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Conference Programming

Tuesday, May 28, 2019  |  SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts


Land Acknowledgement
Quelemia Sparrow

Quelemia Sparrow is an Indigenous actor, writer and director from the Musqueam Nation. Learn more about Quelemia on our Presenters page.

Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre


Welcoming Remarks
Kenji Maeda (Executive Director, GVPTA)

Kim Senklip Harvey

Kim Senklip Harvey is from the Syilx, Tshilqot'in, Ktunaxa and Dakelh Nations and is a Fire Creator (director/playwright/actor/community member). 

Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre


Read Kim's full biography on the Presenters page. 

Micro-Presentation: CultureBrew.Art

Valerie Sing Turner (Creative Director, CultureBrew.Art)

Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre


Created by Visceral Visions and launching in September, CultureBrew.Art will be a powerful initiative for building a more inclusive arts sector that more authentically reflects Canada’s cultural landscape by promoting Indigenous and racialized artists (IARA); increasing hiring opportunities for IARA; and fostering intercultural connection, community, and artistic collaboration. The digital platform’s central tool will be a searchable database of IARA – actors, writers, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, directors, designers, choreographers, composers, opera singers, stage managers, and other performing and media arts professionals – to which engagers may access as subscribers.

Sign up for updates at CultureBrew.Art. If you self-identify as an Indigenous and/or racialized artist, pre-register for free at Join.CultureBrew.Art.

Breakout Sessions

Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

Roundtable / Panel Discussion
Almira Bardai (Indian Summer Festival), Esther Duquette (Théâtre la Seizième).
Moderator: Pippa Mackie (actor, writer, producer)


Creating art to be shared with an audience is why you do what you do. But marketing your work takes time, resources, and money–things that small theatre companies, independent producers, and artists don't necessarily have in abundance! Knowing where your limited marketing budget is best spent to get you the best exposure can be confusing. For those whose funding and overall capacity is limited, this breakout session will provide tips on ways to make the most of a small marketing budget. Learn from your theatre and arts peers about strategies and tools you can use for your next production.

What Versus Who: A Nuanced Conversation

Panel Discussion
Panelists: Sammy Chien, Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, Fay Nass 
Moderator: Jen Sungshine


From artists to funders to audience members, there have been countless private and public conversations around the ethics of storytelling - what is the story and who's telling the story? When we talk about inclusion and diversity of marginalized voices and stories what do we mean? What are the best practices that will stop further tokenization of marginalized bodies? How do organizations that are less-resourced or with a niche audience navigate forward? Join this nuanced conversation which may unpack more questions than answers.

Creating Deaf Spaces in New and Existing Works

Anita Harding and Landon Krentz


Engaging and working with Deaf performers requires a conscious shift in the way that theatre organizations work. How does the philosophy “Nothing About Us Without Us” apply to Deaf artists in theatrical spaces? What kinds of structures should be in place within your company in order to build intentional spaces for intersectional theatre? Landon Krentz and Anita Harding will share insights into the ways in which dramaturgs, playwrights, artists and directors can create Deaf characters within their development of new works as well as adapt existing scripts that include Deaf actors. Landon and Anita will provide examples of how an entire production cycle might be planned, from development to performance.

Working with Designers: Strengthening the Relationship Between Designers and Producers

Panel Discussion
Carmen Alatorre (costume), Cande Andrade (video), Alan Brodie (lighting), Mishelle Cuttler (sound), Shizuka Kai (set, props, puppetry).
Moderator: Chelsea Haberlin (ITSAZOO Productions and Neworld Theatre)


This is an opportunity for producers and other theatre artists to hear from a panel of designers about the unique challenges facing each design discipline, including set, sound, costume, video, and lighting. Through a panel discussion, five designers will outline non-fee-based strategies that producers and designers can use to improve communication and strengthen working relationships. The goal of this panel discussion is to foster healthy artistic practices that support both the work and the artists.

Learn more about the presenters and moderator on the Presenters page.

Note that ADC members as well as PGC, Equity, and PACT members qualify for a discount on conference registration!

The Working With Designers panel is presented with support from ADC (Associated Designers of Canada). 

Fundraising with Digital Donors

Tamara Rahmani (CanadaHelps)


For more than 18 years, CanadaHelps has been the trusted charity, informing, inspiring and connecting charities and donors, with the causes they care about and have facilitated over $1 billion in giving. Join Tamara Rahmani, the Western Canada Charity Representative for CanadaHelps, for a discussion of industry best practices for website optimization and email campaigns, plus learn about sharing sector stats and what donors respond well to.


Wealth, Risk, Making Art

Panel Discussion 
Panelists: Mariam Barry, Chris Gatchalian, Raven John, Andrew Vallance.
Moderator: Dani Fecko (Fascinator Management)

Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre


The economic inequities in society-at-large shape who can participate in theatre. This session will open a discussion about how class inequities penetrate into multiple levels of the theatre ecosystem, and explore possible ways the community can help even the economic playing field on both the individual and institutional levels.

    • How do we better support aspiring artists from poor/working class/economically underprivileged backgrounds?
    • How do we move beyond random acts of charity and address change in a systemic and broad way?
    • How do current granting programs for individual artists limit or open those opportunities for artists? (eg. should "financial need" be an assessment criteria?)

Special Evening Programming

Yours, Mine, and Ours: Much Ado about Something (When Storytelling and Copyright Collide)

Panel Discussion / James Long (Theatre Replacement), Erin Pike, Martha Rans (Artists' Legal Outreach).
Moderator: Jiv Parasram (Rumble Theatre)

Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre


Making A Scene Conference delegates: FREE (please indicate your interest in attending on your conference registration). Show your conference pass at the door for admission.

