Thank you to everyone who joined us at Contact East 2022! Contact East 2023 will take place next September in Woody Point, Newfoundland. Check out our Digital Conference Handbook for information on this year’s artists, activities, and more!
It is with great delight that, on behalf of Friends of Writers at Woody Point, we welcome you to Contact East 2023, which next year runs from September 21st to 24th, 2023.

A note for our friends, especially those making their first trip to Woody Point.

While you work to finalize travel and accommodation details, we want to give you a bit of information about the area that may be helpful. Woody Point is home to our festival in the heart of Gros Morne National Park, on the shores of Bonne Bay. The community is a fishing village with a thriving tourism industry, but the town does have limited amenities.

The town is very compact, and you will find the venues are a short walk or drive from the accommodations and restaurants. When you arrive in Newfoundland, the airport in Deer Lake, Woody Point is a forty-five-minute drive. There are rental vehicles available at the airport, but we will also be assisting with transportation between Deer Lake and Woody Point. If you prefer to use the transportation provided, we will need flight arrival and departure information from you preferably by the end of August. 

While there are a variety of accommodations, they can book up quickly, so we have reserved/held several rooms with accommodation providers in the area. These rooms will be held until the end of July 2023 at which time they will be released to the public. We encourage you to book sooner rather than later and will provide our contact information if you have any specific needs, we are happy to help suggest options that will suit you best. Whether you are renting a car or are on foot there are local taxi services and shuttle buses to help get you where you need to be without any stress – but if you do plan to rent a car choosing accommodations a little further from town centre would be helpful for those who do not.

We have a few small general stores and there is no pharmacy. You may want to stop at a supermarket or pharmacy in Deer Lake before heading to Woody Point, should you have any last-minute needs. For those we are assisting with transportation to and from Woody Point, the drivers of the local transportation companies are happy to stop at a grocery store or pharmacy and will answer any questions you may have.

As hosts, we will do our best to assist and ensure that your time in Woody Point is enjoyable. Diana can be reached if you have questions, by email at diana@writersatwoodypoint.com or by telephone at 306.308.0036 (C).

Once again, we look forward to seeing you in Woody Point and hope you love it as much as we do.

Friends of Writers at Woody Point 2023

List of Accommodations

The following accommodation providers have rooms reserved for Contact East 2023 and these reservations will be held until the end of July 2023. There are a variety of accommodations which include single rooms, double occupancy, and multi-room/full house options. When calling to book your reservation the rooms are held under the name Writers at Woody Point or Diana Chisholm. It is important to note that this list is not inclusive of all accommodations or Air B and B options in the area.

Schedule

Subject to Change

Thursday, September 22

12:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Hotel Halifax, Empress Room Lobby

Registration Desk Open

3:30 pm - 4:15 pm

Hotel Halifax, Baronet Rooms

AASPAA Meeting

4:15 pm - 5:00 pm

Hotel Halifax, MacDonald & MacNabb Rooms

First Timers Orientation

Start your conference off right! If you’re new to Contact East (or just need a little refresher), make sure to join us at our First Timers Orientation. Meet the APA board and staff, learn what to expect for the next few days, and hear a few tips and tricks to make the most out of the conference. We look forward to meeting you and making meaningful connections at Contact East 2022!

5:15 pm - 6:30 pm

Hotel Halifax, Bluenose Room

Welcome Reception / APA award

Start the first day of Contact East off with a bang (and some yummy food!) before heading to Showcase #1 at our Opening Reception and APA Achievement Award Presentation! There will be plenty of tasty treats on offer, a full cash bar, and some time for mingling. We will also be handing out this year’s APA Award, an honour presented annually to a deserving individual who has made a significant contribution to the performing arts touring sector in Atlantic Canada. Food, drinks, and friends—the perfect way to start a conference!

7:15 pm - 9:50 pm

Neptune Theatre, Scotiabank Stage

Showcase #1

Sponsored by Neptune Theatre

  • Mocean Dance
  • Élage Diouf
  • Basset
  • Liliona Quarmyne
  • Winnie Churchill
  • Huu Bac Quintet

10:15 pm - 12:00 am

Hotel Halifax, Bluenose Room

Contact East 2023 announcement & reception

Sponsored by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and Writer’s at Woody Point

The first showcase may be over, but that doesn’t mean the fun is! Stick around for an evening reception at Hotel Halifax where we will be announcing the location for Contact East 2023! Enjoy some complimentary food and beverages and a few surprises! Don’t miss this!

