Hon James Moore being sworn in as new Minister of Industry. The Globe and Mail reported Ministers with new portfolios were given ‘enemy lists’ during this federal cabinet shuffle.
Saturday morning I woke up to discover the Federal Minister of Industry, James Moore, took to Twitter to respond to one of my tweets, which he deemed “false”.
It started with his tweet below, which I never saw, because I “have been blocked from following this account at the request of the user”.
I remember this “blocking” occurred roughly a year-and-a-half ago during The Freefall Festival. I was debating the merits of Conservative cultural policy on Twitter with Moore during Jonathan Goldsbie’s Enchanted Streetcar Ride. Soon after I mentioned that our hashtag #route501 was trending above the Ontario provincial budget, Moore proceeded to block me.
Anyhow, the narrative begins with this tweet:
Heavens. I sure hope not…. Thank you NDP for the enlightening mail out. “Hope is better than fear”… Indeed pic.twitter.com/8ZfzilcCun
As if hope was the exclusive providence of mindless platitudes…. But this is a story about specific facts, so I will refrain from commenting further. Because I am blocked from seeing tweets by Minister Moore, it came to my attention when it was quoted by Kelly Nestruck, Theatre Critic for The Globe and Mail (who has not blocked me, yet).
When I saw this, what didn’t come to mind was grammar or Layton. What occurred to me was that Moore’s tweet was extremely rich. As a Cabinet Minister his staff would have been responsible for putting together one ‘Enemies List’ for incoming Heritage Minister Shelly Glover, and he would have received a second list to be brought up to speed on the “enemy” situation from the people that brought you Industry Minister Christian Paradis.
So given that Moore was involved with not one, but two sets of enemy lists during the cabinet shuffle several months ago, I tweeted this:
@nestruck@JamesMoore_org Haha funny except he really did have binder of arts enemies & pass it on to predecessor & this is well documented.
There followed a brief conversation between Nestruck, playwright Sean Dixon and myself about whether the NDP used apostrophes properly in their mailings. Went to bed early enough to avoid The Raptors embarrassing themselves, and woke up to this tweet:
Is The Honourable James Moore calling Conservative MP Peter Kent “mindless”?
On July 24, 2013. The Toronto Star’s Susan Delacourt reported over 200 civic-society groups, including Amnesty International Canada and Oxfam Canada, had asked for access to enemy lists, but were being stonewalled by the Harper Government:
Is The Honourable James Moore calling Amnesty International “childish”?
Franke James discovered through FOI requests proof she had been placed on an ‘enemy list’ that caused govt officials to interfere with her work because she created art about The Tar Sands.
I am asking these questions non-rhetorically, because for Moore’s tweet to be truthful, then the answer to each must be “yes”.
So we are left with two versions of the truth:
A massive conspiracy involving The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, a broad spectrum of civic society, and even a member of Moore’s own caucus, which has colluded to make us falsely believe Cabinet Ministers in The Harper Government created and received ‘enemy lists’ during the last Cabinet shuffle.
Harper Cabinet Ministers and their offices made and received ‘enemy lists’ as requested by PMO.
Perhaps the Minister mis-tweeted and this was just a Fordian slip? Getting a bit tedious being asked to believe in the absurd as plausible these days.
Tonight is the 33rd Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards, which are being held at the St.Lawrence Centre for the Arts in the Bluma Appel Theatre. I will be there tweeting live for Praxis via @praxistheatre from the awards ceremony, as well as the pre-show reception in the Lower Lobby of the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. I think by the time the after-party rolls around, it will be best for me to put @praxistheatre to bed, though there may be shenanigans available via @AislinnTO.
If you can’t attend the awards tonight, but want to follow along, below is a handy live-stream of all tweets Dora, or at least, tweets using the #Doras hashtag. If last year is anything to go by, tweeters should avoid #Dora (minus the s) as you may find yourself being followed by people searching for “The Explorer”. You’ll also find all of Praxis Theatre’s tweets here, and I’ve added #DorasTO to the mix to cover our bases.
I’m looking forward to spending the evening with my date, famous tweeter – and rollerskating performer/playwright – @nancykenny, and I’ll try to grab a few photos of guests on the red carpet schmoozing with red carpet co-host @colindoyle.
As a result of the City of Toronto’s KPMG Core Service review, and the city’s public consultation process, Council recently voted in favour of looking into selling its city-owned theatres.
Mayor Rob Ford has since created the Mayor’s Task Force – Arts & Culture to investigate the “city’s rationale for owning and operating live theatres”. You can read the announcement of the task force here, and the press release announcing two public consultations on the issue here.
From the press release:
The panelists will investigate the impact of these theatres on the local economy and make recommendations on what changes may be required in terms of their operations to meet the City’s objectives. We will consider a variety of options. As part of the process in making recommendations, we need the input of the community and stakeholders like you.”
Praxis Theatre Artistic Producer Aislinn Rose will be Live Tweeting one of the two public consultation sessions today, from 9:30am to 11:30am at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. Join in the conversation whether you are there too, or following along from home or work.
