The Biz Dojo

S2E10 - Marketing The Arts w/Lisa Mackay

March 23, 2021 Lisa Mackay Season 2 Episode 10
The Biz Dojo
S2E10 - Marketing The Arts w/Lisa Mackay
Show Notes Transcript

This week in The Biz Dojo, we have a conversation with Lisa Mackay, Marketing and Communications Manager at The Rozsa Foundation.

Lisa shares the story of her journey, and how her passion for music landed her in marketing. We'll talk about working in one of the hottest arts markets in North America, and the challenges of becoming an entrepreneur. We'll also dive into parenthood, work-life balance, and how some simple marketing principles drive success regardless of industry  or location.

Then on the Podium - brought to you by Beyond a Beaten Path - Mama Seth joins us to 'bear' it all, as we celebrate International Bear Day. Our Top Picks are in, and you might be surprised who did (or didn't!) make the list. Join us on facebook and instagram to share your favourite bear stories, and remind us of the great bears out there. 
 
Pour yourself a smooth cup of Dojo Dark, and find your seat. This episode is about to start. 

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Seth Anderson:

Welcome to The Biz Dojo with Seth and JP season two, Episode 10. Here we are JP halfway double digits double. Actually, if we were to look back at season one where this is our 20th episode with a guest. So that's pretty cool.

JP Gaston:

Yeah, pretty cool. We're moseying along here at record pace,

Seth Anderson:

I guess, I guess same pace as its weekly. Everything we do is setting a record of some kind, including having Lisa MCI, on the show, marketing, professional, absolute pleasure catching up with her and hearing about her journey. So she's currently the Marketing and Communications Manager at the rosae. foundation. And maybe what do you tell the folks at home a little bit about? said rosae? foundation? JP, yeah, so

JP Gaston:

it's, first of all, there's a couple of times in the episode where we say broza. I'm going to I'm going to call that out in advance of the episode.

Seth Anderson:

We're not very good at English. Let's just Yeah, yeah,

JP Gaston:

we apologize. On the outside here for, for those moments. But rosae Foundation is really about investing in leadership of the arts, of strengthening the arts sector as a whole. And a lot of their focus is on the leadership side, rather than on the acting side where there's a ton of awards. And you know, they, they certainly want to encourage more of that. But they are an organization that, that focuses a lot more on developing the skills and leadership at a management level.

Seth Anderson:

Yeah, so super inspiring, and a very cool foundation and awesome to catch up with Lisa and learn a little bit more about that. And then also just about her journey, very cool that she got to take her passion, you know, she'd been passionate about the arts pursued that in college, and, you know, decided at some juncture that, you know, marketing was where she wanted to be, and being able to ply that trade in the sector that in which she's passionate about i thought was pretty cool.

JP Gaston:

Yeah, I really enjoyed, like, we've had a lot of stories. I mean, that is what our podcast is all about is hearing stories. We kind of explored stories. In Toronto, we explored stories of motherhood, we explored stories of moving and being in Calgary and the differences between so I think this is one where there's a lot of opportunity for folks to take out from those stories, what might apply to them in their own journey, whether it's marketing or otherwise,

Seth Anderson:

yeah, it was very real. That's what I'm taking away from it. At the end of the day is, you know, Lisa story is, it's just, it's really real. And it's something a lot of people go through, you know, in terms of making career decisions. Obviously, being at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, that's a dream for many people. And she had the opportunity to do that, but then recognizing, you know, and when she became a mom, that that was her top priority, and making some decisions based around that I thought it was, it was just, this is real, and it's awesome that we get the opportunity to share some of that, and, you know, if that's something you're going through, or, you know, someone who's trying to make that decision of what, you know, to balance career and motherhood, you know, this is another example of how you can approach that,

JP Gaston:

well, she got to work with some big names to like Terry O'Reilly, we talked about and we've you and I have talked about Terry and his podcast that I regularly listen to that you take a ton of lessons from having having him actually flex his marketing muscle and show her firsthand kind of what can be done with an organization and what can be done in marketing for especially for someone who got into marketing as a second stream, you know, they were pursuing arts and then verged over into marketing for the arts, that that'd be like getting a you know, one on one masterclass.

Seth Anderson:

Totally, totally. And, you know, she talked a lot about other people who have influenced her along the way as well. And you know, it was it was just a great conversation. So let's, let's get into it. All right. Well,

JP Gaston:

let's take it there with the studies.

Voiceover:

This Week in the dojo, we talk to Lisa mokai, Marketing and Communications Manager at the rose a foundation. We'll talk about discovering a career in the arts, branching out and becoming an entrepreneur and finding work life balance as a parent. Then on the podium, brought to you by beyond the beaten path visit beyond the beaten path.ca will bear it all as we celebrate international bear day. So welcome to The Biz Dojo. Your they are Seth Anderson, in JP Gaston.

Seth Anderson:

Welcome to The Biz Dojo with Seth and JP. This Week in the dojo we've got Lisa mokai. Lisa, welcome to the dojo. Thank you. Happy to be here. Yeah, we're super excited to have you here. So Lisa, you are the Marketing and Communications Manager for the Roza foundation. so heavily involved in the arts space, and that's sort of what your career has been. Maybe we'll just jump in there. You've got to pretty diverse background, you've done done a lot in the art space. But what was your inspiration and getting into Arts in the first place.

