MAY 10-13, 2024 || GRANDE PRAIRIE, ALBERTA
MAY 10-13, 2024 || GRANDE PRAIRIE, ALBERTA
Kelly Robinson, Director of Creative Development, Mirvish Productions, (Toronto, Ontario & New York, New York)
Keith Barker, Director of New Play Development, Stratford Festival (Stratford, Ontario)
Deborah Kurtz, Literary Agent, Alberta Talent Management (Calgary, Alberta)
Rutuja Topkhanwale, Volunteer (Grande Prairie, Alberta)
Marek Fracek, Master Goldsmith and creator of the Lupper Awards (Grande Prairie, Alberta)
Wael Anmar, SunRise Diner (Beaverlodge, Alberta)
Awarded by her peers to Emiko Ohama, student and emerging playwright from British Columbia.
Awarded by selected jury to George F. Walker, the most widely produced Canadian dramatist in Canada and internationally.
Awarded by her peers to Rebecca Lashmar for her contribution to the aspect of intimacy as represented on stage and film.
Awarded by her peers to Jackie Hanlin, stage combat performer, director, and instructor from British Columbia.
Awarded by her peers to Amanda Samuelson from Edmonton with a scene from her play, Pressure. The performance featured Tahnia Getson from Grande Prairie.
Awarded by her peers to Emiko Ohama.
The organization would like to acknowledge the encouragement and support from the Council and staff at the County of Grande Prairie, the City of Grande Prairie, and the Towns of Beaverlodge, Sexsmith, and Wembley.
Several local artists, businesses, and organisations were especially collaborative and deserve special mention. They include The Salvation Army, The Sexsmith and District Historical Society, MAF Goldsmith, SunRise Diner, The Gift Box, Chris Moore Realty, Latitude 55, Stolen Harvest Meadery, Prairie Grill Food Truck, Dr. Carol Martin, Coralie Rycroft, Ken Perry, Kate Potter, Broadway Live Broadway, Prairie Grill Food Truck, Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton, Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, and Grande Prairie Live Theatre.
"Festive Maxima Peony," by Coralie Rycroft over tartan,"Playwright Showcase," by Dr. Carol Martin.
“I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to have the opportunity to be a presenter at the TGCPS ’24 for its second year. Being a part of this event is not only a chance to share my knowledge and insights with fellow artists and enthusiasts but also a testament to the growth and success of this conference. I look forward to engaging with a passionate audience, exchanging ideas, and celebrating the power of storytelling through theatre. It's a wonderful platform to connect with like-minded individuals and continue to foster the vibrant community of playwrights and theatre practitioners. Here's to a fantastic conference and an exciting journey ahead!”
HUNTER GATES, MANAGING DIRECTOR AT RUMINARILIVE, COMEDY FOR COMMUNITIES INTERNATIONAL, THE BEAUMONT INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL, AND THE HUNTER GATES ACADEMY OF PHYSICAL THEATRE (BEAUMONT, ALBERTA)
"The Great Canadian Playwright Showcase allowed me to connect with other theatre artists and playwrights from across Canada. There were many highlights of my time in Grande Prairie. Rebecca Lashmar from Principal Intimacy led an insightful seminar on “Writing Intimacy”, explaining how a writer can shape the intimate moments in their script. Rebecca Burton from the Playwrights Guild of Canada led an informative seminar on the importance of contracts for playwrights, and explained how playwrights can advocate for themselves with producers and directors. An invaluable part of my experience was connecting with established playwright Keith Barker and getting to hear about his experience as a playwright in Canada. I am excited to share what I’ve learned with other playwrights and theatre artists in Edmonton."
AMANDA SAMUELSON, PLAYWRIGHT (EDMONTON, ALBERTA)
TGCPS established itself as an emerging reference in the Canadian theatre community. The multifaceted promotional campaign garnered focused attention from the country’s pool of producers, theatre companies, and funders, as well as interest from leaders in the music industry. @TGCPS and #TGCPS continue to circulate, months after this year’s edition.
The conference’s remote location did not affect attendance excessively. This years’ delegation, although modest, came from Ontario, New York, Alberta, and BC. Invited guests, theatre service providers, and playwrights were all very glad for the trip. They were especially delighted and impressed by the variety of locations and venues they were treated to throughout County No 1.
The delegates have shared pictures on social media of emblematic structures in Beaverlodge, Sexsmith, Wembley, and the City of Grand Prairie. Our guests were welcomed to the region with gift baskets of locally-produced items, and left with samples to share back home. The general consensus is one of appreciation for the warm treatment received, and a desire to return.
While communication between the organization and the various local administrations has been fluid throughout the planning of the first edition of TGCPS, public outreach was the conference’s most notable failure.
For example, the Treasure Hunt extension event (#TreasureGP) is universally recognized among administrators and business owners as a very low-cost initiative with great potential for local business. Very few businesses participated, however.
The organization spoke with the leaders at business associations, farmers’ markets, and chambers of commerce before the conference about various opportunities for local vendors to promote and sell at little or no cost, but the information does not seem to have made it past these individuals. By no means an exhaustive survey, a random sampling of six businesses confirmed in 100% of the cases that they received no information about the event from their association.
The organization sent a short questionnaire to hundreds of local businesses directly and distributed the link publicly across various social media platforms. The responses were too few to provide meaningful data, but generally coincided in that the event was poorly promoted.
TGCPS did receive generous coverage from local media, although the wildfires overshadowed it somewhat.
The local economic impact for the first edition of TGCPS is estimated at $50,000. Although not an overwhelming injection for the local economy, the general consensus among stakeholders is that TGCPS continues to have great potential for the region.
The lion's share of expenditure occurred within the hospitality industry, advertising, printing, and awards. Funding for the conference budget was provided by registration fees, tickets sales, local administrations, private sponsors, and investors.
Delegates are known to have purchased souvenirs, visited attractions, and so on. Our visitors brought positive memories back home with them of the fine treatment they received while they were our guests.
Appreciable gaps in communication distribution and common misunderstanding of professional standards in event planning have been exposed in some environments. This is a positive discovery, as it indicates the opportunities for growth with clarity.
TGCPS ’23 united major players from the Canadian theatre community, including representatives from Mirvish Productions (Come from Away) and Stratford Festival (no introduction necessary), with specialized professionals and emerging playwrights.
It is certain to have made a mark already; veteran and emerging playwrights were honoured, Affair of Honor has a new show in the works, and Rebecca Lashmar of Principal Intimacy Professionals gave a stunning presentation on developments in stage intimacy that are sure to be recognized across Canadian stages over the following seasons.
Following the recommendation of numerous stakeholders, TGCPS ’24 will take place over the course of a weekend, instead of during week days. The confirmed dates are May 10, 11, 12, and 13 (Friday to Monday).
This calendar is an improvement for delegates because it still allows for professional and business meetings, while providing better options for those arriving or departing on connecting flights. The weekend of entertainment is also an improvement for locals in the Grande Prairie area who wish to take a workshop or enjoy a show.
The organization is very happy with the outcomes of TGCPS ’23, and excited about the opportunity for improvement and outlook for TGCPS '24.
Only this many sleeps till TGCPS 2024