I recently started working as the Community Manager for a project called The Conversation About Love. This interactive experiment revolves around an online art gallery based on the themes of Sarah Polley’s new film, Take This Waltz. Participants are asked to take a tour around the gallery and join the conversation on the topics of love, fidelity, lust and heartbreak. The conversation has taken on many forms including songs, photos, original artwork and personal anecdotes. In addition to the website, conversationalists can also join in via Facebook and twitter.
As someone with a personal and professional interest in this notion of using social media and other online tools in an effort to build community and develop audiences for your work, I was immediately drawn to the project. The big question posed to me was, “how do you feel about chatting and tweeting about love for the next several months?”
Then along came a facebook invitation to a post-show social for Tarragon Theatre’s production of In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, asking participants to submit “stories of sex, love and all the rest of it”. The stories submitted will be read aloud at the event this Thursday evening, but submissions will remain anonymous to protect the not-so-innocent.
I don’t think anyone will be surprised to learn that my first instinct was that this event called for a little live-tweeting. The twist in this case, is that I plan to bring the Take This Waltz-inspired Conversation About Love into the next room, for a joint online conversation about love and sexual awakening.
Want to follow along? Perhaps join in? Here are the facts you need to know:
You can get $10 tickets to see the show this Thursday, October 13th at 8pm. Click here for all the info you need on buying tickets and submitting your tales of love and/or woe. The social after the show is free.
Follow the tweets via www.twitter.com/ConvoAboutLove. You don’t need to be a tweeter to keep tabs on the discussion, but if you are, I’d love for you to follow me in this new experiment. Let me know what you think!
Don’t be shy about submitting your stories. I won’t be tweeting all the sordid details… if you want those you’ll have to join us at the theatre.
Side note: as I finished composing my email to Tarragon suggesting the addition of live-tweeting at their event, I received a message from Tarragon asking if I might like to live-tweet at their event. I’m really excited to see a company like Tarragon embracing these new tools to engage their existing audience in new ways, while reaching out to develop and cultivate a new community of followers and fans.
Hope to see you online or in the theatre on Thursday night!
Earlier this year I had a conversation on twitter about social media, the arts, and audience development. One of the topics that came up was tweeting during actual performances. Many suggested that twitter didn’t belong in the theatre during a show, thinking it would pull the tweeters out of the performance and distract others in the audience.
When I asked a first-time theatre-goer who had been brought to the theatre via Twitter what she thought, she said tweeting would have made her feel more engaged and that she really wanted to know what other audience members were thinking throughout the show.
While some tweeters said Canadian theatre-makers were woefully behind the times when it comes to integrating social media in their work, some were adamant that tweeting during a show was a bad idea. Having already experimented with a show that incorporated live-texting throughout, I was adamant that it ought to at least be tried.
So here we are with our twitter-friendly performance of You Should Have Stayed Home at SummerWorks. We’re offering dedicated tweet seats, at the back of the audience so as not to be distracting for others, where tweeters can tweet away using our hashtag #G20Romp. All we ask is that you turn off any feature that makes a sound or vibrates, and darken your screens as much as possible – in a dark theatre you don’t really need much light.
Not sure what you’d tweet about? Our hashtag has already been in effect for some time, so here’s some of the conversation we’ve already been having.
Jonah Hundert and Praxis Theatre chat post-opening night:
Jonathan Goldsbie had a few thoughts after opening night as well:
We were pleased to have Davenport MP Andrew Cash join us for opening night and the SummerWorks opening night party after the show:
You Should Have Stayed Home performer/playwright Tommy Taylor with The Honorable Andrew Cash, Member of Parliament for Davenport
Councillor Michael Thompson spoke to an overflowing City Hall crowd before the culture consultation began. City Staff found extra tables, chairs and facilitators while the usual speeches kicked things off.
by Aislinn Rose
On Monday, Praxis co-Artistic Director Michael Wheeler and I attended the only downtown public consultation for the new Toronto Culture Plan not focused on youth issues.
We were armed with our smartphones and the Twitter hashtag #creativeTO, which I had also used at the public consultation in Etobicoke in February. Separately, we made the rounds of the various tables open for discussion and tried to document what we were hearing.
Below is a partial transcript of the event, a 100 tweet summary from the past few days with the most recent tweets at the top, You can find the full and interactive transcript online here.
And remember, the final public consultation (on youth issues) will be at City Hall on April 7th from 6pm to 8:30pm. I’ll be there with my smart phone and a hashtag. Hope to see you there.
Last Friday, unbeknownst to the fine folks at Toronto’s The Only Cafe, they were host to a cross-country conversation between artists, theatre organizations and theatre lovers old and new.
The inspiration behind the Twitter chat came on March 10th, when I caught a discussion happening online about the Opening Night of Catalyst Theatre’s Production of Hunchback at Citadel Theatre in Edmonton. Catalyst and Citadel had invited the audience to “live tweet” the event, and they would be showing the tweets on a display screen with a program called Visible Tweets, as recommended by nearby Shell Theatre. Shell has been live tweeting their shows since November, 2010 and they’ve found it to be a really effective way to get audiences excited about their events.
