Go Live indeed …

Friday, January 26, 2007

2006 was the year of Creativity in Toronto as declared by Mayor Miller – and with that came the launch of the Live With Culture campaign which – in my opinion – was a lack-luster attempt to get Torontonians involved in the artistic fabric of the city. The only event that really sparked any interest was Nuit Blanche – and that was a resounding success!

2006 was also a busy year for the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA). The arts service organziation which is “the voice of theatre, dance and opera in Toronto”, produces the Dora Mavor Moore Awards (the annual performing arts awards in Toronto), and owns and operates T.O.TIX (see post beneath), launched its own city-wide arts marketing campaign called Go Live Toronto.

This marketing campaign is a call to action for the citizens of Toronto and the tourists visiting the city to step outside the box and try something different be it an independent production at the Theatre Centre, a modern dance piece at the Toronto Dance Theatre, or listen to the beauty of Baroque opera with Opera Atelier. There are several calls to actions in the campaign to check out:

  • goliveto.ca – the digital hub of the campaign, this website offers an online listing of upcoming shows in all genres and allows visitors to search by any field to find out what’s playing in the city (and there’s always something going on). It also links to T.O.TIX so you can purchase your tickets through the online box office.
  • hipTIX – this is a great new initiative for all students! hipTIX allows any student in high school or post secondary (up to the age of 25) with a valid ID (ISIC too!) to purchase $5 tickets to select shows through T.O.TIX! This is a fantastic way for students to see some great shows. You can buy them in-person at T.O.TIX at Yonge-Dundas Square or online at totix.ca.
  • 5 Star Experience – If you’re looking for a really neat experience, you have to check out these discount theatre packages! They are pretty amazing and incredibly well priced. The 5 Star Experience offers buyers these amazing packages:
    • Barrel of Laughs: a beer tasting and tour of Steamwhistle Brewery, dinner at The Red Tomato, and tickets to The Second City
    • Fusion: choose a show from each of these amazing companies – CanStage, Tarragon Theatre and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
    • Kidding Around: if you have kids, this is a great package – tickets to the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory, and a trip up the CN Tower
    • Stepping Out: A chance to see some fantastic dance shows at Harbourfront Centre, access to The Power Plant Contemorary Art Gallery, and dinner at Il Fornello.
    • NEWorld: If you want to enhance your visit to Harbourfront’s New World Stage Festival, check out this package which gets you into select New World Festival shows, access to The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, and dinner at Il Fornello.
  • The Theatre Guide – this is published every two months and distributed throughout the City at various hotels and attractions – pick one up if you see it as there is a theatre map (also found online here) and listings of upcoming shows.
  • Write On! – If you’ve ever wanted to play your hand at being a journalist, now’s your chance. If you see a show and feel like telling the world about it, you can post your comments on this bulletin board and help spread the word about a show you’ve seen.

This is a fantastic marketing campaign that is still in its infant stage and will surely grow as the year continues on so best to check back for updated information, new packages and new initiatives!

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Who said theatre’s not affordable?

Friday, January 26, 2007

Every major theatre city across North America and Europe has some sort of ticket booth that provides last minute discounts to those who want to see great performing arts at a cheaper price. The most famous is probably New York’s TKTS in Times Square and The Half Price Ticket Booth in London.

But did you known that Toronto has one as well? Originally named the 5 Star Ticket Booth, T.O.TIX, Toronto’s One-Stop Ticket Shop, has been around for 20 years or so. It’s original home was on the south-west corner of Yonge and Dundas in front of the Eaton Centre, then moved to various locations within the Eaton Centre itself and has now found its new permanent home on Yonge-Dundas Square – a stone’s throw away from where it originally started.

In addition to selling its inventory at the booth in-person, T.O.TIX offers sales online. It also offers full-price tickets to events. It’s also a Ticketmaster and Ticket King outlet meaning you can purchase any Ticketmaster event there and any show produced by Mirvish.

