Archive for February, 2009

Northern Voice 2009

Friday, February 20th, 2009

This Friday and Saturday we’ll be at Northern Voice 2009, a conference on “social media.”

Are MFA Programs Worth It?

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Recent PuSh Festival performer and monologist Mike Daisy continues a lively discussion of the value of MFA programs in theatre. He questions the choice that large institutions make to charge tuitions that are far out of alignment with what sort of income graduates can expect after their training. His focus seems to be MFA Acting programs (Theatre at UBC only offers MFAs in Directing and Design for the Theatre) and tuition at American colleges and universities far outstrips Canadian costs, but the various posts and replies from those who disagree with Mr. Daisey make for interesting reading, especially in the context of a recently released report on the dire situation of incomes for artists in Canada.

A New ‘Art-titude’ for City Council

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

An update on the “Save the York Theatre campaign”. Consider it officially “saved”. Wall Financial rescued the York from the wrecking ball this past Friday for a purchase price of $2 million and the architect, Henriquez Partners, will begin the 12 million dollar renovation this afternoon. Wall purchased the theatre for the City of Vancouver and will foot the bill for it’s makeover in exchange for a density allotment (which Wall will use on one of their future projects – subject to City approval). The City will own the historic 1912 venue on Commercial Drive, with a longterm lease going to the VECC. At this morning’s press conference it was revealed that Tom Durrie has been working on the “Save the York” campaign for 27 years! He presented original “Save the York” brochures circa 1982 to Mayor Gregor Robertson, Heather Redfern, Bruno Wall, Gregory Henriquez and Jim Green, who along with Durrie were the partners involved in brokering the deal to save this historical landmark. In his remarks the Mayor thanked Councilwoman Heather Deal for her part in garnering a “yes” from City Council when they were requested to grant an almost unprecedented 100% transfer of the density of the venue to Wall Financial. Mayor Robertson remarked that Deal has said, “the City of Vancouver has a new “art-titude”. I’m so excited to know this east side venue will be restored, particularly in light of the connection to Theatre at UBC, with Dorothy Somerset, Joy Coghill along with many other of Vancouver’s theatrical pioneers having performed there. From the artist’s renderings it looks like they are going back to the name “Vancouver Little Theatre”. More at

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