skip to Main Content

Past Conferences

Courses Offered

Budgeting

  • Where to Start and Where to Spend

Contracts

  • Designing a Contract or Contracting a Designer

Health & Safety

  • Just DO it! How Production Managers Can Improve Safety Compliance

Managing People

  • Building a Productive Workplace

Negotiations

  • Union Contract Negotiations

Scheduling

  • Developing a Production Calendar

Special Projects

  • How Can a Project Management Office Assist an Arts Organization?
  • A Brave New World: Production Managing for Dance

Unions

  • Production Managers and PACT – We should get to know each other better

Photos from the conference

This year was the 11th Toronto P.M.Arts Conference! In order to stay current and fresh, we kicked off our second decade of training by mixing things up a bit – 2 new sessions and at least one new face. To offer a bit of variety for previous attendees, and to encourage return visits, we have started offering one or two rotating courses each year. With a 3-day conference, it is hard to honour our basic building blocks of People, Time and Money and still change things up on a wholesale basis: there are so many, varied topics that are of interest to PMs. Of course all of our presenters have great loyalty to our audience and mission, so as much as we missed them for a year, we welcomed the chance to add more opportunities for other professionals to share their experiences with us.

We began our grand experiment with Contracts. The presenter-swapping duo this year were long-time PMArts supporter, Ian Arnold, of Catalyst TCM, and Gail Packwood, Executive Director of the Associated Designers of Canada. Gail led a new session on understanding, using, and navigating ADC contracts.

We continued to offer our full weekend of programming. With much anticipation we welcomed back Ray Salverda to take over our Budgeting session from Matt Farrell, who created a new course on Labour Relations and Contract Negotiating. Janet Sellery also returned with a fresh look at Heath and Safety.

Our final change this year was to shine a light on harassment in the workplace, with our Human Resources session tackling this and discrimination.

Courses Offered

Budgeting

  • Where to Start and Where to Spend
  • Production Managing your Producer – Where does the Money come from?

Contracts

  • Designing a Contract or Contracting a Designer

Health & Safety

  • Due Diligence for Production Managers

Managing People

  • Building a Productive Workplace

Human Resources

  • Harassment and Discrimination – What a Production Manager Needs to Know

Scheduling

  • Developing a Production Calendar

Special Projects

  • How Can a Project Management Office Assist an Arts Organization?

Unions

  • Multiple Union Contracts – I’m Always in Negotiations!

Photos from the conference

Toronto 2017

We are officially one decade old. This year we continued to offer our full weekend of programming and reunited our team of seasoned and returning presenters. We welcomed back Janelle Rainville, who led her “Production Managing for Dance”. Janelle stepped back from our PMArts conference last year to concentrate on running SMArts, which happens to be celebrating its 20th Anniversary.

We also celebrated our 10 year relationship with the Ryerson School of Performance, formerly the Ryerson Theatre School, as they once again hosted us. However, our Boardroom location moved to their new offices on the 9th floor of 20 Dundas St. West, across from the Eaton Centre.

In order to maximize every hour of content, we decided to forego a “How Much Rope” session on the final day. Instead, in true theatre fashion, we concentrated on our closing party, bringing back past instructors and attendees to socialize. In the absence of a vibrant, connected Production Management association, the only way we can connect is to make it happen – and make it fun and inclusive.

Finally, as we raised our glasses to 10 years of training, our thoughts and hearts embraced the memory of the man who convinced Peter Fleming to shepherd such a conference – Winston Morgan. As the founder of SMArts and the driving force behind PMArts, his untimely death before Christmas means our party table at the Elephant and Castle was one chair short.

Winston, we dedicated our 10th PMArts conference to you, and we know that somewhere in the big, unknown backstage, you were watching over us.

