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industry news

These articles include news from the GVPTA and our members, notices of upcoming community events, and general arts news that may affect the local theatre industry. Members can send their news to news@gvpta.ca

Looking for production listings? Check out the Vancouver Theatre Guide.

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  • Tuesday, July 17, 2018 8:37 AM | GVPTA (Administrator)

    Touchstone Theatre this week announced Amy Lynn Strilchuk as its new general manager.

    Amy comes to Touchstone with over 12 years of arts administration experience at some of Western Canada’s most prominent new creation companies, including Alberta Theatre Projects, Arts Club Theatre Company, Ballet BC, Gateway Theatre, and Green Thumb Theatre. The core of her work is developing and marketing new Canadian theatre. She has dramaturged over a dozen world premieres by Canadian playwrights and has marketed, publicized, and/or toured acclaimed new works like Onegin (Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille), The Piano Teacher (Dorothy Dittrich), The Men in White (Anosh Irani), Mom’s the Word 3 (Mom’s the Word Collective), and The Code (Rachel Aberle).

    Amy is also part of the leadership team bringing the newly revived Magnetic North Festival to Vancouver in June 2019. 

    "The Board is delighted to welcome Amy Lynn Strilchuk as our new general manager. With her passion for Canadian theatre and her great experience working both in the communications field and with many of Western Canada’s finest theatre companies we are confident her contribution to Touchstone Theatre and the larger theatre community will be substantial," said Touchstone president Pamela Hawthorn in a press release.

    "I'm so looking forward to working with Amy," said Roy Surette, Touchstone's artistic director. "She is passionate, knowledgeable, well respected and a wonderfully gracious and kind person. And stylish. We are thrilled to welcome her as we embark on our 2018-2019 Season."

    Learn more about Touchstone Theatre at touchstonetheatre.com.

  • Tuesday, July 17, 2018 8:25 AM | GVPTA (Administrator)

    The 36th annual Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards were held on Monday, July 16 at Bard on the Beach in the BMO Mainstage in Vanier Park.The awards celebrate excellence in professional theatre and salute the talent who contribute to Vancouver’s theatre scene.

    The Awards are divided into three categories: Large Theatre, Small Theatre, and Theatre for Young Audiences. A variety of special awards and prizes are also issued, including the GVPTA Career Achievement Award, which was presented to John Wright. 

    Congratulations to all of this year's honourees! 

    For a complete list of award recipients, please visit the Jessies website here: https://www.jessieawards.com/2018-winners

  • Saturday, July 14, 2018 12:41 PM | GVPTA (Administrator)

    You're invited by the frank theatre to a panel featuring emerging, mid-career and established queer theatre artists currently living and practicing in Vancouver.

    When: July 22, 4-6pm

    Where: The Historic Theatre at The Cultch, 1895 Venables St

    A bit of background:

    the frank theatre was the recipient of one of the recent Creative City Engagement Grant, and is conducting surveys and interviews with queer and trans theatre artists to hear about their experiences of Vancouver's theatre and arts and culture landscape. This panel will feature queer and trans actors, playwrights, producers and directors, who will share stories, as well as recommendations for how the city, and vancouver's theatre scene, can serve queer artists better.

    We invite you to hear first hand from a select group of artists about what kind of challenges we face, and what kind of resources and support we envision from the city, as well as more established larger arts organizations to bolster the success of queer artists in this city.

    After the panel, there will be time for questions and discussion.

    We want you to be present participants in this conversation, to put faces to names and hear first hand about the specific needs and interests of queer and trans artists, and to ask us questions and create connections. We very much hope you'll join us!

    Please RSVP to fay@thefranktheatre.com

  • Thursday, July 12, 2018 8:13 PM | GVPTA (Administrator)

    The following release was issued by the City of Vancouver on July 12, 2018:

    Vancouver’s arts and culture scene looks to the future with immediate actions approved by Council today to secure, enhance and develop vibrant, affordable and accessible spaces across the city. In a further commitment to the creative sector, $400,000 has been secured in funding for the music community, recognizing the critical role music plays in the social and economic development of Vancouver.

