Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance (GVPTA)

Programs + Initiatives

Professional Development

GVPTA presents and partners on a number of industry workshops and gatherings each year to provide a way for theatre community members to network and share knowledge.

Check back for further updates about upcoming programs. Expand the accordion options below to learn more about our most recent programs, and access links to available session recordings and/or summary notes.


Since March 2020, GVPTA has been working to explore ways that we can help the community to navigate through and beyond COVID-19, and has been presenting a number of free webinars. 

Expand the sections below to read about and access available recordings of past programming.

Pivoting to Digital: Theatre Edition
Pivoting to Digital - Theatre Edition. White text on a background image of red theatre seating.

Pivoting to Digital: Theatre Edition

with Debi Wong, Derek Chan, and Joanna Garfinkel

Co-hosted by PLEO and GVPTA

Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, 1:00pm–2:00pm PDT

In bringing the stage to our screens, theatre and performing artists have taken advantage of an expanding array of digital tools. What new legal relationships and challenges have emerged in this process? And how will these changes shape post-pandemic theatre?

Join PLEO and the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance (GVPTA) via Zoom on December 2 for a conversation with Debi Wong, Derek Chan, and Joanna Garfinkel on exploring the creative and legal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About Debi Wong

Debi is an interdisciplinary performance artist that loves to weave together sound, text, movement and technology to create contemporary stories. Her performances have been recognized as “unique and magical” (Rondo Classic, Finland) and “electric & poignant” (Schmopera). Debi is the founding artistic director of re:Naissance Opera in Vancouver, BC. With re:Naissance she has created #DidoAndAeneas (2014), an interactive, social-media opera; Acis & Galatea which was recognized by Vancouver Classical Music as one of the city’s best operas in 2017. In 2019, Debi spearheaded OrpheusVR, an interactive Virtual Reality Opera that was featured at the VIFF Immersed exhibit at the 2020 Vancouver International Film Festival.

About Derek Chan

Derek Chan (陳嘉昊) grew up in colonial Hong Kong, lived in Norway, and now lives and works on the stolen and ancestral lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, colonially known as Vancouver. A playwright, director, performer, translator, and producer, Derek is the incoming managing artistic director of Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (vAct). Before that, he was co-artistic director of rice & beans theatre from 2010 to 2021. He has also worked with Playwrights Theatre Centre (artistic director apprentice), Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (associate artistic producer), and the rEvolver Festival (guest curator). Derek received his BFA in theatre performance from Simon Fraser University. Derek has been a National Arts Centre English Theatre Artist in Residence (19/20) with yellow objects, a new installation-exhibition in support of the ongoing pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. His play Chicken Girl (2019/20) won the Sydney Risk Award for Outstanding Original Play by an Emerging Playwright, and was nominated for Outstanding Original Script at the Jessies.

About Joanna Garfinkel

Joanna Garfinkel lives and works on the the unceded and traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səlil̓wətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation). She is grateful, as granddaughter of refugees, to have the opportunity to work in the community, on this land. She is the co-founder of collectively and socially-driven play development company Universal Limited and the co-creator, with Yoshié Bancroft, of JAPANESE PROBLEM, a site-responsive piece about the Japanese Canadian Incarceration, which has been performed in Vancouver, at Soulpepper in Toronto, and elsewhere. Co-created and directed the pedicab adventure Tour for HIVE 3, Victoria (Theatre SKAM), and Toronto (SummerWorks). Recent dramaturgical credits include Berlin: The Last Cabaret (PuSh), Poly Queer Love Ballad, (Theatre Passe Murailles), and MX (Cultch). Joanna has been nominated for three Jessie awards, winning one (Critics Choice for Innovation); Pure Research grant (Nightswimming Theatre), and has received the Sydney Risk award for directing. MFA directing (UBC). Her focus is in new play development, multidisciplinary, and site-specific work; she also has trained with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company in New York. Upcoming: Catalina La O Presenta: Ahora Conmigo, and development of To the Sea. She is the dramaturg, creative engagement, at Playwrights Theatre Centre (PTC).
Disrupting Unconscious Bias
Disrupting Unconscious Bias with Will Shelling

Disrupting Unconscious Bias
with Will Shelling (Bakau Consulting)
Co-hosted by Arts BC and GVPTA

Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, 1:00pm–3:00pm PDT

Fee: GVPTA and Arts BC members: $10 
Non-members: $20

*Workshop Prerequisite: All registrants are required to have taken Fundamentals of Anti-Oppression (on Sept. 23, or an alternate session) and/or the Intro to Diversity and Inclusion workshops by Bakau Consulting

Disrupting Unconscious Bias provides participants with an engaging and interactive opportunity to investigate and unpack their own personal and organizational biases. This workshop provides educational information on the science behind cognitive bias and how it informs the decisions we make every day. While biases are a natural part of our human brains, this workshop allows attendees to think critically about how biases may lead us to make unfair decisions, lack diversity in hiring or exclude people. Participants leave with a renewed sense of urgency and knowledge for recognizing bias in everyday conversation and decision-making which in turn transforms workplaces for the better. 
About the Presenter
Will Shelling photo
Will Shelling
Will Shelling is an Equity and Inclusion Strategist, academic, and avid home cook, living on the unceded, ancestral, and occupied lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.