Courses Offered

Budgeting

  • Where to Start and Where to Spend

Contracts

  • The Art of Binding

Health & Safety

  • Risk Assessment for Production Managers

Managing People

  • Building a Productive Workplace

Human Resources

  • HR II: Put on your Bigger HR Hat

Scheduling

  • Developing a Production Calendar

Special Projects

  • The Sport of Production Planning
  • A Brave New World: Production Managing for Dance

Unions

  • Navigating the CTA (Canadian Theatre Agreement)

Toronto 2016

This year we continued to offer a full weekend of programming and look forward to reuniting our team of seasoned presenters while adding a few new faces to the mix.

However, with a Conference that is nearly a decade old, and with some session leaders part of it from the beginning, “adding new faces” really means recognizing that time marches on, careers and lives change, and rejuvenation is part of what keeps us relevant.

It is with this in mind that the Conference “us” and “we” bid a bittersweet good-bye to our founding Conference Administrator, Janelle Rainville. As a direct import from Winston Morgan and SMArts, Janelle managed our website, organized our database, took and processed registrations and even found time to present sessions. Although she will still shepherd SMArts through new growth, and stay connected to PMArts in an advisory capacity, she stepped away from the day-to-day operations of this Conference. She was truly our backbone and office-of-one. And a torch-passer.

Succession planning is still something relatively new to our industry – with budgets barely adequate to mount our productions, training and mentorship can fall by the wayside. So it is with open arms and files of details that we welcomed the new part of “us”, Bonnie Thomson, as our new, Janelle-mentored, Conference Administrator. Bonnie’s varied technical and production management experience, combined with volunteer work at past SM and PMArts Conferences gave her an opportunity to bring PMArts into its next decade.

Organized from the beginning around the core building blocks of “People, Time and Money”, the Conference also bid a heartfelt farewell to Ray Salverda, the first and only Instructor of our Scheduling session (the “Time” block). We missed his larger-than-life enthusiasm and engaging classroom presence, and wished him well as he continues his career with BaAM.

Also off to newer challenges – although still dealing with clauses – was Alistair Hepburn, previously with Equity and now working with ACTRA. His encyclopedic knowledge of the CTA and related agreements made his session a must-attend for Production Managers. We wished Alistair great success in our sister (brother?) industry.

As it happens in our own lives, good-byes can herald new experiences and bring new opportunities. We were pleased to welcome two instructors who brought their own skill sets to these established sessions: Rick Banville, Director of Production at Young People’s Theatre, was the new face of “Scheduling”, and Keith Davidson, Director of Business Representative Services with Canadian Actors’ Equity Association became our CAEA expert-in-the-field.

And, of course, a big thank-you to all returning instructors. As always, our courses had an appeal for managers and production staff alike, as they offered skills development, the opportunity to share experiences, and the chance to network.

Courses Offered

Budgeting

  • Where to Start and Where to Spend

Contracts

  • The Art of Binding

Educators’ Roundtable – How Much Rope do you Give Them?

  • Scope and Scale Creep

Health & Safety

  • Risk Assessment for Production Managers

Managing People

  • Building a Productive Workplace

Human Resources

  • Job Descriptions

Scheduling

  • Developing a Production Calendar

Special Projects

  • The Sport of Production Planning

Unions

  • Navigating the CTA (Canadian Theatre Agreement)

Toronto 2015

Having survived the 7-Year-Itch ourselves, with a Conference that is still relevant and useful to the Industry, we acknowledged that time does not stand still. People move through their working lives changing careers, starting families, finding time to give back, and we hope, finally, coming to a point enjoying the “next phase” of life –retirement. Or at least an end-of-career change of focus.

It is with this in mind, and with much gratitude that we bid “happy post-work” to Sandy Robinson, formerly of the Sony Centre, and our Negotiations guru. Sandy expertly and patiently led years of participants through the thrills and frustrations of union bargaining. She was missed.

Organized from the beginning around the core building blocks of “People, Time and Money”, the Conference offered a newly-crafted session on Budgeting, led by our own Matt Farrell. Keeping with the theme of “Change”, Matt stepped away from his long held portfolio of “Health and Safety – Due Diligence” to bring his experience with numbers to the session.

