“Thank you to Linda Smith and her PR team. The team at Smithcom have has done a fantastic job setting up local interviews and national/international coverage! Adam Bornstein has been the lead on this campaign and he has done an amazing job.”

– Patricia Vanstone, Artistic Director, The Foster Festival

In June 2016, the pieces were in place to officially announce the launch of the Foster Festival, the first-ever theatre festival dedicated to the work of Canada’s most produced playwright, Norm Foster. Located in the recently completed First Ontario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines, the festival was new to the city and the Niagara region, especially compared to long established theatre at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake and theatre in northern New York state.

Smithcom began working with the Foster Festival to develop and execute marketing and media relations strategies to drive consumer awareness and ticket sales for its inaugural season.

Smithcom advised on marketing partnerships with community businesses to leverage ticket sales and planned promotional initiatives to boost awareness within the community. These initiatives included restaurant deals, dedicated performances for retirement homes and intimate dinner party events hosted by the Board of Directors featuring Norm Foster as a special guest.

Municipal and Provincial politicians were invited to show their support by speaking at opening night performances, and key partnerships were developed with Travel Gay Canada and Brock University.

A tiered media relations push generated regional print and broadcast coverage as well as national print exposure in The Globe and Mail. Over the course of the three-month season, Smithcom’s efforts resulted in a total MRP reach of over 3.6 million, bolstering ticket sales for each production.

Smithcom continues to drive media relations for the Festival, amplifying marketing and communications strategy on an ongoing basis. Recently, managing the announcements for season two, casting selections, successful application for government grants, and initiatives honouring Norm Foster’s appointment as an officer of the Order of Canada.