3 years, 10 months ago Comments Off on Bringing Back RED

Bringing Back RED


In 2002 I started a performance series called RED:A Night of Live Performance at Toronto’s Lula Lounge.  It was a time when i was a dancer and an actor and knew artists from all different worlds.  I often wondered why each world lived in a bit of a silo with brilliant artists not knowing other artists, so i wanted to create an event where they could come together, perform a short piece, and meet others who might be interested in collaborating in the future.

The event ran for 5 years, and it was such an amazing time.  RED hosted over 500 theatre, dance, music, circus, spoken word, comedy and visual artists.  We had stunning solos and brilliant group pieces.  Every 2 months we would watch a stunning spectacle of talent and art.  I always left inspired and hopeful for the world.

When i first moved to Hamilton, I felt like I couldn’t do this sort of event here.  I didn’t know the arts world well enough to know what would work here.  And now, after the past 4 years I have learnt about this community, and have come to the realization that it too needs some sort of place where artists of different disciplines can meet together with themselves and audiences could come together to create stronger bonds in community.

I am starting in a small way.  Except for Kenneth is a stunning little restaurant on Ottawa St that is full of character.  The space holds about 32 audience members with an artistic team of about 8.  The first show was sold out and the response was grand.

It is my hope to feature some of Hamilton’s finest artists together with artists from surrounding communities.  I truly believe that when we meet other creatives then we too are inspired.  Come along on Thursday and let me know if you are too.

11 years, 10 months ago Comments Off on Looking back to RED

Looking back to RED

Redness!, originally uploaded by dpnsan.

I was thinking about what i was doing this time last year and it occured to me that i was getting ready to present over 150 artists in 4 days for the RED Festival. I found this photo that Dave took of my hair and i was aglow in lovely memories of working with Erica K., watching amazing artists and seeing the audiences react to true art.

People have asked me how i feel since i closed the RED factory, and honestly, it was so wonderful while it lasted and i learnt so much from those five years, but i am glad.

You see, i think that it is a tricky thing to be an artist and to want to also present other artists and to want to bring people together. All of those things fall together and soon you forget about your own art. And well, i think that was what happened with me. While i was presenting everyone else, my art fell by the wayside.

A year later, i am slowly creating my own art again and feeling proud of all that i have done. And of course there is the Bread Cabaret that is a much more intimate version of RED that takes much less time to organize.

I learnt a lot from RED and here is the point form version…

1. Create something that you believe in and the people will come. Really, it’s true.

2. When you put brilliant artists together in one room, something magical is sure to happen.

3. It’s important not to micro manage people. Let them know that you believe in them, and give them the sky as the limit for what they can create and brilliance will ensue.

4. Drink water and eat well while working hard.

5. Have a sense of humour while working with all people. Us humans are sensitive folks, and sometimes we get nervous about showing our souls…a little laugh will make things feel all right!