We were also excited to offer a new course – Production Management for Dance – presented by our Conference Administrator, Janelle Rainville. Highly valued in the industry for her ability to move seamlessly between genres, Janelle’s session highlighted the differences between the worlds inhabited by Actors and Dancers.

Courses Offered

Budgeting

  • Where to Start and Where to Spend

Contracts

  • The Art of Binding

Health & Safety

  • Risk Assessment for Production Managers

Managing People

  • Building a Productive Workplace

Human Resources

  • HR II – Put on your BIGGER HR hat

Scheduling

  • Developing a Production Calendar

Special Projects

  • The Sport of Production Planning
  • A Brave New World: Production Managing for Dance

Unions

  • Navigating the CTA (Canadian Theatre Agreement)

Toronto 2014

Returning attendees noticed that this year we did not offer a “Budgeting” session, due to career movement out of the country by David Feheley, formerly with the Canadian Opera Company. We wished him much success at the Houston Grand Opera!

Organized from the beginning around the core building blocks of “People, Time and Money”, the Conference was sad to lose one of our original pillars of training. It will reappear next year with a new instructor. As the Conference relies on the contributions of working professionals for its success, it is only natural that personal and business changes alter the landscape of participation.

We are also very aware that pass holder feedback always includes a mention that double programming in a single time slot prevents attendees from fully participating in the Conference. So this year, PMArts designated a number of sessions “rotating” and offered them on a 2 year cycle. “Grant Writing” with Meredith Potter and Genevieve Farrell’s second Human Resources module were the first sessions to follow this model.

It was at this time last year that we bid farewell to Alistair Hepburn, formerly of Canadian Stage, as he moved to a new career with the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association. After settling into his new role and finding his sea legs, this year we welcomed him back into the PMArts fold as he premiered a new session on the CTA and ITA contracts. Such is the ebb and flow of the Conference.

And, of course, a big thank you to all returning instructors, some of whom like Ray Salverda, managed to squeeze his session into a new career with BaAM.

Courses Offered

Budgeting

  • Revenue Streams

Contracts

  • The Art of Binding

Educators’ Roundtable – How Much Rope do you Give Them?

  • Transitioning Production knowledge from the classroom to the stage – why is it so difficult?

Health & Safety

  • Health & Safety: Can you Do More?
  • Risk Assessment for Production Managers

Managing People

  • Building a Productive Workplace

Human Resources

  • HR I – Put on your HR hat

Negotiations

  • Collective Bargaining: A Necessary Evil or an Opportunity for Positive Labour Relations

Scheduling

  • Developing a Production Calendar

Special Projects

  • The Sport of Production Planning

Unions

  • Navigating the CTA (Canadian Theatre Agreement)

Toronto 2013

The coming of 2013 heralded a year of change for many of us associated with the Conference, and as a result, we had a weekend of sessions that are a mix of old and new.

Organized from the beginning around the core building blocks of “People, Time and Money”, the Conference was sad to lose one of our original presenters, Michael Freeman, formerly the PM of Tarragon Theatre, from the helm of “Budgeting”, but enthusiastic in welcoming David Feheley, Technical Director of the Canadian Opera Company, who picked up this session. Those who attended Michael’s session in the past, came back and saw the same subject from a different point of view.

As P.M.s we are always managing the Health and Safety of the world in which we produce. Matt Farrell pioneered our two Health & Safety sessions, and due to career obligations (and a new family member) passed one of his sessions on to an incredibly knowledgeable Janet Sellery.

We missed the insight provided by Alistair Hepburn, formerly of Canadian Stage, into the world of Union Contracts, and wished him the best as he took on a new role as a Business Rep with the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.

