The Art of the Business

A blog dedicated to artists who are serious about their business.

The Wrecking Ball: 2009 November 13, 2009

Filed under: Finances,Politics of Arts — Rebecca Coleman @ 12:16 am
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In October of last year, just before the federal election, a series of cabarets were held across the country. Organized by The Department of Culture, they were called The Wrecking Ball. Their purpose was to raise awareness in our community that we, as artists, are an important part of the greater political and financial picture here in Canada, and that our voice should be heard by the powers-that-be.

I attended the Vancouver Wrecking Ball, and it was a powerful experience. You can read that post here.

In light of all the recent (and forecasted) cuts to the arts here in BC, another Wrecking Ball has been organized. This one takes place Monday, November 23, 8 pm at the Vogue Theatre. I’ll be there. Daniel MacIvor will be there.  I encourage you to attend, as well.

Here is the information from

Vancouver’s theatre community joins actors, directors and designers from across the country in creative and satirical protest to the BC government’s mind-boggling and short-sighted plan to slash 90% of cultural funding, which will make it the only jurisdiction in Canada not to invest in culture.

In 2008, during the federal election, Wrecking Ball events across Canada helped turn the tide of public opinion against the Harper government’s planned culture cuts, and prevented a Harper majority. This time, events across Canada throughout the month of November will highlight the devastating arts cuts announced by the BC government in their September budget update.

Vancouver’s Wrecking Ball features some of Canada’s most nationally and internationally recognized actors and directors, including multiple award-winning actor/playwrights Daniel MacIvor (House, Twitch City) and Linda Griffiths (Maggie and Pierre), Leacock-winning writer Mark Leiren Young, Alcan Award winner Carmen Aguirre, Steven Hill of Leaky Heaven Circus, and Camyar Chai.wreck_ball32

Margaret Atwood asks, “What is it that power-hungry politicians want from BC artists? Control over the story through the annihilation of the former story-tellers? Is this the agenda behind the decapitation of arts funding in British Columbia, while mega-millions are poured into the Olympics? The BC arts community will retaliate, of course. Over the past 50 years they’ve put BC on the map.”

“It won’t just be a protest,” adds Wrecking Ball Spokesperson Adrienne Wong. “It’ll be a night to laugh and celebrate what we know – that British Columbians care about culture.

“And it’s not just arts and culture,” Wong adds. “Cuts to Gaming investments in many sectors indicate to us that this government is looking for ways to subsidize its corporate welfare, low-tax environment on the backs of civil society organizations that provide essential services to British Columbians. It seems that they don’t think much of activities like culture and sport and places where people come together for reasons other than profit. They call it a frill. We call it democracy.”

Wrecking Ball
Vogue Theatre, 918 Granville Street, Vancouver
Monday, November 23, 2009, 8:00pm
By donation

Media contact: Ellie O’Day, O’Day Productions
604.731.3339 / / cell 604.313.7902

Vancouver Wrecking Ball Associate Producers: Diane Brown, Kim Collier, Sean Cummings, Bill Devine, Katrina Dunn, Brenda Leadlay, Donnard MacKenzie, Patrick McMullen, Michael Scholar Jr., Caroline Sniatynski, Adrienne Wong, Jonathan Young.

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New PSA from The Alliance for Arts and Culture October 31, 2009

Filed under: Arts Marketing,Finances,Marketing with YouTube — Rebecca Coleman @ 5:32 am

I woke up this morning to this email via my Facebook from Kevin Teichroeb, who does some of the technical/website stuff at The Alliance for Arts and Culture.

Hi Rebecca,

We’re excited about a new PSA we’ve just uploaded to YouTube. I just finished it for the Alliance for Arts and Culture with editing wizard, Jenn Strom. It’s a community project that involves the photography – both time lapse and stills – of a few dozen flickr photographers. The force of social media is behind us. 🙂 I hope you like it, and will blog about it because it will give the video a real push. We want to keep expanding our reach farther and farther. If you could send this off to your contacts we would really appreciate it.

Many thanks, Kevin

It’s great. Another excellent example of using video to promote your business and cause. Please pass it on to your own Facebook/Twitter contacts.

Restore Arts Funding Now!

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Dandilions and Firelighters September 9, 2009

Filed under: Politics of Arts — Rebecca Coleman @ 4:38 pm
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I went to the Art Strike this afternoon.

It was like the weather was on our side, because it was a grey and rainy day. We were instructed to wear grey–the colour of a world without art, and the weather also showed up in shades of grey.

Arts Strike at the VAG: this is a world without art

Arts Strike at the VAG: this is a world without art

The steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery, from the top right down, through the whole courtyard, all the way out to the fountain were covered in a mass of grey people and umbrellas. These were all cultural workers, artists, and those in non-profit organizations who were affected by the recent government cuts.

Mo Dahliwal reflected on how the arts were like electricity–you don’t notice it when it’s there, but if it’s gone for some reason, you really miss it. Later, picking up on that same theme, Nadia Chaney called us, as artists, firelighters, and said “all of us are that spark. Pass it on.”

As the rally drew to a close, Nadia had us imagine a dandilion in its seed state. She released us out into the world again, each person a seed, a firelighter, to infect and inspire others.

After, over a coffee with some friends, we talked about that passion, that spark that we all posses. We know it’s powerful. After all, it moves us every day to do what we do for long hours and little pay. But in order to make our voices heard, we also need to speak the language of the lawmakers and financiers. We need to convince them that the arts are not a charity, but a business that is a good investment.

Moving Forward

If you have not yet done, please express your concerns to your elected representatives.

And have a read of this article by Charles Campbell at The Tyee.

For further updates and information about what is being organized to protest these cuts, continue to check The Alliance for Arts and Culture.

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