I’ve been a member of the Curtain Club for three years now, but a subscriber for much longer, as well as making regular donations to support the ongoing work of Soulpepper.
How did you first learn about Soulpepper/What is you first memory of Soulpepper?
Having friends in the theatre industry, I knew of Soulpepper for a long time, almost from its inception. I heard stories about their work from these friends and was intrigued by Albert’s vision for the company. My first memory of their work was a drama (the show’s name escapes my memory, must be my age!) and being impressed with the quality of the acting and the use of stage space. The small theatre space creates an intimacy that you cannot have in the large theatres.
What inspired you to support us?
It actually started from a negative experience with another company. I was distressed at how the company was treating their Canadian staff (remember my friends?) and thought that I was missing out on good Canadian talent. I “risked” a season with Soulpepper, and haven’t looked back. I wanted to support the talent of fine Canadian actors, so I became a donor. My participation was confirmed when I learned of Albert’s vision to treat actors fairly, and his willingness to step outside the traditional theatre mode, and improve the employment picture for his company members. Now, Soulpepper launches into its work to become a National Civic Theatre, an idea I’m happy to support in the little ways that I can.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about giving to Soulpepper? And, why do you think the arts should be a priority for philanthropy?
I would say to people that theatre is much more than Broadway musicals and big name performers. That we have living in our midst highly talented people that can compete with the best that Broadway can offer. I’ve just seen Billy Bishop Goes to War, and said that was better than most offerings coming to us from south of the border.
The arts, in all its various forms, convey culture. Without the arts our Canadian culture is diminished. Supporting the artist communities, will enrich the lives of generations to come.
How do you imagine Soulpepper in 10 years?
In 10 years, I hope to be sitting in the theatre continuing to be impressed by the fine work Soulpepper does. At the same time, I hope that others, across Canada (and indeed maybe even Broadway) will be seeing the same thing. Keep up the good work!
To learn more about supporting Soulpepper, visit soulpepper.ca
How long have you been at the Young Centre and what has your job consisted of lately?
11 months now! Hard to believe… As Operations Services Coordinator for the Young Centre, the bulk of my job revolves around the space usage. If you’re looking to host an event in our spaces, I’m your gal! Though no two days are the same at the Young Centre, and sometimes I help out on weird jobs like folding a 4-foot paper crane.
What kinds of projects have you been involved with outside of work?
I just completed Second City’s year-long conservatory which was a blast! And now I am in the process of writing proposals for a performance piece I’d like to remount that focuses on food and culture and how they act to preserve one another. The Universal Dumping looks to explore what each culture’s version of a dumpling says about their culture, through a dinner with members of Toronto’s diverse food community.
When you’re not at work, what are you doing?
I love to cook and I’m an avid cyclist, but for the most part, I spend a lot of time watching theatre, especially comedy. Most nights you can find me plunked in a seat laughing like crazy at the amazing comedic talent Toronto has to offer.
What is a surprised hidden talent?
I can breathe fire. And then I taught my siblings. Now we’re like the Partridge Family of fire breathers. My parents are very proud!
What do you love about working at The Young Centre?
For sure it has to be the people. Everybody I get to work with is a joy and a laugh and incredibly supportive! I would work any job if these people were there! That, and OBVIOUSLY the Cruban Sandwich on Tuesdays at the Café.
How long have you worked at Soulpepper, and what has your job consisted of lately? I’ve been at Soulpepper since the summer of 2015. I am General Counsel and Director of Human Resources. “General Counsel” is another term for “Director of Legal Affairs”. My job consists of all things legal and HR-related for Soulpepper. On a micro level that means drafting and revising agreements, giving legal opinions on things like intellectual property rights, and providing recommendations with respect to regulatory requirements. I am also involved in staff recruitment and evaluation, and in developing and implementing workplace policies and procedures. I’m always happy to chat with Staff about questions, concerns, challenges and accomplishments!
What kinds of projects have you been involved in outside of work?
I’m very honoured to have been chosen to participate in the Federal Cultural Human Resources Council’s new ‘Talent to Lead’ mentorship/leadership program. I just finished a tenure as President of the Toronto Fringe Festival’s Board of Directors. Prior to joining Soulpepper I had my own entertainment law practice specializing in theatre, film and tv. In the slightly more distant past I was a cast member at Second City, a founding member, Producer and performer with the Toronto Festival of Clowns, and a Producer and performer with a multitude of other stage and tv shows.
When you’re not at work, what are you doing?
I have 2 very active toddlers at home, so I spend a lot of time running around after them! Oh…and I’m taking a painting class, which I was nervous about, but I’m really loving it!
What is something we might be surprised to learn about you?
I studied clown and bouffon for several years with John Turner and Mike Kennard (Mump and Smoot), and Karen Hines (Pochsy, Crawlspace, etc.). I’ve been told that my bouffon work is “side-splitting” (I can only assume in a good way). I really love making people laugh, it’s such a joy.
What do you love about working at Soulpepper?
Everyone laughs at my jokes! Seriously though, I love our team. I get to work with some of Canada’s most accomplished, passionate and delightful theatre professionals.