Lisa Mackay:

I mean, it definitely hasn't been a straight line, my career path, I just was one of those kids that loved music, art, dance, all that kind of stuff. And my piano teacher suggested I might want to pursue that audition for some places. So I did that. And after about three years of my degree, I realized, I do not want to spend the rest of my life in a practice room, just that my interests were so much wider than just music. So I didn't know exactly where that left me. But I was also working part time at the Art Gallery on campus. And one of my profs came in and mentioned that a former student had gone to Toronto to take museum studies. So I thought, sure, sounds good. sent my application off and started that fall and worked in museums for a little while. And then I don't know, it just sort of happened. I saw a posting for a marketing coordinator at tafel music, which is a Baroque orchestra in Toronto, and somehow talked them into hiring me, and, and it all went from there. So yeah, so I did classical music, and then theater, and now at a foundation and museums. So yeah, kind of all over the place, which I love.

Seth Anderson:

So you're basically able to take your passion, which was music and the arts, but also merge that with a career and the business side of things. And often that intersection doesn't happen for people, I guess it was just sort of lucky. I don't know if luck is the right word. But it pretty cool that those two things were able to intersect, and you're able to build a career within your passion, but not like you said, in the practice room all day, every day, you're actually you're in the business side as well.

Unknown:

Yeah. And it really suits me so much more. I think like, I like the strategic thinking, I like that side of things. When I applied to tackle music, I was actually working at the gap. Because our jobs are not always easy to come by. And I just found that really interesting to work for a company like that, that sort of its height of popularity, I did some other kind of free management, training and everything and just the the way that they marketed themselves and the way that they had every person who worked for them up to speed on the why and the house and everything of their brands really, really fascinated me. So it was so lucky to be able to merge that with actually marketing for for the arts, which has always made a big difference to me that I feel like I'm helping something I love exist financially. And also just the idea of convincing somebody to come have an art experience that hopefully they will really enjoy and like change their perspective or, you know, be kind of a big moment or big experience for them is totally why I do it. It's exciting to hear people who have never been to the symphony come and be blown away

JP Gaston:

and not expect that at all. You're a fellow former gap employee, can you fold a nice sweater? A nice hoodie? Oh, yes.

Unknown:

Yes, my closet is very, very well organized. My jeans are perfect.

JP Gaston:

It was always the sweaters that got me folding the underneath to lock it in place. So it was the perfect little roll. Yeah, that's that is that once you've got it, it's, it's with you for life, I think. So you spent some time in what I would consider one of if not the hottest market in Canada for the arts in Toronto. And you are working for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. What was that experience like going from, you know, not pursuing marketing. And now you're actually marketing in one of the hottest environments.

Unknown:

It's true. I was really I was so lucky when I worked there. We had a great team and our boss at the time was great about sort of allowing us to I mean, he knew none of us really came from a marketing background, more from a passion for the product background. So yeah, he was he was pretty open to us experimenting and doing some fun things. We did a campaign in now magazine, which is their biggest sort of free weekly, where we just took digital photos of our colleagues who around our age, just people we felt didn't fit the stereotypical Symphony attender and did campaigns with headlines like to me and loves the TSL and he thinks she will too. Like I've no idea of it. Honestly, I'm sure it didn't sell anything, but it made an impression just being able to do it. Like just doing something out of the box and having someone say Yeah, go for it

JP Gaston:

almost like a marketing exercise to

Unknown:

Yeah, exactly. And the TSR was, has a background of sort of doing that which is opposite to the stodgy big companies that it is to where sometimes thinking outside the box. It's not really done there. But they did a great campaign just before I got there with Terry O'Reilly, who is on CBC he

JP Gaston:

does. He is under the influence. Yep. One of my other than this podcast. Yeah, I would say that that is the podcast I listened to the most.

Unknown:

Yeah, he's, he's fantastic. And he talks about it on his podcast to this TSL campaign, because the director at the time went to him and said, We want you to scare us. And so he felt open to being able to do something a little bit different for a symphony and ended up doing a whole campaign called I'm afraid of the tlso, which sort of tackled with humor, all the reasons why people would be nervous to go to see a symphony, and it was a really funny campaign. I think of one a lot of boards too, so.

JP Gaston:

So very, in general has won a lot.

Unknown:

Yes, true. Yes, we were pretty lucky to get to get him on the case, for sure. But the success of that, too, I think just bred a mentality in the marketing department of being able to do stuff like that. How important is that risk?

JP Gaston:

Right? Because I like marketing is, I think, very risky all the time, it is for sure. But how important is taking that risk to your own development and your own progress? Yeah, I

Unknown:

think it It always keeps things fresh in a way. And, you know, just to keep your mind always working. And not I mean, the campaign's themselves. If you're, if you're doing a subscription campaign, for a performing arts company, regardless of discipline, it's pretty much the same every time like the same time of year, the same brochures, all that stuff. So being able to look at each company in each case, in each season, with a fresh perspective, like it does take a little bit of risk. Sometimes it'd be easy, it would be so easy to just have a different shot of the orchestra and recover and, and do the same wording even. But I don't think that would interest me. I don't think it would interest most marketers I've worked with and I don't think it would interest the subscribers themselves. Like would like to have a knowledge that they're part of something thought provoking. And interesting. I mean, it's generally quite smart, well thought, people who engage with the arts too. So they like being challenged, they like having a bit of tongue in cheek humor and something unexpected, I

JP Gaston:

guess, do you find that the risk that you need to take it as, as a marketer is matched by the risk that a senior leader, for example, is willing to take on the marketing? Like, do you find that that pitch is often really difficult because of risk? Or do you think, like, do you do you find that they're generally open to taking risk, if it's the right risk, or

Unknown:

like you say, the arts is sort of always risky, there's, there's a little bit of risk, while there's a lot of risk involved in every season, where the dollars are planned very, very carefully. And there's definitely not any leftover. So so it makes a fine line between having the freedom to take some risk and knowing that you really have to stand out to get an audience in there with knowing that this is it. This is the one campaign you can afford. And it can't be too far outside the norm. Or you could blow the whole thing. So there is always definitely that fine line. Generally, I've worked for people who are comfortable with the risk, they sort of get to know me as well, and how I think and you know, I definitely prefer to collaborate on stuff like that, especially with people who share the same love of the subject as I do, they can come up with some great ideas, too. And that sort of collaboration usually built a better campaign in the end, reading up a little bit on the TF. So and seeing some of the timelines, it looks like prior to you joining those couple years, late 90s, early 2000s was a fairly tumultuous time for the for the organization. Oh, yeah.