Will's approach to social justice is both informed by his academic training and lived experience as a mixed race Black man. He loves applying data-driven policy analysis to situations to understand policy changes, usually coming to robust solutions. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia, where he studied political science and international relations, holding part-time work in human rights advocacy and at the UBC Equity and Inclusion office.

He currently studies at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at UBC, where he’s focusing on sustainable development and civil rights academically. You can often find him working on a new recipe in his kitchen, or at his workstation supporting institutional and community change.
Fundamentals of Anti-Oppression
Fundamentals of Anti-Oppression with Will Shelling

Fundamentals of Anti-Oppression
with Will Shelling (Bakau Consulting)
Co-hosted by Arts BC and GVPTA

Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, 1:00pm–3:00pm PDT

Fee: GVPTA and Arts BC members: $10 
Non-members: $20

This session was a pre-requisite to Disrupting Unconscious Bias  on October 7.

ASL interpretation provided.

Fundamentals of Anti-oppression dives deeper than your typical diversity and inclusion workshop. In this workshop, participants are given the opportunity to explore systemic oppression, social justice, privilege, identity and allyship through a variety of engaging activities. Through self-reflection, community-based inquiry, lessons from history and collaborative problem solving, participants gain the knowledge and skills to view the world through an anti- oppressive lens.

Understanding & Leveraging GST/HST for Arts Non-Profits & Charities
Understanding Y Leveraging GST/HST for Arts Non-profits & Charities

Understanding & Leveraging GST/HST for Arts Non-Profits & Charities

Thursday, July 22, 2021, 11:00am–12:15pm PDT

With Michael Monk, GST/HST Presenter for Canada Revenue Agency
Free. Hosted by GVPTA and Arts BC
Slideshow available to download

  • Is your arts organization maximizing all possible tax credits and rebates?
  • Is your arts organization thinking about registering for GST/HST?
  • Have you claimed back all eligible GST/HST amounts, or are you wondering what you may have missed?

Board, staff, and other administrators involved with finances and/or GST/HST at non-profit or charitable arts organizations in B.C. are invited to join us for a free webinar with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on July 22 to gain a clearer understanding of your GST/HST obligations and entitlements.

What should you do to get the most money back? How does a small arts organization making below the GST/HST threshold determine if registering would benefit them? Can you get money back for capital improvements made to your space during COVID closures? Should you charge GST/HST on sponsorships? What about credits for fundraisers, auctions, and raffles? Get answers to these questions and more.

Understanding the most important GST/HST rules and legislation can help your organization manage its GST/HST responsibilities and also maximize its recoveries. Even if you’re not currently GST/HST registered, or you think your organization is too small for this to apply, you can still access valuable information about maximizing potential GST/HST recoveries. Or, if you’d just like a refresher, or to simply hear directly from CRA that you’re “doing the right thing”, this presentation is for you.

Canada Revenue Agency representative Michael Monk will share his insights and expertise relating to GST/HST obligations and entitlements relevant to arts organizations. This webinar will explore topics such as rebates, input tax credits, taxable vs. exempt supplies, capital real property and more. 

Join this webinar to:

  • Recognize key GST/HST differences between charities and non-profit organizations
  • Know when to charge GST or HST, and understand mandatory registration thresholds
  • Understand basic Public Service Bodies rebate rules
  • Apply the correct rules for claiming input tax credits
  • Identify and reduce common GST/HST mistakes
About the Presenter

Michael Monk, GST/HST Presenter, Canada Revenue Agency

Michael Monk has been an employee of Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for more than 30 years. During that time he has worked extensively with GST/HST. Michael spent 10 years with GST/HST Rulings in the Legislative Policy and Regulatory Affairs Branch and several more years in the Compliance Programs Branch. He has had several roles in CRA’s Headquarters (HQ), Regional and Tax Services Offices. Michael has also spent several years as a CRA Facilitator, teaching various GST/HST legislation courses to CRA staff.

