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The Canada 150 Performance Series celebrates a milestone anniversary

In 2017, Canada celebrates the 150th anniversary of confederation, a pivotal milestone for our country, which allows us to connect with our past, celebrate who we are today, honour our exceptional achievements and build a legacy for tomorrow. To recognize this occasion, the Fredericton Playhouse is presenting a special Canada 150 Performance Series!

Thanks to the support of our funding partners, all tickets in this series will be $18.67 to mark the year of confederation. Read on to learn more about each of the four shows included in the series. Tickets are on sale now for all performances.

Re-Quickening photo credit David Hou (4)

Kaha:wi Dance Theatre: Re-QuickeningThursday, September 28. Kaha:wi Dance Theatre is one of Canada’s leading contemporary dance companies, recognized for for its seamless fusing of Indigenous and contemporary dance. In Re-Quickening, the company reaffirms life and the importance of the female voice and body. It touches on themes of dislocation from land, the history of violence against Indigenous women, residential schools and more.

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The Tale of a Town – Canada: FIXT POINTThursday, October 5. FIXT POINT returns with The Tale of a Town, following up on their 2014 visit to Fredericton. During their previous visit, the theatre and media company gathered stories to create The Tale of a Town – Fredericton, presented in a special performance installation. This time, we’ll be treated to a live stage show, featuring a local choir and stories from main streets and down towns across Canada.

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Fredericton Symphony Orchestra: WWI in Film and Music: Battle of the Somme; Original Documentary with New Music by Laura RossiMonday, November 6. The Fredericton Symphony Orchestra will give a special performance of a musical score by Laura Rossi, presented in conjunction with the 1916 documentary film The Battle of the Somme. This score will give greater meaning and depth to the wartime footage featured in the film,  which remains one of the most successful documentaries ever made, and has influenced the past 100 years of documentary filmmaking.

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Breabach and Old Man Luedecke: Special Double Bill ConcertThursday, November 9. Five piece Scottish band Breabach joins forces with Chester, N.S.’s Old Man Ludecke for a double bill performance. Breabach delivers a thrilling brand of contemporary folk music that has earned them international recognition on the world and roots music scene. Their energetic performance embodies the Scottish sound that greatly influences music from Canada’s East Coat. Old Man Luedecke has a cunning lyrical flair, tenderly pushing the boundaries of storytelling with a unique mix of folk, bluegrass and pop hooks. This Juno-winning performer creates songs that are playful, coy and soul-warming.

2017-18 Season Has Something for Every Taste and Curiosity

Last month at the Fredericton Playhouse, we announced our 2017-2018 Spotlight Series lineup, which includes 24 world class performances. With full-price tickets set to go on sale at the end of this week, it’s an exciting and busy time for our organization.

The Spotlight Series is our flagship program, featuring professional performances in music, theatre, comedy and dance from a wide range of different genres. Diversity is a cornerstone of this series, which is why we always aim to include classical, contemporary and traditional performances, ranging from large-scale productions to small, intimate shows.

In addition to this annual series, we’re pleased to present a special Canada 150 Performance Series this season. This fall, we’ll present four shows as part of this multidisciplinary series, marking a pivotal moment in our history with performances that reflect Canada’s vibrant performing arts landscape.

This series includes Re-Quickening, a performance by leading contemporary indigenous company Kaha:wi Dance Theatre; the return of FIXT POINT with a live stage show of The Tale of a Town – Canada; the Fredericton Symphony Orchestra performing a musical score in conjunction with the 1916 documentary The Battle of the Somme; and a double bill concert with Nova Scotia’s Old Man Luedecke and Scotland’s Breabach, representing a sound that greatly influences music from the East Coast of Canada. All tickets in this series will be $18.67 to mark the year of confederation.

The Spotlight Series will continue to celebrate Canadian talent with musicians like Bill and Joel Plaskett, a dance performance by contemporary dance company Toronto Dance Theatre, and even a cirque show by Quebec-based group Flip FabriQue.