Seth Anderson:

And then, you know, in the years, you know, those first few years that you were there, it looks like some good time started rolling, average audience capacity increased by 84%, you had consecutive years of budget surpluses looks like this, you know, debt has been sort of an ongoing issue. But what was that? What was the culture of the of the team, like when you kind of came in on the heels of maybe some tough years, but then getting right in the middle of that growth period? What was that like for you?

Unknown:

It was sort of exhilarating, really. I mean, the whole business model of a symphony just doesn't work. When you think of it like to have all your staff, your administrative staff, but then the CSO has over 90 musicians who are staff essentially they're, they're paid and they have to, you know, pay rent on Roy Thompson Hall for every rehearsal, every concert, every event, it's a unionized Hall. So you know, there's a minimum call time for everything. It all has to be really careful We managed and they rely so much not just on ticket sales, but on donations and government grants and that kind of thing that, you know, you don't get one grant one season. And that can be the difference where you run a deficit that year, and they compound and compound, but being there with the team that we had, and the leadership that we have, I mean, it's not just the marketing of it, it's putting together the program. And having like, Peter engine just started when we were there to the music director, and being able to be in those programming meetings where he would turn to us and say, is that a good like, is that a good concert, I think that will be interesting, and sell. And a lot of music directors don't, you know, they have their vision of, of what they want to play. And they know, they need some challenging pieces to keep the chops out of the musicians. But he was very aware that they also had to have some sort of broader appeal to them, or some hook to them that people would come to. So really, it was it was a cultural thing that the whole company at the time, I think really felt very focused on providing the kind of music that Toronto wanted, and being a more stable orchestra and having more stability with the musicians. And I mean, it was exciting. I'm not sure at the time, we really understood big picture of what was happening. And, you know, often those grants are many years in the making donations can be many, many years in cultivating that kind of thing. So it was exciting to see our efforts pay off so well to be able to see the growth of the audience again, after Hello. very motivated.

Seth Anderson:

You mentioned Peter Wujin. And I was reading a little bit about him as well. Very impressive resume. And Ron Yeah, so what what did you learn from him? I mean, you mentioned a little bit there. But that must have been a pretty cool experience to learn from someone so accomplished and early on in your career. Yeah,

Unknown:

well, and he was, I love Peter, he was, he also has a great sense of humor, and really no ego, despite all his many accomplishments, he played on Sesame Street, like that's, that's making it. So yeah, he was he was great to learn from and that he could be relaxed. He didn't take himself for anything too seriously. But he also, you know, had a high standard and made people want to step up and achieve that standard. I mean, that job is so difficult to because you're sort of interfacing with the administration, and the money side of everything in the planning and coordinating. But then also with the artists themselves, and the musicians, they also really need to trust you and your leadership, for you to get the sound and the quality out of their performance that you know they can do. So it's a tough role, not one I would ever aspire to. But definitely, I was so lucky to that he was the music director at the time, because I think he can take credit for a lot of that building back up again to

JP Gaston:

from there, you went and pursued your own consulting firm? I did. So tell us a little bit about what inspired that. How did you how did you decide that, hey, this is I've got these skills. Now this is the thing I'm going to do?

Unknown:

Well, I had babies, that was pretty much how it all came about. I had two two little guys. And you know, working in the arts has to be super fun. And you have to be super passionate because you don't do it for the money at all. And Toronto is an expensive city, especially childcare. So by the time I had to if I was totally still loving my job and everything, I was making a little bit of money on top of paying child care, but mostly I was just covered child care costs. And I really, I really loved being a mom and my little guys and I knew that wouldn't last forever so so I left the TSL and stayed with them. I couldn't not do anything and not keep you know, keep social keep active keep my brain going. Yeah, so we did a little bit of consulting on the side with smaller ensembles and choirs and, and things like that, who needed some more structural systems set up in marketing that I could sort of figure out and hand over for them. That was great. Got to meet lots of great people got to do a few projects to outside of music, which helped me realize marketing is marketing as marketing. You know, like there's certain, I guess philosophies and ways of looking at how do you find the audience and how do you get in front of them? That is the same whether you're you're doing a choir, or you're doing conference, or you're trying to help brand, a photographer, whatever else I got to do at the time, it was great. I learned a lot from doing it for sure.

JP Gaston:

Was there anything that you took away from marketing with the T so that you were able to implement right away and running your own business? I

Unknown:

mean, definitely, like I say the structure of planning a subscription campaign, knowing what works and what doesn't work in terms of finding audiences For the guy knew the classical music audience by that point, so I knew the best places to advertise, I already had relationships with, you know, the sales reps at the radio station or at the globe or different places like that. So definitely I could parlay that into what I was doing in consulting, and especially going from tafel music, which I think at the time had a budget of 3 million to the TSL, which was around 2024 25 million, you realize it's all the same stuff, same challenges, same way of doing it, it's just a matter of scale. So if you're feeling 700 seats, or you're filling 2400 seats, or you're filling 50 seats, it's the same, you have to do all the same things to fill them.

JP Gaston:

So So flipside, I guess, when you started running your own business, what was a shock to you? Where you were like, Oh, geez, I was not anticipating this at all.

