Friday, November 19, 2010

Stage Safety

With Council deep into its insurance review, this seems like a timely article to share:

Performer Flying and other hazards

The results from our focus group work to date clearly point toward several improvements that members would like to see. However this article certainly highlights one of the great strengths of our existing plan: no one works uninsured.

All the same, insurance is one of those benefits that is best left unused. Be aware of hazards. If you're not sure: ask. Always exercise caution and common sense. Make sure you get to rehearse risky moves until you're comfortable. And, because we're all in this together, watch out for your colleagues.

Take care out (up) there.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Honours Presentation in Calgary

One of the great pleasures of being a Councillor is the opportunity to join with members across the country in our yearly celebration of talent, energy, dedication and support for the performing arts: the annual honours awards.

This year's awards ceremony was held October 25 at the Hotel Arts in downtown Calgary. Members Grant Reddick (Calgary) and Elsa Bolam (Montréal) were accorded Life Membership in Equity, in recognition of their lengthy careers and manifold contributions to theatre. We proudly welcomed Frank Glenfield (Edmonton) as an Honorary Member, acknowledging over 60 years of promotion and support of both professional and community theatre in Alberta.

Toronto’s Susan Wallace, Equity’s former Executive Director, received the Larry McCance Award in appreciation for her many years of dedication and service to the Association and its members. And finally, the 2010 Stage West-Equity Emerging Theatre Artist Award was presented to Bethany Jillard (Toronto) in peer recognition of an impressive start to her young career.

As I was preparing my notes for the honours ceremony, I thought back to some of the classes I had taken in Canadian theatre history. The people we studied were all extraordinary individuals who, in the best traditions of artistic creation, built new opportunity for live performance in theatre, opera and ballet, where little or none had existed before. Our instructor never failed to make the point that the people we were studying were those who had helped make Canadian theatre what it is today. They remain, in many ways, our theatre heroes, and we still build upon the strong artistic foundations that they have provided us.

With each new year of honours, what we consistently hear from the nominators is that "this is the person who made me the artist I am today." It is that immediacy of connection which makes the honours awards so special; in celebrating them together, we all recognise these mentors and leaders as ours, no matter where we live.

How very pleasant it is to rediscover, annually, that we continue to mint new theatre heroes.