Trip to the land down under

April 12, 2014

I recently attended the outstanding Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM) in Brisbane. I?d never been to Australia before, and given it’s a 22-hour
journey, l decided to add on a few days to explore prior to the conference. I headed up to Byron Bay in New South Wales for a few days where the beaches are spectacular, and the heat was most welcome
after the cold of Vancouver. l spent my time exploring on foot and swimming in the warm ocean trying to push away the thought of sharks, which lurked at the back of my mind. After a few days of R&R,
with all limbs intact, l headed back to Brisbane to attend theAPAM conference where l connected with artists and colleagues all
with the same intent: to create and present outstanding work for our various audiences.

The conference was held predominately at the Brisbane Powerhouse, which was originally a New Farm powerhouse, designed by Architect Roy Rusden Ogg and commissioned by the newly formed Greater
Brisbane City Council.  It went into service as the first council-operated power station built in Brisbane in June
1928. In 2000, the decommissioned Brisbane Powerhouse was developed into an arts and cultural hub located sitting on the Brisbane River. The venue offers an array of performing arts, visual arts,
festivals, and free community events. This cultural hub was a beautiful location for the event with numerous performance spaces, gathering places for meetings and a lovely outdoor area that invited
attendees to connect and discuss the various aspects of creating outstanding work and the possibilities of international touring. One of the bonuses of the location was that l could reach it daily by
taking the water taxi along the river.

Australia has amazing Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) companies who create innovative, engaging, beautiful and sometimes challenging work. The many artists l connected with shared their
creativity and incredible work with me so much so that l could program a whole Festival of Australian work. Some of the highlights were meeting new artists, spending time withTerrapin Puppet Theatre
who has an exciting show to bring to us in 2015 and to connect with the Australian Arts Council who understand the importance of supporting their artists through
international touring.


?Skywhale ? by Patricia Piccinini

The Aussie?s were delightful hosts taking care of me as though l were family. It was a delight and a privilege to be invited to attend the conference. I gained knowledge, made new friendships,
connected with existing colleagues and friends and most importantly felt energized and excited by the work and the artists l connected with. Stay tuned, as some of this work will make its way to the
Vancouver International Children’s Festival over the next few years.

And of course a trip down under would not be complete without meeting some Kangaroos (above) and Koalas (below).