Podcast, Arts & Culture, Community, Urban Issues

See How We Run! Backstage Spaces — with Alen Dominguez and Caitlin Jones

November 28, 2023
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On this episode of See How We Run! we’re joined by Neworld Theatre’s managing director Alen Dominguez and consultant Caitlin Jones to talk about Progress Lab 1422’s Backstage Spaces report.

Progress Lab is a building in East Vancouver that is a dedicated performance creation space and home to a collective of renowned theatre and dance companies, who collaboratively run the space with their nonprofit tenants’ board C-Space. Progress Lab is home to Company 605, Electric Company Theatre, the Frank Theatre, Neworld theatre, Playwrights Theatre Centre, rice & beans theatre, Rumble, Tara Cheyenne Performance, and Theatre Conspiracy. 

The Backstage Spaces report provides an understanding of the issues performance creation spaces face in terms of affordability, city zoning, and property-tax, that threaten not only the companies tenancies but their creative capacities.

This episode is hosted by SFU VOCE program assistant and interdisciplinary performance artist Samantha Walters, alongside SFU VOCE program manager Julia Aoki, who brings in a wealth of knowledge on non-profit arts administration in Vancouver.


About Our Guests

Alen Dominguez

Alen Dominguez (He/Him) is a Mexican-Canadian theatre artist who trained as an actor at the University of British Columbia. 

He has since expanded his work into producing and arts management for several award-winning companies across Metro Vancouver. He's currently the Managing Director at Neworld Theatre and the chair of C-Space, which runs Progress Lab 1422. He's so lucky to get to work in that building surrounded by the coolest cats in town.

He’s also worked with Tara Cheyenne Performance, Royal City Musical Theatre, Electric Company, The Chop, City Opera Vancouver, Bard on the Beach, Ruby Slippers, Arts Club, Citadel, Chemainus and Western Gold. Alen is a co-founder of the Canadian Latinx Theatre Artist Coalition (CALTAC) and an active member of the Sectoral Climate Arts Leadership for the Emergency (SCALE).

Caitlin Jones

Caitlin Jones is a long-time cultural worker, curator and writer—working with and within a range of independent and institutional contexts.

As Executive Director of BCA (formerly BC Artscape) she was responsible for the development and operations of multiple affordable real-estate projects for the cultural community. As the Executive Director of the Western Front Society in Vancouver, in addition to her directorial and curatorial duties, she spearheaded programming, policy and dialogue around issues of equity and urban development, and the roles of artists within it.

Prior to her move to BC she held a combined curatorial and conservation position at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, was the Director of Programming at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery and was a writer and advisor for Her writings on contemporary art and new media have appeared in a wide range of exhibition catalogs, periodicals and other international publications including The Believer, Documents in Contemporary Art series, among others.



Walters, Samantha. “See How We Run! Backstage Spaces — with Alen Dominguez and Caitlin Jones.” Below the Radar, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement. Podcast audio, November 28, 2023.


See How We Run! is an original Below the Radar podcast mini-series looking at local arts collectives and organizations, highlighting conversations about creation, spacemaking, accessibility, and self-determination within the framework of Vancouver’s cityscape. The series is hosted by SFU VOCE staff Julia Aoki, Kathy Feng, and Samantha Walters. 

Throughout the series, we speak to artists, consultants, administrators, and advocates at various stages in their career about how art and culture is made and sustained in Vancouver. Tune in for insights on organisational governance, policymaking, community building, and more, directly from people working through these questions everyday. 

These conversations are inspired by the long history of artist-run centres in Vancouver, as well as the affordability crisis that threatens to make the city one without art. See How We Run! provokes ongoing conversation about the urban conditions under which interdisciplinary creativity and inclusive communities thrive.

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