Grand Theatre panel discussion series begins with focus on arts trailblazers

Emma Donaghue, as seen on Global News on March 30, 2017. Global News

The Grand Theatre is hoping to inspire fresh perspectives and encourage deeper dialogues with the first of four themed panel discussions getting underway Wednesday evening.

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Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and internationally acclaimed author Emma Donaghue, who lives in London, general manager and violinist of London Symphonia, Andrew Chung, executive director of the London Arts Council, Andrea Halwa, and the executive producer of the London Fringe Theatre Festival Kathy Navackas will take part in the first event highlighting arts trailblazers.

“Our bar for the McManus Theatre will be open so hopefully people will come a little bit early and then you can take your drink into the theatre,” Grand Theatre associate artistic director Megan Watson told AM980.

“We’re going to have a moderator this evening, David Billson from rTraction. One of the focuses is about the idea of being London proud and how that intersects with being an artist in London and an arts trailblazer. There will be a discussion around that focusing on each panelist and then we’re hoping to leave time for questions from the audience.”

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The free event gets underway at 7 p.m. and while the majority of tickets have already been reserved, Watson said any leftover spots will be available on a first-come-first-served basis at the door.

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The second panel discussion dubbed New Work will run Jan. 11 and feature playwrights Daniel McIvor, Cathy Elliot, Leslie Arden, and artistic director Dennis Garnhum.

On March 12, Storytelling as Activism will see activist and journalist Sally Armstrong and director Carey Perloff lead the discussion.

On April 12, The Pursuit of Excellence panel discussion will be moderated by television host Bruce Sellery though speakers have yet to be announced.

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