It is particularly rewarding when a Conference attendee feels so strongly about PM training that they offer to present a session of their own creation the following year. It is therefore with a little selfish sadness that we wished Ryan McDougall, formerly PM of Theatre Passe Muraille, all the best in his new career in the world of corporate banking. Ryan’s slot of “Freelance PM” and “Facility PM” is one that we wish to continue in future Conferences, perhaps as two offerings.

And we were happy to re-offer “The Sport of Production Planning”, presented by Annemarie Roe. This session had to be cancelled the year prior, and was sorely missed.

Courses Offered

Budgeting

  • Reviewing Revenue Streams

Contracts

  • The Art of Binding

Educators’ Roundtable – How Much Rope do you Give Them?

  • Can Social Media be used to support the student production process?

Health & Safety

  • Health & Safety: Can you Do More?
  • Risk Assessment for Production Managers

Managing People

  • Building a Productive Workplace

Human Resources

  • HR I – Put on your HR hat

Negotiations

  • Collective Bargaining: A Necessary Evil or an Opportunity for Positive Labour Relations

Scheduling

  • Developing a Production Calendar

Special Projects

  • The Sport of Production Planning

Unions

  • Navigating the CTA (Canadian Theatre Agreement)

Toronto 2012

We continued our process of growth again this year by offering two new courses, both which were suggested by last year’s participants. Meredith Potter, Arts Manager for both Volcano Theatre and Peggy Baker Dance Projects, spoke about sourcing out potential revenue streams for infrastructure grants in order to better your equipment and your facility. Ryan McDougall, PM for Theatre Passe Muraille, discussed the ins & outs of working as a freelance Production Manager. These two new sessions joined our already full slate of 12 returning courses and instructors.

Courses Offered

Budgeting

  • Where to Start and Where to Spend
  • Reviewing Revenue Streams

Contracts

  • The Art of Binding

Educators’ Roundtable – How Much Rope do you Give Them?

  • Is it our job to be the filter for the industry?

Health & Safety

  • Health & Safety: Regulatory Framework
  • Health & Safety: Due Diligence

Managing People

  • Building a Productive Workplace
  • Friend or Foe: Working with your Stage Manager

Human Resources

  • HR I – Put on your HR hat
  • HR II – Putting on your BIGGER HR hat

Negotiations

  • Collective Bargaining: A Necessary Evil or an Opportunity for Positive Labour Relations

Positions

  • Freelance PM vs. Facility PM

Scheduling

  • Developing a Production Calendar

Special Projects

  • The Sport of Production Planning

Unions

  • Juggling Jurisdictions – A Jumble of Collective Agreements

Toronto 2011

The 4th annual conference ran from Thursday, March 24th to Sunday, March 27th, 2010. This year saw us adding another 3 courses to our repertoire, but not extending the length of the conference – 12 courses over 4 days, which allowed participants to choose between core skills and more complex topics. In response to the participants feedback in 2009, we split the Human Resources and the Health & Safety courses in order to get more indepth in the content. Human Resources II with Genevieve Farrell, explored the sobering realities of other legislation and legal issues that need to be considered when dealing with employees. This session focussed on accommodation, harassment, discrimination and dismissal. Matt Farrell took us past Due Diligence in Health & Safety II to look more indepthly at the expectations (and consequences) of the managerial responsibilities in the area of Health and Safety, as it applies to the entertainment business. Finally our Administrator, Janelle Rainville, offered a course on how Production Managers can capitalize on their relationship with their Stage Managers.

The Conference culminated in our 2nd “Party of PMs” at the Elephant & Castle Pub & Restaurant on Yonge Street. It gave participants, instructors and local PMs and technicians a chance to de-brief, swap stories, network and just unwind. We hope that it will become a quarterly event for the Toronto community.

We are also proud to have hosted an educational roundtable (not only for academics) that built on the momentum created in Halifax, at the 2010 CITT Annual Conference. Led by Susann Hudson, T.D. of the Department of English and Theatre at Acadia University this session delved into the variety of ways students in Theatre Production programs are evaluated. This work will hopefully continue at the 2011 CITT Annual Conference in Victoria this August.