Friday September 23

8:00 am - 7:00 pm

Hotel Halifax, Empress Room Lobby

Registration Desk Open

8:30 am - 10:45 am

Buses leave from Hotel Halifax Lobby at 8:30 and 9:00 am

Breakfast on the Go & Visit to Africville Museum

Sponsored by Capitol Theatre

Sign up for this activity at registration!

Grab some breakfast to go and join us for a trip to the Africville Museum, located across from the former neighbourhood that hundreds of Black Nova Scotians called home before being forcibly removed in the 60s to make way for industrial development. The exhibits tell the story of a community that met the indignities of racism with grace and faith, and is an important place to remember the story of Africville and to recognize its contribution to Canadian and specifically, African diasporic history.  We will be joined by former Africville residents Beatrice Wilkins (nee West) and Bernice Arsenault (nee Byers), who have agreed to share stories and memories about their childhoods. 

11:00 am - 12:20 pm

Hotel Halifax, Baronet Rooms

One-to-One Speed Meetings

Time to get down to business. One-to-ones are a networking opportunity designed specifically for delegates to engage in business discussions. This is your opportunity to connect and meet with artists, agents, managers, and presenters to discuss bookings, availability, seasons, markets, etc. This industry is all about connections, and these meetings offer time and space to create new relationships and nurture existing ones. If you are looking to talk shop at Contact East, this is your chance! 

12:30 pm - 1:45 pm

Hotel Halifax, Bluenose Room

AGM Lunch

Sponsored by King’s Theatre Annapolis Royal

APA members are invited to join us for our 2022 AGM Lunch, where we vote on any organizational changes and nominate the new slate of Board of Directors.

2:15 pm - 3:40 pm

Neptune Theatre, Scotiabank Stage

Showcase #2

Sponsored by Pinwheel Design

  • Keonte
  • Zuppa Theatre – At This Hour
  • janoah…anygoodjokes?

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

St. Matthew’s Church, 1479 Barrington St

Keynote: Vu Le

Presented in partnership with IONS (Impact Organizations of Nova Scotia) and Theatre Nova Scotia

A Time for Boldness: Let’s Unleash Our Full Potential to Create a Just and Equitable World

 The pandemic and society’s reckoning with systemic racism affirm the critical role that nonprofits play in our community. At the same time, we also have tons of challenges holding us back. The Hunger Games we play with one another. The scarcity and martyrdom mindset. The general public’s lack of knowledge of our work. Our strained relationships with funders and for-profits. The fear of advocacy work. Really crappy chairs we’ve been duct-taping together. We are at an inflection point. We cannot return to the past. We must examine the harmful philosophies and practices we’ve internalized, own our full power, genuinely engage with race and equity, and flip some tables over.

 Vu Le (“voo lay”) writes the blog NonprofitAF.com. He is the former executive director of RVC, a nonprofit in Seattle that promotes social justice by supporting leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities. Vu is a founding board member of Community-Centric Fundraising, a movement that aims to ground fundraising practices in racial equity and social justice. Vu was born in Vietnam. He and his family came to the US when Vu was eight. He spent several years in Seattle, attending elementary and middle school, before moving to Memphis, Tennessee for high school and St. Louis for college and graduate school. He has a BA in Psychology and a Master in Social work. He is a vegan, a father of two kids (ages nine and six), and a staunch defender of the Oxford Comma.

 Check out Nonprofit AF on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Dinner on Your Own

8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Neptune Theatre, Scotiabank Stage

Showcase #3

  • Noël Wan – Debut Atlantic
  • Zay Nova
  • Tio Chorinho with Flavia Nascimento
  • Inn Echo    
  • Piano Heist

10:15 pm - 12:00 am

Hotel Halifax, Bluenose Room

End of Day Wind Down

Sponsored by Side Door

Relax and unwind after a long day of Contact East-ing at the Hotel Halifax. We know that conferences can be a little hectic, so take this time to enjoy a beverage and a salty snack, chat with friends (or make new ones!), and look forward to another exciting day of programming ahead. 

Saturday, September 24

8:00 am - 2:00 pm

Hotel Halifax, Empress Room Lobby

Registration Desk Open

8:15 am - 9:15 am

Hotel Halifax, Bluenose Room

Breakfast with Vu: Thoughts from the Keynote

Sponsored by Imperial Theatre

Now that you’ve had some time to digest yesterday’s keynote presentation, join Vu once again for an open discussion over a hot breakfast. 

