The Magnetic North Theatre Festival ended this past weekend. I've been to the last 4 or 5 in Ottawa and for me this was definitely one of the best ones yet. Things I loved:
- Of the 10 productions included in the festival 4 were from Ottawa. FOUR! I remember years when we would be lucky to get one.
- All the shows were great! One stood out for me in particular.
- 15 Industry Spots were sponsored for local Ottawa artists.
- The partnership with the Canada Dance Festival meant that I got to see 2 shows that made me think I may be a "dance person" after all.
- Although I missed the Club Saw Festival Bar from years past, I was happy that the NAC 4th Stage had cheaper drink rates than what the NAC would normally offer.
- Bar activities like THUNK Theatre's Lost & Find Project and Therapy Sessions with Self-Proclaimed Expert Emelia Symington Fedy made for a fun night out.
- Great panel discussions like Can We Make Gender Equity More Than An Intellectual Exercise? made for awesome conversations.
- Inspiring Pitch session.
- I saw posters for the festival everywhere!
- The Saskatoon contingent. I think more cities/provinces should band together and send their artists to the festival.
- Partnering up with Soup Ottawa for an event promoting local arts projects. Congratulations to the Fresh Meat DIY Festival for walking away with the prize that night!
Things to think about:
- While for the most part I enjoyed the One-to-One Sessions, I think I preferred the open Marketplace that happened the last time the festival was in town. There were a limited number of presenters at this year's festival, so it was at times difficult to get face time. Then while having your One-to-One time, you might discover that you were not a proper fit after all. With the Marketplace, presenters could walk by, see something that catches their eye and know immediately if it was a good fit. My 2 cents on that.
- We had some great meals but the breakfast and lunch sessions left a lot to be desired if you had any kind of dietary restrictions. I often found myself leaving to go buy something else.
- The street event prior to the opera was confusing.
Really? Those were the biggest criticisms I could come up with? Congratulations Mag North, you did all kinds of alright this year. Hopefully I will be seeing you in Whitehorse next summer!