Michael currently works in Headquarters, GST/HST Directorate, where he has managed CRA’s national GST/HST Outreach Program for the last four years. He has many years of experience working with GST/HST issues in the public sectors, and has participated in several conferences, preparing and delivering GST/HST presentations to accounting and industry associations.

Michael has volunteered with several community groups over the years, including serving on the Board of Directors for a large national charity and serving on CRA’s Employee Assistance Program.

Hosted by GVPTA and Arts BC
GVPTA and Arts BC logos
City of Vancouver Artist Studio Award Program 2022–2025 Info Sessions
City of Vancouver Artist Studio Award Program Info Sessions

City of Vancouver Artist Studio Award Program 2022–2025 Info Sessions

Presented with the GVPTA

Info Session #1: Tuesday, July 13, 10:00–11:00am PDT
For artists who are members of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səlilwətaɬ Nations.

Info Session #2: Thursday, July 15, 5:00–6:00pm PDT

For artists who identify as Indigenous, Black, or a person of colour.

This City of Vancouver program awards seven studios at below-market rates to low-income artists working in any artistic discipline at a critical moment in their career. Studios are leased to the awarded artists for approximately three years. In recognition of systemic barriers facing racialized artists, the 2022-2025 program will dedicate all seven studios to low-income Vancouver-based artists who are Indigenous and/or racialized. A minimum of three studios will be awarded to xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) artists.

Application deadline: Wednesday, August 4, 2021, at 4pm

ASL Interpretation and Zoom's auto-captioning were provided.

Presented by the City of Vancouver's Cultural Services with GVPTA
City of Vancouver Cultural Services logo
Presenting Online: Demystifying Digital Licensing A Conversation with SOCAN
Presenting Online: Demystifying Digital Licensing A Conversation with SOCAN

Presenting Online:
Demystifying Digital Licensing
A Conversation with SOCAN

Thursday, June 3, 2021
10:30–11:30am PDT / 1:30–2:30pm EDT
Free. Recording available; click the button below.

A conversation with James Leacock, Director of Royalty Collections with SOCAN, and Kelly Barker, Producer with The Cultch.

Are you a performing arts producer or presenter who is adapting your events to on-demand, livestreamed, or hybrid formats? Obtaining your music license ensures that the songwriters, composers, and music publishers who make up SOCAN are properly compensated for use of their work when their music is performed at your event. Sharing artists’ content online requires different licensing from live, in-person performances – and livestreamed licensing may differ again from that of a pre-recorded performance. Depending on your event, you may also require reproduction rights or synchronization licenses. Do you have questions about the implications of moving presentations online and understanding your responsibilities?

This presentation and Q&A with James Leacock, Director of Royalty Collections with SOCAN, focused on questions related to the new reality of music licensing of online or hybrid performances, and will help you to understand your ethical and legal obligations to ensure that music creators are supported.

SOCAN administers and protects the performing and reproduction rights of music creators, music publishers and visual artists, ensures users are Licensed to Play, and collects/distributes royalties in Canada and worldwide.

ASL Interpretation and Zoom's auto-captioning were provided for this session.

Webinar Follow-Up:

Additional questions for SOCAN?

Concert Queries

All other queries
(Note: currently a 7–10 business day turnaround for responses)

To reach James Leacock, Director of Royalty Collections with SOCAN directly with further questions following the webinar, email

Webinar presented by:
GVPTA logo
The Cultch
James Leacock photo
James Leacock
​Director of Royalty Collections, SOCAN
James Leacock is SOCAN's Director of Royalty Collections and currently manages the operations of media-related licensing accounts totalling over 275 million of SOCAN's annual domestic revenue. James and his team have also been working to administer SOCAN's new Reproduction Rights offering for clients in Canada and the US. James has held many roles at SOCAN, including leadership roles in Concerts, General Licensing, and Business Development. He studied Behavioural Psychology at Western University and recently completed his MBA at McMaster. James lives in Milton, Ontario with his wife and two sons, and is also a musician and composer. 
BC Performing Arts Venues & Cinemas Town Hall (March 2021)
BC Performing Arts Venues & Cinemas Town Hall

BC Performing Arts Venues & Cinemas Town Hall

Friday, March 19, 2021, 11:00am–12:00pm PDT

GVPTA and Arts BC hosted a town hall to share information about recent and ongoing conversations between arts sector leaders, government, and health officials, toward a safe re-opening of B.C. performing arts venues and cinemas.
The session began with a presentation from our guests, followed by an opportunity to ask questions.


Moderated by Kenji Maeda, GVPTA executive director, and Elliott Hearte, Arts BC director of programs & services.

