Sunday, 18 May 2014

Community Theatre Forums - A Year In Review

Carol Beauchamp, former Executive Director of Theatre Ontario, presented the highlights of the past year's Community Theatre Forums, on Saturday afternoon at Theatre Ontario Festival 2014 in Sarnia.

Theatre Ontario Community Theatre Forum in Sault Ste. Marie
Forums were held in ten Ontario communities: Aurora, Collingwood, Georgetown, Kingston, London, Merrickville, North Bay, Oshawa, Peterborough, and Sault Ste. Marie, exploring the same question: What challenges can we identify that we can collectively address to work towards a successful future?

While there were unique issues in each community, twelve challenges emerged as common themes throughout the forums:
  • Develop skilled talent: training and mentorship
  • Developing balanced/engaging seasons
  • Attract dedicated volunteers
  • Develop funding resources
  • Build loyal/sustainable audiences
  • Improve inter-group communication and collaboration – sharing best practices
  • Increase (public) community awareness/recognition
  • Attract contributing members/increase membership
  • Promoting/marketing theatre
  • Nurture youth involvement
  • Finding affordable venues/facilities
  • Developing strong leadership and succession plan
Best practices were shared in many of these areas at our presentation in Sarnia.

This is not the end of the process.  First, there is an interest for more forums in other communities.  Second, Theatre Ontario is now exploring how we can most effectively share the best practices with a wider audience.

Read more about Theatre Ontario's Community Theatre Forums

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