January 11, 2015

Audience Forums and Seagulls and #nstf

1  pm today is the Disappearing Act forum on audiences. It’s warmer out today so I expect to see you there. Looking forward to this discussion!

I’ve got my tickets booked for this and cannot wait to see it


Next Stage is still running strong this week – the beauty of it is that you’ve got ten shows, all different, all 90 minutes or less and all have something about them. Schedule here – find something and see it.

and finally – and I do LOVE this:Artscape Youngplace is excited to announce that we are now accepting applications for the Artscape Youngplace Community Fund, a fund that supports community events and programs at Artscape Youngplace. This fund was made possible through the generous support of Catherine Gordon, RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Limited, and by funds raised at a series of community events. 

Individuals, organizations and collectives are invited to submit applications seeking modest financial and in-kind support for initiatives that improve the opportunities for community members to connect, learn and create at Artscape Youngplace.

Community Funds can be requested to support facilitator fees and materials (up to $400 of direct expenses per initiative) plus in-kind contributions of space at Artscape Youngplace.

January 7, 2015

Budget Analysis and Clowns

The Canadian Conference of the Arts, Canadian Arts Coalition and Saskatchewan Arts Alliance are pleased to release the analysis of the 2014 Federal Budget which examines federal funding for the arts and culture sector over the whole 2014 calendar year. The analysis explores funding to the Department of Canadian Heritage and other federal cultural agencies and crown corporations; organizational and funding trends at the Department of Canadian Heritage; expenditures on key programs across the arts, heritage and cultural industries, and other developments affecting the sector.  For details, visit their website >



Application deadline for the 10th Annual Toronto Festival of Clowns has been extended to MONDAY JANUARY 12, 2015.Be a part of Toronto history as they move into ‪#‎TFOC10‬  Information on how to apply here: www.www.torontofestivalofclowns.com

And a reminder that the 2015 Next Stage Theatre Festival opens TONIGHT! Starting my festival adventures off with Mine and Unbridled&Unstable – see you at the tent!

January 5, 2015

and we’re back – welcome 2015!

“It seems wrong and unfair that Christmas, with its stressful and unmanageable financial and emotional challenges, should first be forced upon one wholly against one’s will, then rudely snatched away just when one is starting to get into it. Was really beginning to enjoy the feeling that normal service was suspended and it was OK to lie in bed as long as you want, put anything you fancy into your mouth, and drink alcohol whenever it should pass your way, even in the mornings. Now, suddenly we are all supposed to snap into self-discipline like lean teenage greyhounds.”
“Bridget Jones Diary”, Helen Fielding

on that note…



The Next Stage Theatre Festival opens on Wednesday the 7th – 10 amazing shows to choose from – book your tickets here

What began as a Facebook  thread has morphed into an in person podcasted event with nearly 400 people claiming they will attend. Disappearing Act? A Public Forum on Canadian Theatre & Toronto Audiences will take place at Theatre Passe Muraille on January 11 – visit the Facebook event for details, question submission and more.

And finally have a listen to Tina Rasmussen’s podcast on what’s in store for us at this year’s World Stage 2015, including the return of the #Artlive ball.

Cold out there – bundle up and make it through. You brought your lunch because it’s a New Year and you resolved to do so for health and wealth purposes, so you don’t even have to go outside.  Onward into 2015!



November 23, 2014

Busy Week Last Week and This

Carthorse Theatre opened Fishskin Trousers – see review from the Globe. Then go see it – it is a good piece of work. When we started working together, Matt and Megan told me they tell stories. Yes they do – and they do it oh, so well. Completely absorbing.

We’re getting ready for I Lost it in Kiev to open on the 25th, and the 25th is already sold out – not comped, sold out for money. Deb is a consummate storyteller – five days only for this one, so book now.

And Theatre Rusticle opens the 27th with Dinner at Seven-Thirty and I cannot wait to see what they do with it. What happens when a woman meets her husband’s mistress on Christmas Eve? We’ll find out

Had a fantastic webinar experience with Orchestras Canada on Wednesday – pleasure to work with them all

Friday was the Fringe Festival lottery for 2015, and I was live tweeting again. I’ve mentioned it’s like the running of the bulls with your fingertips, and I can’t wait to see the results of the results. Official winners list posted on the Fringe site Monday.

