TIFT seeks city funds for conference

Talk is Free Theatre (TIFT) artistic director Arkady Spivak is requesting face time before the new city council to seek municipal financial support for a national theatre conference, scheduled for Barrie next May.
In a letter to city clerk Dawn McAlpine, Spivak details how TIFT was successful in its bid to bring the national theatre conference/AGM of PACT (Professional Association of Canadian Theatres) to Barrie next May for five days. The conference will be a meeting of theater professionals, directors, general managers, and other related personnel, from Canadian theatres, large and small, which employ union actors.
In all, the conference is expected to draw as many as 175 delegates to Barrie, writes Spivak, who adds that TIFT won the conference over the Shaw Festival.
“Naturally this is not only putting Barrie on a national cultural map, but also contributes in a most direct way to the local economy.
“Therefore, with the blessing and support of (director of culture) Rudi Quammie Williams, I would like to make a presentation to council to articulate the sort of opportunity this is and ask, on behalf of PACT, for a financial support in the amount of $10,000 for the conference.”
According to the letter, the conference budget is $76,000, of which 70 per cent will come from registration fees, leaving $25,000 to be raised locally. Spivak writes that he has been communicating with the department of culture for several months, and is advised there is no budgeted spending for this type of opportunity – “unless funding came at the expense of the existing local arts groups.
“This could prove troublesome – especially so since PACT’s position is not to be seen as taking funding away from the existing groups locally.”
Spivak requests time in front of the new council any time starting in November.

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