Vernon & District Performing Arts Center to use $55,000 grant to bring audiences back to theater – Vernon News

The Vernon & District Performing Arts Center will contact people to let them know about SPOTLIGHT season.

VDPAC received a $55,000 grant from Canadian Heritage through a special federal Audience Re-Engagement Fund (AER) program for professional arts presenting organizations.

VDPAC will use the majority of funds for a regional direct mail campaign to promote the return of its first full SPOTLIGHT season since March 2020, which opens with Juno Award-winning Joel Plaskett’s Emergency Concert featuring guest Mo Kenney, September 29. ten.

“Our 2022-23 SPOTLIGHT season brochure can now be mailed directly to 40,000 homes, apartments and businesses throughout the North Okanagan and south through Lake Country,” says VDPAC Executive Director Jim Harding. “This is a special, one-time initiative to reconnect with our audiences, sponsors and supporters as we restart – and to connect with newcomers to our local and regional community.”

Tourism Vernon has also approved a $5,000 cooperative marketing grant in support of the campaign to help reach and attract audiences from outside Greater Vernon.

VDPAC will also partner with local accommodations and restaurants with special discounts for VDPAC ticket holders coming to Vernon for shows this season.

Region-wide direct mail is just one of the objectives of the VDPAC REAF project. The VDPAC will also introduce a ‘ticket blocks’ option to sponsor businesses as goodwill gifts for customers and staff.

It will foster new community partnerships with area youth performing arts groups, renew its one-to-one group promotions with local community organizations, and use a portion of REAF funds for the 2nd Annual Northern Children’s Festival of VDPAC’s Okanagan in March 2023.

Administered by the “Canada Arts Presentation Fund” (FCPA), and according to Canadian Heritage, the REAF program was “designed to help stimulate the revival of the presenting sector by providing support to professional arts festivals eligible, to broadcasters of performing arts series and to broadcasters of support organizations, for targeted activities aimed at encouraging the public to return to live performance.

“Our REAF project has also allowed us to redesign and rebuild our Classic Series subscriptions and reboot our Pick 5 and Pick 10 options for our ‘frequent flyers,'” says Harding. “Followers are important because they give us a base audience to help support all of our guest artists.”

“Without funding from REAF and Tourism Vernon, we wouldn’t be able to afford an area-wide initiative,” Harding continues, “So we have built-in resources with this unique campaign for supporters and more curious, to be able to access the digital versions online, or by subscribing to our “Upcoming Events” newsletter; or by following us on [email protected] or on Instagram @vernonperformingarts for SPOTLIGHT and all upcoming VDPAC events.

VDPAC will also hold its second “Free Night at the Theater” at 7:30 p.m. on September 14 for a preview of the 2022-23 SPOTLIGHT season, including music videos, highlights and brief interviews with this season’s special guest artists. Further details will be announced.

Free tickets can be claimed online at or by visiting or contacting the VDPAC box office at 250-549-SHOW (7469).