Zoom's auto-captioning was provided for this session.
GVPTA and Arts BC

Presented by GVPTA and Arts BC

In the Booth: Digital Flip with Taylor Janzen and Chase Padgett
In the Booth: Digital Flip with Taylor Janzen & Chase Padgett

In the Booth: Digital Flip with Taylor Janzen and Chase Padgett

A technical, design, and producing conversation about pivoting to online. 

January 30, 2021 | 2:00–3:30 p.m.

Calling all stage managers, production managers, technical directors, designers, technicians, operators (and all roles in between)! We invite you to join us to share challenges, opportunities, and successes you’ve experienced while adapting productions from in-person to online stages in the wake of COVID-19. 

Emily Neumann (technical stage manager, production manager and producer) and Davey Samuel Calderon (theatre producer and artist) will moderate a conversation with the Upintheair Theatre’s e-Volver Festival production team (Technical Director, Taylor Janzen; Digital Producer/Technician, Chase Padgett), hearing their experiences and stories about pivoting a traditional live, in-person performing arts festival to one that can exist on the digital stage. Starting with a presentation and short talk with our guest speakers, the session will be followed by an opportunity for participants to share and learn from each other. 

In the Booth is inspired by a real-life kitchen conversation between Emily and Davey, who joked about missing the moments when theatre production/tech folks would get together and “shoot the shit,” taking the opportunity to catch up on what’s new in the world of backstage. This session is intended to center the wealth of experience and knowledge of theatre production, technicians and design folks during a time of heightened development of new practices.


Taylor Janzen photo
Taylor Janzen
Taylor Janzen graduated in 2016 from Simon Fraser University with a BFA in Theatre Production and Design, and currently works at The Cultch as their Assistant Production Manager. She has been the Technical Director for Upintheair Theatre’s The Array (2019/2020), the e-Volver Festival (2020), and the rEvolver Festival (2018-2020), which she was previously the Assistant Technical Director for between 2013-2017. Her recent lighting designs include Rapid Pitch Production’s Big Sister (2020), The Happening Dance’s Accelerate 3.0 (2020), Zee Zee Theatre’s Holiday at the Elbow Room Cafe (2019), and Eric Cheung’s iye (2019-KW Studio). This year has been an interesting shift for her. It has been filled with learning new digital platforms and gear, updating safety plans to follow health guidelines, and hanging out with friends digitally. 
Chase Padgett photo
Chase Padgett
Chase Padgett is a multi-faceted actor, musician, and film maker. He studied music at the University of Central Florida while performing at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios in various equity roles. In 2010, he premiered his first one man show 6 Guitars which went on to become one of the most successful shows in the North American Fringe Festival Circuit. Since then, he has toured extensively, developed other solo shows such as Nashville Hurricane and Heart Attacks & Other Blessings, and even performed as a guest entertainer for Disney Cruise Line. Chase began exploring the technical side of the performing arts in 2016 which led to filming other artists’ live shows. This led to more film making for his own endeavors as well as producing video for other live performance events and festivals. Currently Chase is in Vancouver BC with his lovely partner, Christina.


Emily Neumann photo
Emily Neumann
Emily Neumann has a BFA in Theatre Production from Simon Fraser University’s School of Contemporary Arts. While initially trained as a Stage Manager, the following years in Events in addition to Live and Performing Arts transformed her career. She is now a Technical Stage Manager and Producer, with experience ranging from smaller indie art projects to large-scale civic events. She has annually worked with the GVPTA as the Unified General Auditions’ producer since 2017 and is beyond excited to be on this current project!

Davey Samuel Calderon photo
Davey Samuel Calderon
Davey Samuel Calderon (he/him/his) is a queer theatre artist of Filipino descent, based on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish people: Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations. He has his BFA in Theatre Performance and Communication from SFU. Co-Founder of New(to)Town Collective, a theatre collective aspiring to provide accessible, experimental training workshops and creating new interdisciplinary works together. He is a director, curator, producer, dramaturg, drag artist and theatre maker. Currently is the Resident Curator for Upintheair Theatre’s rEvolver Festival, VACT’s 2020/21 MSG Lab Emerging Dramaturg and Dramaturg, Public Engagement for Playwrights Theatre Centre. When he is not on screens working, he’s been enjoying his new hobby, crocheting!

Preparing for the City of Vancouver COVID-19 Cultural Impact Critical Assistance Grants
Open notebook with pencil, glasses, and laptop beside it

Preparing for the City of Vancouver COVID-19 Cultural Impact Critical Assistance Grants

October 8, 2020 | 10:30am–12:00pm

Non-profit arts and culture organizations interested or intending to apply for the recently announced COVID-19 Cultural Impact Critical Assistance Grants were invited to join a webinar hosted by GVPTA to learn more about the grant program and process. 

