Blog #6: I support because...
In conversation with Tori Webber
Did you know that Canterbury Festival is a charity? We hope so, but if not, we’re glad to be able to give you an insight into the many ways to support your local International Arts Festival – by interviewing just a few of our current supporters.
THE WORK PLACEMENT – TORI WEBBER
Tori is in her first year at Falmouth University studying Music, Theatre and Entertainment Management. She got in touch with us to request a work placement during her Easter break and we were delighted to have her come in to spend two weeks with us and show her all we could about how the Festival works.
How did your placement with Canterbury Festival go, Tori? (We hope we haven’t tired you out too much!)
I have really loved the 2 weeks I spent with Canterbury Festival; as well as being really fun, it was also a very valuable experience. The friendly and supportive team were keen to answer any questions I had and show me the lively, behind the scenes workings of their fantastic Festival. I was given a schedule when I arrived and asked what areas I’d like to focus on most then was able to spend a day with each member of the Festival team learning about their individual roles within the charity.
Can you tell us a bit more about the areas you looked at with the Festival team?
I was introduced to some of the marketing work that Rachel does including press releases, social media marketing and using Audience Finder which was very beneficial. Rachel and I worked on the copy for some upcoming fundraising event publicity and I was surprised at how difficult it can be to write a concise description of an event you have never been to and still make it sound exciting!
Learning a bit about the business side of the Festival with Mark was very interesting and made me aware of how complex some parts of a charity’s operations can be especially when dealing with grants and the reporting needed for them.
Tina, amongst other things, taught me how to take Minutes which, although not my favourite task, was particularly useful as I’m sure it is a skill I will need in the future. I was quickly tested on my new skills by being asked to take (or attempt!) the Minutes for the Finance and Investment Sub Committee meeting which was very challenging but fascinating!
I visited a couple of the venues the Festival uses with Kylie and assisted in checking and photographing the building’s access so that we can supply Festival visitors with access information via the website and access guide. From Kylie, I found out about how to programme acts to be part of the Festival and learnt about the conversations and negotiations that must take place.
I also sat in on a couple of meetings with Rosie which was really interesting as I had the chance to meet some great people and observe how some of these meetings take place.
Clare introduced me to the fundraising the Festival does, in particular the Big Eat Out, Big Day Out and Big Sleepover schemes that she heads up. I was able to get involved in this scheme by getting in touch with businesses inviting them to take part. I loved this task as I enjoyed being in contact with local businesses which is the bit Clare says she loves about her job too, the people she gets to meet and talk to.
What was your favourite part of the placement?
The more creative side was particularly fun. I spent a day with Liz in the city thinking up some ideas for the Festival’s Opening Day in October and learning about everything that needs to be taken into account when organising a day like this, such as public safety, licenses, road closures, insurance and budget. This was a wonderful day which really taught me where to start and who to contact if I was to put on my own event.
What will you take away from your time at the Festival?
From this work placement, I really feel that I understand much better the importance of having a strong network of contacts within the city and the value in maintaining good relationships with people. I want to say a big thank you to the whole Festival team who have been so welcoming over the last 2 weeks and willing to share their knowledge with me and answer all my questions. I have really enjoyed getting to know everyone in the team and I hope to keep in contact with the organisation in future. The team have invited me back to see the result of all their hard work during this year’s Festival which starts in October.
To make Rachel proud with a last drop of Festival promotion...the dates of this year’s Festival are 14 October – 4 November 2017. Do come along and enjoy an eclectic mix of outstanding acts from across the country from music, dance and theatre performances to talks, comedy, visual arts and a great deal more!
Tori was a fantastic addition to the office – not only did we appreciate her positivity and fresh outlook but she was such a huge help to all of us! We can’t wait to welcome her back for a visit in October to see some of her hard work in action.