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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 spoke with two designers who are masters at understanding the needs, and distilling the personality of arts organizations into eye-catching marketing materials – be it a performance poster, rack card, or season brochure. We posed the question: What are three considerations when designing a poster for an arts-related event or performance?


Jeff_PinderJeff Pinder

Principal / Director, Burst Creative Group


01. Audience

Once we have received and reviewed the Project Brief from the client, we begin with very thorough research to gain a greater understanding of the target audience and discover the tone for the design. Once the research has been collected, we begin the brainstorming phase, which will assist us on the choice of typography, imagery & colours.


02. Typography

Typography is the most important element in a poster design because it plays the role in whether or not the target audience can understand your message. When choosing a typeface or typefaces we MUST be certain that it is easy to read up close and also from a distance. Hierarchy must also be considered; key points in the text such as the title, slogan, time and location should be larger in size compared to the rest of the text. We want the target audience to read the key points, as they will most likely have a short period of time to read the entire text.


03. Colour & Imagery

Colour is a very powerful tool when used with your brand colours as the target audience will instantly recognize who you are. We try to avoid colours that will compete for the audience’s attention as colour can have an affect on our emotions and feelings. As for imagery, placement is extremely important; you do not want to create visual tension or legibility issues when a line of text collides with the imagery.


Derek Von EssenDerek von Essen

Derek von Essen Creative


1. The who/what/where/when rule applies as much to the content of your poster as it does to the target audience you hope to reach. And you’ve only got that audience for mere seconds before the opportunity passes you [them] by. Make it count.


2. Cut through the visual clutter and over-stimuli of the street, and create something that’ll be seen by passersby. An Arts audience is not only accepting, but usually have a high tolerance for creative work that pushes boundaries. Composition, balance, focus, colour, imagery, typography… all aid in communicating.


3. Create a static visual piece to represent the energy one would feel from a live performance. A designer needs to be familiar—sometimes immersed in their subject to achieve that. A good fit is incomparable!


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Senior Communications Coordinator Sarah Ghosh is one of the newest team members to join the quickly growing LMPR family. Bringing her strong written and communications skills, passion for arts marketing, and love for Jazz music, Sarah looks forward to supporting the arts and culture community with her vast knowledge and experience. 


Tell us about yourself & how you got into arts marketing.


I have always been very passionate about English Literature and the performing arts.


I studied both English and music in University, and have worked as a professional vocalist. During my PR studies at Simon Fraser University, several instructors recommended that I go into arts marketing as they felt that my background in the performing arts, coupled with my past experience as a communications specialist would assist me in marketing artists in creative industries.


Upon graduation, I was fortunate to work as a Public Relations Consultant for a Cue Creative Consulting, and had several clients from prominent arts organizations in Vancouver.


I later became the internal PR Specialist and Managing Director for The Virtual Stage – a professional multimedia theatre company. Through this experience I discovered that I love helping artists to shine, and feel blessed to have found a career that combines both of my passions!




Where is the best place you have travelled & why?


My father is from Calcutta, India. He met my mother in England, and then they moved to Canada. Years later, I found myself working overseas and was able to travel to India to reconnect with my relatives. Everyone was very warm, welcoming and excited to introduce me to every aspect of Indian culture. It was a very special trip!


What was the first show you remember seeing as a child?


I went to see a professional production of Les Misérables with my family when I was 7 years old. I was absolutely spellbound.


If you could grab a coffee with one artist – living or dead – who would it be and why?


 I would love to grab a coffee with Ella Fitzgerald. She is my favourite Jazz vocalist of all time. Her voice is pure magic.


What are you most looking forward to in your new role at LMPR?


I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with my talented team members to dream up creative, informative and engaging marketing and media relations campaigns for our clients. I am also excited to attend all of our clients’ shows. It’s going to be a very exciting and busy year!


Lighting Round!

Morning person or night owl? Morning Person


Drink of choice? Chocolate Martini


Truth or dare? Dare


Favourite book? The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje.


Best Movie? There are too many great movies to list. That said, I love all the movies by Pedro Almodóvar. He is brilliant.


Power of Flight or Invisibility? Power of Flight!




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LMPR is throwing it back to that perennial school day assignment of, “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” In the first of a three part series Account Manager, Sarah Cruickshank, revisits her summer road trip to the scenic Oregon coast. 


Among several weekends away in 2015, my one big vacation was a road trip through Oregon – a holiday I eagerly anticipated. While not my first time in this beautiful state, the 10-days I spent journeying through Portland, Salem, McMinnville, and Troutdale – with a final stop in Seattle, Washington – were certainly some of my favourite. The food, scenery, and countless activities all contributed to an unforgettable time away – one I’ll cherish for a long time to come.


See some highlights from my journey, below.



photo 1

We made some strange new friends in our one night in Portland.



photo 2

Enjoyed some (unplanned) beach time in Pacific City, Oregon.



photo 3

Who knew that Oregon boasts its very own “Cruickshank Road”?!



photo 4

Just one example of the hundreds of original artworks that adorn the walls at the McMenamins Hotel Oregon in McMinnville, Oregon.



Photo 5

Edgefield is, without question, my new favourite vacation destination.



photo 6

The famous “red door” leading to one of Edgefield’s many scenic gardens.



photo 7

Room 215 is widely regarded as the most haunted room in Edgefield. Also where I lay my head for my stay! Lucky for me, no ghost sightings this time.



photo 8

On last hurrah at the Jay’s game in Seattle before heading back to Vancouver.




