Unscripted. Unstaged. Rob Gloor.Unscripted. Unstaged. is an interview series from Laura Murray Public Relations that speaks with fascinating artists, advocates, administrators, and other individuals who keep the Canadian artistic community visible, viable, and vibrant. This week we spoke with Rob Gloor, Executive Director at the Alliance for Arts and Culture. Gloor is a leading cultural manager with twenty years’ experience garnered in organizations across Canada, including the Edmonton Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Orchestra London, the London Youth Symphony, and Opera Hamilton. In Vancouver, he has provided general management services to several music organizations through his company, GSI Management, and served as Interim Managing Director of Pacific Cinémathèque. Rob has taught strategic planning in UWO’s Arts Management diploma program and has been active in cultural advancement and advocacy, serving on arts councils, national awards juries, peer assessment committees, municipal task forces, and community boards.
Q: If we ran into you at a party, what are three things you would be excited to share about yourself?
If we were introduced at a party, I would share a lot about family first – my husband Rob, our two Schnoodles (Zig and Zag), and our wonderfully crazy relatives in Ontario and Alberta.
If we were to get beyond small talk, we might talk about the value of the arts in a progressive society, which I believe is a defining issue of our time.
If we were to hit it off and talk for the whole evening, you would learn that I indulge in pale ale, American politics, Mad Men, SYTYCD, and almost all ethnic food.
Q: If we checked your nightstand, what books would we find you reading right now?
I’m a non-fiction junkie, so my summer reading includes Richard Florida’s latest, The Rise of the Creative Class Revisited and Dan Zarrella’s The Heirarchy of Contagiousness.
Q: If we checked your computer, what favourite sites would be bookmarked?
Q: How did you come to do what you do – was there a defining moment you can tell us about?
I was in Grade 11 and a recruiter from the University of Waterloo mentioned a new program in Arts Administration. It was the first time I had ever heard the two words together and it just clicked, as if the two sides of my brain found a place to meet in the middle. In the end, I didn’t pursue that particular program. Instead, I went after a Music degree and an MBA, and married the two through my own experience.
Q: When it comes to marketing, is there a particular campaign or a poster, advertisement, or promotion that made a significant impact or that stands out in your mind?
As a former marketing director, I am fairly critical of marketing campaigns. It is often assumed that the most beautiful campaigns are the best ones, especially in the arts, but they don’t necessarily achieve their objective. Aesthetically beautiful materials are useless without an engaging message and a clear call to action.
It can be particularly difficult to market music through visual materials. However, one campaign that had a significant effect on me was the inaugural season of the Weston Recital Hall in North York, Ontario. Not only was the new hall beautifully portrayed, but the programs and artists of each series were presented in spectacular fashion through words and images, building a sense of excitement that I found totally irresistible.
Q: Lastly, what inspires you?
I am inspired (and humbled) by great ideas, great performances, and acts of great generosity.