Courses Offered

Budgeting

  • Where to Start and Where to Spend

Contracts

  • The Art of Binding

Educators’ Roundtable – How Much Rope do you Give Them?

  • Evaluating Student Production Workers for Academic Credit

Health & Safety

  • Due Diligence – Are you doing enough?
  • Beyond Due Diligence – The Regulatory Framework

Managing People

  • Building a Productive Workplace
  • Friend or Foe: Working with your Stage Manager

Human Resources

  • HR I – Put on your HR hat
  • HR II – Putting on your BIGGER HR hat

Negotiations

  • Collective Bargaining: A Necessary Evil or an Opportunity for Positive Labour Relations

Scheduling

  • Developing a Production Calendar

Special Projects

  • The Sport of Production Planning

Unions

  • Juggling Jurisdictions – A Jumble of Collective Agreements

Toronto 2010

The 3rd annual conference ran from Thursday, March 25th to Sunday, March 28th, 2010 and was one of our largest to date with 9 courses offered over 4 days. Three new courses were added to complement our existing building blocks. Contracts with Ian Arnold explored the world of different types of contracts production managers deal with on a daily basis. Unions with Alistair Hepburn was an adventure of finding one’s way through a collective agreement with all the interesting twists & turns. Finally Annemarie Roe introduced participants to the exponential layers of details required in planning Special Projects.

The Conference culminated in a “Party of PMs” at the Elephant & Castle Pub & Restaurant on Yonge Street. It gave participants, instructors and local PMs and technicians a chance to de-brief, swap stories, network and just unwind. We hope that it will become an annual event.

Courses Offered

Budgeting

  • Where to Start and Where to Spend

Contracts

  • The Art of Binding

Educators’ Roundtable – How Much Rope do you Give Them?

  • Evaluating Student Production Workers for Academic Credit

Health & Safety

  • Due Diligence – Are you doing enough?

Managing People

  • Building a Productive Workplace

Human Resources

  • HR I – Put on your HR hat

Negotiations

  • Collective Bargaining: A Necessary Evil or an Opportunity for Positive Labour Relations

Scheduling

  • Developing a Production Calendar

Special Projects

  • The Sport of Production Planning

Unions

  • Juggling Jurisdictions – A Jumble of Collective Agreements

Toronto 2009

Since the first year went so well we decided to do it again. Building on last year’s success, and by listening to participants’ feedback, we added 3 new sessions to our basic building blocks of “people, time, and money.” All sessions had an appeal for managers and production staff alike, as they offered skills development and the opportunity to share experiences. This year we welcomed both PACT and CITT as sponsors.

Courses Offered

Budgeting

  • Where to Start and Where to Spend

Health & Safety

  • Due Diligence – Are you doing enough?

Managing People

  • Building a Productive Workplace

Human Resources

  • HR I – Put on your HR hat

Negotiations

  • Collective Bargaining: A Necessary Evil or an Opportunity for Positive Labour Relations

Scheduling

  • Developing a Production Calendar

Toronto 2008

The first year of the conference was the brain-child of Winston Morgan, founder and Director of SMArts Stage Managing the Arts. He had been running a professional development conference for stage managers for over 10 years and decided it was time to branch out and develop a conference for production managers. He enlisted Peter Fleming to be the Director of the conference and Janelle Rainville to be the administrator.

The three of them decided that by marshaling the experience and collective wisdom of working Production Managers, the goal of this Conference was to demystify the major components of the job: people, time and money. By sharing advice and providing skills, these sessions had an appeal for managers and production staff alike. Eighteen people attended the inaugural conference, with some coming as far away as Winnipeg, Montreal, Thunder Bay, and Vancouver.

Courses Offered

Budgeting

  • Where to Start and Where to Spend

Managing People

  • Building a Productive Workplace

Scheduling

  • Developing a Production Calendar
Back To Top Skip to content