Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance (GVPTA)

Programs + Initiatives

Webinars + Workshops

Current Programming
Past Webinars
Past Workshops
Current Programming

GVPTA has been working to explore ways that we can help the community to navigate through and beyond COVID-19. 

Learn more and register for upcoming webinars below, and view past webinar recordings and/or summary notes by using the tabs above.

​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 can be found in the Past Webinars tab above. Watch this space for upcoming sessions.
Past Webinars

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. 

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. The recording will be available shortly and posted here. 
Download the Slideshow
Watch the Recording

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. 
Watch the Recording

​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. 

Watch the Town Hall Recording

Questions I'm Asking Myself

See the Current Programming tab above for an overview of our latest webinar series, introspective conversations with leaders and practitioners in the arts.

Recordings of past sessions are available via the buttons below. 

September 28, 2020

Mariam Barry, Gavan Cheema, and Kenji Maeda

Chelsea Haberlin 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. 
Chelsea Haberlin 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. 

Watch the September 28 Recording

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.

Watch the August 13 Recording
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

Watch the July 24 Recording

GVPTA Performing Arts BC 
Relaunch Town Hall

On June 4 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

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. 

Watch the Recording
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

Watch the Recording
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.

Watch the Recording
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.

Watch the Recording
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.

Past Workshops

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.