Reminder that Next Stage is up in January and I am delighted to be working with Caroline Azar and an amazing team on DINK for this one.

And I spent a lot of time doing course creation and prep for 2015 as I am teaching at three institutions – Ryerson Theatre Scchool, Humber College and the Chang School – all marketing/social media. They’re all nicely spread out so I have more than enough time for projects like yours – I’m looking at clients who want to start working together after February 1, so

Let’s chat!

On that note  – Charlebois Post has re-issued an article I wrote for them – thank you Gaetan and Estelle –  click the image below!



November 20, 2014

Adventures on Dovercourt

CaptureAdam and I were scheduled to do a social media chat with the cast of Kaeja d’Dance last night, we were told if we went early we could watch some rehearsal in progress.

I am so glad we did. Two pieces being created, one by Allen and one by Karen, and both incredibly beautiful each in their own way. Allen’s .0 (point zero) and Karen’s yet untitled are going to be truly stunning when fully realized. I got tons of pics and some video and once approved I will show you. And you can check out the Harbourfront website for more details.

The chat went well, lots of good questions, lots of good knowledge and a real sense of sharing in the room. I think our social media campaigns for the Kaeja season are going to be full of great stuff and I am looking forward to what we can unfold.

On the subject of Kaejas and Dovercourt, Wind Down Dance is Friday night and you should probably check it out.

Excellent end of our day and  start to our evening. Rush hour + blowy first snowfall = no cabs, so we ventured toward Bloor. I’m still on a cane so the weather and that issue had us slowly making our way down the street – about halfway to Bloor I stopped and said, “First bar we see we’re going in. We need a sign.” and I looked up and there was a sign that said “bar”.

Oh we picked right.

CNL & Yauca’s Lounge.   Go visit. If it’s Wednesday and wing special night, get them. They were the best wings I’ve ever had. They also have a rental space downstairs for meetings, conferences rehearsals and the like.

I am off to get organized for a webinar I am doing today with Orchestras Canada, and work on lesson plans  for 2015. And tonight is opening night for CartHorse Theatre’s Fishskin Trousers.

November 12, 2014

so close to being proud…

that no companies had done something incredibly stupid by using Remembrance Day to market their products. Like this.  Made it all day, then happened on a CBC article.

So close.

Pulling the chart back out. Which I shouldn’t have to.



November 11, 2014

the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month

top poppy

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915
during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium


November 5, 2014

Huntsville and Shop Local and Dance

I’m off to Hunstville today to be part of a great workshop with a dozen visual artists there – Hunstville is home to a wonderful enclave of creators. I’ve never been so am looking forward to chatting about cultural tourism, social media and how both the artists and the town can engage with each other and folks looking for something great to do that they may not have thought of doing in Hunstville. They’ve got a great cultural tourism strategy on the go:

According to information from the chamber, there are four pillars to cultural tourism – historic sites; plays and concerts; museums and art galleries; and festivals and fairs.   According to the chamber, Huntsville is already a popular cultural tourism destination with attractions such as the Algonquin Theatre, Huntsville Festival of the Arts, Muskoka Museum, Muskoka Pioneer Village, Portage Flyer Train, Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery, Film North Festival, Classic and Custom Car Show, the Canada Summit Centre – including public art exhibits, many commercial art and craft centers, boutique shopping, high-quality culinary experiences, and the gateway to Algonquin Provincial Park.”  full article

I think it will be a good day.

The suggestion to “shop local” is usually at the back of people’s minds but the holidays bring it to the forefront. Here are a couple places to think of when you are making that Christmas list

Artscape Partridge and Pear – still accepting artisan submissions for their event

Toronto Christmas Market

The Stop Farmers’ Market (year round!)

Finally you must watch this. One of the best dance trailers I’ve seen, celebrating Kaeja d’Dance and their 25th anniversary season.

25 YEARS – TEASER V5 from Kaeja d’Dance on Vimeo.

October 26, 2014

Sunday Roundup October 26

Before I forget – go VOTE on Monday. Just – GO.

I feel like this is more of a recap than a roundup. Our last post was months ago  and a lot has gone on (or not) since then.