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Bill and Joel Plaskett will perform on October 26

We’re always looking for opportunities to partner with other local organizations, and this year we’re looking forward to working with groups like Centre communautaire Sainte Anne to present the aforementioned Flip FabriQue, and with the Association of Indo-Canadians to once again present a special celebration of Diwali. The Playhouse will also continue to partner with Fredericton FROSTival to present several performances during the months of January and February.

One of the goals of the Spotlight Series is to bring the world to Fredericton, and this year we have performers hailing from a number of far-flung locations, including Navdhara India Dance Theatre’s performance A Passage to Bollywood; Paris – The Show, a theatrical and musical tribute to post-war French songs; Ô-Celli, a group of eight skilled cellists from Belgium; and Call Mr. Robeson, a one-man show about actor, singer and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson, performed by UK-based Tayo Aluko.

We want the performing arts to be accessible to everyone in our community, regardless of any barriers they may face, which is why this season we decided to expand our Pay What You Will ticket pricing idea. This program has been offered successfully on a couple of shows each year for the last two seasons. It was introduced both to reduce barriers, and to encourage our patrons to take a chance on artists with whom they may not be familiar

This season, Pay What You Will pricing will be available on two Spotlight Series performances – Nunavut-based band The Jerry Cans, and one-man play Inside/Out. It will also be offered for all three performances in the 2017-2018 Kidstage Series: DuffleBag Theatre’s Cinderella, Manxmouse: The Mouse Who Knew No Fear by Netherlands-based Theatergroep Kwatta, and Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s performance of Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny.

If you plan to attend more than one show this season, I recommend contacting our box office to become a Spotlight Member. For a low annual membership fee, members receive discounts on Spotlight Series performances, as well as discounts on our partner series, including Theatre New Brunswick, Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada, Symphony New Brunswick and New Brunswick Country Showcase performances.

Perhaps the best reason to become a member is to get first access to seats. While full-price tickets won’t go on sale to non-members until July 28, our members can purchase tickets and select their preferred seats now for all Spotlight, Kidstage, and Canada 150 series performances.

I hope to see you at the Playhouse when our Spotlight Series begins this September. Whatever type of performance you’re interested in, I’m confident we have something that will capture your interest and imagination.

Tim Yerxa is the Executive Director of the Fredericton Playhouse.

 

 

Costume designer Lynn Addleman named recipient of The Playhouse Honours 2017

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Photo credit: Andre Reinders.

The Board of Directors of the Fredericton Playhouse is pleased to announce that costume designer Lynn Addleman has been named the 2017 recipient of The Playhouse Honours.

Over the past 40 years, Addleman worked diligently as a leader and supporter of the arts community in Fredericton. Much of this work has been behind the scenes in her volunteer role as a costume designer and coordinator for Fredericton High School drama and musical theatre productions.

During her time with Fredericton High School productions, Addleman crafted costumes for more than 100 students each year.  The care she took to ensure that each student felt special and valued was evident from the work that was put into each costume, always making sure it fit just right, that each student was comfortable and happy in their garments, and that the costumes fit the time period of the show.

Addleman is renowned by those who have the chance to work with her for her ability to inspire confidence in young people, and a great loss was felt after she retired from Fredericton High School productions last year.

Susan Holt, President of the Fredericton Playhouse Board of Directors, says she is thrilled to recognize Addleman’s accomplishments. “Lynn has demonstrated excellence in her craft of costume design, while also showing care and compassion for those she serves,” Holt said. “Her ability to support others while working behind the scenes on theatrical productions is impressive. We are proud to name Lynn as the recipient of The Playhouse Honours for 2017.”

Though most well known for her work with Fredericton High School, Addleman has also designed costumes for Bard in the Barracks. For more than 15 years Addleman has maintained over 10,000 costume pieces. She has carefully prepared rentals for public schools and universities in the area as well as Theatre New Brunswick’s Theatre School, Notable Acts, Bard In the Barracks, community theatre groups and for individual students attending auditions and Music Festival competitions.