The booth is a great assest to the city and with the addition of online sales, it’s a perfect way to get cheap seats to some fantastic shows. Tickets range anywhere from $10 – $30 depending on the show.

There are also gift certificates available if you ever feel like giving the gift of the performing arts to that someone special.

T.O.TIX’s inventory changes daily and you can sign up to their e-bulletin here to find out what’s available for sale each day. You can also call their infoline at 416 536.6468 ext 40 for a recording of shows available at the booth.

So next time you’re looking for something interesting and not too expensive to do, check out T.O.TIX … you might discover something you never thought to try before.


Moving into the 21st Century …

Monday, January 8, 2007

This is just a quick note before the boyfriend and I watch Chicken Run (I love this movie) – but on my way over to his neck of the woods, I took the Wellseley bus and to my elated surprise, I was greeted each stop with the voice of the new TTC GPS Woman AND an LED sign indiciating the name of the upcoming stop!

Wow.

I heard about this idea being tested on the Bay bus about a year ago, and I’m very excited to see this initiative moving forward.

I know I’ve blogged about the TTC a lot lately, but I’ve got a lot to say (apparently) and there are a lot of changes happening to our beloved transit system right now … mostly good things thus far. Keep it up!

Now, if we could maybe make the TTC GPS woman just a bit happier when announcing the stops … one step at a time I suppose. 🙂


Looking for something interesting to see?

Monday, January 8, 2007

Hub 14 presents Pick 7HUB 14 presents
Pick 7
Tuesday January 16, 2007
Featuring Erika Hennebury and Laura Nanni

Part conversation, part talk show, part performance.

“To me, the beauty of PICK 7 is that every “show” is different and completely spontaneous. In essence, the audience is eavesdropping on a conversation between two artists who are meeting for the first time, a simple yet brilliant idea.”
Valerie Calam – Dance artist, Pick 7 performer

Pick 7 is a unique monthly performance/conversation series. Each event involves two artists engaged in a meeting of minds, ideas and questions in an intimate setting with an audience. The artists present their work and participate in lively discussions with each other and the audience. Spontaneous, unpredictable and always inspiring, Pick 7 events reflect the concerns and motivations of the artists and curators.

For the first edition of 2007 we are pleased to have two vital performance creators and curators who promise to shape the artistic future of Toronto. They meet at Hub 14 to share their questions and their work with each other and the audience.

Pick 7 makes curiosity public.

The HUB 14 curatorial team selects artists whose art and process is of interest. HUB 14 invites seven artists a season, and asks each artist to pick a guest they are curious about to share this one time only performance opportunity.

Tuesday January 16, 2007 7:00 p.m.
Admission: $7
Venue: Hub 14, 14 Markham Street, Ground Floor South Unit, Toronto
Getting there: Located one block west of Bathurst on Markham Street, north of Queen
For reservations contact: 416-203-7719
http://www.hub14.org

