Assessing, planning, implementing and managing the production’s human, technical, and financial resources; monitoring and ensuring the progress of same.
So says the written or implied job description of a Production Manager. Or a Director of Production. Or a Production Coordinator. Or a Project Manager. Or a Production Manager/Technical Director. So many names…one core function. How one manages the production process varies from theatre to stadium, but what we all have in common is the need to get our production (or season) up on time, on budget, and within a safe and positive work environment.
The Production Managing the Arts annual conference, first held in 2008, brings together industry professionals to lead participants through practical exercises and thoughtful discussions exploring key areas of entertainment management. Core “building block” sessions covering scheduling, budgeting and supportive management are fleshed out with specific workshops on such topics as Health and Safety, Contracts, Unions and Human Resources. All sessions have an appeal for managers and production staff alike, as they offer skills development and the opportunity to share experiences.
Through the support of organizations such as the Canadian Institute of Theatre Technology (CITT) and the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT), the PMArts conference brings together working arts managers from across Canada to learn from, and share with, other managers and those wanting to manage. This skills exchange and the networking opportunities provided by this conference make it a “must attend” event.
“After 25 years as a Stage Manager I found the PMArts conference a useful peek into another part of the theatre production team. I took away a greater understanding of the hiring, budgeting and people management skills that are so crucial to success.”
“I just wanted to thank you for a very interesting and well run conference. All the courses had something unique to offer and the instructors were wonderful. It was a great opportunity to meet professionals from all over the province and in some cases, the country. Working in a venue all the time, one can become cut off from the rest of the arts community so it was refreshing to engage with all walks of the business.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the PMArts Conference. I found the sessions informative and the speakers engaging. The workshop topics were diverse while still being relevant to the work of a Production Manager. I particularly appreciated the opportunity to mix and mingle with other P.M.s – many of whom I had heard of but had never met in person.”
“Paul’s Excel Magic is great! I’ve already implemented a few things I learned yesterday and my life is already easier/my documents look more impressive!”
“As a relatively new PM, I was very interested in what the 2012 conference had to offer, but my schedule and geographic location made attending impossible. Peter and Janelle were willing to branch into the online world, allowing me to Skype in and attend all conference sessions from across the country. Handouts and powerpoints were sent in advance by email so I could follow along and I was able to fully participate in group work and discussion. This was a great opportunity to expand my understanding, affirm what I already knew and learn from others’ experiences. Though I never met any of the participants in person, over the course of the weekend a relationship was formed.”
“I really look forward to attending the PM Arts conference each year. It is such a great opportunity to learn from amazing people in theatre and related industries, network with other production managers, develop my professional skills, and fill in my numerous knowledge gaps! Every time I attend the conference I am able to walk away with a fresh take on my role as a PM, and valuable information that helps me implement positive changes in my workplace.”
“I attended the PMArts Conference halfway through my first season as Production Manager for a North Vancouver theatre. While I had received mentorship from other production managers in Vancouver, there are no resources available in BC like the coursework from P.M. Arts. Leaving the conference I was equipped with templates and scenarios I could apply to my current projects. Today I am still in touch with some of the conference attendees, and we continue to share our experience and recommendations.”
Over the years