Unscripted. Unstaged. Heather Redfern.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 Heather Redfern , Executive Director at The Cultch (Vancouver East Cultural Centre), where she recently oversaw a $14 million renovation and expansion to the historic theatre and cultural facility. Before coming to The Cultch, she was Executive Director of Vancouver’s Alliance for Arts and Culture, and Artistic Producer for Catalyst Theatre in Edmonton. She is a founding member of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival and is currently the Chair of the Koerner Foundation and a member of Studio 58’s advisory panel at Langara University.
Ms. Redfern won the City of Edmonton, Business and the Arts Award for Excellence in Arts Management (2000) and the Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award for sustained, inspired, and creative leadership in Canadian Theatre (2009). She has mentored several theatre companies from across the country through the Canada Council’s Flying Squad program and continues to work on innovative ways to promote Canadian Artists at home and abroad. Currently she is part of the team working on the restoration of the York Theatre on Commercial Drive.
Q: If we were introduced at a party – what are the three things you would be excited to share about yourself?
Where I work and I what I do there, that I have a beagle named Katie and that I have a beautiful grandson that I don’t see enough of because he lives in Toronto.
Q: If we checked your nightstand, what books would we find you reading right now?
Eiffel’s Tower by Jill Jonnes, Towards a Civil Society by Vaclav Havel, Dark Age Ahead by Jane Jacobs, The Pat Conroy Cookbook, The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, and a Donna Leon mystery novel (I can’t remember the title right now- but it is definitely set in Venice and features an opera singer and antiquities)
Q: If we checked your computer, what favourite sites would be bookmarked?
The Cultch, Vancity, Aeroplan, Air Canada, and The Cultch’s Google Calendar.
Q: How did you come to do what you do – was there a defining moment you can tell us about?
When I was in grade 10 at Killarney High School they hired a drama teacher and he brought us to the Cultch a lot. I lived in the theatre till I finished Grade 12, and from that time on I knew the theatre would be my profession.
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?
The first time we did an online advertising campaign with retargeting was last year for Ronnie Burkett. I was blown away by the technology and how the ad just kept popping up everywhere I was surfing.
Q: Lastly, what inspires you?
Great Architecture, amazing cities
People who are truly engaged in making the world a better placeThe Cultch currently has two fantastic shows on stage: Gold Mountain on the Historic Stage and Cozy Catastrophe in the Vancity Culture Lab.
They will also co-present Blackbird Theatre's much-anticipated Don Juan, running Dec. 26, 2012 to Jan. 26, 2013.