off the ping;

– multiple single item emails from one person or company get stacked into a single response;

– trying not to send out more than I want to deal with in return (see above);

What are you doing to hold back the tide?



October 22, 2013

2013 Siminovitch Prize

photo by Dahlia Katz

photo by Dahlia Katz

Toronto Director Chris Abraham named recipient of 2013 Siminovitch Prize, chooses Mitchell Cushman as Protégé
Monday October 21, 2013, Toronto
Before a packed Hart House Theatre at the University of Toronto, Chris Abraham, Artistic Director of Crow’s Theatre was named recipient of the 2013 Siminovitch Prize. For his protégé he has selected Mitchell Cushman, Artistic Director of Outside the March and Associate Artistic Director of Crow’s Theatre.
Click recipient of 2013 
for full release.

It was a great night.

October 21, 2013

Quick Refresher on Permission-Based Marketing

email_overload-300x234I remember when the new privacy legislation came out years ago and everyone was scrambling to create opt-in check boxes and opt-out sections and terrified to share mailing lists. That was all on paper. Paper mailing lists, paper brochures, paper paper paper. And you had to confirm you got all those addresses in a legit fashion.

Just a reminder – those rules still exist. Everything seems much more casual with the advent of email and social media. Perhaps folks have forgotten, or perhaps they never knew. So a couple refreshers:

From Seth Godin: Permission Marketing
Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.

From Wikipedia: Permission marketing is a term popularized by Seth Godin (but found earlier ) used in marketing in general and e-marketing specifically. The undesirable opposite of permission marketing is interruption marketing. Marketers obtain permission before advancing to the next step in the purchasing process. For example, they ask permission to send email newsletters to prospective customers. It is mostly used by online marketers, notably email marketers and search marketers, as well as certain direct marketers who send a catalog in response to a request.

This form of marketing requires that the prospective customer has either given explicit permission for the marketer to send their promotional message (like an email or catalog request) or implicit permission (like querying a search engine).


“Hey sorry for the mass email” to 100 people’s Facebook inboxes, especially people you seemingly have no other relationship with? Spam. Polite spam, but still spam. Not permission based.

Emailing someone about something or other and then adding their email to your event-fundraising-whatever list? Also spam and not permission based.


October 20, 2013

Sunday Roundup – October 20

Shows closing, events happening, shows opening – a good week!


Last matinée for Dinner at Seven Thirty today and your last chance to see it. I’d say that it was easily one of the most physically beautiful shows I’ve worked on in a while – and I worked with Opera Atelier for years.

The Rise of Online Video

You Can Sleep When You’re Dead opens this Thursday – part choose your own adventure, part be terrified in Campbell House, it’s a reminder that Halloween is upon us and though there are many Halloween offerings, I am pretty sure this is the only one that is not just a play, and not just a haunted house – it’s a fantastic combination of both. Go see.

Wrecking Ball #15 Presents… For Russia With (Gay) Love

dirty butterfly from the folks at Bound to Create goes into previews on the 30th – it’s an incredibly powerful piece by Jamaican playwright Debbie Tucker Green and the B2C folks are giving it a thought-provoking re-envisioning from their smash hit run at the 2011 Toronto Fringe. Get some tickets.

Siminovitch Prize will be announced tomorrow night – need I say more?

Happy Sunday!

October 18, 2013

Wrecking Ball #15 Presents… For Russia With (Gay) Love

wb15Because Theatre Rusticle’s Dinner at Seven Thirty is happening at Buddies in Bad Times (only til the 20th!), I’ve been working a fair bit with the fine folks who populate that venue. Buddies has always been a favourite and now even more so.  On their behalf I offer you:

Wrecking Ball #15 Presents…For Russia With (Gay) Love

Presented in association with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Inspired by Zee Zee Theatre’s “NYET: A Cabaret of Concerned Canadians” taking place in Vancouver on the same night!

 Canada’s hottest Queer and Allied artists perform a Perestroika of “non traditional (artistic) relations” for one night only in protest of Russia’s new anti-gay legislation.

In May 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin ushered in new anti-gay legislation that has received public outcry worldwide.  The Wrecking Ball stands in solidarity, presenting new work by esteemed queer and allied playwrights from across the country including:

Ronnie Burkett, Dave Deveau, Catherine Hernandez, Shawn Macdonald, Daniel MacIvor, Sonja Mills, George F. Walker and Marcus Youssef.

Directed by:  Steven Bush, Esther Jun, Erica Kopyto, Moynan King,
Sue Miner
and Gein Wong

And Performed by some of Toronto’s hottest actors!

Special sneak-peak performance by The Gay Heritage Project (Damian Atkins, Paul Dunn and Andrew Kushnir)

Join The Wrecking Ball and Ally, Zee Zee Theatre, in a ONE NIGHT ONLY nation-wide protest to ring through to the bells of St. Petersburg!

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre 
| 12 Alexander Street, Toronto.
Box Office opens at 12:30pm
Show starts at 8:00pm.
Pay what you can. No advanced sales.
Proceeds from this event will go to the Actors’ Fund of Canada

About The Wrecking Ball

In Wrecking Ball #15, a selection of Toronto’s most relevant and daring playwrights will have one week to create a play, and directors and performers will have one week to rehearse works connected to the Issue of Russia’s new (and escalating) anti-gay policies and the questions and issues it has raised.

Founded by director Ross Manson and playwright Jason Sherman in 2003, The Wrecking Ball has been the premiere event in Canada for showcasing political works for a decade. As the birthplace of new plays by Hannah Moscovitch, Michael Healey, Roland Schimmelpfennig, Erin Shields, Judith Thompson, Colleen Wagner, David Yee, Bea Pizano, Tara Beagan, and Sky Gilbert to name a few – there is no other event like it challenging theatre artists to respond to and address the vox populi.

On the occasion of the previous two Federal elections The Wrecking Ball went National; with ‘Wrecking Balls’ hosted by theatre artists in most major cities across the country.

In both 2008 and 2011 these pan-Canadian dramatic responses to our politics garnered widespread national media attention. The Wrecking Ball is no longer a Toronto phenomenon, but an autonomous theatrical movement joined by a desire to explore current political questions, issues, desires and dreams upon the stage.

October 17, 2013

The Rise of Online Video

off to city hall this morning to shoot promo video for TAPA’s Arts Day at the City (it’s November 8th. There will be more info).

Lisa and I have shot nearly twenty videos since August for clients. It’s another of the doorways I talk about in my article in Charlebois Post on collaborating with audiences.

This seemed appropriate today – it’s US stats, but you know what I mean. Enjoy.

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