Beyond her work as a costume designer, Addleman has taken on roles as a fundraiser, event coordinator, supporter and volunteer for other arts groups in the city, and has served as a board member for various organizations, including On Stage, the Centre for Musical Arts’ Summer Music Festival at UNB, the New Brunswick Choral Federation and the Fredericton Choral Society.

“I was astounded to learn that I was nominated to receive The Playhouse Honours,” Addleman said. “Live theatre, dance and music have been an important part of my life, and I was pleased to find a little niche through costuming in which I could contribute. I am thrilled and honoured to know that my efforts have been noticed and valued by the community.”

Established in 2008, the Playhouse Honours is given annually to an individual selected by the Fredericton Playhouse Board of Directors. Generously presented by Atlantic Mediaworks, the program recognizes an individual’s involvement in the performing arts in Fredericton, fostering a deeper appreciation of the value that people can bring to community life through their work in music, theatre, dance, spoken word and multidisciplinary performing arts. A permanent display in the west gallery of the Playhouse recognizes the honourees.

Previous recipients of The Playhouse Honours include Ilkay Silk, Brent Staeben, Philip Sexsmith, Walter Learning, Mabel Doak, Bonnie Kilburn, Michael Doherty, Aida & Hrvoje Tisler and Peter Pacey.

A closer look at the costs associated with a new performing arts centre

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The new performing arts centre will be accessible to local groups like Blind Faith Productions.

In discussing the new regional performing arts centre project, some of the most common questions we receive are, understandably, about the costs associated with the new facility. I would like to address some of those concerns, and some common misconceptions.

Perhaps our most frequently asked questions are about how much it will cost to build a new, state-of-the-art performing arts centre, and who will pay for it.

Like hospitals, prisons, and other specialized infrastructure, performing arts centres are deceivingly complicated buildings. The scope of our project is what you would expect of a regional facility, and it certainly will not be built to the scale or finish of a major national or international institution. But it is still expensive. The preliminary capital project budget is $51.3 million – this is an “all-in” estimate that includes the cost of the site, construction, soft costs, planning and a nine per cent contingency.

As for where the money will come from, the City of Fredericton has agreed to invest $14 million from its long-term financial planning, as well as the site. We have requested a combined $28 million investment from the provincial and federal governments’ infrastructure programs, without which we cannot proceed. The remainder will be raised from local governments and private donors.

Just to offer some context for these numbers, in 2018 dollars, the overall cost for the Grant Harvey Centre was $37 million, Willie O’Ree Place was $22.4 million, and the Fredericton Convention Centre and East End Parking Garage cost $53 million, according to the City of Fredericton.

I know some people are concerned about the operating costs associated with the new performing arts centre. In fact, the net operating costs of the new centre will be similar to the net cost of operating the current Fredericton Playhouse.

Given the size and configuration of the new building, the operating and maintenance costs per square foot will actually drop significantly, especially when it comes to energy consumption and maintenance costs, which are very high in the current Playhouse.

Costs for staging events will remain the same, and while overhead costs will increase marginally, revenues will also increase thanks to the greater capacity of the new facility.

I can also assure current and future Playhouse patrons that ticket prices will not increase in the new building. As I mentioned earlier, the capital cost of the new performing arts centre will be fully funded by contributions from public and private sources, which means there will be no reason to increase ticket prices or service charges to pay for the initial construction of the facility.

Actually, since net operating costs will remain constant and seating capacity will increase, some events with fixed production costs may even be able to reduce their ticket prices.

Many local organizations may wonder if they will be able to afford to use the new performing arts centre. I want to affirm that the new centre will indeed be accessible to these groups. This is a strategic priority for our organization, and having a facility that meets the needs of the local community is at the heart of the whole project. Since the new centre will have two theatres – an 850-seat theatre, as well as a 300-seat flexible venue – as well as other usable spaces, this building will be even better suited to a variety of uses by various local arts organizations.

The revenue projections in the operating budget pro formas for the new facility assume that the cost of using the facility will remain similar to the cost of renting the existing Playhouse.

