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The Pride In Art Festival Tourism Essay

1734 words (7 pages) Essay in Tourism

5/12/16 Tourism Reference this

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The scope of the festival will reach throughout the University of Toronto Scarborough campus, whereas everyone attending will be informed through various media outlets (such as social networking websites, posters, radio, and word-of-mouth). The “Pride In Art” Festival will be held annually at the beginning of November to commemorate Diversity Week. The festival will feature a wide array of works from queer students of various programs while aiming to present the campus as a hub for creativity and inter-disciplinary innovation. In the first year of the festival, attendees can expect to experience approximately 5 projects spread outdoors throughout the campus grounds, including interactive installations, exhibitions, and a theatre stage. The main act will be La-Nai Gabriel (a prominent figure in the LGBTQ community in Toronto). The festival will also include 2 visual artists, 1 music major, as well as 2 drama students (working together for a drama performance). The event will take place on November 12th and will run from noon to 8:00pm (the visual art pieces will be left running for a week, whereas the performances will be a one day event) and will take place outdoors. [1] 

The event will be governed by a reliable student body consisting of students from the VPAC13- Planning and Project Management course as well as volunteers from the LGBTQ Committee at UTSC. The specific roles that will be occupied during the event are outlined in Appendix A: Organizational Chart.

In order to develop this project and plan it accordingly, we will look at previous UTSC arts events, shows, and exhibits, as well as previous University of Toronto LGBTQ events to assist us in efficiently and effectively executing the festival. These will include events such as; Art Side Out, DMG Exhibitions, Gallery 1265 Exhibitions, LGBTQ events, and etc.

The stakeholders will include the student body attending UTSC, all UTSC employees (including faculty), the community, the artists involved, the LGBTQ committee, the sponsors, and potential funders.

The short-term(this year) and long-term(following years) sponsors we seek out will be TD Canada Trust, 103.9 Proud FM, PizzaPizza, and LGBTQ Committee at UTSC, DMG Gallery, Pride Toronto, AMSA( Arts Management Students Association) and Inside Out. We will also be seeking out media sponsors and partners, including CP24, NOW Magazine, Toronto Star,, and OUT TV. The short-term and long-term sponsorships are ambitious but it is important to keep in mind that the megacity of Toronto is very well supported in terms of its acceptance of the LGBTQ community. [2] Most of the sponsors listed have also previously supported the annual Pride Festival and therefore have a track record that we can use to our advantage. [3] 

In order to proceed with the event, we first have to attend to the triple constraints of organizing any function. These include time, cost and scope. Due to the fact that we are only a few weeks away from November, the scope of the event will be narrowed down. This is precisely why the first year of the festival will only include 5 productions. The time constraint also puts a definite restriction on the cost aspect of the event. The last-minute fundraising will have to be conducted through approaching the Students Union (they provide grants for organizations at UTSC and we could potentially record the LGBTQ group as the applicant), through donations (that we can request from small businesses in the community as well as some of the sponsors), raffles, and etc. The cost value of the event must be narrowed down to accommodate these restrictions. We will need to heavily rely on volunteering (organizers, artists and performers) as well as donations. These constraints could create critical issues in running the event and thus a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis must be conducted.

The strengths of the event would include the fact that UTSC is a large community of people and although there is little time to plan and execute the festival, marketing the event should not be difficult. Due to the fact that the exhibitions will be in public places, there will be a lot of ongoing traffic throughout the day. Another strength would be the fact that the LGBTQ community is well connected in the city and queer oriented websites, as well as other social networking websites are consistently updated with new events (and they are free to use). A further strength would include inviting a high profile queer artist to the festival ( La-Nai Gabriel with her band). This will draw outsider crowds.

The weaknesses of the event are fairly obvious and include the three constraints. Without the proper planning and organization of the event, the execution can result in a catastrophic outcome. Without the proper time, and money invested, the scope of the festival will significantly be narrowed down. The following weakness could be considered either a weakness or strength. In our case, due to the time constraint, it will likely fall under weaknesses. The festival is taking place during Diversity Week. At this time there will likely be other events running simultaneously with ours. If given the right amount of time we could coordinate our show times with other planners in order for us not to step on anyone’s toes (and suffer in attendance numbers). However, if we had enough time, we could even collaborate and cross promote the other events alongside our own.

The opportunities would include creating a safe space to engage communities in the celebration of the arts as well as various sexualities. We could also connect with and help promote the LGBTQ communities, fostering essential partnerships with sponsors, and stake holders. We would also be providing a platform for education through a significant public presence at UTSC (which is considered one of the most prestigious universities in the world).

The threats of the event may include the fact that not everyone at UTSC or in the public in general is supportive of the LGBTQ community. In fact there are many who publicly display messages of hate (such as in the case of the broken LGBTQ showcase at UTSC in the previous year) [4] . This could potentially become a dangerous situation for the artists, participants and stakeholders of the event. This would require increased security and in turn more money (unless the university provides us with free security). Another threat to the Festival is the availability of the preferred showcase spaces. They all need to be booked ahead of time and due to our time constraint this will need to be done last minute. This fact alone could potentially force us to postpone the event until next year. Other threats may include small attendance numbers (due to the fact that the event is last minute), unreliable artists (perhaps the work will not be completed on time or the contracted outsider acts may not be available for the day of the event), and etc. In order to avoid such issues, we must create contingency plans and work out various options for funding, locations, sponsors, and etc. To assist us with this step we will need to look at a SMART (specific, manageable, achievable, realistic, time-limited) analysis.

The specific objective of the festival is to commission and present queer artists at UTSC’S Diversity Week. The festival will combat homophobia by building greater public awareness and acceptance of individuals and groups outside sexual and gender norms. The success of this event will be measured through

Due to the narrowed scope of the event (because of the constraints), the event will be very difficult to manage. We will need a fully committed staff in order to accomplish our objectives. The sponsors will also be hard to attain in time for the event (due to the fact that a lot of them are big organizations and companies where it is usually very difficult to get through to the sponsorship director because they receive so many proposals on a daily basis). It will also be tough to find flexible volunteers during the exam period. Many students and professors will not have the time to devote to planning and executing this event.

The event will be difficult to achieve due to our monetary limitations. The estimated expenses (food catering, equipment rental and artist honorariums, props, and promotion) for the event will be in the 2500 range (please see APPENDIX B: Estimated Budget). There will be a stage set up outside, in between the Student Centre and the Arts and Administration building, for the main act (La-Nai Gabriel). There will not be a seating area but rather space for students and viewers to watch the performance. This same method was also done during the Art Side Out festival for the music acts.

The time limitations of the event make it rather unrealistic. However, one must remember that the success of our event would be measured in fulfilling our mission rather than reaching a break-even on our return of investment. Therefore, the cost to benefit ratio is not as easy to disprove as with a profitable event. Even if the event was to pale in the face of its proposal (give or take an extra artist or two), it would still be fulfilling the mandate of creating awareness in the general public and writing history for the annual expansion and reinvention of the festival.

In conclusion, the proposed event is one that is very hard to achieve, but can nonetheless be done in a way that would satisfy the agenda of the mission. The constraints of this event will create many barriers, such as time, and money and will make it difficult adequately execute the event. However, like with many artistic events, the focus will be to satisfy the ambitious mission rather than to fill our pockets. With this in mind, the event will be a ground-breaking move towards spreading awareness about the LGBTQ at UTSC and in the general community an eradicating homophobia through the healing power of multidisciplinary arts.

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