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Yaffle your next project

(L-R) Actors Steve O'Connell, Colin Furlong and Larry Barry perform in New Curtain's most recent production Whereverville.

By Rebecca Cohoe

Yaffle.ca is Memorial's online connecting tool. One of its most significant jobs is to provide a way for people from outside Memorial to ask for research help. With hundreds of community-suggested opportunities to choose from, your next project is just a click away. Here's one . . .

The opportunity:
Geoff Adams enjoys a challenge. As the artistic and managing director of New Curtain Theatre in Clarenville, Mr. Adams is dedicated to sharing theatre experiences -- from Shakespeare to contemporary Canadian productions -- with his community. Not surprisingly, the biggest hurdle facing New Curtain is a financial one. While there are plenty of funding programs available, the competition is fierce.

"In most cases you're up against a significant number of applicants, many from urban areas and with more resources than rural areas," he said.

Another issue is the competitive impact factor that is built into many grants.

"This criteria looks at the area to see if there are other similar types of projects underway," said Mr. Adams. "If there are similarities between applicants, they often won't fund the newer ones."

There are also issues with how money is allowed to be used. While programs exist to help with marketing and equipment, those sorts of supports aren't effective without base funds to hire core employees.

"It's a case of putting the cart before the horse," said Mr. Adams.

The project:
While Mr. Adams is pleased that support exists for cultural efforts across the province and country, he suspects that some small changes in the way they're offered could improve their usefulness.

"I have my own individual challenges, but maybe there are broader issues," said Mr. Adams. "Is everyone else experiencing the same thing? What opportunities are out there?"

The first step of the project that he is proposing is a scan of the current programs that are available. The process would include interviewing stakeholders and identifying all of the existing programs. The next step would be an assessment of the current programs with recommendations for improvements.

Interested in learning more about this project? Think you could help? Bojan Fürst, manager of knowledge mobilization at the Harris Centre, would love to tell you more. Call him at 709-864-2120 or email him at bfurst@mun.ca.

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