Manitoba Arts Network Events

Manitoba Arts Network – Spring  Retreat

Engaging New Audiences and Embracing Technology to Increase Revenues


Date: Wednesday, April 17 & Thursday, April 18, 2019

Time: April 17 – 10 am – 4pm

April 18 – 9am – 2pm

Location: St. Benedict’s Monastery, 4040 Main street, West St. Paul (20 minutes North of downtown Winnipeg).



Member Price: $35 per person (valued at $275 pp)

**New!: Non-Member Price: $150 per person (4 meals & lodging)

**New!: Non Member Price: $125 per person (4 meals)

Audience numbers are trending downward throughout rural Manitoba, and the demographic of loyal attendees and volunteers – including boards – is aging. What is the Solution?

  • How can we engage younger and culturally diverse populations to help reverse the trend?
  • How can we program a season and implement pricing structures designed to attract new audiences while retaining our existing audience?
  • How can we embrace standard technology – engaging websites, online ticketing, targeted email marketing and relevant social media – to collect audience data and track ticket sales, information that is needed to increase attendance?

During this 1 & 1/2 day facilitated workshop, participants will creatively address the following:

  • Audience Development – Attracting younger and culturally diverse audiences through programming and packaging.
  • Pricing – Maximizing revenue while reducing or even eliminating financial barriers to attendance through flexible subscriptions and creative sponsorships.
  • Embracing 21st Century Technology – including website design, online ticketing, and social media.
  • Change Management – Helping volunteers and boards understand that bringing their operations into the 21st century with contemporary, common practice will not alienate loyal subscribers.


  • One overnight stay on April 17th (shared accommodations)
  • Four meals:
    • April 17th – Lunch and Supper
    • April 18th Breakfast and Lunch


There is an additional cost of $35.00 per person if you prefer to travel and stay overnight on Tuesday, April 16. Please let us know as soon as possible so we can book your accommodation (shared).

About the Facilitator: Joan Stephens

For three decades Joan Stephens has led innovative and successful multidisciplinary campaigns for a wide variety of arts and charitable organizations, including 15 years as Director of Marketing & Communications at Royal MTC. She has an innate ability to identify challenges and opportunities, and to inspire and motivate teams to reach positive outcomes.

In addition to her ‘day job’ in the not-for-profit sector, Joan has served on a multitude of boards, including (currently) Virtuosi Concerts, the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir, and co-chair of the Performing Arts Lodge (PAL) Winnipeg. Joan also holds a Bachelor of Music (Voice/Performance) from Brandon University.

Joan has facilitated a number of MAN workshops including Best Practices in Small Arts

Organizations, Marketing to the Maybe’s and the Arts Innovation Lab (Showcase 2015); Magic Behind the Scenes: Creating a marketing plan that works (Portage la Prairie 2016) and is currently one of the mentors for MAN’s One-on-One Capacity Building Initiative. She’s pleased to be once again working with MAN to support Manitoba’s vibrant arts organizations that form the beating heart of our province.