We, Debbie Peters, Margot Holmes and Inga Petri, conceived of The Pitch over a scrumptious dinner in Whitehorse, Yukon in August of 2019. We believed that a digital showcase would greatly increase opportunities for artists and presenters to meet and to book tours. And we believed that it would enhance the traditional showcasing model with mutual benefits for agents and presenting networks.
We wanted to build a robust, secure tool that could facilitate greater market access for artists who were often relegated to the edges of the mainstream either due to geography, identity or genre. By going digital we would be able to showcase full theatre and dance productions with ease as well as a wider breadth of touring ready works from all performing arts disciplines.
We received notification of funding from the Canada Council for the Arts’ Digital Strategy Fund in March 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic response shuttered much of regular life and the live arts began to turn into one of the hardest hit sectors. With COVID, our work became both urgent and necessary at an entirely different level than we had anticipated.
In early 2022, two years into a deeply disruptive COVID pandemic, the world appears to become accustomed to living with this ever mutating virus and its impacts. Much of the world is trying to return to gatherings, to concerts, to the live arts amidst a changed world.
It is clear that the pandemic has changed audience and their attendance priorities have been shifting. At the same time the showcasing model of the past is seeing continued change as presenters are recalibrating to their new reality.
We believe that digital transformation of both society and the live arts sector will increase from here. Going back is less of an option than sorting out a new going forward as the live arts sector rebuilds from the ground up. Let’s do this together – for the good of the arts.
At the heart of The Pitch is a simple desire:
To make more performing artists more discoverable by more presenters more often.
As a digital B2B marketplace we will enlarge the number of artists from a wide range of disciplines (music, theatre, dance, storytelling, comedy and other live performances), genres, cultural backgrounds and we will grow the number of presenters they are introduced to and establish relationships with.