Flushing Town Hall Visits the City of Festivals

By Ellen Kodadek20150705_192155

Many people don’t realize that I wear two hats at Flushing Town Hall – as the Executive Director and as the Artistic Director.  This second hat has taken me to fun and exciting international festivals where I look for programs to bring to Flushing Town Hall.

I recently attended part of the contemporary circus festival in Montreal, http://montrealcompletementcirque.com/. My hotel rooms and tickets were funded in part by the Quebec Government, which has been very generous in supporting Flushing Town Hall and my travel to see programs in Montreal.

I love Montreal – its nickname is “the City of Festivals” and they bring international festivals of an amazing variety all year long to this beautiful city.

When I consider programs to bring to Flushing Town Hall, I have to factor in many considerations: the cost of the artists; hotel costs; hospitality; marketing; equipment rental; piano tuning; staffing; will the piece fit on the stage (I can never remember our dimensions in meters!); how much can we charge for tickets; how does the piece fit into our season; who do we feel is the audience?; and so on….

This was the first time I attended the contemporary circus festival. Most of the programs I saw were way too big for our theatre, but I did see a very fun piece from Finland that would fit on our stage. I am in conversation with the artist management now – but it involves shipping a piano from Finland, so the costs might be way too expensive, and require hanging a chandelier for the performer to hang from the ceiling, so I have to check the weight allowances with an architect and our technical director.

My next trip to Quebec will be this Fall when I attend the Rimourski Jazz Festival as an invited guest (with all expenses paid) in advance of Flushing Town Hall’s Montreal Jazz Weekend on October 2 and 3, 2015, with the Alain Bedard Quintet (founder of Effendi Records) and the Yves Leveille Quartet.

Below are several photos of the contemporary circus festival. It took place at multiple venues, both indoors and outdoors all around Montreal. Oh, and did I mention that we had a VIP behind-the-scenes- tour of Cirque du Soleil?  Now that was amazing – but, sorry, no photos allowed!

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