Unknown:

I don't like asking people for money. That was That was a tough thing.

JP Gaston:

That's, that's key when you're running your own business,

Unknown:

sort of crucial time management was a big learning curve, especially in Toronto, I haven't found it quite as bad in Calgary. But in Toronto, there's almost a martyr complex, working in the arts extra hours over time, you know, you have to do concerts and all that stuff. But here, people leave at five, they're hidden, never, ever happened. So to have that work ethic drilled into you for so long, and then start working for yourself, you realize, I think, lost money on this one. It's kind of a little bit too much time on this, for what but I said I would charge so that definitely took some fine tuning and getting used to knowing how many hours I have to do the project within and making sure I stuck to it and looking after two toddlers at the same time. So

JP Gaston:

do you think that that is a function of the market in Toronto? Like just there's so much competition that you have to work those hours?

Unknown:

Yeah, I do. I think it's there's a lot more of a scarcity mindset when it comes to careers and, and jobs in the arts, that there's so many talented people in that city. There's some great music programs there. And Museum Studies program, Humber does an amazing arts administration program. So the competition for the few jobs that come up is pretty fierce. So yeah, you want to make sure that people know you're going to work hard, and you're going to get the job done. And it's just sort of contagious, you end up you end up doing what the leaders are doing to so if you see that your boss doesn't leave until 7pm, or 8pm, you sort of feel like it, maybe you should, too. So it builds on itself. Definitely.

Seth Anderson:

I'm curious, you know, double click a little bit on your decision to leave the you know, I'm sure to some degree TSL is something of a dream job, you've got a certain status, you're in this, this cool place all the time. And making the decision to, you know, find that balance between motherhood and career and, you know, not an easy decision. And, you know, I know there's women every single day there, they're trying to find that, were you able to find that balance? Like when you look back on it now, like, do you think you made the right decision? Did you did you find that right? balance of growth and career and family? And

Unknown:

I think I think I did. I mean, I was really lucky in the end to that when when we moved to Calgary, I was able to find a job as director of marketing and sort of pick up where I left off, which I did not know I was going to be if I was going to be able to do that at the time, but I would not have been able to find that balance at the tea. So I knew that right away. And I knew that these kids were now my priority. So it wasn't even really a terribly difficult decision at the time. I you know, I'm underplaying the sleepless nights and stress that I had about it, but no, I totally it was, it was definitely the right thing to do. I mean, those It was about four years that I got to spend with my kids. And I loved every second of it. And and the fact that I did get to do some consulting on the side and sort of keep active and stay in the community, and it really was kind of a perfect balance. Money was tight. But

Seth Anderson:

is there any advice you'd offer someone who's maybe going through some of those sleepless nights or trying to figure out what the what they should do on that front? I,

Unknown:

it's so different for every woman, every situation, you know, the finances are different for everyone. Like to me, I knew it's what I wanted to do. There was a certainty to it. I think, if you don't have that certainty that it makes it a really difficult choice. I don't know. It's so hard. You know, it never really goes away even now that I'm back in it. You know, you always feel guilty that you're not spending enough time with your kids because they're not ever going to be 10 years old again. But there's stuff you need to do and want to do otherwise in your own career. And that balance is the way things are structured right now. I think that balance is kind of impossible. You just have to know it's impossible. And find a certain amount of peace with whatever arrangement you end up in.

Seth Anderson:

One of the things that I wrestled with, I spent a lot of COVID has been an awakening, I guess to how many hours I did spend away, especially for my son, the first five years of his life, I was barely around. And now I look at my daughter. And from ages two and a half to you know, she'll be almost five and feels like I've been here. And it's, I almost feel bad now that I wasn't there for myself, because I've been here so much. But you can't think about that. And I think at the end of the day, leading by example is important too. And if you're pursuing what you're passionate about, and growing as a person, that'll rub off as well. So you just got to kind of figure that out.

Unknown:

That's, that's totally what my rationale was in going back to work to I knew that there's a big change in parenting I find when they go start going to school, and you're no longer the center of their universe, and they've got these other friends and they're learning all this stuff. It's, it's, that was a time where I thought, you know, I also want them to see that mommy works too. And mommy makes money and Mommy loves her job. Not that my whole world was centered around them either. I wanted them to have a little bit of perspective on that, too. It worked out in the end. But when you went back to work, you went and worked for theater Calgary, which I imagine is a little bit different than working for the TSA. Yeah. Well, like I said, people left at five, and I couldn't get over it. You were sitting in the

JP Gaston:

empty office going, Where is everybody? I know.

Unknown:

That's right. And I, I just realized how differently I manage my time when I know, okay, I can leave at five o'clock, I get a lot more done in the day. Then when I know I'm going to be here until I'm done this. And it definitely helped with the work life balance, too. I think it's a lot healthier here for sure. theater was different. I loved it. And I always said I will never go back to doing a symphony where there's 112 concerts, different concerts, you have to market as opposed to six different productions that these last three, four weeks, you know that you can sort of build a campaign around. Although I did after theater, Calgary went to CPOE. So my own words there and loved loved the CPO as well. So that again, the same sort of things apply. I really loved the theater, the productions, the team, they're here Calgary does everything. It's such an impeccable level with so much regard for the artists and actors and crew involved, that it was a really positive place, positive place to work. And I found it really rewarding.

JP Gaston:

Is that what led you down the path of the Rosa foundation and maybe give us a bit of a sense of what the Rosa foundation is all about? Because we haven't dove into that yet. But you know, what, what is it all about? And how did you end up landing with the Rosa foundation?

