Bigger Than BIG
Over the last year, together with our Artist BIG cohort (40 artists who are receiving a minimum financial guarantee over the next three years), we have had many conversations about requirements for new types of leadership and new governance structures through which to build a stronger, healthier theatre ecology. And although we have provided a number of artistic producing internships over the years, we needed something bigger that would not only give the next generation of curatorial leaders a welcome environment to formulate their voice, but, together, affect a much bigger change – says Artistic Producer Arkady Spivak.
Bigger Than BIG will provide seven emerging artistic leaders with an opportunity to work together on new managerial visions, and fresh ideas of governance structures and support systems. At the same time, each participant will develop an artistic practice, a company, or a program of their own. For example, they may also wish to develop their own theatre company under the auspices of the Bigger Than BIG program, be equipped to join an existing organization as an artistic director, or choose to apply the knowledge in a different career path altogether. Artists will be supported with professional salaries in their work, and additional budgets as may be required by their projects.
Taking advantage of this project, TIFT will also re-assign its own staff structure, for the first time since the company’s founding 20 years ago. Michael Torontow will step into the role of Artistic Director of TIFT’s existing scope of work. Torontow is a long-time leading actor, director and project manager with TIFT and beyond, who is also one of the seven inaugural Bigger than BIG artists. Torontow will report to the Founding Artistic Producer, Arkady Spivak, who will move into a CEO role, responsible for the overall strategic direction of Talk Is Free Theatre and Bigger Than BIG.
Our Board of Directors is thrilled to support the Bigger Than BIG program and to welcome this cohort of artists. This project is another example of TIFT’s commitment to celebrating artists as the multi-faceted creators that they are, and providing platforms for an important diversity of voices. With these artists working in tandem we are confident that Talk Is Free Theatre will not only remain one of Canada’s most innovative theatre companies, but will further transform the paradigm of all that a theatre company can be, and can encompass. -Betony Main, TIFT Board of Directors