The CICA program aims to provide one-time funding for cultural nonprofit organizations that have been most impacted by COVID-19 and those who provide critical programs, services and space to some of the most impacted artists and groups in the city. The program was informed by community input gathered through the City’s new culture plan Culture|Shift, the impact to the local arts and culture sector, and other external COVID-19 response and recovery initiatives, and gives priority to groups who contribute to equity-seeking communities, diverse live music and performing arts sectors, and safe and affordable cultural spaces.

The first 60 minutes included a presentation and Q&A about the grant program. Representatives from City of Vancouver Cultural Services provided an overview of eligibility and grant guidelines, explained the two-stage process, and expanded upon the type of questions being asked in the application. GVPTA executive director, Kenji Maeda, moderated questions. 

The last 30 minutes included a presentation and Q&A about setting up and navigating the City of Vancouver granting portal. This is most relevant for new applicants and those who would like a refresher.

Review the grant details and review the Expression of Interest questions here (PDF).

ASL Interpreters and Captioning were provided.
Contracting for Digital: A Conversation with UBCP
Contracting for Digital promo with director's chair onstage facing audience

Contracting for Digital: A Conversation with UBCP

September 24, 2020 | 2:00–3:00 pm PDT

Presented by GVPTA and Pi Theatre.  A Q&A with Jason Cameron, Business Agent, Film, TV & New Media for UBCP (the British Columbia affiliate of ACTRA) and Richard Wolfe, Artistic and Producing Director of Pi Theatre. 

Are you a performing arts producer, administrator or organizational representative? Get to know the future now! If you or your company are even thinking of entering the digital world of On Demand or Live Streaming there are a few things you need to know. 

This Zoom  session focused on contract questions and concerns related to the new reality of contracting for digital broadcasting, focused on the engagement of performers in broadcast or recorded media. The definition of performers includes, but is not limited to, actors, recording artists, comedians, dancers, voice performers, singers, puppeteers, and others.    Although the Union of British Columbia Performers is part of ACTRA national, contracting arrangements differ here in BC and need to be discussed early in the planning stages of your project. Don’t be caught off guard. Know your obligations around budgeting, hiring, and working conditions within the world of new media broadcasting in BC.

For information about the some of the common contracts you might consider, visit the following links:

Captioning services were provided for this session. 
GVPTA 2020 Season Launch Town Hall
Season Launch Town Hall promo with red theatre curtain in background

​GVPTA Season Launch Town Hall

September 10, 2020 | 2:00–3:15 pm PT

At this free session to kick off the 2020–21 season, we shared the first report from GVPTA’s B.C. Patron Insights along with what we’ve been up to and what we have planned in the coming months.

ASL interpretation was provided. 

Questions I'm Asking Myself Series
Questions I'm Asking Myself promo image with blue background

​Webinar Series: 
Questions I'm Asking Myself

A series of introspective conversations with leaders & practitioners in the arts.                                                

Curatorial Statement (Kenji Maeda):
The question can be more meaningful than the answer. This series was sparked by my own interest and need to step back to reflect and think more deeply about where we are as a community, and as an individual within the community. I also deeply value the opportunity to exchange ideas, thoughts, and questions with others without the expectation for the "right", or any, answer to emerge. What interests me most is understanding how people think. How are they connecting the dots? How do they navigate their own contradictions and complexities before coming to a decision? 

This is not a workshop. This is not an "expert" panel. This is a conversation to explore our deep curiosities of the now.

Recordings of previous webinars and more details about participants can be found below.
September 28, 2020

Mariam Barry, Gavan Cheema, and Kenji Maeda

Mariam Barry photo
About Mariam
Mariam Barry is a multidisciplinary artist from Norway and The Gambia. A child of expats, Mariam grew up internationally between The United States, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, and The Netherlands before moving to Canada as a young adult. Mariam is currently based on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples - specifically the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

As a creative, Mariam's approach to art-marking is intersectional and multi-hyphenate. She is a professionally trained actor, writer, and producer in both theatre and film. Mariam is a former artistic producer of Killjoy Theatre, an intersectional feminist theatre company, and the co-creator of Breaking Borders, a performance crew for immigrant, newcomer and refugee artists. Mariam holds a BFA in Acting from UBC, and loves making art that celebrates the diversity of the Black experience. 