Unknown:

Well, they it's a Family Foundation, the roses, were huge philanthropists, and their time and their daughter, Mary is still chair the board and and they they just always had. I mean, I've learned more about it since I've been working there too. But they had this philosophy of supporting the arts, but not just through big donations. They also wanted to strengthen the arts. And Ted rosae was a hugely successful businessman. He had several successful oil related companies in Calgary. And he really wanted to provide business training for arts administrators, most of whom came into their roles in a similar fashion to me totally unprepared and, you know, passionate, but maybe no business school background. So he wanted to provide that, that background. And since then, you know, the foundation, it does a lot of grants, but it's very focused on the grants being room where you can do some experimenting, and you can try new models of doing things that normally you wouldn't be able to do with a really tight budget. So there's that experimentation factor where you know, you have to keep evolving and growing to survive. But how do you find the funds for that? So that's one thing that the rosae does, Rosie foundation does. They also do a whole slew of of arts leadership training programs, again, to cover sort of some of the business aspects but other HR, the business of incorporating being a not for profit versus charity, like that kind of stuff, marketing, fundraising, all that, which I think they do really well. And then they have the rosae Awards, which celebrate excellence in arts administration, which is unheard of, you know, even if you have awards for the arts, usually it's for the art itself. It's for like the Oscars. You know, it's for the actors, and it's for the costume designers and the tech people and so to have that spotlight on arts administrators. I think it's It makes a big difference for people working in the office behind the scenes to know that someone is noticing that they're doing really great work. And certainly running an arts company is no walk in the park, things that our managers have to do in terms of fundraising in terms of strategy and strategic planning, in terms of marketing, and the product, what you put on stage who you're hiring, you're wearing so many different hats and juggling so many things, that when you do it really, really well, I just always loved that the rosae Foundation made a point of noticing that and pointing it out to the city and totally your colleagues and everything. So when this opportunity became available, I was between jobs anyway. And it just seemed kind of serendipitous, I went and talked to Simon who's the executive director and I was a little maybe overqualified for the job. But with which he very nicely pointed out. But again, there's just something about working for a company that I really believe in and really believe what they're doing. everything they do is comes from a place of service. So they're constantly asking, you know, what does the art sector need right now, and working from there, whether it's COVID, when this all started, all the performing arts got shut down mid run the night of a concert, that kind of thing. Obviously, we knew they would need some financial assistance. So we kind of put our regular grants on hold and came up with two special like emergency funding grants. One was a programming grant, because companies usually work a year or two ahead, obviously, most of their expenses are committed and paid. And then they need the show's to happen to recoup in revenues, some of what they've already paid out. And that wasn't going to happen. And we certainly didn't want any of the artists who had been booked for all the upcoming shows that weren't going to happen to lose out on that revenue. So this, this grant was about making sure the artists got paid and that these expenses sort of were taken care of so that they could use their money, whatever they had left in their budget to survive. And the other one was a grant that gave money to companies to help them figure out how to go digital, that obviously seemed to be what was going to be necessary for the arts to keep going. So and I mean, with a tight budget, it's not like you have videographers on standby that you can you can call certainly, I think marketers during this whole COVID have become producers, you know, we've learned videography, and podcasting, and all these kinds of things that normally were not at all part of our our day to day, those are

JP Gaston:

usually things you hire for

Unknown:

totally. So there's been a lot of on the job training going on in the arts, I think last year in sourcing a few things. Yes, definitely. Because I don't think it's going away either. So all the all the digital things, even things eventually open up and people can get back in to see things live. There's something about the ease of reaching people through a digital platform that I don't think most companies that especially the arts are going to give up on.

JP Gaston:

Yeah, I think I certainly checked out a few shows because I regularly go to shows and so as soon as some were available digitally I one wanted to support continued to support the arts but to I needed my fix. Yeah. And I will say it's not at all to say it's not you know, there's there's something about being in a theater feeling the music or being involved in the scene that you just you don't get when you can turn and you know, look at your kitchen and grab a bag of chips. It's just it's a very different

Unknown:

communal experience. Sometimes you don't think about it, when you're attending these things, you think you're going to see a certain artist play or or see a certain play. But definitely that experience of being in a theater, with a whole lot of people who were there to do the same thing as you and who are laughing at the same time as you and crying at the same time as you is a massive, I think part of why people love the performing arts. And it's missing right now. So yeah, we're all hoping it comes back soon.

Seth Anderson:

You know, you kind of touched on some different skills that are required in the COVID world. What have you been working on personally? You know, obviously, there's some of those very specific things, camera angles and whatnot, but with sort of the extra time at home and not commuting and is there is there anything that you've been working on to develop yourself personally, well, I

Unknown:

actually did get back to piano which I hadn't really touched since I left my music degree behind. So I kind of got back back into that and really enjoyed it. But it took a long time for me to be able to play it without the pressure I would put on myself for it to be perfect. And just to play to have fun. It was nice to start that up again, and tons of reading. There's so many great books and podcasts out there for personal development or You know, I have different outlook on, on the skills that I use every day marketing books, management books, leadership books,

Seth Anderson:

any favorites that you'd recommend? I've been on a reading spree myself JP knows.

Unknown:

Let's see one. Okay. One of them I really liked I took a lot out of was it's called, I think powerful. It's by Patti McCord and she was the HR person at at flicks. Anyway. So she talks about the culture at Netflix. And you know, how they managed to survive from being a CD subscription based company to online to really being a production company now. It's a fascinating read, and just her philosophy of leadership and management. It totally lines up with my instinctive, non trained leadership style. So it was I really loved reading about that, and how someone professionally made it happen.

Seth Anderson:

That's awesome. I'll have to check that out. Actually, last night on Netflix, I was watching the last blockbuster. Oh, oh, that's great documentary. I'll have to look at that on the there's still one going in, in Oregon. And it's very, it's worth a lot.

