Plans → Pandemic → Pivot
If there’s one thing that we’ve learned from the recent events, it’s that the unexpected presents new opportunities.
Pre-pandemic, Stagehand was in the midst of collaborating on a project with the Calgary Arts Development Authority (CADA) to bring live music into Calgary’s downtown core. We named the series “Live and Unexpected”—a fitting name given that the unexpected did happen, just not in a way we anticipated.
After downtown offices closed and live music performances were no longer allowed in public, we shifted our strategy but kept our focus on bringing live music to the community. From March 20 — May 11, our “Stream Team” visited the front doors of 38 different Calgary artists. We dropped off a sanitized tripod, a smartphone, and an external microphone. Thanks to CADA, we were able to pay artists to perform a 45-minute livestreamed set. We also added an online tipping feature which allowed artists to collect tips from the audience, who watched from the safety of their homes. The livestream series resulted in more than 30,000 views from around the world, over $5,000 in tips for the artists, and a collection of quality video entertainment that can still be viewed on our Facebook page.
In curating the “Clean Hands, Clear Heads, Open Hearts Online Concert Series”, we reinforced something we already knew: there are talented artists flying under the radar in Calgary and in every major city. At Stagehand, it’s one of our ongoing objectives to raise these artists’ profiles.
We’ve created a playlist of musicians that took part in our concert series. As you will hear, Calgary is a diverse musical community; much more than 10 days of country tunes and Stampede toe-tapping. Our goal is to continue to provide opportunities for artists to connect with organizations. We hope to help heighten customer experience and to break down stereotypes of what it means to be a local musician—even when forced to adapt to the unexpected.