Residents may also be concerned that the new performing arts centre will cause their property taxes to increase. As mentioned, the City of Fredericton’s contribution will be allocated from its long-term financial plan, which includes a policy that allows for borrowing money within a self-imposed eight per cent debt servicing ceiling. Because the City’s contribution will be made within this context, the project will not affect the City’s annual operating budget and therefore will not have any direct impact on property tax rates.

With such a major undertaking, it’s understandable that residents will have questions and concerns about costs. Our plan has always been to deliver a project that is responsible, sustainable and appropriate for our community. As we move forward, we remain committed to keeping these values as our guide and to be open and transparent about the costs and investments associated with this regional project.

Greg MacFarlane is the Vice-President of Fredericton Playhouse Inc.’s Board of Directors.  

The 2017-2018 Spotlight Series offers something for everyone

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The Fredericton Playhouse has announced its 2017-2018 Spotlight Series, which includes twenty-four professional performances in music, theatre and dance from a wide range of different genres. The Spotlight Series, the Playhouse’s flagship program, invites some of the most exciting artists touring today to the Playhouse stage, offering East Coast favourites, internationally acclaimed ensembles, up-and-coming musicians, innovative dance and circus shows, hilarious comedy performances, inspiring theatre pieces and much more.

In addition to the Spotlight Series, the Playhouse will present a special Canada 150 Performance Series in the fall of 2017. This multidisciplinary series will celebrate the 150th anniversary of confederation, providing audiences the opportunity to connect with our country’s past, celebrate who we are today, and work toward building a legacy for tomorrow. All tickets in the series will cost $18.67, to mark the year of confederation.

This season, our Spotlight Series will celebrate Canadian performers from coast to coast, while also featuring international artists, hailing from as far away as India, France, Belgium and the U.K.,” said Playhouse Executive Director Tim Yerxa. “We’re looking forward to welcoming a number of returning favourites, as well as artists who are visiting Fredericton for the first time.

“We’re also very excited to announce our Canada 150 Performance Series, which is an opportunity to mark a pivotal moment in our history by taking in performances that reflect Canada’s vibrant performing arts landscape.”

The Spotlight Series lineup of Canadian musicians includes some familiar names, such as Halifax-based Bill and Joel Plaskett, a father-son team touring in support of their first musical collaboration. Rising Toronto-born folk-pop star Basia Bulat will win audiences over with her electrifying voice and memorable lyrics, while up-and-coming Nunavut-based band The Jerry Cans will impress with their unique mix of Iqaluit alt-country, throat singing and reggae. Known for songs like “Teenland” and “Things I Do For Money,” Saskatchewan’s The Northern Pikes will perform their first major label album Big Blue Sky as part of a special 30th anniversary tour.

Comedy fans can look forward to the return of Playhouse favourite Late Nite Catechism, back by popular demand with a Halloween-themed show titled The Holy Ghost and Other Terrifying Tales. Beloved Canadian comic Elvira Kurt will lead an all-female variety show called Girls Nite Out, combining stand-up and improv for a hilarious performance that will have audiences laughing in the aisles

The season includes strong vocal performers, like Rosie & the Riveters, an all-female trio who perform uplifting folk music with a vintage 1940s flair. Canada’s premier a cappella group Cadence will bring infectious energy and uncanny verve to their performance, which promises to be full of on-stage antics and audience participation.

The 2017-2018 series includes a number of international performances. Paris – The Show is a vibrant tribute to the greatest French songs of the post-war years, and will bring all the charm and flavour of the City of Lights to Fredericton. Belgium’s Ô-Celli brings the talents of eight cellists together to take audiences on a fabulous journey through a repertoire of both original and arranged pieces. U.K.-based performer Tayo Aluko stars in Call Mr. Robeson, a one-man play that tells the story of Paul Robeson, a great American actor, singer and civil rights campaigner. The Playhouse will once again celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights with A Passage to Bollywood, a vibrant performance full of foot-tapping music, colourful costumes and a gripping plot from Mumbai-based Navdhara India Dance Theatre.