9:45 am - 10:45 am

Light House Arts Centre, 1800 Argyle St

Pitches

Sponsored by First Light Centre for Art and Creativity, St. John’s

  • Bboyizm
  • Productions Onishka
  • The Villains Theatre – A Beginners Guide to the Night Sky
  • Scott Parsons Trio
  • Rhodnie Desir Creations
  • Apkik Theatre
  • Fay and Fluffy’s Storytime
  • Hilary Ladd
  • Breaking Circus

11:15 am - 12:35 pm

Hotel Halifax, Baronet Rooms

One-to-One Speed Meetings

Time to get down to business. One-to-ones are a networking opportunity designed specifically for delegates to engage in business discussions. This is your opportunity to connect and meet with artists, agents, managers, and presenters to discuss bookings, availability, seasons, markets, etc. This industry is all about connections, and these meetings offer time and space to create new relationships and nurture existing ones. If you are looking to talk shop at Contact East, this is your chance! 

12:45 pm - 2:00 pm

Hotel Halifax, Bluenose Room

Lunch & Learn

Sponsored by Fredericton Playhouse

Join Errin Williams (she/her) of Errin Williams Counseling and Consulting as she presents an overview of how venue and festival presenters can make their venues healthier workspaces for artists.

A combination of mental health and music industry experience, Master’s level clinical social worker, Errin Williams, has over 13 years of experience as a mental health therapist, and partners with the East Coast Music Association’s Wellness Initiative as the clinical lead.  ECMA is a Mental Health leader in the Canadian Music Industry.  Errin has been imperative to the development of ECMA’s mental health initiative.     

2:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Neptune Theatre, Scotiabank Stage

Showcase #4

Sponsored by Prismatic Arts Festival

  • Altar – Santiago Guzman
  • MARIAN
  • Les Chanterelles
  • EBNFLOH
  • Wesli   

7:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Waegwoltic Club, buses leave from Halifax Hotel at 6:30 pm

Final Party

Sponsored by Confederation Centre

Shindig, soiree, get-together, bash—whatever you want to call it, there’s nothing quite like a party! Join us on Saturday night for a closing celebration at the beautiful Waegwoltic Club on the shores of the Northwest Arm. Cap off the conference with some delicious food, cold beverages and dancing to the funk/disco/soul stylings of DJ Century Samuel  as we bid farewell to another great year of showcases, learning, and gathering with industry friends new and old.

Sunday, September 25

9:00 am - 10:00 am

Hotel Halifax, Bluenose Room

Breakfast

Sponsored by Jack Byrne Regional Sports and Entertainment Centre

9:15 am - 10:00 am

Hotel Halifax, Empress Room

Atlantic Moves Meeting

Atlantic Moves members will have a chance to connect with their colleagues across the Atlantic dance community and discuss future initiatives and programming at this meeting. Movers, please grab your plates and head over to the Empress Room for a working breakfast session!

10:15 am - 12:00 pm

Hotel Halifax, Bluenose Room

Member Meeting

That’s a wrap! Connect and regroup with other members and APA staff after a whirlwind three days of conferencing. We’ll have a demonstration of the Arts Touring Connector with developer Ross Paton. This is a brand spanking new block booking tool being launched this Fall! And as always we will discuss programming, and have a chance to share our plans for the rest of the season before we head our separate ways.

Artists

Showcasing

Pitching

Contact East is the Atlantic Presenters Association’s hallmark event and Atlantic Canada’s performing arts booking conference. The annual event provides an essential and inspiring experience for delegates bringing together regional, national, and international performing arts presenters, managers, and agents, to see performances which showcase a diverse range of artistic genres, including but not limited to music, cabaret, dance, disability arts, circus arts, comedy, youth-oriented programming, and cultural performances.

Contact East is a four-day showcase and professional development conference complete with approximately 30 artist performances, showcase and pitch sessions, as well as an unprecedented opportunity for presenters to network and learn from some of the best in the business from the Atlantic Provinces, across Canada, and internationally.

APA is further committing to its mandate to present a diverse range of artists from a variety of backgrounds. APA acknowledges that past artist selection processes were not fair or equitable and understands the value that lived experiences and community-based practices have when it comes to making decisions. APA is committed to implementing and upholding equitable practices in choosing artists to perform at Contact East 2022 and beyond.

The artists chosen by the selection committee shall have equitable representation across populations, including Indigenous, Black, racialized, 2SLGBTQIA+, Deaf, Disability, and Mad arts communities. Atlantic Presenters Association is dedicated to providing a space that is accessible, inclusive, and free from oppression, harassment, and discrimination.

