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New Magnetic North Vision and Call to Artists

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The Magnetic North Festival will re-emerge with renewed spirit and purpose in June of 2019. Currently, the proposed dates are June 3 – 9, and/or June 10 – 16, 2019. The festival will be held on Coast Salish Territory and will be a partnership between artists, presenters and communities based in the Lower Mainland. The festival headquarters will be at The Cultch in East Vancouver and events will take place in the multiple communities that make up the Greater Vancouver Regional District, (GVRD).

The New Spirit, Purpose, and Vision of Magnetic North 

Magnetic North is a gathering place for performing arts makers, audiences, academics, and allies to share their unique perspectives and practices in the creation and participation of the work. Together we expand our individual approaches to the art and create relationships that engage and unify our diverse community.

This spirit and purpose of the festival will 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. It will focus on finding multiple ways of engaging audiences by using the festival to expand the norm of viewing a finished product in a specified way. The festival will focus on finding ways of participating in work and or its process by supporting innovation. It will also focus on clearly communicating to the public their integral role as cohort and conspirator. The idea is that everyone who participates in the festival, audiences and artists, gets what they need from it. It will be multi-disciplinary, focused on Canadian work at all stages of development and have the engagement of multiple communities of artists and audiences at its core.

Magnetic North will be a community-minded platform animated by events and works that are proposed by the local and national arts community. There is no Artistic Director curating a singular vision, rather it is a “potluck” of professional arts proposed by independent artists and producing companies. The festival will focus on executing a meaningful community engagement plan locally and through national and international networks. The board will continue to act as the administrative team running the organization, each bringing their areas of expertise to make it happen (finance, marketing, presenter relationships, fundraising). A Festival Producer will be hired to facilitate and oversee the logistics of the event, reporting directly to the board with the aim of facilitating those who want to participate in the festival within the resources we have. 

Call to Artists 

We are asking artists, presenters and producers to bring their work to the table in whatever stage of development it might be. 

If you already have resources that you have allocated to developing work, and/or are in a process that wants to engage a public in a robust dialogue, then Magnetic North is for you. If you are a presenter or student or marketer or activist who wants to have a conversation about the performing arts, we want you here. The funds we are able to raise will help fund artist fees, independent artists, marketing, community engagement, travel, and the Festival Producer salary.

We have spoken with the artists and presenters in GVRD and they are very supportive. Please click HERE to read this letter in full, including the ideas they brought to the table at those conversations and some of the feedback we heard about a new model.

Now we want to expand this conversation to be a national one and hear from you about your projects and your desires for your communities and how the festival can help move them forward. There will be a more detailed description of the festival and the submission and evaluation process for the festival that will be communicated over the summer, however we are gathering ideas right now.

We are also asking for your support. We are currently writing fundraising proposals for the 2019 festival and need letters of support from the performing arts community by April 2, 2018.

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


The Magnetic North Board

Gabbie, Heather, Amy, Tammy and Ken

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.