Her favourite acting credits include: bcHub Artist Ensemble (b current theatre), Ashbridge (CBC), Snowpiercer (Netflix), 'da Kink In My Hair (Envision Festival/Boca del Lupo), and Theory (Tremors Festival/Rumble Theatre). Mariam is also an arts facilitator and film editor for Reel Youth, where she supports the production of short films, intergenerational documentaries, and music videos in youth communities across Canada.  Black Lives Matter. 
Gavan Cheema photo
About Gavan
Gavan Cheema is a Vancouver based producer, director, community connector and writer. She is a first generation Canadian with roots coming from the five rivers of Punjab, India. She is currently writing and developing her new piece Himmat with Theatre Conspiracy. Her role at Theatre Conspiracy has evolved from Artist-in-Residence to Associate Artistic Director.

Gavan's artistic practices centers on building community and sparking positive change. Some of her recent directing credits include Burqa Boutique (Revolver Festival), Marie’s Letters (Shift Festival), da’ kink in my hair and You Used to Call Me Marie (Envision Festival), Danceboy: Shots Edition (Fuse), The [Organization] (Unladylike co), and Disgraced (UBC Players Club). She has also been an assistant director for The Orchard [after Chekhov] (Arts Club), Victim Impact (Theatre Conspiracy), Foreign Radical (UK tour with Theatre Conspiracy), Men in White (Arts Club) and Bombay Black (Vancouver Fringe Festival). 
About Kenji 

Learn more about GVPTA's Executive Director on our About Us page. 

August 13, 2020

Chelsea Haberlin, Jivesh Parasram, and Kenji Maeda

Chelsea Haberlin photo
About Chelsea

Chelsea is the artistic director of Neworld Theatre and an artistic associate with ITSAZOO Productions. As a director she has worked with ITSAZOO Productions, Neworld Theatre, Arts Club Theatre, Firehall Arts Centre, Theatre SKAM, Pacific Theatre, Delinquent Theatre, and many more. Chelsea is forever searching for new ways to surprise and engage an audience and is particularly passionate about meaningful collaboration, immersive environments, community engagement and reconciliation. Chelsea has an MFA in directing from UBC and a BFA from UVic. She is the recipient of the Sydney J Risk Award in directing, the Ray Michal Award for outstanding body of work by an emerging director and a two-time winner and five-time Jessie Richardson Award nominee for Outstanding Direction

Jivesh Parasram photo
About Jivesh

Jiv is a multidisciplinary artist, researcher, and facilitator of Indo-Caribbean descent. His work has played across Canada, and Internationally. He is a co-founder of the Socio-Political Collective Pandemic Theatre and the current artistic director of Rumble Theatre. Jiv grew up in K’jipuktuk (Halifax) and currently endeavours to split his time between T'karón:to (Toronto) and the Unceded Coast Salish Territories (Vancouver) which he now calls home. He has received numerous awards in recognition of his work including the Ken McDougall Award for Direction, the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award, and with the team at this past year’s CanadaHub the prestigious Herald Angel Award at the Edinburgh Fringe. He was also a past member of the TAC Cultural Leaders Lab with the Banff Centre.

July 24, 2020

Carmen Alatorre, Fay Nass, and Kenji Maeda

Carmen Alatorre photo
About Carmen

Originally from Mexico, Carmen is a Latinx artist who earned her MFA degree in Theatre Design at UBC and lives in the unceded traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations (Vancouver) since 2006. Some of her recent design credits were seen in companies such as: Arts Club Theatre Company, Bard on the Beach, Globe Theatre Regina, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Citadel Theatre and Electric Company. Carmen is the recipient of three Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. For more information visit:                

Fay Nass photo
About Fay 

Fay's work has been showcased nationally and internationally. Her most recent credits include: co-directing Trans Script Part I: The Women (The Frank Theatre and Zee Theatre at Firehall Arts Centre) directing She Mami Wata & the Pussy WitcHunt (the Frank Theatre at PuSh Festival 2020), co-directing Straight White Men (ITSAZOO productions at Gateway Theatre) dramaturgy of Camera Obscura (Hungry Ghosts) (The Frank Theatre &QAF), directing and devising Diaspora: Queer immigrant and refugee stories (The Frank Theatre at QAF), cultural consultation and curation of residency programs with North Van Art and Culture office, curation and producing of Another Window Cabaret (Aphotic theatre and Neworld Theatre). Fay holds an MFA from Simon Fraser University. She is currently the recipient of Artistic leadership residency at National Theatre School of Canada. Fay is the artistic director of The Frank Theatre

Gateway Salon Series: Building Bridges
Gateway Salon Series: Building Bridges logo

Gateway Salon Series: Building Bridges

Saturday, September 12, 2020 (2:00 pm & 7:00 pm) and Sunday, September 13, 2020 (2:00 pm)
Free to attend; registration required

GVPTA was pleased to partner with Gateway Theatre and Rumble Theatre to provide an opportunity via Zoom for emerging artists to connect with like-minded creatives and explore resources for navigating the fast-changing world of performing arts. 
Each digital salon featured artistic leaders from local companies who sharing their personal experiences and industry knowledge. Topics included finding your place in the theatre community, festival application and selection processes, opportunities for emerging Black, Indigenous, and woman-identifying theatre artists of colour, and opportunities for queer theatre artists.