JP Gaston:

There's so much. There's so much irony there that Netflix has a show about the last blockbuster. Isn't that funny?

Unknown:

Is that the one they've used? They're using with Airbnb. They did a partnership with Airbnb and you can actually rent out the last block buster store.

Seth Anderson:

I don't know if it is I have like three quarters of the way through. I didn't see that part yet. This one's like very functionally Still,

JP Gaston:

the one that was Airbnb, it might be the same one, or it might have been like,

Seth Anderson:

Glasgow or Well, there's, there's some in Alaska just shut down reason. Or they stopped doing the movie. Maybe those are anyway.

JP Gaston:

Yeah, but they're a functional store. They're like fully stocked, fully functional. And they basically just bring in a bed and put it in the middle of the store and give you a big screen TV, and you're allowed to watch as many movies as you want, whatever you want. And that that's like, that's their selling feature.

Unknown:

And that got them back in the news. Again, right. And in front of people, I thought it was pretty clever. It's really a cautionary tale, are they fear of change?

Seth Anderson:

Totally.

JP Gaston:

A lot of our listeners are entrepreneurs who are very passionate about their their product, which is very similar how you got into the role, right? You were very passionate about music and made your way into marketing. What would you advise them to do to make sure that they're doing the right things for marketing their service or product that maybe they're really passionate about, but don't really have a clue what to do to sell it,

Unknown:

I think the first thing I would tell them to do is talk to the people they think are going to use their product or service. So many times people dream up this brilliant idea, but maybe they haven't found out if it's exactly what like you always have to sell something someone needs even you know, you're we're talking about a culture of fix. So in a way, you know, people think culture is sort of superfluous, but no, it's it's a need. So if an entrepreneur has something that they know people need, I would say talk to those people you think are going to be your customers and use their own language to describe what you're doing and how you how you can fill that need. And to me, that's more effective way of marketing than talking about features or price or that sort of thing. It's more about why your customers need your product specifically,

JP Gaston:

I think a lot of people default to that kind of price. Yeah, they get really passionate about what they're building. And they're like, well look at all these neat gadgets that I built. And there it only cost $20. And if you wanted to buy this anywhere else would be 25. But those people who bought that $25 product are like Well, that's great, but I've already got it. So why do I need yours?

Unknown:

Exactly? Yeah. Yeah, really, when it comes down to it price price is often used as an excuse of why you don't want to buy something, but it's no object when you really do want to buy something. So it's about convincing people that they do want to buy yours, because it's going to solve something for them. It's, it's gonna make their life better in some way. So that's what you should focus on instead of the price competition. race to the bottom. nobody wins. Yeah, when you get into pricing and discounts, and it's not not a good place.

Seth Anderson:

I've learned I don't know about you, JP, I feel like we've both learned a lot about marketing with this venture. It's been interesting as we put out posts and engage with people like what certain people gravitate to, you know, we could put out a random picture of something and get like 1000 touches on it, and then we'll put out some like profound, deep thing that we're really excited about and like nobody looks. So it's been so interesting to kind of play with that space. Because, you know, in our day jobs, we don't really play in that world so much. So, I don't know, I've learned a tiny You know, I think one of the real For me, with the podcast, and everything we're doing is like who's it for? And getting clear on that. And that yeah, I think that that's helped us in terms of the guests we bring on how we present it to people. And you know, it's helped us I think, get some momentum. To me,

Unknown:

that's the key of marketing is who is before. And knowing that upfront, and then knowing them as well as you possibly can know them. So whether it's focus groups or surveys, or casual conversations, or whatever it is, the more you can understand them and why they like your product, the easier it is to give them more of what they want, do a really good job of it, and you've got a fan for life.

JP Gaston:

The other thing that we really want to ask is what's what's next? What's next for you? What's next for the Rosa foundation? Well,

Unknown:

I mean, we're trying to figure that out to certainly the arts leadership training, we've been doing a lot of looking at the social cultural changes that have happened in the last year trying to think you know, what did arts leaders need to know now? What can we help connect them with in terms of this whole new world that we're going to be entering into hopefully, when when things open up again? So we've been doing a lot of talking and learning and training and everything, especially around the anti racism, anti oppression field, as most most arts come from a fairly squarely colonialist background, so how do you dismantle that and all the barriers without harming the art itself? That's that's sort of where we're going now and trying to say, Oh, yeah, we're just gonna solve humanity's issues.

JP Gaston:

Just one simple step.

Seth Anderson:

To have goals. Awesome. Where can people find out more information about the Rosa foundation

Unknown:

is Rosie foundation.org, and Rosie is our Oh, Zed essay.

Seth Anderson:

Awesome. And also on social media, they can follow along or

Unknown:

social media. Yep, we're at Rosie foundation. We're on Facebook. We're on Instagram. We're on Twitter,

Seth Anderson:

all the places, all the places. Well, it's been an absolute pleasure chatting with you today. Lisa, we wish you all the best going forward and we'll be on the lookout for things as they come up and make sure to repost them share with share with the audience as well. I love it. Thanks, guys. This was really fun. Thanks, Lisa.

Voiceover:

Thanks to Lisa MCI, for joining us today. And please visit Rosie foundation.org. To learn more about transformational leadership in the arts. Now, stay tuned for the podium. Brought to you by beyond the beaten path visit beyond the beaten path.ca

Seth Anderson:

Well, JP that was an amazing way to reach the half point of season two with Lisa MCI. I learned a lot in that episode.

JP Gaston:

Yeah, I can't believe we're halfway. It simultaneously feels like man, it took a while to get here and holy crap. We're already halfway.