Erika Hennebury is Associate Producer for Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, Rhubarb Festival Co-Director and Artistic Coordinator for Audience Relocation 2007. A graduate of Dalhousie University’s Theatre Department and a former member of the Irondale Emsemble Project (Halifax) Erika has studied ensemble creation, improvisation, dance, dramaturgy, directing, voice, physical theatre, clown and corporeal mime at L’Ecole Omnibus in Montreal in 1996-97 and was Co-Artistic Director of Les Vaches from 1994 – 2004. Along with acting, creating original new work, directing and artistic programming Erika has worked as a freelance publicist for Obsidian, b current, SummerWorks, Independent Aunties, The Scandelles and many more indie companies over the past 10 years in Toronto. Directing credits include: Straight, Until, by Lee Ann Poole (Paprika ’05), The Dead Sea, by David Tomlinson and Sonja Mills (Buddies’ Rhubarb ’05), Infoline, Bonjour…, by Julian Doucet (Rhubarb ’03). Recent performance credits include: Flag and Pile and other Tales, by Sonja Mills (SummerWorks ’05), Hospital Green, by Hope Thompson (Rhubarb 05), The Danish Play, by Sonja Mills (Nightwood, Toronto/NAC, Ottawa/Magnetic North, Edmonton/Aveny-T, Copenhagen), The Happy Woman, by Rose Cullis (SummerWorks ’04), The Twins, a store-front performance installation, (Queen West Art Crawl ’04), The Secret Life of Haddon MacKenzie, by Sky Gilbert (Cabaret Company), Green and Radio Play (Retro Rhubarb! ’04), Mouse by Sonja Mills (Buddies’ Hysteria Festival ’03), STEM (BIBT ’03 – Les Vaches/House of Slacks), Flag and Pile, by Sonja Mills (Rhubarb! ’03/BIBT), Bébé (Theatre Asylum/Groundswell – Nightwood/Rhubarb! ’03 – BIBT), A Sun Without Heat (Canadia dell’Arte Theatre), Inertia: phases 1 & 2 (Oopmh ’00 & ’02), The Duchess of Malfi (Ghost House co-op ’99), Jekyll, ‘the ecstatics’ and Better Safe Than Sorry (Les Vaches), Buying The Pharm (Squadrun Theatre) and Extract (Milkman Theatre Group). Erika was co-recipient of the K.M. Hunter Artist Award for 2000 and received a Theatre Ontario Professional Development Training Programme Grant in 2001.

Laura Nanni is a Toronto based interdisciplinary artist, curator and stage manager. Since graduating from the theatre and visual studies programs at the University of Toronto in 2003, she has presented performances at 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art (Toronto), Galapagos Art Space (New York); and participated in group shows and screenings at Fifth Parallel Gallery (Regina); The Drake, Junction Arts Festival, Koffler Gallery, One Minute Video and Film Festival, (Toronto); and Mobilivre (Montreal). Laura has held a variety of artistic and production roles with independent and professional theatre companies including Absit Omen, Bluemouth Inc., Circus Orange, One Man Tag, Public Recordings, Soulpepper, Small Wooden Shoe, The Stratford Festival, Tarragon Theatre, and Theatre Columbus. This past year Laura co-edited an issue of the Canadian Theatre Review focusing on site-specific performance with Andrew Houston, collaborated on a performance/ installation work with UK-based artist Sorrel Muggridge for the Bonington Gallery in Nottingham UK, exhibited the third installment of her Automatic Tourist series at the Lab Cab Festival and created an interactive performance tour for Nuit Blanche, an all-night art event presented by the City of Toronto. Upcoming projects include an artistic collaboration with Adam Paolozza and Marc Tellez for Buddies in Bad Times ‘Turn Left Here’ series and stage managing Bluemouth Inc’s latest creation this spring.

HUB 14 is a performance and rehearsal space in Toronto dedicated to the development and presentation of cutting edge dance, theatre and interdisciplinary practices. Run by a collective of artists engaged in different aspects and genres of performance making, HUB 14 is united not by style distinctions, but by a belief in nurturing and creating challenging, exciting and rigorous work in whatever genre or style is at hand. The core members are Ame Henderson, Jen Johnson, Meagan O’Shea, and Jacob Zimmer.


Toronto Waterfront meeting

Saturday, January 6, 2007

For those of you interested in the waterfront development and want to get in on the action, the TWRC (Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation) is having two public meetings in the coming weeks.

Lake Ontario Park Master Plan
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Radisson Admiral Hotel, 249 Queens Quay West

Central Waterfront Promenade and Re-design of Queens Quay
Tuesday, January 23, 2007,
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Radisson Admiral Hotel, 249 Queens Quay West

I don’t know if I can make the meetings – although I certainly would like to as I’m very interested in this development of Toronto – I find it very exciting. I’m curious though – did anyone get to see the Quay to the City project that the TWRC put on a couple of months ago? I somehow managed to miss the whole thing, but really wanted to see what a more pedestrian-friendly Queens Quay would be like. If you have thoughts on the project, please leave a comment … I’d love to hear what you thought!

