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On our charitable application Sonus Stage Productions put forth a mandate to advance the
Canadian arts industry by providing an outlet for Canadian artists, mentorship programs
for our up-and-comers and to develop educational outreach for our youth. An impressive
list, but no more impressive than many other charitable organizations out there. So what
was is that we thought was so important and unique about those three ideas that we
needed to develop Sonus?
I have been an actor and musician around Toronto for four years, and in that time I
have run into an incredible amount of talent. Canada may have some of the top actors,
musicians, technicians, writers and designers in the world, and yet most of them are
not working, or aren’t working consistently. The very few well-paying jobs that are
available are going to our experienced elite, who paid their dues years ago, and are now,
deservedly, reaping their reward. But the number of mid-level companies that used to
give new artists their start has dwindled with the falling economy and our national social
change in focus. There is amateur theatre and a few big-box theatres (though many of
them have found it more economically sound to hire American touring groups than
Canadian casts), but not enough in between to introduce our new talent to our established
Sonus Stage is one company trying to fill that gap.
I believe the best way to improve is to always work with people better than you, so
how do we encourage people who were top of their class to make that leap; that huge
improvement, from excellent theatre graduate to seasoned professional? Stick them with
professionals. Sonus Stage Productions will bring in a strong mix of talented newcomers
and outstanding, established, Canadian artists in an effort to close the gap. This will be
a flourishing ground for new talent and a key step in their journey to a successful career.
And that’s the important thing; that Sonus is part of the journey, not the destination. I’d
love to open up a Dancap program someday and see at least three people in the show
listing Sonus Stage’s name under past productions. Sonus Stage Productions will always
be focused on mentoring new artists which means we’ll always be changing and growing;
never becoming stagnant.
Which brings us to the educational portion of Sonus Stage’s mandate. I’ve worked
with organizations before that wanted to provide opportunities to youth to explore and
grow through work in the theatre. Theatre encourages both teamwork and individual
achievement; it helps build confidence in a safe environment and it helps youth find their
own voice. I’ve seen wallflowers end up joining the student council, and people who
were told they weren’t smart enough to do anything beyond high school go on to post-
secondary and to very rewarding careers. No, they don’t all become artists, but that’s not
the point. We help them gain the confidence and tools to do whatever they decide they
want to do.
It’s this combination of dedication to our country’s future through our youth and passion
about Canada’s artists that will make Sonus Stage Productions stand out. And I can’t wait
to see how far we can go.