Seth Anderson:

I have to look at the I was gonna say menu, but I met calendar.

JP Gaston:

The date menu

Seth Anderson:

to remember that we didn't start until like the third week of January. So it's been it's been like three months, but in some ways it's felt like a year. I'm not gonna lie. Yeah, well, we got a lot going on. Yeah, so with that, Spring is here officially we are in has sprung, we are in the spring, particularly where I live. Bears are going to be you know, coming out of hibernation here pretty soon. And as it were when we were looking for podium topics for this week, we came across the fact that today is world bear day world bear day world bear day w Bb if

JP Gaston:

I don't I don't know if I have a lot of context for international bears. But I do have some context for more localized bears, I guess.

Seth Anderson:

Yeah. Yeah. Well, so with that. Mama Seth is here for the beyond the beaten path podium. Good morning. Mama Seth, a mama bear of sorts. As an aside, we grew up in an area in NBC that that we quite frequently had bears meandering through the

Unknown:

brother was chased by more than one bear. No one else. Just Cody.

Seth Anderson:

Like folklore, and that's what we remember. What did he really get chased?

Unknown:

That greys that are not the girls like that mama bear and Enderby, he got between her cubs in that cornfield driving down the road on his bike. He hit that house going so fast that Mike went flying. He may come flying in that house. She didn't look. I don't think she was legitimately trying to kill him. But she gave him a pitbull Chase.

JP Gaston:

She's that isn't the most rural Canadian story I think I've ever heard. He was in between them back corn. Right? Yeah, he wrote right between mom and the babies. Yeah, he had to throw down his cigarettes because

Seth Anderson:

it's a good one. It's not as good as the time that he went down to the river and caught that I don't know salmon or spawning salmon very large fish brought it and put it in the bathtub thinking that was gonna be suffered

Unknown:

yes and then at the other time the dog chased him in the house and she kept trying to bite him and he sent me into so mad. Well journal there was a baby bear in the yard and we never did see mom but we watched the baby play across the yard play across the field climb up the hill, and I called the neighbor to Warner and their daughter went out to try to catch it but Danny sack so yeah, we never did see mom but we knew she couldn't have been far so he gets he wasn't chase that time as much as the dog chased him in the house so that the mama bear didn't get it. So your brother had a knack for wildlife chasing him?

Seth Anderson:

I wasn't I wasn't expecting all these wonderful Do you have any bear childhood stories? JP for? No. Not even dumped. There's

JP Gaston:

there's not a lot of bears in southern Ontario.

Seth Anderson:

All right, well, with that, maybe I'll go first this week. I don't know. What do you guys think? fancy? Yeah, come in hot. Okay, so my top three I've got I've got a pure top three this week. I'll let I'll let you guys do the runners up if you so choose. Number Number Three when I was thinking about my favorite bears, I don't even know if these are my favorite bears either. Just the bears that came to mind. I think more so. So number three, I have Mike Ditka bears bears. Yeah, every SNL skit one of the greatest bears of all time. Not that I'm a Bears fan, but he came to mind a legend. The Mike Ditka. I don't even know if you know who that is. Mother. I know.

Unknown:

I don't think counts as a bear. But Wow.

JP Gaston:

You know what, I've also got my list so we're

Seth Anderson:

number two for me. I'm going to go with the Vancouver Grizzlies. Not the Memphis Grizzlies. Those don't exist to me. Plus, like, Are there actually Grizzlies in Memphis? I don't think that's the thing. That's just lazy. Lazy marketing is what that is.

JP Gaston:

tied back to the show good work.

Seth Anderson:

And in particular, my favorite player on the Vancouver Grizzlies. was Mike Bibby another legend in his own right.

JP Gaston:

You know this is about bears. Not Mike's Right. Yeah. Listen, for your favorite Mike's.

Seth Anderson:

Name Mike. I think seems really is there a character named Mike? Mike. And Mike. Mike. My number one bear I've actually Oh, it's blue. It's Blue Bear. So Baloo the bear. I don't know that. I need to say more. I don't think he's been caught up in any of the recent Disney scandals that I'm aware of. I think he's pretty not the recent ones. He's been pretty clean. He's coming through the steroid era without any blemishes that I'm aware of. And honestly like the bare necessities could be like the theme song to the life I live now. I could just picture mother Me and Me floating down the river on my back with Linden on my chest saying the bare necessities This summer I think I think that's the thing that could happen. JP talking before the call, because he's a big Blue Bear fan. And I think it's his ability to act in multiple shows multiple multi talented

JP Gaston:

in different very different rules to that you get a lot of like crossover like Donald Duck crosses over into many of the same shows where he plays the same character. Right.

Seth Anderson:

But you have Balu I mean, I called it NB Dec he

JP Gaston:

went from just being but he went, look, he was very dedicated to his craft and he went from just being a regular bear in the jungle to getting his pilot's license and flying cargo planes.

Seth Anderson:

Well, you know, it wasn't it wasn't just him though. Like King Louie. He made the transition to like a, some sort of drugs are I don't remember. It's pretty odd Brando and Shere Khan. I mean, he got the suit. Everything. Yeah, kick cloud kicker. I don't think he was in the jungle book. But maybe he was I don't know.

JP Gaston:

He's listed as the key grip.

Seth Anderson:

All right, there you have it. Plus Bill Murray played blue. How can you not know which his name was Mike? It's too bad.

JP Gaston:

I actually just looked up to see if anyone is played blue. Mike

Seth Anderson:

so my list was bears named Bill and Mike so mother I will I will pass off to you for your top bears.

