The E.D. Types: Celebrating Excellence

Celebrating Excellence

October 7, 2014

What do the METAs mean to us at The Quebec Drama Federation? An opportunity to gather the community together, and collectively say, “We bare witness, and, we celebrate you.”

To the Emerging Artist, toiling in what feels to them as the shadows, the METAs say, we bear witness. To the Playwright, feeling secluded in the creative process, the METAs say, we bear witness. To the Directors, who wonder if anyone knows that their job description can include wrestling alligators, the METAs say, we bear witness. To the Artistic Directors, struggling to keep companies afloat, mostly by the force of sheer will, yet producing work that enraptures, engages, and emboldens us, the METAs say, we bear witness.   To the Community and Regional Theatres, who wonder if anyone knows there is outstanding cultural life off the Island, the METAs say, we bear witness. To those Artists, who manage to overcome all the creative challenges, limited resources and isolation, to put forward efforts that take our breath away, the METAs say, bear witness and we celebrate you!

The QDF Staff and Board, join in celebrating all of the Theatre community, for their contributions to the diverse and vibrant tapestry that is English language Theatre in Quebec, and join with you, in celebrating all of the nominees and recipients of METAs for outstanding performance, as beacons of excellence.

Please note: The above is a republication of the text prepared for the 2014 META Program.

The E.D. Types: Launching into Fall

Launching into Fall

September 8, 2014

After the very warm weather of the past couple of weeks, I am more than happy to welcome fall. What better way to project myself forward, than the coming attractions on offer at the QDF Fall 2014 Launch.  Having sat in that audience before, at the Segal Centre, I remember the feeling of discovery as each presenter took the stage. The addition of film clips offered another dimension that just pulled me in closer.

What I did not anticipate was just how nervous I would be in representing the QDF team. There I stood, doing all the things that I call actors on; pacing the stage, gesticulating needlessly and not being completely off book.

Yet as I stood there, my knees quickly stilled. The love coming at me quickly reminded me, that we were all there for the same reason; the love of theatre. All I had to do was get out of the way, without a pratfall, and join love fest.

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The E.D. Types: Starting off with a Thwack!

Starting off with a Thwack!

July 21, 2014 

My first community challenge this year’s was the QDF Softball Tournament.  What a wonderful way to start!

No matter how others describe something, I don’t really get it until I see/live it myself. So while my team buised about, efficiently preparing for the event, I was nervous in meeting the challenge of the unknown.

Luckily, I have an ace up my sleeve in Cassandra Togneri, who coordinated this event with aplomb. Putting members first, she was the picture of the iconic Tasmanian Devil, attending to tasks to ensure the comfort and safety of all.

Arriving at the park to join the set-up team, I quickly realised that this may be a listed as an all fun day, but folks were bringing their A game. Before the team could even unpack the van, players were on the field warming up and strategising.

At eight-thirty, the bulk of teams began to pour into the park, and with them came a sense of community that would grow and flourish throughout the day. While there was no doubt a good deal of competitive spirit at play, what reached me most, was a joy and playfulness at having a chance to gather and share more than work. Our new friends over at Creemore Springs , also lent a lubricating hand, with their generous support of our community.

By the last game things got really hot; both literally and figuratively. The competitive spirit rose to a fevered and slightly partisan pitch. As I stood back and tried to keep my own cheerleading fair – can’t help but root for those you know and love- I could not believe the level of play I was witnessing. Here it was, 9 hours after the first game was played, and these two teams were battling like it was World Series. It was not until I strolled over to the scorekeeper that I realised just how fierce these players are. Here they were, at a point in the game where the winner was all but a given, yet neither gave an inch.  As such, those who braved the heat to support teams and watch the games, were treated to some great displays of sportsmanship.

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The E.D. Types: Merging


July 3, 2014

What’s it like to take on the Executive Director’s role at QDF? Imagine that you’re driving in a familiar, yet different city. It is rush hour and you have to merge onto a highway, at a spot where it is also intersecting and merging with several other highways. Add to this that you have been entrusted with the responsibility for precious cargo, and are tasked to map and report the route for the safe navigations of others. It is a moment of fraught anxiety, wrapped in excitement and optimism.

The blessing of course, is the tail wind that assists me as I begin my forward momentum. This in the form of a welcoming and supportive community, that grasps our interdependence, and has readily offered to help me get up to speed.  Add to this, that I find myself with a first class pit crew, having inherited an A-team of very industrious and vibrant individuals.

At the risk of pushing a metaphor to the point of exhaustion, while the road ahead no doubt features some steep climbs and curbs, I feel like I have reserve tanks of nitrous oxide and I just got the green flag.


Deborah Forde

Executive Director

Quebec Drama Federation


A Community Built on Exchange

One of the greatest gifts I have received as I take up the reigns, is the willingness of members to share their time with me, and to allow me to see the theatre world though their eyes. While I am no where done my exploration, I can say that our community is spiritually rich, artistically diverse, and brimming with vitality.

The other truth, is that the wherewithal it takes to produce theatre, means that folks often have their nose to the grindstone, with little time to do the kind of exploration and sharing that keeps us all connected and growing as a community.

At QDF, we are committed to facilitating and advocating excellence in English theatre in Quebec.  We do so through our services to members, our partnerships and networking with stakeholders.

In an effort to increase the visability of our community and support it’s vitality, the team is currently assessing the tools available and in use, with an eye to development. We want to encourage conversations within the community, act as a wellspring for creativity, as well as to up our game when it comes to disseminating information.

We also want to bring the wider theatre going public into the dialogue, by pulling back the curtain and sharing the bones of what we do with the goal of empowering them to play a vital role in supporting and developing a representational theatre community.

To that end, I, as Executive Director, will be posting on the view for the ED chair and what is going on between my ears, as it relates to the work we do. We will also be inviting guest bloggers to share their knowledge, perspective and development with the community through our blog.


Deborah Forde, Executive Director

Quebec Drama Federation