Lake Ontario Park


Hey Artists! Call for submissions …

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Allow me to take a moment to promote an organization I’m on the planning committee for. Emerging Arts Professional (EAP), a new national online magazine, forum and resource network for emerging professionals working in the arts field, is seeking written submissions for its online magazine.

EAP welcomes submissions from all arts professionals whether you are a seasoned or first time writer, emerging or established arts manager. If you have an opinion or ideas to share, we want to hear from you!

Articles posted on the EAP website will be in the form of a blog allowing readers to respond with their own comments, suggestions or case studies regarding the subject matter. Submissions should be brief. We are not looking for academic papers on each subject, but rather personal accounts, stories, short articles or essays.

EAP is run by a dedicated committee of arts professional volunteers. Chosen submissions will be given an honorarium of two complimentary tickets to an art event or performance in your surrounding area.

To submit an article, please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • 750 words maximum
  • Articles must be typed in Microsoft Word or saved as an RTF document
  • Double spaced
  • Please include your name, occupation, company affiliated with, city, an e.mail address that we can reach you at
  • Please state clearly which topic your article addresses

E.mail your submission to me, the EAP Editor at editor[at]eapforum.com. For more information about EAP visit eapforum.com.

Topics for 2007 include:

  • The Changing Face of Arts Management (January)
  • Professional Development (February)
  • Stress and Burnout (March)
  • Leadership (April)
  • Career Paths (May)
  • Artist / Administrator (June)
  • Festivals Across Canada Organizations (July)
  • Making A Difference (August)
  • Cultural Affairs (September)
  • Well-Run Arts Organizations
  • Diversity in the Arts (November)
  • Marketing and Audience Outreach (December)

Hungry? Grab a Sandwich Box!

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Sandwich Box logoOn my second day back at work this week, I took a walk down the street to Queen and John to one of my favourite places to grab a quick, healthy, and delicious lunch – Sandwich Box. After the first bite, I completely fell in love with this little unassuming eatery all over again.

If you haven’t tried Sandwich Box yet – you don’t know what you’re missing.

Located at 238 Queen Street West in that little food market across from the CHUM City building, Sandwich Box offers something for everyone. According to their website, their philosophy is: “…to offer healthy, fresh and quality food.” And they do deliver. The produce is always fresh, they have a great selection of cheeses to choose from, the chicken and salmon (I don’t eat red meat, so I can’t vouch for the entire meat selection) are always delicious, and the bread comes fresh daily from ACE Bakery … mmm mmm good!

The great thing about Sandwich box is that the food is prepared for you to your taste right there. For the base price, you can choose up to 5 selections to create your sandwich. The choices include a spread, a cheese, a vegetable, meat and of course, a bread. The sandwiches are expertly created, grilled slightly and placed in a non-descript white box which includes a lovely little side salad – all for the low price of $7.35 (I think … and that’s including tax!).

My favourite sandwich to create is as follows:

  • Multi-grain triangle bread
  • Basil-pesto spread
  • Grilled chicken
  • Roasted sweet red peppers
  • Bocconcini cheese

For those of you in a rush, they do have pre-made sandwiches to grab and go with. And for those who aren’t in the mood for a sandwich, they do have a wonderful salad bar with a wide variety of ingredients to choose from! Just a warning, you pay by the weight of the sandwich and it can be slightly deceiving if you don’t take into account the weight of all the toppings you’re placing in your order – as I discovered one day! You must also try their daily soups which are prepared fresh on the premises … the soup du jour can be found on their website, along with all the ingredients so you can pre-plan your sandwich for the day – or even week!

I had such a wonderful experience reacquainting myself with Sandwich Box on Wednesday that I went back on Thursday … and will continue to go back for the best sandwiches in Toronto!