Tickets for this session are available to the general public. General Admission: $10. Tickets here. Subsidy available; request by email

This special evening presentation, in partnership with the Artists' Legal Outreach, features theatre artists Erin Pike and James Long (Theatre Replacement), both of whom experienced the complexities of navigating art, copyright and the threat of legal action. Pike created a one-person show, That’swhatshesaid, using only the female dialogue and stage directions from some of the most produced plays of the 2014-15 season. After finding a collection of photo albums in East Vancouver, Long’s Clark and I Somewhere in Connecticut explores the dilemmas inherent in the appreciation and use of other people’s memories.

Pike and Long, joined by Martha Rans (Legal Director of the Artists’ Legal Outreach), and moderator Jivesh Parasram (Artistic Director of Rumble Theatre) will open up a conversation about the legal and ethical considerations facing artists.

Learn more about the panelists and moderator on the Presenters page. 

Artists' Legal Outreach's Yours, Mine, and Ours: The ALO Copyright Conversations 2019 is a series of discussions with artists about issues surrounding copyright of creative works. Learn more about the series here.

Financial assistance for the Yours, Mine, and Ours session is provided by City of Vancouver Cultural Services and CreativeBC. Additional support provided by McMillan LLP, Vancouver.


Wrap Party

Ephemera 2: An Archiving Party 

Join us as we close the 2019 Making a Scene conference with snacks, drinks, and socializing, while creating a collective time capsule for the performing arts.

6:30pm–9:00pm, Thursday, May 30

The Post at 750 (in the CBC Building), 110-750 Hamilton Street, Vancouver

RSVP REQUIRED: Space is limited! This event is free to attend and open to all, but separate registration is required. 

Following their successful event in 2018, Rumble Theatre and Theatre Replacement with SFU are partnering this month with GVPTA to present Ephemera 2: An Archiving Party. Celebrate, commemorate, and collectively tell the stories of our work, representing a moment in time and in the history of your organization. Share the traces of performances once present but now gone. Guided by Melissa Sarlin, Head of Special Collections and Rare Books at the SFU Library, members of the performing arts community are invited to create a paper trail contributing to a physical repository which will be incorporated into SFU’s Special Collections. As a group, we’ll organize, structure, catalogue, and preserve detritus of past performances, and through the process will celebrate our shared memories and our history. 

Read the full event description and RSVP to attend here, or click the button below. 

Ephemera 2: An Archiving Party is presented in partnership with Rumble Theatre, Theatre Replacement, and SFU.


Add-On Programming 

Programming on May 29 and 30 requires a separate registration or an application process in addition to your regular conference registration.

Some workshops and programs are free for conference delegates to attend; others are available at a reduced rate. 

Sessions take place at The Post at 750 (in the CBC Building), 110-750 Hamilton Street, Vancouver.

Intimacy Direction Workshops with Siobhan Richardson

6-hour Session (**FULL**): 9:30am–4:30pm, Wednesday, May 29 (1-hour break on your own; lunch not provided)
Aimed at directors and choreographers with some experience staging intimate scenes, as well as instructors who work with actors in a theatre training program. 

JUST ANNOUNCED! 4-hour Session: 9:30am–2:30pm, Thursday, May 30 (1-hour break on your own; lunch not provided) 
Open broadly to directors (theatre, film & television), choreographers, actors, dancers, teachers.

APPLICATION: Registration for these workshops is accepted by application only. Applications accepted for May 30 workshop until session is full.

We're pleased to host two Intimacy Direction workshops with Siobhan Richardson as standalone workshops (with discounted rates for conference delegates). Participants will gain a greater understanding of the role of an Intimacy Director and learn how to begin to incorporate best practices in rehearsal.

Siobhan Richardson is an Intimacy Director, co-founder of Intimacy Directors International, and the only person in Canada recognized as an Intimacy Director by Tonia Sina, founder of the Intimacy For The Stage method. 

Learn more about Siobhan on the Presenters page. 

Click the button below for full workshop descriptions, fees and subsidy information, and the application form.

Beginner's QLab Workshop 

10:00am–12:00pm, Wednesday, May 29

ATTENDANCE NOTES: Limited to 20 participants and separate registration is required. Register early (free for conference delegates)! 

Curious about QLab but haven't had the chance to try it? This Beginner's QLab Workshop is for you! 

This interactive session introduces participants to the fundamentals of QLab software to run sound and video in theatre. Facilitators will cover all the basic functions of the software, then create a showfile from scratch as they illustrate some of what is possible with this powerful tool. All theatre artists, including designers, directors, performers, stage managers and technical directors are welcome.

Cande Andrade (video designer) and Mishelle Cuttler (sound designer)

Learn more about Cande and Mishelle on the Presenters page. 


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GVPTA acknowledges the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia, The Government of Canada, BC Arts Council, and the City of Vancouver Cultural Services.

GVPTA acknowledges that this conference takes place on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

GVPTA's 2019 Making A Scene Conference is sponsored by PACT, Front Row Insurance, and Ecclesiastical Insurance, co-hosted by SFU Woodward's Cultural Programs, and supported by MAXGuide.

Sponsored by

Co-hosted by
SFU Woodward's Cultural Programs

SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
149 West Hastings St.
Vancouver, BC, V6B 5K3

Supported by

The Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance (GVPTA) strives to strengthen the local theatre industry. We do this through providing services, promotion of member news and community events, opportunities to connect and network, and our annual theatre conference. Together with our members we are raising the profile of local theatre and building community.

At GVPTA, we acknowledge that our organization is located on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

#308-237 Keefer Street
Vancouver, BC V6A 1X6
604 608 6799