In early October, Pat the Dog Theatre Creations announced their Indie Buzzies Series, seventeen artistic projects debuting at The Registry Theatre featuring a variety of artistic mediums including dance, music, fashion and interactive design.   

Pat the Dog is an arts catalyst started in 2006 by Lisa O’Connell. Today, they wanted to address important issues in the cities by providing some light amongst the gloom of the pandemic ongoing as well as economic troubles, especially those plaguing arts companies. To achieve this goal, they rented out all the 17 available slots for the Registry Theatre between October and June to fill with interesting programs that audiences could engage with for only $20.  

“Our job is to help develop, provide opportunities for professional development, and work with audiences to provide new quality art in all different disciplines,” O’Connell said. “We work with artists, provide what they require from the very first germ of an idea all the way down to production, presentation or platforming.”   

The first event was a Dueling Divas Dance Jam featuring Tara Butler and Lucy Rupert. The performance started with the two dancers performing solos followed by a segment asking for the audience to write ideas on small pieces of paper to be drawn from a hat. The dancers then created an improvised dance piece based on those drawn selections.   

“Our stage manager randomly chose music and, without thinking too much, we read the word and went for it,” Butler said. “The big thing about the event was that dance can often be very serious and often we lean towards a darker theme, and what was really beautiful about this event was that it was really fun.”.   

O’Connell said the event was well-received by the audience to the extent that many were reluctant to leave.   

“Everybody was gathering and wanting to talk to the dancers and wanting to talk about [the performance],” O’Connell said. “I haven’t experienced that in a very long time, certainly since [COVID-19], where people just didn’t want to leave because they were super excited about what had happened.”   

The second event, which also took place in October, was a hip-hop/R&B Jam with Sam Nabi and Friends. The event featured music by Nabi as well as guests such as 23Dreamz.   

“We had kind of a cozy section on the Registry stage where we had about 20 audience members that were sitting and were dancing,” O’Connell said.   

In mid-November the series held a musical performance by Bad Child, and in early December the series hosted a queer Christmas event. And more performances will be held in the new year.   

On Dec. 4, Pat the Dog partnered with Rad Riot Books to host Jingle All the Gay. The event included children’s programming in the afternoon with community members doing readings. This was followed by a show featuring drag artists Sasha Tease and Manny Manila, as well as local comedians and local poet Dewe’igan Bearfoot.

“We have more artists that are wanting to be part of the Buzzies than we actually have space for them. Part of what my job is right now is to see if we can maybe do even two events in one event because I want to provide as many opportunities as possible for our community to come out,” O’Connell said.  

For more information, visit Buzzies.ca.