Posted on by Julia

The Client:

The world’s foremost all-male ballet company, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, celebrated their 40th anniversary and 30 years since their last Vancouver performance at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on January 24, 2015.


The Campaign:

Laura Murray Public Relations was hired to provide a full-service marketing and communications campaign for Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo’s much-anticipated return to Vancouver.


Campaign components included digital marketing, out of the box promotions, advertising, eye-catching creative, consulting, as well as a full media relations campaign that secured high levels of television and editorial coverage to inform and remind Vancouver audiences of the beauty of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.




Xtra West Cover 









Les Trockadero Extra West ArticleXtra West Inside Spread











Georgia Straight
















Window Display at The Dance Shop        In-Store Contest at The Bay



The Results:

A completely sold-out house and at capacity crowd, at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.


Posted on by sarah

Both immensely enjoyable and deeply touching, PostSecret: The Show is a profound journey into our innermost secrets – our joys, struggles, and deepest thoughts that are rarely discussed in the light of day, let alone the spotlight at centre stage.


Photo: Kahlil Ashanti, Nicolle Nattrass, Ming Hudson

Photo: Kahlil Ashanti, Nicolle Nattrass, Ming Hudson

Running until February 7, this poignant work is created from the popular website PostSecret – also made into a successful series of books – which shares anonymous secrets mailed in on postcards and other eclectic belongings, moderated by Founder Frank Warren. An accessible performance, enjoyable by both long-time theatre enthusiasts and new audience members, PostSecret: The Show beautifully intertwines uplifting moments of spirit and strength with periods of overwhelming sadness as a reflection upon humanity and our profound connections to one another.


First debuting in North Carolina in April 2014, this Firehall performance – a Canadian premiere – features local performers Ming Hudson and Nicolle Nattrass, alongside Vancouver’s Kahlil Ashanti, who appeared as a member of the original cast. These three, together with moving musical accompaniment from guitarist Mario Vaira, were not so much actors in this performance, but more so storytellers guiding their audience on a journey through a varied collection of innermost secrets.


Photo: Kahlil Ashanti

Photo: Kahlil Ashanti

This work features a series of authentic postcard secrets via video projection, intermingling those that are spirited, cheeky, and uplifting, with those that are profoundly darker. While despondent, these downtrodden postcards still offer a bright side, evoking an overwhelming sense of compassion and hope that the anonymous writers of which have found a resolution to the difficulties they onetime faced. Most compelling are the moments that offer deeper insight into the story of a postcard through letters, which chronicle the compassionate acts that followed as a result of so many responding in support.


For those questioning if PostSecret: The Show is right for you, I can – without question – recommend that it is.


PostSecret: The Show runs until February 7, 2015 at the Firehall Arts Centre. 


Posted on by Julia

Charlie Hebdo Attacked

French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo suffered a brutal attack on January 6, where 12 people were killed. The violence targeting the Paris based publication comes in response to a cartoon published just hours before, depicting a leader of the terrorist group ISIS.


Among the dead are the publication’s editor, Stephane Charbonnier who was an outspoken defender of the right to free speech. Amidst earlier threats, Charbonnier remained strong in his stance that free speech must be maintained despite the danger posed.


Charlie Hebdo


Vancouver Street Mural Named Second Most Popular of 2014

Vancouver based street artist, iHeart has made StreetArtNews‘ list of most popular pieces of 2014 with Nobody Likes Me. Ironically, the piece pokes fun at modern society’s desire for social media validation.


Nobody Likes Me


Broadway’s Box office Boom

Concluding the year with a highly successful week of holiday performances, Broadway named 2014 it’s highest grossing calendar year yet. This record breaking box office achievement is attributed to popular productions Wicked and The Lion King among others, helping boost overall attendance to 94% of total capacity over Christmas and New Years.




Jian Ghomeshi Court Date Set

Jian Ghomeshi will be starting his new year with three new charges of sexual assault, totalling his current charges to six. The former CBC radio host is facing one charge of overcoming resistance and seven charges of sexual assault, following his November arrest. Pleading not guilty, Ghomeshi’s next court appearance is scheduled for Feb 4.


Jian Ghomeshi


Mermaid Academy Makes a Splash in Montreal

AquaMermaid Academy is making mer-myth a reality, thanks to founder Marielle Chartier Henault. Providing professional classes that appeal to a variety of ages, the academy offers everything from fitness to themed parties. The Montreal based school is looking to expand to a variety of different locations.


Mermaid School


Posted on by shona

With Christmas just around the corner, the LMPR team is pleased to share part two of the very special #TBT edition of On the Page.


This week we discuss two stories with characters who have their ice cold, winter hearts warmed by the love and compassion of the Christmas spirit.


Jesse Tanaka – How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Suess





This book of course needs no introduction, a Dr. Seuss classic.


How do you teach spoiled kids the true meaning of Christmas? You simply break into their house at night and rob them of course. Thanks for teaching us an important, although somewhat terrifying, life lesson Mr. Grinch.


I love the imagination that went into his stories and illustrations. It’s amazing to think of how many young minds Dr. Seuss has influenced over the years.







Brian Paterson – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens



CAROL-01 copy

For this, I’m going to throw back to my 2011 review of Pacific Theatre’s A Christmas Carol, where I declared:



Of all the festive stories we return to at this time of year, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol must surely be the best. It is a secular tale assuring us that even the coldest, cruelest person is capable of change, and celebrates the remarkable good we can achieve in our lifetimes.



