Presenters Handbook


There may be no greater reward than standing at the back of a darkened theatre and listening to the murmur of anticipation in those last few moments before a performance begins. At that moment, you know the people gathered in that room are about to forget their daily trials and tribulations and be transported. 

Live performances are taking place in literally thousands of communities across the country in theatres, Community halls, clubs, restaurants, bookstores, libraries, parks, school auditoriums, to name just a few. The people responsible for making those performances happen are as wide-ranging as the performances themselves. In the non-profit world, they’re usually called presenters. In the music world, they’re most often referred to as promoters. But whatever the name, they are a crucial part of our collective cultural identity and they are the driving force behind entertaining, engaging and inspiring millions of Canadians each year.

If you have never been involved in presenting performing arts events before, here’s something to think about: By presenting performing arts in your community, you will be providing a valuable service building a legacy of cultural enrichment and creativity.

If you are presenting 1 or 2 events a year, the time and work involved will be much less than for a couple of events a month. But the things on your “do-list” will be the same whether you are booking 1 event or 10.

This book has lots of helpful information for those brave souls who want to bring live performances to their community. It isn’t within its purview to help you create your organizational structure: its simple function is to help you in the execution of a successful presenting program.

The book cannot hope to cover all the particular circumstances you will encounter. When it comes to presenting, there is no single right answer or rule that will fit all situations. As you read through, you can click on the links for more detailed information, helpful forms and checklists and other websites. Click on the boxes for personal anecdotes and sage advice from presenting veterans from around the country.

There are artists and performing groups out there, just waiting for the chance to come to your community. You can make it happen!