To further ensure a fair selection process, APA will be putting out a call for applications for interested individuals to be on this year’s selection committee. In the past, Contact East’s selection committee has been hand-picked from APA’s membership rather than opened up to the larger presenting community. The goal of this change is to make sure the committee represents a cross-section of different artistic genres and cultural backgrounds, resulting in an overall diverse representation of committee members to ensure the selection process is as fair and equitable as possible.

Beginning in 1975, the event was produced by the Touring Office of the Canada Council for the Arts. In 1982, the event was managed by a steering committee of representatives from the four Atlantic Provinces. With the incorporation of the Atlantic Presenters Association in 2001, the organization took over management of the event and has been producing quality conferences ever since.

Past Artists

Awards & Nominations

Initiated in 1998, Contact East sponsored a series of awards to recognize excellence and achievement in the field of live performance touring and presentation. The Contact East Awards of Excellence celebrate the growth of the industry and recognize the accomplishments of presenters and performers who comprise the touring sector in Atlantic Canada.

Beginning in 2015, Contact East streamlined its awards into one honour, the Atlantic Presenters Association Achievement Award.

Awards Categories

History

Contact East is the Atlantic Presenters Association’s hallmark event and Atlantic Canada’s premiere performing arts booking conference. The conference brings together performing arts presenters and in-demand, tour-ready arts performers to showcase contemporary and classical music, dance, theatre, and youth-oriented programming. Contact East is made up of several components, all of which are designed to enhance the presenter’s knowledge of the field. Event components include high quality showcases, provocative speakers, professional development sessions, informal meetings and networking. Contact East provides an essential and inspiring experience for delegates, who encompass Canadian and international showcasing artists, performing arts presenters, managers, and agents from regional, national and international levels.

Beginning in 1975, the event was produced by the Touring Office of the Canada Council for the Arts. In 1982, the event was managed by a steering committee of representatives from the four Atlantic Provinces. With the incorporation of the Atlantic Presenters Association in 2001, the organization took over management of the event and has been producing quality conferences ever since.

According to the Atlantic Presenters Association’s records, Contact East has been held in the following years and locations:

2021 – New Brunswick – Moncton (Capitol Theatre)
2020 – Contact(less) East
2019 – Prince Edward Island – Charlottetown (Florence Simmonds Hall at Holland College)
2018 – Newfoundland & Labrador – St. John’s (Arts and Culture Centre)
2017 – Nova Scotia – Membertou, Cape Breton (Membertou Trade & Convention Centre)
2016 – New Brunswick – Saint John (Imperial Theatre)
2015 – Prince Edward Island – Charlottetown (Confederation Centre of the Arts)
2014 – Nova Scotia – Pictou (deCoste Centre)
2013 – Newfoundland & Labrador – St. John’s (Arts and Culture Centre)
2012 – New Brunswick – Fredericton (Fredericton Playhouse)
2011 – Prince Edward Island – Summerside (Harbourfront Theatre)
2010 – Nova Scotia – Antigonish (The Keating Millennium Centre)
2009 – New Brunswick – Moncton (The Capitol Theatre)
2007 – Nova Scotia – Liverpool (The Astor Theatre)
2005 – Prince Edward Island – Summerside (Harbourfront Jubilee Theatre)
2003 – Newfoundland & Labrador – St. John’s (Arts and Culture Centre)
2001 – New Brunswick – Saint John (Hotel Courtenay Bay/Imperial Theatre)
1998 – Nova Scotia – Wolfville (Old Orchard Inn/ Atlantic Theatre Festival)
1996 – New Brunswick – Saint John (Delta Hotel/Imperial Theatre)
1994 – Prince Edward Island – Charlottetown (Confederation Centre)
1992 – Prince Edward Island – Charlottetown (Confederation Centre)
1990 – Nova Scotia – Dartmouth (Holiday Inn)
1988 – New Brunswick – Saint John (Delta Saint John/Saint John High School)
1985 – Nova Scotia – Halifax (World Trade Centre)
1983 – Massachusetts – Boston
1982 – New Brunswick – Sackville (Mt Allison University)
1979 – Nova Scotia – Halifax (Lord Nelson Hotel)
1978 – New Brunswick – Moncton (Hotel Beauséjour)
1977 – Nova Scotia – Halifax (Lord Nelson Hotel)
1976 – Nova Scotia – Halifax (Chateau Halifax)
1975 – New Brunswick – Fredericton (Lord Beaverbrook Hotel)

Sponsored by King’s Theatre Annapolis Royal