Unknown:

Well my top bears are not sports related in any way nor names Mike so Smokey the Bear when I was a kid, Smokey Bear was a big thing. The posters I think there was a commercial and somebody smoking in the commercial. I it was old school but yeah, I really liked smoking bear. then number two had to be carebears which was one of Seth favorite shows as a child. He loved him some carebear

JP Gaston:

is one of everybody's favorite ship Mike carebear. Was she shoots a microphone. It's the podcast bear.

Unknown:

I can't remember which one says favorite was I think it was one of the carebear Lion that might have been your favorite Lion

Seth Anderson:

Heart.

Unknown:

Yeah, Lion Heart. I don't even think it was a bear. So really?

JP Gaston:

Remember the name is my

Unknown:

cousin? Who's a carebear cousin. That's right. Your cousin died. So yeah, carebears for sure. And my number one is, is a combo I'm pulling this out. I had a bear I got given a bear as a child was stuffed a bear and he had a T shirt that said Laura, my name was put on little red shirt and I love that bear so much. So it was the Laura bear. But gummy bears. How does one not love a gummy bear? It's like fate. My favorite thing in the whole flippin world. So I'm really torn between the Laura bear and gummy bears. But gummy bears probably are my number one.

JP Gaston:

Gummy Bears are delicious. Oh, they're delightful. They really are awesome.

Seth Anderson:

Thank you, mother. That's a great list. No, no problem. JP, what do you got?

JP Gaston:

I actually do have a list of three. But as you were talking, I added a fourth that I realized Seth and I talked about, and then didn't make any of our top three lists. But I think it's very, very close on many people's lists. So I'll add it which is Teddy Ruxpin. Whoo. Oh, Seth love Teddy rocks. Oh, he loved that throwing the cassette in there and yeah, for his batteries to die. So we're slowly growing.

Seth Anderson:

None of us think of the centipede thing that was in that show. grabby girl. His name was crappy.

JP Gaston:

That was a huge centipede too, cuz he's never thought of that. So my actual three so that was kind of a everybody's extra. But my actual three. Number three Yogi Bear. I watched a lot of Yogi Bear. He was a little bit older, much like like the Flintstones. They're a little bit before my time, but I watched it a fair bit. So I watched a fair bit of Yogi Bear. That's probably why like stealing picnic baskets.

Seth Anderson:

He just had done to Prince's Island Park and picnic baskets. What's his? What's his sidekicks name again? Boo boo, boo boo. So I'm gonna call Declan booboo From now on you guys.

JP Gaston:

Declan and I just go down and we were the Fish Creek this weekend. I

Seth Anderson:

just scooped up a few picnic baskets.

JP Gaston:

Number two so this is where we both have a Chicago bear. William Perry. Also known as the fridge.

Seth Anderson:

The fridge Yes.

JP Gaston:

325 pounds six foot two. That doesn't sound that big these days. But for his time he was and he I think still to this day. He has the largest Super Bowl ring size ever. What size? What size ring? Do you wear? Seth? Do you know? I'm gonna guess somewhere like the 10 to 12 range. I think that's average. He's a 25 He is the same is the same site like that's a bracelet for me. And then my number one,

Seth Anderson:

I think quickly before you get to your number 120 just just to two other bears that come to mind Brian or locker. Man, that guy could play defense he was he was a beauty. And Walter Payton didn't make either of our lists, but maybe and then probably because he's a little before our time but one of the greatest running backs if not the way you just

JP Gaston:

said two more bears. I was like oh geez, it's gonna take but you meant specifically should

Seth Anderson:

know specifically week Are we good?

JP Gaston:

Yeah. Okay, my number one we talked about balloon I've actually got another cartoon bear that meant a lot to me is a kid little john from Robin Hood the Disney's Robin Hood. Like the rapper? Not lil. Not lil john.

Seth Anderson:

Okay.

JP Gaston:

Little John. Let me make sure to say all the letters here.

Seth Anderson:

I don't I think this has got to be the first list that he's ever been included in

JP Gaston:

Lil' John or little john. I guess both. I don't know.

Seth Anderson:

Interesting thing though. Like Two of your bears are both thieves. One food

JP Gaston:

you got it for the necessities of life like Balu sang about it. The other one to give to the poor he was a philanthropic thieft

Seth Anderson:

interesting All right, I dig it.

JP Gaston:

That's my that's my list.

Mama Seth:

Good list.

JP Gaston:

I think we covered most of the bears but interested to hear from folks what what they might have.

Seth Anderson:

Yeah, yeah, drop it in the comments. what's what's your favorite bear and or bear it

JP Gaston:

doesn't matter if they're sports.

Seth Anderson:

They don't have to be sports related. The anchorman bear that's a good one that we missed out on.

JP Gaston:

I'm sure we'll get some comments about Boston Bruins bought the bourbon Yeah, that's a bear

Seth Anderson:

with the Cubs or bears. Last day check Okay. Thanks for thanks for hopping on mama says anything new and exciting it beyond the beaten path

Mama Seth:

no just the desk finally finished the desk for you and the sign that was not quit everything else in life on hold tilos got done but they're done. So now I can feel 20 other orders that have been sent a very

Seth Anderson:

beautiful desk big shout out to Aaron and Cody for their work on that. And you know, you guys in the furniture building business now or what's going on there?

Unknown:

Maybe something we'd ponder. Oh, start doing a few pieces. Maybe they're a lot of work. But yeah, it turned out pretty good. So they both got over there. Worry of not being able to do one well enough. So current

Seth Anderson:

boards, two desks, they got you covered. I'd be on the beaten path and that fancy sign behind it. Yeah, fine. This is not going to be on video so you can't see it. But it is you know, check out our social feeds. It's very pretty awesome. Awesome. Thanks for joining guys. Alright, see ya.