    "Vancouver’s vibrant, diverse arts and culture community puts us on the map as a city with a thriving creative scene," said Mayor Gregor Robertson. "These actions will crank up support for our growing arts and culture community, create and preserve important spaces, and focus the city on ensuring that creative people are able to stay and build a future in Vancouver."

    The approved recommendations come from three reports presented in council this week, Making Space for Arts and Culture: 2018 Cultural Infrastructure Plan interim report, the Vancouver Music Strategy interim report, and an update of City Support for Free Outdoor Public Events.

    "These reports demonstrate the City's ongoing commitment to keeping Vancouver's cultural and creative sector vibrant and innovative," says Sandra Singh, General Manager for Arts, Culture and Community Services. "We're proud to live and work in a city which supports these important industries and look forward to putting the recommendations into action, not only for creators and producers but also for residents, businesses, and visitors who benefit from a thriving and vibrant creative sector."

    Making Space for Arts and Culture

    Focusing on spaces where artists and creative workers can live, work, and share their work, the 2018 Cultural Infrastructure Plan supports Vancouver’s creative and cultural sector at a time when nearly two-thirds of artists in the city live below the poverty line.

    While creative and cultural industries – both in Vancouver and across the world – are experiencing rapid growth, the affordability crisis continues to contribute to a loss of cultural spaces and contribute to displacement of artists and other creative workers.

    In recognition of this, city-wide targets for arts, cultural and creative spaces will be developed to reflect the needs of the community. Policies, zoning, regulatory and other tools, will also be explored in order to secure and develop such spaces and hubs.

    Other key recommendations include:

    • Developing a framework with Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations and Urban Indigenous communities to support improved visibility and self-determined cultural spaces.
    • Engaging with the community and partners on planning and feasibility studies for City-owned spaces such as the museums in Vanier Park, the Orpheum and the Firehall Theatre.
    • Exploring options for temporary stabilization funds for non-profit organizations in crisis due to escalating rent, while advocating with the Province for a "Split Tax Bill."
    • Leveraging opportunities and partnerships to benefit from knowledge sharing and research, including potentially joining the World Cities Culture Forum – a network convening 32 vibrant cities from across the globe.

    The Cultural Infrastructure Plan is an update to the Cultural Facilities Priorities Plan presented in 2008.

    Learn more about Making Space for Arts and Culture

    Presentation (PDF)
    Council Report (PDF)

    Music Strategy

    Vancouver is home to a vibrant, diverse and world-class music industry, which generates significant economic impact, contributes to community well-being and is a vital part of the city's social, artistic, and creative ecology.

    The $400,000 in approved one-time funding will support grants to Vancouver-based, music-focused projects in partnership with other agencies and funders, as well as a temporary full-time staff resource focused on the music community and completing final report recommendations.

    Learn more about the Music Strategy

    Presentation (PDF)
    Interim Report (PDF)

    City support for free outdoor public events

    The City has approved four recommendations to support a wide variety of small to large-scale outdoor events that reflect Vancouver's diverse populations and contribute to the city's vibrancy and quality of life.

    To alleviate the impacts of rising security costs, current subsidies will be increased and new subsidies introduced for qualifying events.

    The recommendations will also foster opportunities for exchange between the City, Vancouver Police Department and event organizers, bolstering capacity for financial and environmental sustainability and innovation.

    Learn more about City Support for Free Outdoor Public Events

    Presentation (PDF)
    Council Report (PDF)

    Creative City Strategy

    The initiatives in these reports will support Vancouver's arts and cultural community, and will inform the Creative City Strategy which aims to develop a comprehensive plan and vision for arts, culture and creativity in Vancouver. 

    Learn more about the Creative City Strategy

  • Tuesday, July 10, 2018 4:00 PM | GVPTA (Administrator)

    The 36th Annual Jessie Richardson Awards are just around the corner, honouring Vancouver’s vibrant theatre community.

    The Jessie Awards are divided into three categories: Large Theatre, Small Theatre, and Theatre for Young Audiences along with other special awards. Check out the Jessies website for the full list of nominees

    This year’s Awards take place at Bard on the Beach on Monday, July 16th in the BMO Mainstage in Vanier Park. Doors at 5:30pm, ceremony at 6:30pm. After the ceremony the festivities will continue at the Awards After Party, at Progress Lab, 1422 Williams St, from 9:30pm – 1am.

