Our Grand Theatre Presents (GTP) season subscribers are those patrons who purchase four or more tickets to GTP performances. Our subscribers are an incredible resource and through their feedback they allow us to make the GTP experience better for all patrons.
We would like to thank our subscribers for taking the time to fill out our recent subscriber survey. We would like to make some changes based on your feedback and would like to address some common themes that came out in the survey.
1. Why don’t you have a classical music series anymore?
In an effort to support the foremost classical artists presented by our friends at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, we felt that the GTP program should take a step back from its previous classical programming model. We strive to ensure that the GTP series complements existing programming in the Kingston community and encourage our classical music lovers to support the Kingston Symphony who regularly performs at both the Grand Theatre and the “Isabel”.
2. Why don’t ushers ask patrons to turn off cell phones?
Our ushers and ticket takers are volunteers at the Grand Theatre. They are a tremendous asset to our organization and the City of Kingston. One of the duties of the volunteer ushers is to assist patrons in finding their seats comfortably and handing out programs. At the beginning of each show there is an announcement reminding our audiences to note location of fire exits and to turn off their cell phones. As many cell phones now have recording devices and cameras it is almost impossible to manage their usage while in the theatre. Often artists themselves encourage their usage to share with social media. If a patron is being distracted by a cell phone then we would ask that they notify an usher who will then alert our Front of House Coordinator. The Front of House Coordinator will gladly address the situation.
3. The spacing of performances seems to be sporadic and close to other shows like the Kingston Symphony. Why not space them out a bit more?
When programming the GTP season, jduggan [at] cityofkingston.ca (Jayson Duggan), the Performing Arts Manager, tries to space out the season based on the number of GTP performances, as well as the style, genre and budgetary impact of each presentation. In an effort to secure dates with national and international performers, it is often the artist’s availability and touring schedule that dictates performance opportunities for the GTP season. Jayson maintains partnerships with local venues and regional theatres in an effort to avoid artist tour conflicts and encourage open communication.
4. Why is there no summer programming at the Grand?
Although, the Grand Theatre has always been open for rental bookings in the summer months, a new programming initiative was unveiled in 2015 to animate the theatre. The Kingston Theatre Alliance launched the Kick & Push Festival, which included one month of programming at the Grand Theatre including performances, masterclasses, a summer camp and more. You can find out more about the 2016 Kick & Push Festival on its website.
5. We would prefer to purchase our subscriber tickets online. Is this possible?
We often ask our new subscribers to come into the box office so they can discuss their seating preferences and find out about the benefits of subscribing from one of our box office staff. However, subscriptions are always available to purchase online as of the date of our announcement – we will be announcing our 2016-17 season on May 20. As a current subscriber, you will be able to purchase subscriptions two weeks before they go on sale to the public, but we aren’t sure if we will be able to do that electronically, but we are working on it for next season!
Pre-sale announcements of new shows only go out via email, so please sign up for emails at http://kingstongrand.ca/newsletter.
6. We would like to see the support of Canadian artists as a priority.
Canadian artists have always been the foundation of the GTP program. The 2015-2016 season featured 26 Canadian artists representing over 63% of our GTP performances and representing a variety of genres including blues, comedy, young audience theatre, cirque, rock, professional theatre, dance, jazz and country. Presenting new exciting Canadian artists along with established Canadian performers will continue to be the hallmark of a well-balanced program that features both national and international performers.