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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


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It’s the most wonderful time of the year and it’s about to get even better as the Biltmore Cabaret presents The Wonderful World of Disney –  Tribute Show.


On December 17 at 8pm, prepare to embark on a shining, shimmering, splendid journey as more than ten of Vancouver’s best musicians team up to perform Disney classics.




The stage will be filled with a wide variety of talent – from powerhouse blues vocalist Colleen Rennison, to the distinct sounds of Mother Mother’s Ryan Guldemond, to the soothing voices of boy/girl duo Rococode. The eclectic range of performers will bring their own style and character to some Disney’s most beloved songs, making for some collaborations that are sure to be extraordinarily magical.


The evening will be hosted by indie-folk band Hunting, a group made up of diverse, locally sourced musicians including Paul Rigby, Jessica Yliruusi, producer Bradley Ferguson, co-producer/drummer John Raham, and violinist Jesse Zubot.  Their sound is often a blend of melancholy and ambience – so it will be a pleasure to experience their take on these adored classics.


LMPR team members’ love of Disney aside – this night is about more than happily ever after. Vancouver has a tight knit local music community, so one of the highlights of the evening will be to see these talented musicians joined on stage by not only peers, but friends. To see a group of people doing what they love, joined by their close friends, is one of the most rewarding things about going to see live music.


You can buy tickets for the show here and you can request your favourite Disney songs for them to play on the night here. The night is sure to make you feel like Peter Pan: you’ll never want to grow up.



Posted on by sarah

At once visually engaging and immensely thoughtful, things near & far is a journey through time and movement, joined by a consideration of relationships, both on stage and off. Presented by the Firehall Arts Centre, this captivating performance has been an anticipated event in the Vancouver dance community – and rightly so – given last night’s opening night audience, a who’s who of the Vancouver dance scene.


things near & far_1

Photo: Ron Stewart, Anne Cooper, Ziyian Kwan. Photo credit: Chris Randle.

To understand this work is to appreciate the backstory of its creation. Celebrated dancers Anne Cooper, Ziyian Kwan, and Ron Stewart – three contemporaries working side-by-side for many years but never together as a trio – have, at long last, come together for a unified performance. Things near & far incorporates two individual works, both aptly named Dwelling, with choreography from 2014 Walter Carsen prizewinner Tedd Robinson, and 605 Collective’s Artistic Co-Director Josh Martin.


Martin’s opening work is a singular celebration of movement in its many guises, shapes, and forms. The dancers moved effortlessly through the eclectic combination of steps, some gestural and others much more physical. While always individualized in the execution of their movements, there was no questioning their unity as a group – always connected in their intention as though they were a single dancer, moving isolated parts of the body in unique ways. In this work, Dwelling took on the metaphysical role of the movement itself, housed inside each of the dancer’s bodies.


things near & far_2

Photo: Ron Stewart, Anne Cooper, Ziyian Kwan. Photo credit: Chris Randle.

Looking to Robinson’s creation in the second half, the term ‘dwelling’ took on a much more literal role, as the dancers incorporated various props to create a physical location in which to ‘dwell.’ With an ever-investigative movement quality, Robinson’s work repeatedly returned to the idea of balance. He integrated two precarious-looking stools on which the dancers would delicately suspend themselves upon that, when coupled with Stewart’s gentle act of balancing multiple wooden beams across his body, and Cooper’s poised stance balancing beams on her head, made for an impressive display.


With several more showings, things near & far is one performance every local dance enthusiast should aim to experience.


Things near & far runs at the Firehall Arts Centre until December 6. For tickets, visit


Posted on by sarah

The Client:

The Eastside Culture Crawl is an annual four-day arts festival that involves visual artists of all disciplines opening their studios and homes to the public. The event began in 1997 with just 45 visual artists in three Strathcona area studio buildings. Now, in its 18th year, the Crawl has become a staple to Vancouver culture with over 450 participating artists and more than 20,000 attendees.


The Campaign:

Laura Murray Public Relations was hired to secure high-levels of media coverage for this large-scale, visual arts event in television, radio, print, and online publications. Activities included writing & distributing a press release, crafting, sending & uploading event listings, pitching local journalists, coordinating interviews and television shoots.


The Results:

The Eastside Culture Crawl campaign was immensely successful with interviews, live demonstrations, articles, previews, reviews, and contests appearing in print, broadcast, and online outlets across the Lower Mainland.


Highlights include: City TV’s Breakfast Television, go! Vancouver, JoyTV, CBC Radio-Canada, News 1130, CBC’s North by Northwest, Fairchild Radio, The Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun, The Province, The Georgia Straight (cover story), Where Vancouver, Vancouver Courier, The Westender, North Shore News, Vancity Buzz, Miss604, Montecristo Magazine (online), Scout Magazine, Vancouver Magazine (online).


Campaign Highlights


Click on the image to read each article.


Georgia Straight Cover


Georgia Straight_Brad     Georgia Straight_Esther


Globe & Mail


Vancouver Courier     North Shore News




Breakfast Television






Vancity Buzz     ViewTheVibe


Miss604     ModernMix Vancouver