    Tickets are $30 and available at www.jessieawards.com or by phone at 604.739.0559.

  • Tuesday, July 10, 2018 9:21 AM | GVPTA (Administrator)

    The City of Vancouver is providing a one-time only project grant of up to $20,000 to support priorities expressed by the community through the Creative City Strategy early engagement process. New and existing projects are eligible.

    This grant is the result of an increase to the 2018 cultural grants budget in response to the growth in Vancouver's arts and cultural community.

    Creative City Strategic Grants can support existing or new projects that:

    • address Creative City Strategy themes of Reconciliation, Equity and Access, Investment and Visibility, Capacity or Collaboration;
    • support and provide opportunities for artists, arts administrators, or arts and cultural organizations that have experienced barriers to accessing the City’s cultural programs and support;
    • provide practices, knowledge or resources that benefit the broader arts and culture sector; and
    • strengthen relations and networks across artistic, cultural and creative communities.


    • Registered nonprofit societies, community service co-ops, and charities as well as local First Nations Band Councils are eligible to apply.
    • You can apply for a new or existing project, including those that can potentially receive support from the City.
    • This grant can cover up to 100% of project costs.
    • Projects must be completed by the end of 2019.

    Read the Creative City Strategic Grant Information Guide (PDF) for the full details, including eligibility and key dates.

    Deadline to Apply: Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at 4pm (PST)

    Apply Online: http://list.vancouver.ca/t/281606/488036/3789/31/

    Questions? Attend a How-To Lab:

    Places are still available for Creative City Strategic Grants “How to Labs” in July and August, for those who would like some assistance in completing the online application. Before you register for a space, you are encouraged to speak with City staff to ensure your project aligns with the program objectives and is eligible.

    Dates Available:

    • Thursday, July 12, 12-2pm
    • Thursday, July 26, 6-8pm
    • Thursday, August 9, 3-5pm

    Space in the labs is limited and priority registration goes to those who:

    • Have an eligible project that aligns with the program criteria and who are intending to submit an application
    • Are new to applying for City grants through the online process

    For further questions please contact the following Cultural Services staff:

    Marnie Rice marnie.rice@vancouver.ca
    Doug Durand douglas.durand@vancouver.ca
    Cherryl Masters cherryl.masters@vancouver.ca

  • Monday, July 09, 2018 9:33 AM | GVPTA (Administrator)

    On July 4, the BC Arts Council rolled out a plan announcing its newest commitments to enhance arts and cultural development throughout the province.

    New Foundations: Strategic Plan for the British Columbia Arts Council 2018-2022 lays out the framework for the goals and actions of the council for the next five years. 

    Key objectives include:

    • improving sustainability and creative development;
    • enhancing engagement with Indigenous arts and culture;
    • increasing equity, diversity and access; and
    • expanding regional arts and community arts.

    The plan was developed following a series of consultations with artists, cultural organizations and communities around the province over the past three years.

    “The BC Arts Council has heard a clear message that artists and cultural organizations are seeking new approaches to support sustainability and resiliency in BC's arts and culture sector," said Susan Jackson, chair of the BC Arts Council. "This strategic plan reflects the council's strong commitment to renewal, artistic expression, equity and access, so that all people in British Columbia can participate in the arts and celebrate culture."

    The BC Arts Council is British Columbia’s lead agency for arts funding and development in the province. Funding provided by the council is done through a peer-review adjudication process. Grant recipients represent a diverse group of artists and arts organizations from every region of the province, including Indigenous groups, scholarship students and community arts councils.

    Read the full document here. 

  • Monday, June 25, 2018 7:01 PM | GVPTA (Administrator)

    The Magnetic North Theatre Festival board of directors is pleased to announce that after a two-year hiatus from presenting work, the Festival will re-emerge with renewed spirit and purpose in the Vancouver Region from June 6 – 16, 2019.

    The festival will be held on Coast Salish Territory and will be a partnership between artists, presenters, academics, and audiences. The festival headquarters will be at The Cultch in East Vancouver and events will take place in the multiple communities across the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD).