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Office Manager Monique Laaper recently became a member of the fast-growing LMPR team. Monique began her career in sciences and quickly switched over to theatre, citing passion as her influence. Monique’s love for the arts has flourished over the years, but another one of her passions, organizational processes, has been the driver of her career. Monique looks forward to bringing her wealth of business intelligence knowledge to LMPR.


Tell us about yourself & your passion for the arts.


I graduated from York University with a BA in Theatre. My university experience taught me to appreciate diversity in expression and the flexibility required to communicate that vision to the world.


Where is the best place you have travelled & why?


The Camino in Northern Spain because it is such a striking combination of spectacular scenery and rich cultural heritage.




What was the first show you remember seeing as a child?


My mother took me to see Karen Kain dance as Coppélia.


If you could grab a coffee with one artist – living or dead – who would it be and why? 


Robert Desrosiers because I would love to discuss how he developed his dance theatre company, Desrosiers Dance Theatre.


What are you most looking forward to in your new role at LMPR?


The pleasure of coming into work with a group of people so passionate about the arts!


Lighting Round!


Morning person or night owl? Morning person


Drink of choice? Chablis


Truth or dare? Truth


Favourite book? Bel Canto


Best Movie? Always


Power of Flight or Invisibility? Flight


Posted on by shona

People often ask us where we get our arts marketing information – though much of what we do comes from experience and creative team brainstorms, we do subscribe to e-newsletters that act as vital tools in our work. Not all of the e-newsletters are specific to arts marketing, but they are marketing tools that we are able to specifically apply to the arts.



National Arts Marketing NL

National Arts Marketing Project Invaluable, industry-specific tips, tricks, and case studies for arts marketers. They share everything from important research about such items as arts attendance to webinars that discuss social media trends. Subscribe here.





Marketing PR Filter - The latest happenings in Public Relations from across the country. From the makers of Marketing Magazine, Marketing PR Filter offers vital information on the latest trends, successful marketing campaigns, and more. Subscribe here.





AdFreak Daily - An engrossing array of eclectic ads and gimmicks that currently have people talking, and the internet typing. They share fascinating – albeit at times shocking – articles and ads, that might just offer some wacky inspiration for future campaigns. Subscribe here.





Colossal - Creative, inventive, and inspiring pieces about the latest and greatest in the art, design, and visual culture world. Though it is not marketing focused, Colossal offers a sneak peek into some extraordinarily creative art, and will keep you up to date with some of the goings on in the art world. Subscribe here.






Arts Journal - A glimpse into current affairs in the arts on a global scale. Arts Journal covers a wide range of topics from arts in the media to arts funding for festivals and organizations at large. A vital tool to keep up to date on arts news, and you can choose whether you receive it daily or weekly. Subscribe here.



What are some of your favourite e-newsletters – arts marketing or others? We’d love for you to share them with us in the comment section below. 



Posted on by sarah

As part of the 27th annual Dancing on the Edge festival, EDGE 2 was a captivating evening featuring the works of three talented and distinct choreographers: Meredith Kalaman, Alvin Erasga Tolentino, and Serge Bennathan. Joined by a long list of other Vancouver dance fans, we caught these innovative performances July 7, on stage at the Firehall Arts Centre.


Meredith Kalaman

Photo: Meredith Kalaman. Photo credit: Curtis Stodgell.

First up was Vancouver-based choreographer Meredith Kalaman’s work, Femme Fatales – a work-in-progress which began as part of the 2014 BC Buds Festival, and will enjoy its full-length premiere in 2016. As described in the program notes, Femme Fatales is an investigation into the accusations that lead to the murders of tens of thousands of women and men in North America and Europe, while pointing fingers at how far we have – and haven’t – come in our understanding of gender socialization.


Kalaman, who also performs with stunning grace, is joined on stage by Teghan Fedor and Kate Franklin. All three dancers boast exceptional technique, and each adopt a subtly distinct approach to the work – a strong choice that builds a pleasing dynamic between the dancers, and reminds the audience that each woman on stage brings individual stories and motivations. Overall, I most enjoyed the variety of textures and cadences in the choreography, with a standout moment being the portrayal of a series of well-known childhood games.


Photo: Alvin Erasga Tolentino. Photo credit: Kiku Hawkes

Photo: Alvin Erasga Tolentino. Photo credit: Kiku Hawkes

Next up was a powerful solo from Alvin Erasga Tolentino titled Tracing Malong, in which the choreographer and performer danced with the indigenous Filipino fabric Malong – a traditional tube of multi-coloured cotton cloth, which can be used to convey the social or economic status of the wearer. Erasga Tolentino danced with the Malong as though it was an extension of himself – finding innovative ways in which to control and manipulate the cloth, at one point even precariously balancing it on his head. Most striking about his performance however was his use of energy, juxtaposing fast movements with steps that had an almost taffy-like quality.


Photo: Hilary Maxwell & Karissa Barry.

Photo: Hilary Maxwell & Karissa Barry.

Concluding the performance was a second work-in-progress titled Just Words from Choreographer Serge Bennathan of Les Productions Figlio. Interjecting a series of combative and highly-physical duets from Karissa Barry and Hilary Maxwell was a selection of poems, written and spoken by Bennathan himself that spoke to both the profound and happy characteristics that sharpen an artist’s life. Following each section of choreography the dancers would retreat to the upstage corners, almost as two boxers would in between rounds. When Bennathan was speaking, audience members could close their eyes and get lost in his voice – so beautiful was both what he said, and the way he said it.


Dancing on the Edge ran July 2 – 11, 2015.