Performances by Canadian dance and theatre companies include Victoria, a play from Dulcinea Langfelder & Co. that addresses old age, vulnerability, loss and death, stretching the tension between comedy and tragedy to new extremes. Toronto Dance Theatre returns following their stunning performance in 2014 with a program that features five masterworks from artistic director Christopher House’s career, as a special celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary.

This holiday season, audiences can look forward to special performances from two great Canadian performers – jazz vocalist Emilie-Claire Barlow, performing songs from her new Christmas album Lumières d’hiver, and Celtic group The Barra MacNeils, who will combine traditional seasonal fare, entertaining stories and new musical twists in their Cape Breton Christmas show.

Families will appreciate the talents of Flip FabriQue, a cirque show that incorporates acrobatics, hula hoops, trampolines and lots of humour, making for a spellbinding and incredibly fun performance. Also perfect for audiences both young and old is Lemon Bucket Orkestra, the self-described Balkan-klezmer-gypsy-party-punk superband who won over the Playhouse with their wildly celebrated performance in 2015.

There are a number of powerful and thought-provoking performances coming up in the year ahead. Writer and storyteller Ivan Coyote will be joined by an all-tomboy band in Tomboy Survival Guide, a show that is part anthem, part campfire story, and part instructions for dismantling the gender stories we tell ourselves and each other. Based on the internet phenomenon created by Frank Warren, PostSecret: The Show is an immersive, poignant journey through the humour and humanity of the personal stories we keep to ourselves and, on rare occasions, share with others. Combining a spoken word component from former political prisoner Marina Nemat with a performance by Motus O Dance Theatre, Prisoner of Tehran explores themes of social justice, oppression and freedom. Inside/Out is a one-man show written and performed by Patrick Keating, a soft-spoken artist who spent years in and out of Canada’s penitentiary system.

Fans of audience favourite Classic Albums Live will enjoy two performances this season from these skilled musicians, with Rush: 2112 and Supertramp: Breakfast in America.

The Canada 150 Performance Series will consist of four shows. The Tale of a Town – Canada marks the return of FIXT POINT, a theatre group that first visited Fredericton in 2014 to gather stories, and is now back with a live stage show featuring a local choir and stories from main streets and downtowns across Canada. One of Canada’s leading contemporary dance companies Kaha:wi Dance Theatre presents Re-Quickening, a performance that uses bold imagery and Indigenous narratives to reaffirm life and the sovereignty of female voice and body. Five-piece Scottish band Breabach delivers a thrilling brand of contemporary Celtic music that embodies a sound that greatly influences music from Canada’s East Coast. They’ll be joined by Nova Scotia’s own Juno-winning folk musician Old Man Luedecke for a special double bill concert. Finally, the Fredericton Symphony Orchestra will commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary with a performance of a musical score by Laura Rossi, performed alongside the groundbreaking 1916 documentary film The Battle of the Somme.

The Playhouse will once against present its Kidstage Series, and is pleased to announce that all performances this season will have Pay-What-You-Will ticketing. The series features three theatre pieces: DuffleBag Theatre’s Cinderella; Manxmouse: The Mouse Who Knew No Fear from Netherlands-based group Theatergroep Kwatta; and Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia with performances of Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny.

The Fredericton Playhouse Spotlight Series includes a special Spotlight Membership option. For only $55, Members receive early access to the best seats in the house and special discounted pricing on all Spotlight Series and Spotlight Partner performances (Kidstage Series, Theatre New Brunswick, New Brunswick Country Showcase, Symphony New Brunswick and the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada).

“We’re thrilled that our Spotlight membership program has received such a high level of participation over the years,” Yerxa said. “With the purchase of one membership, patrons can buy up to six discounted tickets per performance, which puts money back in their pockets right away.”

Spotlight Memberships are on sale now and members can purchase tickets to Spotlight, Canada 150 and Kidstage Series performances immediately. New Spotlight memberships will be processed beginning June 19. Full priced tickets go on sale on July 28.

For detailed information on 2017-2018 Spotlight Series performances, a season guide is available at the Playhouse box office or online at www.theplayhouse.ca.