    Changes at Magnetic North

    Magnetic North will continue to focus on Canadian work and engage participants from across the country, including invited guests from abroad. It will no longer be strictly focused on theatre. As the lines blur between disciplines in the works that artists are creating, the festival will be focused on the live performing arts in whatever form that may take.

    The Cultch has provided in-kind venue donations to the festival and acts as in-kind administrative homebase, but it is not funding or affiliated with the festival’s operations or programming. The festival will be held in Vancouver in June 2019, but it is not committed to being presented in particular cities each year. It will not be led by an Artistic Director, with a singular, curatorial vision. It will also not follow the format of traditional markets or industry events at festivals where the goal is to buy and sell product; those conferences and models already exist.

    New Spirit, Purpose and Vision

    The festival will now focus on finding ways of partnering and participating in work and/or its process by supporting learning, innovation in creation, and audience and community engagement. It will also focus on clearly communicating to the public their integral role as cohort and conspirator.

    The board will act as the administrative and managerial team running the organization, each bringing their areas of expertise to make it happen. A Festival Producer will be hired to facilitate and oversee the logistics of the event, reporting directly to the board. The organization is intentionally structured this way to reflect and support the festival’s new spirit, purpose, and vision.

    Organized by a Festival Producer and working in response to the needs of the artistic community and the public, the festival is host to a “performing arts potluck” of professional arts projects proposed by independent artists and producing companies. The festival will bring the national community together by resourcing the festival and the participants; including but not limited to professional fees, commissions, micro investments, community and industry development, conversations and matchmaking. As such, Magnetic North now plays an active role in being our nation’s community test kitchen to explore new territory and engage audiences in making theatre, or other performing arts.

    Call to Participants

    Artists, presenters, producers, administrators, community advocates and academics are invited to bring their work to the table in whatever stage of development it might be or form that might take.

    If you already have resources that you have allocated to developing work, and/or are in a process that wants to engage the public and colleagues in a robust dialogue, then Magnetic North is for you.

    Examples of a Magnetic North submission could include but are not limited to:

    • Co-creating a work with new audiences.
    • Testing audience response to a work in creation.
    • The presentation of a work in progress.
    • Seeding a new idea with input from the public and your colleagues from across the country.
    • Presenting or pitching a new idea – think a performing arts TED talk.
    • Sharing a profound experience your company may have had that could benefit others.
    • Teaching a skill or hosting a development group.
    • Hosting a public conversation between different communities (culturally or creatively).
    • An outdoor performance, activity, or happening.
    Whatever the form, applicants will be selected on the following basis:
    • A fundamental expression of respect for all communities (culturally or creatively).
    • An inherent drive to explore new territory in your work.
    • Growth expressed in the spirit of curiousity and generosity.
    • A spirit of excellence running through your project, participants, or company history.
    • An ability to supplement the financial needs of your project at the festival, beyond what the festival can provide in fees, accommodation, and travel.


    Submission Deadline: September 1, 2018

    Please submit a single document that includes the following information:

    Participant Details

    • Activity title
    • Name(s) of participant(s)
    • 100-word bios for your company (if applicable), as well as each participant on the project.
    • Role each participant plays in the creation/activation of the project. Please indicate how they are integral to the work.

    Project Details: 250 words max per response

    • What is the nature of the project you want to create at or bring to Magnetic North?
    • What are you seeking to test or learn through your project, at this time?
    • How is this particular audience of value to the growth of the work at this time? Simply put: why Magnetic North and why now?
    • What is your desired impact on this particular audience?
    • How will you measure the impact of your work on the participants, and incorporate that into the development of either this project or your future work?
    • How Can Magnetic North best contribute to your company, your work and your development?

    Scope and Scale

    Please describe the ideal environment to explore this project.

    Be sure to indicate details such as: outdoor or indoor environment, style of outdoor space or size of theatre, any technical requirements, if you require a multi-room performance environment (for roving work), and if you have or require direct access to a particular community.

    Please be as detailed as necessary. This will help organizers match you with the appropriate venue(s) that has been sourced for the festival throughout the GVRD.