Jasmine Chen (Gateway Theatre) and Jivesh Parasram (Rumble Theatre) co-hosted and facilitated, with technical support from GVPTA. Conversations expanded into breakout groups for an opportunity to meet fellow emerging artists and pose questions to speakers. ASL and closed captioning were provided.

Salon #1: Finding Your Voice

Saturday, September 12, 2:00PM

Artistic Directors Diane Brown and Kevin Loring share opportunities and resources for emerging Indigenous theatre artists as well as Black and woman-identifying artists of colour. 

Through this vital conversation, discover ways to find your artistic voice and how to follow through on your vision.

Salon #2: Connecting with Meaningful Mentors

Featuring Playwrights Theatre Centre (PTC) and rice & beans theatre

Saturday, September 12, 7:00PM

rice & beans theatre co-founders Derek Chan and Pedro Chamale are joined by Joanna Garfinkel and Davey Samuel Calderon from Playwrights Theatre Centre to discuss finding your place in the theatre community. The panel will also share mentorship and professional development opportunities for emerging playwrights, actors, and producers.

Salon #3: Deepening Your Work & Knowing Your Worth

Sunday, September 13, 2:00PM

Artistic Producer Daniel Martin (Upintheair Theatre) and Artistic Director Fay Nass (the frank theatre company) discuss their partnership for the rEvolver Festival, including how artists can submit, what the application and selection process is, and what artistic opportunities are available for emerging queer artists. Learn about navigating the world of producing, presenting, and advocating for your work.
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GVPTA 2020 Performing Arts BC Relaunch Town Hall
Performing Arts BC Relaunch Town Hall promo with red theatre curtain and spotlight in background

GVPTA Performing Arts BC 
Relaunch Town Hall

On June 4, 2020 we hosted a Performing Arts BC Relaunch Town Hall to hear from WorkSafeBC, Vancouver Coastal Health, and Actsafe Safety Association on emerging questions related to return to work and relaunch strategies for the performing arts sector. ASL interpretation and live captioning services were provided for this session.

  • Lisa Houle, Manager of OHS Consultation and Education Services for Municipalities, Arts, Tourism and Hospitality, WorkSafeBC
  • Dr. Mark Lysyshyn, Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer, Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Don Parman, Manager of Performing Arts Programs and Services, Actsafe Safety Association
  • Moderated by Kenji Maeda, Executive Director, Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance (GVPTA)
Working Through This: Supporting the Arts and Culture Sector Through COVID-19 and Beyond (webinar series)
Working Through This promo image with people standing in large circle in background

Working Through This: Supporting the Arts and Culture Sector Through COVID-19 and Beyond

Throughout April, 2020, we invited arts workers and artists from all disciplines and all across the country to tune into a series of webinars we called Working Through ThisThese free sessions addressed topics related to supporting the arts and culture sector through the effects of COVID-19 and looking towards recovery. 

Recordings of these sessions are available via the buttons below. 
April 16, 2020

Working Through This with T’uy’t’tanat- Cease Wyss and Jolene Andrew

Navigating current realities through Indigenous ways of knowing

Artists and arts workers of all disciplines were invited to join us to witness a conversation between T’uy’t’tanat- Cease Wyss and Jolene Andrew, where they shared their stories and strategies for navigating current realities through Indigenous ways of knowing. 

Jolene Andrew photo
About Jolene

Jolene is Gitksan Witsuwiten and has worked with The Urban Indigenous Community in the Lower Mainland for 18 years. Her specialization is in strategizing to build resilient communities through Indigenous approaches. Community and systems engagement, community planning and designing initiatives, and organizational development are some of the ways she works in community. She is also an artist and has a passion for land based practices to promote health and culture. 