You may recall I thought I had some nasty carpal tunnel going on, yada yada yada, I’ve graduated to using a cane to get around with  and it was a summer of Missing Out. Not a case of FOMO,  but a knowledge I was missing things that genuinely matter to me. There was a space and an ache and a sadness.  And the myriad heroes and helpers and friends and acquaintances who were pivotal in getting me through can never be thanked enough, And still…

Last night was my first go-and-get-some-ART outing since April,  at the opening of Opera Atelier’s Alcina. Go and see it. They’ve raised the bar again – not just for their company but for others. It’s an utterly beautiful production both visually and vocally, and makes exquisite use of silence that I didn’t know could happen in opera.  If you have no idea how video can be incorporated into a Baroque masterpiece, you will find out.

What did I miss this summer? Myriad events. What did I really miss?

Art.  It is one thing to listen to music, to watch trailers and read synopses, and hear about it and talk about it. But to experience it? I sorely missed that, and last night confirmed to me the power  of being in a darkened room being overwhelmed by the truth and beauty on a stage, to know just how much WORK it takes to create something like that on so many levels from creative concept to creative team to tech to the tiniest details.

I am not yet completely recovered from what I refer to as the summer of excruciating tedium, I do not know how often I’ll be able to blog, I do not know how much longer I’ll be “recovering” as opposed to “healed”, I do not know a lot of things right now.  I do know I’m back on my game, that I’ve got some amazing clients filing up the rest of 2014, and I do know one thing. I’ve missed you.  I’ve missed the in person experience of art and after last night, I remember that it is what inspires me, what makes me think and feel and breathe. It’s what makes me TICK. And it makes not just my game, but me, stronger.

Thank you Opera Atelier for being my first foray back out into the world I love. I couldn’t have asked for a better welcome.

January 31, 2014

Council Increases Arts Spending by $10.5 Million Annually

from beautifulcity.ca

For Immediate Release
Thursday, January 30th 2014


// Major milestone passed: with $6M invested in 2013 and, $4.5M added in 2014, the same amount collected by the billboard levy is now going to art. Council follows through on commitment and locks in 4 year phase-in for reaching $25 per-capita. //

“Budget Committee and Council have committed to reaching $25 per-capita in arts investment by 2017. We have backed this four year commitment with 10.5 million dollars real money for 2014. This is the same amount of revenue coming in annually from the billboard levy. My colleagues from across the spectrum have come together to support this critical step forward. This new investment will allow us to build a stronger, more economically vibrant city: a city that celebrates the talent that exists in every ward and will project our best onto the world stage.”
– Councillor Gary Crawford, Ward 36 – Scarborough South West 
“We have been working with the arts community for years to invest in arts and culture in this City. I am pleased that their patience and relentless advocacy is finally paying off in the form of a $10.5M investment this year, I look forward to seeing the fantastic work of young, diverse artists from all parts of the city working together, shaping our public spaces and showing that true voice of Toronto. To me that is a Beautiful City”
– Councillor Joe Mihevc, Ward 21 St. Paul’s West ( http://www.joemihevc.com  )

       With the same amount collected annually by the billboard levy now going to art in Toronto, a major milestone has been reached in the 13 year push to create a levy on billboards and invest these funds in arts. The billboard tax was first proposed by a diverse alliance of arts organizations titled BeautifulCity.ca in 2001. The coalition rallied around the idea of diversifying access to expression in public space and supports the following use of the funds:

1. Celebrating diverse voices and activating art programs across Toronto.

2. Creating and building ownership of vibrant and healthy public spaces.
3. Supporting Toronto’s living and practicing artists.
4. Building the capacity of young adults, youth and children.

In addition, the alliance recommends that arms-length funding processes such as the TAC be used wherever possible and that ongoing vigilance is applied in ensuring the Signs Unit at the City is fully funded and able to enforce the sign bylaw.

For more on the core values and funding recommendations of BeautifulCity please see: http://www.beautifulcity.ca/BC_GuidingValues.pdf  . To see Crawford’s motion that passed council, please view: http://tinyurl.com/2014ArtBudget . For the slideshow that accompanied BeautifulCity.ca’s deputation to Budget Committee, please view: http://tinyurl.com/BeautifulCitySlideshow


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