Vancouver’s Brief Encounters show returns after loss of grant funding
A Vancouver multidisciplinary performing arts show has returned after a funding crisis last spring prompted organizers to indefinitely postpone the series.
Six pairs of performers will take to the stage for Brief Encounters 18, which is scheduled at Performance Works on Granville Island from September 27 to 29.
The creators of Brief Encounters, Tomorrow Collective Arts Society, cancelled the planned April show after the Canada Council for the Arts denied its request for grant funding.
Brief Encounters had received grant funding from the council over the previous five years, Kristina Lemieux, Tomorrow Collective’s general manager, told the Straight.
For 2011, the council provided the group with $30,000, which accounted for around 40 percent of the series’ annual budget, Lemieux said.
Organizers have now decided to bring back the show following a successful fundraising blitz, she said.
“We went crazy fundraising and trying to find new grant bodies to apply for and various other things,” Lemieux said. “We are not out of the woods yet. We are still taking a big risk here hoping to do well with ticket sales and to also be able to get a few more donations during the show.”
Lemieux praised donors and local artists for their support, and said her group will now be “looking at more sustainable ways of doing this kind of work.”
Brief Encounters 18 will feature a range of artists and creative minds who were paired up and given tight deadlines to create unique performance pieces. The participants include a drag queen, dance artist, musician, astrophysicist, filmmaker, and others.
“You’re seeing artists come together who’ve only had two weeks to get to know each other and create a five- to fifteen-minute performance piece,” Lemieux said. “It’s really interdisciplinary, which is so valuable in Vancouver because there’s so little of that going on in a large scale like this.”
Brief Encounters, launched in 2005, typically holds two main shows each year. Scaled-down versions of the show were also held earlier this year.