I am so excited about this next project. It’s so much bigger than anything I’ve ever done so it scares the snot out of me. It’s going to take more man power, creativity and funding than any other under-taking I’ve put my hands to.
Ready for it?
Last June I stepped into my favourite theatre in Calgary, Theatre Junction Grand positioned in our downtown core. It is the funkiest theatre I’ve ever seen. The chandelier’s in the entrance are made of broken bottles. They have allowed the original brick from 101 years ago to crumble, adding to the perfect blend of age and trend. I leaned over to my friend and said, “THIS is the theatre for my show next year”. Little did I know that the theatre doesn’t let just anyone use their building. I filled out an artist statement and application and sent it in with my fingers crossed. Much to my amazement (and many others) we got accepted. Many have stated to me how rare it is to be accepted into the Grand.
My partner, Oliver Reyes who runs Mpact Dance with me came with me to get a tour of the theatre and talk about the booking details. In the meeting we found out that just to rent the theatre would be $20,000. We both kept a calm, cool and collected face and then panicked as soon as we left the building. How would we possibly be able to come up with that kind of funding? Last year’s show we produced at the Vertigo theatre was $10,000 total. $20,000 is just the theatre rental – then there’s all the other budget items such as choreographer costs, set, costume etc. We are looking at a $30,000 show. Full of strange faith, we quickly made Mpact a non profit society in order to handle all the large donations we’ll be receiving (more strange faith).
This year’s show is going to break barriers, create new innovation and push the choreographers beyond the limit. Our show this year is about women’s vulnerabilities supporting organizations that work along side with women escaping trafficking, domestic violence, eating disorders, cutting and poverty. We will be using the show to fundraise for my friend Sara Curdie’s project of starting a home for pregnant girls. I am beyond excited to create with some of the most amazing artists in Calgary to bring something beautiful, inspiring and change-provoking to our city Producing life-changing shows using hip hop elements such as dance, MCing, spoken word, DJing and Graffiti is one of the things that give me energy beyond this world! And this year I am excited to have my dear friends Marika (a recording artist) and Dianna David (an urban dance artist) coming from Vancouver to be featured in the show!
These are some pictures I took of the theatre at a recent show. This is the dream, friends. This show has the potential to raise an enormous amount of awareness and funds for those working with vulnerable women. Not only that, but it takes me and my team to where I believe we need to be: on the cutting edge of arts and culture.
I’m putting the word out there for anyone who may be feeling they need to support this. You may have a business with a budget to sponsor, or have contacts we need to meet. You may have ideas for set, film and anything that can help us with the production. You may be a non profit working with vulnerable women that want to be involved. If that’s you, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be a part of something impacting culture and join us.
Oliver and I are happy to be working on this show together with amazing people like Marika, Dianna David, Corinne Vessey, Tony Tran, Tara Wison, Nicole Pemberton, Rheanna Houston, Chelsea Jones, Vanessa Padillo, Krizia Carlos, Goldie Wong, Albert Meijia, Chantal Gandar, Zahra Ahmad, Harriet Stanley, Chris Matteo and more.