    The aim is to support the participation of as many projects in 2019 as financially possible, by providing a range of financial options such as artist fees, micro-investments, supplemental support, travel, and accommodation. Participants are responsible for sourcing any additional funds through their home organization or other grant support.

    Please outline the following:

    • Number of participants in your project
    • Number of rooms/housing required to support your participants?
    • Do you have access to free housing?
    • Are you interested in billeting?
    • For participants not from the GVRD, where is each participant travelling from?
    • Do you have confirmed supplementary financial support to guarantee your participation in the festival?
    • If you do not have confirmed supplementary financial support, what organizations or grants will you be approaching and when will you know if they can provide funding?

    How Submissions Will Be Assessed:

    The 2019 Festival aims to have representation from across the country, from multiple communities and in multiple languages. We are committed to furthering the work of Indigenous and disability artists and ensuring a broad base of genre is represented at the festival. This diversity will be one of our major goals and one that we will use to assess submissions.

    Our ambitions are many and our budget is limited so that is why we are asking what you can bring to the table to share with your community. Submissions will be assessed on how best we can use our limited resources. If we are not able to program your proposal in its entirety we will ensure that there will be a vehicle for you to share the project through a catalogue that we will be provided to participants. In this way everyone who makes a submission will be represented in some way or another.

    Please send any questions you may have to Magnetic North Chair, Heather Redfern, at heather@thecultch.com.

    Please submit your final proposal to Magnetic North Vice-Chair, Amy Lynn Strilchuk, at mntfcanada@gmail.com.

  • Sunday, June 24, 2018 7:54 PM | GVPTA (Administrator)

    Returning to its theatrical roots, the 36th Annual Jessie Richardson Theatre Award Ceremony, celebrating excellence in the theatre community, will be held at Bard on the Beach in the BMO Mainstage in Vanier Park on Monday, July 16th, 2018. Doors open at 5:30pm, ceremony at 6:30pm.

    The Jessies began in 1983 and takes its name from Jessie Richardson, one of Vancouver’s theatre pioneers. The awards acknowledge bodies of work in the categories of Large Theatre, Small Theatre and Theatre for Young Audiences, all whose work has contributed to make Vancouver a vibrant city.

    Tickets are $30 - available at www.jessieawards.com or call Bard on the Beach Box Office 604.739.0559.

  • Wednesday, May 23, 2018 12:34 AM | GVPTA (Administrator)

    Rumble Theatre’s Board of Directors has announced that Artistic Director Stephen Drover will be vacating his role to join the Arts Club Theatre Company as its new Associate Artistic Director. Effective May 28, 2018, Drover will work part-time at both Rumble and the Arts Club. His final day at Rumble will be August 31, 2018, following the completion of Rumble’s Tremors festival.

    Drover joined Rumble in January 2012 and spearheaded many exciting initiatives during his tenure. He established Rumble’s adaptation program with an eye on creating contemporary Canadian plays based on classical texts. That program has seen great success in its short history, highlighted by Hiro Kanagawa’s Indian Arm winning the 2017 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. He also formalized Rumble’s mentorship program, creating the popular Living Room series—a casual community-building event that joins emerging and professional artists in conversations about theatre—and refocusing Tremors, Rumble’s festival of emerging talent, as a training ground for individual artists.

    “My six years with Rumble have been an array of milestones and I am immeasurably proud of the work we’ve done,” says Drover. “During my time here we developed a robust program for the mentorship of emerging artists, commissioned remarkable new adaptations, and produced some really fantastic shows. I’ll miss working with this wonderful staff in the best artist-run building in Vancouver. And I can’t wait to see what’s next for the company.”

    “Stephen has steered Rumble through a fantastically productive period for Rumble, shepherding successes like Indian Arm, and The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius, reimagining and reinvigorating our Tremors festival, and building our community through our mentorship programs,” says Board President Mat Brechtel. “While we are very sad to see him go, we’ll look forward to continuing to enjoy his positive influence at an only slightly greater distance.”

    Rumble Theatre’s Board of Directors will announce plans for a recruitment process this summer.

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We acknowledge the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia.


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 traditional, unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.