When I started following the assigned #yeghunchback hashtag, I caught the following tweet:
I joined the conversation, and asked @lindork what had brought her to the theatre that night, given that she was a self-confessed “theatre newbie”, and she told me it was mostly due to the number of tweets she had seen about it.
A few days later I asked @lindork (Linda Hoang), along with everyone responsible for tweeting for Catalyst, Citadel & Shell, to join me for a Twitter chat about the use of social media tools to develop new audiences, under the designated hashtag #auddev. After we spread the word about the chat, I was pleased to find we were being joined by companies and bloggers across the country, including (among many others) Montreal’s SideMart, Toronto’s Studio 180 and Crow’s Theatre, and the PuSh Festival in Vancouver.
You can catch up on the entire conversation here, with the transcript sent to me by @AudienceDevSpec‘s Shoshana Fanizza out of Boulder, Colorado, who regularly uses #auddev to keep in touch with the twitosphere about issues relating to arts organizations and audience development. I have synthesized some of the main talking points below, but I highly recommend taking a peak at the transcript just to get a better look at the enormous participation we had across Canada and in parts of the United States.
Live Tweeting During Performances:
When I asked participants for their views on allowing tweeting throughout the actual performances, there were definitely some mixed responses. Some thought this would be disrespectful to the actors performing, others thought it would mean the audience would be distracted from the show if they were focused on their smart phones, while some people thought it would be interesting to experiment with the possibilities:
@canadianstage‘s suggestion of live tweeting a dress rehearsal was a popular one, and @macdonaldfest also suggested tweeting a Q&A might be a good solution for involving the audience within the theatre without disrupting the performance. @morroandjasp took up the challenge immediately and offered to include a Twitter/Audience Q&A this week. I am pleased to report that I and a number of Friday’s participants spent a lovely part of Wednesday evening in conversation with Morro and Jasp, the creative team AND their audience after their performance at Theatre Passe Muraille. It was great fun for us, and I’d love to hear what the experience was like for the audience.
Who are you tweeting for?
Many people took this chat as an opportunity to express some frustrations with Twitter and Twitter users in general. There was commiseration over accounts used only for self-promotion, or retweeting everyone else’s content without adding anything to the conversation, and a general poopooing of Facebook pages linked to Twitter feeds where one automatically updates the other. Consensus seemed to be that they speak to different audiences and therefore require a different voice or style, and that your audience wants to feel you’re actually having a conversation with them, rather then just putting forward a constant stream of information and sales strategies. Do you have linked accounts? Would you consider changing them?
Who’s doing interesting things online? Who’s worth following?
We’re always trying to find out about interesting and innovative theatre companies trying new things both on and off the stage, so I asked for recommendations for companies doing great things with social media:
So I checked out Woolly Mammoth Theatre after the conversation, and I was indeed impressed. In the lead up to their presentation of Mike Daisy’s The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, they had staff members “reporting” from the sales lineups for the iPad2, and audience members could follow along via the hashtag #ShowUsYouriCrazy. They were also offering $0.99 tickets for one day only (the cost of the average Apple app) if you could arrive in person with a “Jobs (Apple)” Foursquare badge. Now, “Jobs (Apple)” + “Foursquare” means absolutely nothing to me, but it’s definitely the kind of thing I’d be willing to look into to see Mike Daisey for $0.99.
How to Handle Staffing & Twitter:
Well, this was a popular discussion, but yielded mostly questions and few answers. Looks like everyone’s still trying to figure this one out.
Has anyone found a solution they’d be willing to share with the group?
“Today was, in my recollection, the first time that Canadian theatre artists have used twitter to have a nation-wide conversation about the role of social media – in fact – to have a nation-wide conversation about anything. Based on this conversation new relationships between companies and artists have been formed. And this gives me great hope.”
Like a number of other participants in the conversation, Lois was excited by the fact that this conversation was happening at all, and is looking forward to that conversation continuing. She’s also looking for Canadian theatre blogs from outside the main centres, so if you know of any not currently listed in our blogroll, please let us know.
My Chat with Linda:
On Wednesday night I also caught up with Linda (our “theatre newbie) to ask her a little more about her experience attending theatre for the first time. She told me it was intimidating at first, but she got comfortable once she had arrived and could start interacting with the tweets she saw on the display screen. I asked for her perspective on live tweeting during a performance because I knew she had wanted to tweet during Hunchback. I wanted to know if she thought she might get distracted if she were to tweet throughout a performance:
And as for her and her fellow theatre-newbie companion seeing more theatre?
Well, that’s a whole other conversation I think. Who’s in?
“After the years and years of weaker and waterier imitations, we now find ourselves rejecting the very notion of a holy stage. It is not the fault of the holy that it has become a middle-class weapon to keep the children good.”