 

2017-2018 series-at-a-glance 

The Northern Pikes – October 13 (www.thenorthernpikes.com)
Late Nite Catechism – October 22 (www.latenitecatechism.info)
Ô-Celli – October 25 (www.octuorocelli.wixsite.com/octuorocelli)
Bill and Joel Plaskett – October 26 (www.joelplaskett.com)
Paris – The Show – November 8 (www.paris-lespectacle.com)
A Passage to Bollywood – November 16 (www.navdharaindia.com)
Classic Albums Live performs Rush: 2112 – November 17 (www.classicalbumslive.com)
The Jerry Cans – November 25 (www.thejerrycans.com)
Emilie-Claire Barlow – November 28 (www.emilieclairebarlow.com)
The Barra MacNeils – December 17 (www.barramacneils.com)
Toronto Dance Theatre – January 25 (www.tdt.org)
Girls Nite Out – February 2 (www.facebook.com/GirlsNiteOutComedy)
Basia Bulat – February 3 (www.basiabulat.com)
Victoria – February 14 (www.dulci-langfelder.org)
Call Mr. Robeson – February 22 (www.tayoalukoandfriends.com)
Lemon Bucket Orkestra – February 23 (www.lemonbucket.com)
Inside/Out – March 15 (www.neworldtheatre.com)
PostSecret: The Show – March 17 (www.postsecretshow.com)
Ivan Coyote – April 5 (www.ivancoyote.com)
Rosie & the Riveters – April 11 (www.rosieandtheriveters.com)
Classic Albums Live performs Supertramp: Breakfast in America – April 12 (www.classicalbumslive.com)
Prisoner of Tehran – April 18 (www.motuso.com)
Flip FabriQue – May 4 (www.flipfabrique.com)
Cadence – May 5 (www.cadence-unplugged.com)

Canada 150 Performance Series

Kaha:wi Dance Theatre – September 28 (www.kahawidance.org)
The Tale of a Town – Canada – October 5 (www.thetaleofatown.com)
Fredericton Symphony Orchestra – November 6 (www.frederictonsymphonyorchestra.blogspot.ca)
Breabach and Old Man Luedecke – November 9 (www.breabach.com; www.oldmanluedecke.ca) 

Kidstage Series

Cinderella – December 29 (www.dufflebag.com)
Manxmouse: The Mouse Who Knew No Fear – April 15 (www.kidsentertainment.net)
Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia – May 12 (www.mermaidtheatre.ca)

Securing artists for our programs: not a simple task

At the Fredericton Playhouse, we present a number of different programs every year, each intended to foster the community’s interest in and appreciation of the performing arts.

I thought it might be interesting to explore one of those programs, our Spotlight Series, and explain how we develop this series to bring diverse international touring artists to our stage each season.

Some of our patrons may not realize that our programs, while important to our organization, are a relatively small part of our business. Most of the artists who perform on our stage in any given year are actually presented by organizations who rent our facilities; around 25-30 performances each season fall into our Spotlight Series, and we present several additional shows in our Kidstage Series.

Other Playhouse programs include Experience More!, a series of workshops and learning activities presented in conjunction with the Spotlight Series; Arts are for Everyone, an access program that aims to make the performing arts accessible to all regardless of barriers; School Field Trips, a series of matinee performances designed to expose students to live performing arts; and The Playhouse Honours, an annual recognition of a member of our community who has contributed significantly to Fredericton through the performing arts.

Expo Hall | Hilton

The Association of Performing Arts Presenters’ annual marketplace in New York City is one of the places the Playhouse team finds artists to invite to Fredericton.

While each of these programs plays an important role in carrying out our mandate, the Spotlight Series is our flagship program, and embodies the values of our organization. When choosing artists for this series, our primary goal is to bring artists to Fredericton who would not otherwise be presented in our community – whether by our own rental clients, or by a different venue or festival. This is a vision set by our entire organization, including our board of directors.