Cease Wyss photo
About T'uy't'tanat-Cease Wyss

T'uy't'tanat-Cease Wyss (Skwxwu7mesh/Sto:Lo/Irish Metis/Hawaiian/Swiss) T'uy't'tanat-Cease is an interdisciplinary artist who works with new media, performance and interdisciplinary arts and is a community engaged and public artist. Her works range over 25 years and have always focussed on sustainability, Coast Salish Cultural elements and have included themes of ethnobotany and digital media technology. Cease has recently been focussed on connecting to her Polynesian roots through weaving and digital media projects and has been collaborating with more Oceania people. 

April 14, 2020

Working Through This with Mercedes Baines

Navigating uncertainty and overwhelming circumstances

Attendees were invited to attend this online presentation about navigating uncertainty and overwhelming circumstances.This experiential webinar will help you better manage painful emotions while living through crisis.

Mercedes Baines photo
Photo credit Chelsea Brooke Roisum
About Mercedes

Mercedes Baines is a facilitator, writer and psychotherapist in private practice. Some of her areas of focus are trauma, grief and loss, anxiety, depression and interweaving psychotherapy with elements of the creative process. She spent over two decades working in the Vancouver theatre scene as a director, writer, producer, teacher and performer. Visit Mercedes' website at

April 8, 2020

Working Through This with Charmaine Hammond

Building personal and organizational resilience during change, crisis, and adversity

In this webinar Charmaine will provide tangible and doable steps to building personal and organizational resilience during change, crisis, and adversity. In addition to some rich content, time to ask questions and some useful and practical takeaways, you will also receive several resources to support your team including a PDF copy of Charmaine's Bounce Forward books, the Reset and Resilience Guide and a checklist for organizational resilience.

Charmaine Hammond photo
About Charmaine

Charmaine Hammond is an expert in resilience, and is also an award winning author who is engaged in a number of arts communities. She has worked with hundreds of non profit organizations across many sectors to help organizations build resilience, sustainability and capacity. She has worked with many leaders and teams in building resilience through change, crisis and adversity.

April 8, 2020

Working Through This with Jacky A. Yenga

Building resilience and cultivating community connections

We invite artists and arts workers of all disciplines to attend this presentation about building resilience and cultivating community connections even during times of physical isolation.

Jacky A. Yenga photo
About Jacky

Jacky A. Yenga - aka Jacky Essombe - is the founder of the Spirit of the Village. She is a performer, TEDx speaker and best-selling author, and teaches how to use the power of community to grow and develop a sacred bond with Rhythm while experiencing authentic joy, fulfillment and belonging. She brings the healing message of her African ancestors through wisdom teachings, songs, stories, music, and dances from her village in Cameroon and beyond.

April 8, 2020

Working Through This: Legal Clinic for the Arts with Martha Rans

Navigating legal uncertainties as a result of COVID-19
Artists and cultural workers are currently facing many uncertainties as a result of COVID-19. Many are navigating legal issues surrounding human resources, landlord/tenant negotiations, commercial tenancy, artist contracts, force majeure clauses, and more.

Lawyer Martha Rans, Legal Director of the Artists' Legal Outreach in Vancouver will address current pressing legal issues of importance to the arts and cultural sector, covering discussion points driven by the questions that you provide in the online registration form.

Presented by the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance in partnership with the Pacific Legal Education and Outreach Society (PLEO).
Martha Rans photo
About Martha

Martha Rans is a lawyer specializing in the legal needs of non-profit societies as well as many visual and multimedia digital artists. She has been practicing law in British Columbia since 1997 and spent 10 years as a labour employment and human rights lawyer/mediator with the BC and Ontario governments. She is a recognized expert on both Canada's Copyright Act as well as the BC Societies Act. She advises on copyright, charity law, incorporation, privacy, employment, labour, health & safety and human rights and is an advocate for public legal education and information. Martha is the founder/Director of Legal Programs of the Pacific Legal Education and Outreach Society (PLEO) and its associated programs Artists’ Legal Outreach and Law for Non Profits.

Identifying and Filling the Gaps in Sound Design (2019)

Identifying and Filling the Gaps in Sound Design 

GVPTA, in partnership with the Vancouver Design Forum, The Centre for Digital Media, UBC Theatre & Film, and Associated Designers of Canada, presented an evening workshop, Identifying and Filling the Gaps in Sound Design, at the Centre for Digital Media, 685 Great Northern Way on October 24, 2019. 

This workshop was an opportunity for artists who work with sound in live performance to come together and engage in conversation about their work. The definition of “Sound Design” in Canada is broad and often fluid, which means that most sound designers possess expertise in certain areas and knowledge gaps in others.

In this workshop we discussed the expectations that we face in this field and the skills and questions held by folks in the room. Through this investigation, we aim to strengthen our own understanding of our work, and to build a stronger network of knowledge-sharing opportunities throughout our community.