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About Stecyk

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. Here's another article about the state of print magazines, one that was published by the New York Times on September 23, 2017 "The Not-So-Glossy Future of Magazines." The New York Times allows non-subscribers to view ten, I think, free articles per month.
  2. For those that might be interested in the health of print magazines, there's a good article in today's Financial Times "Battle against free digital content takes gloss off magazines." A subscription is required. The article contains a couple of interesting graphs. The future will certainly be challenging and interesting.
  3. Many different industries share similar business models. For example, the oil industry and pharmaceutical industry are very similar. High capital and high uncertainty. With regard to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, dirac got it right in a prior post. As far as the target audience, those that can afford and appreciate the product. Full stop.
  4. Estée Lauder is a prestige brand. If you go to the Estée Lauder website and look at its fragrances, I think you'll agree that the price points are rich for "typical" poor teenagers. And, when we go to ballet performances, most attendees are not poor teenagers. Indeed, many appear to be reasonably affluent, the very market that EL is targeting. Companies tend to pick spokespeople who are young, attractive, and well-spoken. It helps when they possess a strong media presence. Those affluent ballet goers appreciate having young, attractive, well-spoken people market goods and services to them.
  5. Well said, Helene. All these things cost money. One can look at pharmaceuticals too. The actual drug itself might be inexpensive. But that doesn't account for all the costs incurred to develop the drug. If you look at publicly traded companies, very few earn outrageous rates of return. When they do, they attract competition, which then destroys the excessive rate of return. The same applies to the fragrance industry. If excessive returns were being generated easily, venture capitalists would flock to the industry and new companies would be formed overnight. Scrappy companies happen all the time. And, it ain't happening. Consumer goods are notoriously difficult industries.
  6. For many people, even if ballet performances were free to attend, they would be overpriced, regardless of their actual cost of production. Cost of production is irrelevant to value. Which fragrance companies are earning excessive rates of return? If it is so outrageously profitable, then why isn't every company engaged in producing fragrances? Are new companies being formed right, left, and center to capture all these easy profits?
  7. It's unfortunate that some immediately assumed the worst. And, I should have contacted Alberta Ballet before making my first response. That would have saved some confusion and made this thread succinct. As far as the "ballet world" is concerned, Alberta Ballet talks to its stakeholders, which extends beyond the Ballet Alert "ballet world."
  8. That's helpful information volcanohunter. With respect to the eight more dancers, do you know if they perform the same number of performances. In other words, is it possible that Alberta Ballet has fewer dancers who dance more performances so that helps to explain the discrepancy? That speaks to the season duration part of Alberta Ballet's response. Or, are wages, because of higher living costs, higher at Alberta Ballet? I don't know the answers to my questions, but I know you're a passionate follower of ballet, so perhaps you might know.
  9. @kbarber, I sent you a private message dated December 5. I note that you haven't read it yet. I am just letting you know that you have unread mail. It's not important and definitely not urgent.
  10. I did receive a response. Because it's inappropriate to repost someone's email without permission, I will provide my quick take. As expected, Alberta Ballet does believe that the definition is subjective. In addition to number of dancers, they look at operating budgets, school affiliation, and season duration. While some of you might not be satisfied, others will understand. If you have ever run a company or been involved in a company at senior levels, you understand that it is a complex organization. For those that are balletomanes--many of those who participate in this forum--they will probably refer to the number of dancers. While those who are not balletomanes might take a broader view. As I said in a prior post, there is no one definition that we all can agree upon.
  11. Given that this question of company size has generated such interest, I have sent an email to Alberta Ballet asking them for a response. Let's wait and see what they write.
  12. Unfortunately, the forum is not the arbiter of marketing. Full stop. Moreover, if you read my comments carefully, I made no mention of students being counted as part of the company. I did, however, mention the school's staff. With regard to the size, I don't know the specifics. I have a "hunch" that when Alberta Ballet says it's the second largest company, it's referring to its total organization, including the School of Alberta Ballet staff. So if you were to count the number of employees, including dancers, you might find that Alberta Ballet is the second largest ballet company in Canada. I have the word "hunch" in quotes because it is a guess. I don't have data to support my hunch. I quickly tried to find annual reports for both companies without success. [emphasis added] And last, I said my explanation was a hunch, a possibility. I did not say my hunch was definitive.
  13. I disagree, which invalidates your statement. "Everyone" is a tough nut to crack.
  14. Hello sandik, I don't think it was an odd claim to make at all, and please allow me to explain why. Let's assume for this discussion that my "hunch" is correct. Being accountable for what I write, I don't want to be accused of creating alternative facts or fake news, so I want to have my assumptions clearly stated. If my hunch is wrong, which is entirely possible, then I, too, would want to know why they made their claim, knowing that there may well be an acceptable explanation. Many companies, especially commodity related companies, often refer to the "triple bottom line," which speaks to social, environmental, and financial considerations. As you probably know, Alberta's economy is dependent upon oil and gas. As companies develop resources, they are sensitive to all three “bottom lines.” Alberta Ballet wants to be a positive force in our society, touching as many people as possible. While most Albertans are familiar with the performing part of Alberta Ballet, fewer are familiar with the School of Alberta Ballet. Yet, it plays an important role because it provides a place to learn and develop for those students with an artistic talent in or enthusiasm for dance, even if only a few ever go on to a professional dancing career. As we know, ticket revenue pays for less than half of the operating costs of the Alberta Ballet. The remainder of funds come from donations and grants from governments, not-for-profit organizations, companies, and individuals. Looking at Alberta Ballet’s website, I see that Canada Council for the Arts, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, The City of Edmonton, The City of Calgary, Edmonton Arts Council, and Calgary Arts Development all provide support. Next, there are several commercial companies. Of course, there are many individuals who contribute. Alberta’s economy tends to be boom and bust. At present, we’re in the bust stage. Last I recall, Calgary’s unemployment is at a two-decade high. Edmonton employment picture is faring better. Calgary tends to be more business with professional staffs and head offices, while Edmonton tends to be more service and government focused. Alberta Ballet is competing for funding alongside other organizations. When companies make their investments in local communities, it’s important to know that their resources are being well spent. So, when considering the Alberta Ballet, they are not just looking at the number of dancers on the stage performing, but instead looking at the total impact that the company has on the community. This is somewhat similar to looking at icebergs—the size and importance isn’t determined solely by what is visible above water. Knowing that Alberta Ballet provides resources for children is an important consideration. Before we leave the topic of government funding, I should mention that different provinces have different priorities on supporting the arts. Quebec has a long and strong tradition of supporting its arts communities. Our last federal government made some remarks to the effect that ordinary people don’t care about the arts. That caused an uproar, especially in Quebec. Furthermore, in Canada, there are equalization payments to help “poorer” provinces. Quebec receives substantial funding. Consequently, there is sometimes friction in other parts of Canada. Stepping away from ballet companies, how would many of us determine the “biggest” airline? Is it the company with the most employees? Most planes, regardless of size? Perhaps the most seats? Most passenger airmiles flown? Largest geographic coverage? Most revenues? Most profits? Most satisfied customers? Or some other criteria? The point of raising these questions is to demonstrate that there isn’t one key metric that everyone agrees to for determining the “biggest.” If I were representing Alberta Ballet, I, too, would want to stress its importance to our community. Without community support, it’s dead.
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