When programming the series, we consider a number of factors. We always look for high artistic quality, and we also want to ensure the series has a mix of known and unknown artists, as well as a mix of different genres, disciplines and scales of production, to make sure the final series is both diverse and compelling.

There are a number of ways we find and select artists for the Spotlight Series. Our director of programming, Valerie Hillier, and I have developed strong relationships with managers, agents and artists over the years, and we rely on these connections to be kept in the loop on opportunities to bring new and exciting work to Fredericton.

We are also part of an organization called the Atlantic Presenters Association (APA). Through this group, we’re able to work with a number of regional venues and organizations like ours from all over Atlantic Canada.

Our involvement with the APA is crucial. Each year, members of the association will suggest different performers they want to have in their communities, allowing us to then work together to make a joint proposal to artists to entice them to come to the Maritimes. Because the Atlantic Canadian provinces are often viewed as remote from the rest of North America, it is often the only way to attract artists –    ensuring they have a full set of tour dates when they visit our region as opposed to coming to one city for a single show.

Another way we find and procure artists for our Spotlight Series involves attending various showcases, conferences, festivals and arts markets. Valerie and I both attend a number of these events each year, on a regional, national and even international scale. Every January, for example, Valerie attends the Arts Presenters conference in New York, one of the world’s largest performing arts markets.

There are a few different elements involved in these events. First there are showcases, during which artists looking to tour will perform excerpts for representatives from the performing arts industry. This is an excellent opportunity for programmers like Valerie and I to discover something new or see firsthand what an artist has to offer onstage. There are also trade shows that connect programmers with artists, artistic companies, managers and booking agents. And finally, there are the hundreds of meetings, giving representatives from presenting venues like the Playhouse the opportunity to meet with artist representatives to start discussing deals for future tours and engagements.

Before anything is finalized, other members of the Playhouse staff sometimes need to be consulted as well. If a show has unusual technical requirements, for example, we will have a discussion with our technical director to make sure the performance is feasible for our venue before proceeding with an invitation or offer.

We also explore what the artist can offer for our other programs. They might have experience leading a particular workshop that could be included in our Experience More! program, or perhaps they have a show that would be a good fit for our School Field Trips.

When we’ve made a decision about a particular performance, our director of programming will invite the artist to perform at the Playhouse, and will negotiate an agreement that outlines how much the artist will be paid and other conditions like travel and technical costs.

Planning the Spotlight Series is a cycle that never ends. Throughout the winter we are busy contracting artists for the coming season before announcing our lineup in the spring. But no matter what the time of year, we’re constantly talking to managers, agents and artists; attending conferences, showcases and festivals; and working with our regional partners in the Atlantic Presenters Association to plan our seasons. We’re currently looking forward to sharing the fruition of this work when we announce our 2017-2018 Spotlight Series early next month.

Tim Yerxa is the Executive Director of the Fredericton Playhouse.

 

 

 

Jazz legend Oscar Peterson to be celebrated in Rémi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble tribute show

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On Saturday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. the Fredericton Playhouse presents its final Spotlight Series show of the 2016-2017 season – Swingin’ with Oscar, with the Rémi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble.

One of Canada’s most honoured musicians, Oscar Peterson was widely regarded as one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time. A highly accomplished soloist renowned for his remarkable speed and dexterity, meticulous and ornate technique, and dazzling, swinging style, he earned the nickname “master of swing.”

The Rémi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble pays tribute to Peterson in this special performance. Known for intense yet controlled musicianship, breathtaking precision and a magnetic stage presence, Bolduc is one of Canada’s greatest jazz saxophonists. Joined by his skilled band, he captivates audiences with dazzling virtuosity and stunning maturity.

In addition to this performance, the Playhouse is pleased to present a pre-show Experience More! Wine Tasting and Artist Talk starting at 6 p.m. at Corked Wine Bar. This will be an opportunity to sample a series of fine wines while Rémi Bolduc discusses jazz, and offers insight into the evening’s upcoming performance.

Tickets for Swingin’ with Oscar are available through the Fredericton Playhouse box office by calling 458-8344 or online at www.theplayhouse.ca.