Saskatoon Artist Promotes Reciprocity with The Art Card

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Discount card to stimulate audience attendance within artist community

Local theatre professional, Kristen Holfeuer, has started something in Saskatoon that other artists should know about. After attending a lecture by Nova Scotian artist Mary Vingoe, Holfeuer left mulling over the idea of reciprocity among artists and how that often begins with community engagement. When approached by Cynthia Dyck from On the Boards Staging Company, Holfeuer shared her thoughts and together they came up with The Art Card.

The Art Card is a performance discount card that is available to professional artists. Its purpose is “to stimulate audience attendance within our own artist community by making live performance more affordable and also by paying respect to fellow artists by offering this discount – it’s another way of saying we value you and that is why your attendance is important to us,” explains Holfeuer.

The website was launched in September and now every major theatre company in Saskatoon is participating in this initiative, including Persephone Theatre, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, White Birch Ballet and the The Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. Holfeuer discovered that, “each [company] has a core audience but all are looking to expand and surprisingly all need help pulling in audience from the arts community. So it sounded like we had in fact come up with a truly reciprocal project. By offering discounts the [companies] could, hopefully, access and pull in an audience that was maybe always curious about their work but just wasn’t making it out to the shows.”

How does it work? Show your Art Card, which can be purchased for $10, and photo ID when purchasing tickets from participating companies, and you will receive a discount of up to 25 per cent.

Not sure if you qualify as a “professional artist”? Canada Council for the Arts defines a professional artist as someone who has had specialized training in their artistic discipline, is committed to devoting time to their art, and who is recognized as a professional by their peers.

Holfeuer wants people to know The Art Card is not limited to theatre professionals. Musicians, visual artists, crafters, anyone from Saskatoon’s arts community will be welcomed into the fold.

The next shows participating in The Art Card advantage are King Lear, Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy, produced by Theatre Naught. It runs from Dec. 28th- Jan. 12th in Persephone’s Backstage Stage. In January Llewelyn Productions is staging the world premiere of Girls! Girls! Girls! presented by Live Five. It runs from Jan. 17-20 & 24-27 at The Refinery on Dufferin.

For more info on The Art Card, and to see the full list of participating companies, visit www.artcard.ca.