I stand by these words today and will happily enjoy any interpretation: whether set on page, performed on stage, or performed by Muppets (Full disclosure: Especially if it’s performed by Muppets).



Posted on by sarah

Ask The Expert is a series from Laura Murray Public Relations that calls upon the expertise of arts and marketing specialists to provide insight and wisdom – to all industry professionals that read our blog – on how we can do what we do better. No matter what stage of our career, we are always keen to grow and hone our craft from those in the know.


For this edition of Ask The Expert, we connected with social media strategists working in arts and culture – online gurus with the know-how to apply social media as a tool to build awareness and understanding around a performance or event.


We posed the question: “How do you use social media to grow audiences?”


Sammie GoughSammie Gough

Marketing & Communications Director, Firehall Arts Centre


I love the way you can use social media to connect with and build community, both with people who see shows, artists, and local organizations.


We primarily use it to interact with audiences and share curated info, rather than direct selling. As a general rule, I find you’ll sell tickets as a result of using social media well, but won’t do a great job with social media by trying to JUST sell tickets. Especially on Twitter, it’s important share relevant info and not just talk about yourself. Tools like lists are fantastic for picking out relevant content quickly.


Using visuals and customizing them to a campaign is important - Shaw Festival are great at doing this, as are Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Tools like Photoshop, or a custom platform like Canva are useful for this. For our dance festival, Instagram is a fantastic way to post beautiful dance images. Last festival we had a few local artists curate Instagram content for the festival in the lead up, which was really effective for cross pollination.


Alice KoAlice Ko

Digital Media Strategist, Ballet BC


We’re really focused on humanizing our brand. We’ve ‘lifted the veil’ over the past year around the studio and during the performances to make our online community feel they are a part of our entire journey – that they are not just spectators.


Audiences and followers love interacting with us online as we’ve been showing them what it’s like behind-the-scenes – something they haven’t been exposed to before. Whether we’re giving sneak peeks into wardrobe, rehearsal – or even what our dancers eat for lunch (Instagram is great for #bts moments!) – we interact with our community closely and at a human level by truly listening and responding to their comments. It’s important to make our insiders feel valued – both in the theatre and online – and so we take their feedback seriously.


Brian PatersonBrian Paterson

Head of Digital, Laura Murray Public Relations


The decision for an audience member to attend a show is rarely instantaneous. For the vast majority of arts attendees, it’s a process that moves from general awareness to curiousity to desire to, ultimately, ticket purchase.


Once you understand this process, you realize that arts marketing isn’t so much about telling people to see a show – but giving them reasons to. This is what guides our use of social media.


When applying social media to audience growth, we try to take some authentic element of the final artistic experience – whether it’s a visual aesthetic, intellectual argument, emotional texture, or otherwise – and find interesting ways of conveying it in articles, photos, open questions, and direct engagement with members of the community.


The amazing thing is that – when you capture the energy of a work just right – it can actually improve an audience member’s total experience, as they arrive in the theatre emotionally and intellectually pre-calibrated for the performance ahead.


Posted on by shona

The Christmas season has a very special way of making you feel like a little kid again. So for this month’s On the Page, the LMPR team decided to go back a few years and do a #TBT of our favourite children’s Christmas reads.


In part one we discuss classic tales of Old Saint Nick, the comical dangers of looking for hidden gifts, and the story a small Christmas tree.


Rachel Lowry – The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore



the-night-beforeWhat better way to introduce the magical tale of St. Nick and his eight tiny reindeer than by reading Clement C. Moore’s famous 1823 poem, The Night Before Christmas?


This year marks a special occasion for my extended family as my brother and his wife welcomed a little boy last January – a first grandchild for my parents and my very first nephew!


I am looking forward to reading to him from Jan Brett’s version of the story with its exquisite, Victorian illustrations depicting the cherished imagery of carefully hung stockings and cozy, sleeping children enjoying delightful sugar plum dreams.




Shona Wercholuk – Finding Christmas by Robert Munsch 




As a child, Robert Munsch was my favourite author – even still I greatly admire his work.


Quirky stories, fantastic illustrations, and perfectly structured repetition – his stories were always like a catchy song I just couldn’t get out of my head.


So in 2012, when he came out with his first Christmas story, I couldn’t help but read it. Finding Christmas follows a young Julie who, every year, finds the presents her parents hide. This year, however, she can’t find them anywhere and finds herself stuck on the roof of the family home.


I loved this book, not only, because it includes all of the qualities of a typical Munsch book, but it reminds me of myself – always trying to find the gifts my parents had hid.




Sarah Cruickshank - A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz



Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 8.58.07 AMA Charlie Brown Christmas is, for children and adults alike, the quintessential holiday story.


Adapted from the televised special, this holiday-themed picture book features some of the most famous animated characters of all time - Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang: Snoopy, Linus, Lucy and his sister Sally.



For myself and so many others, A Charlie Brown Christmas has held a special place in my heart since my childhood. To this day, in addition to an annual re-reading of this beloved story, Charlie Brown-inspired decorations still adorn my home around the holidays, including one sparse little tree fixed with a single, oh-too-heavy red bulb.




Check back in next week for Part Two of LMPR’s #TBT edition of On the Page