Professional Lighting & Production - Fall 2017 - Page 19

The main idea behind Together was to pay tribute to the past 150 years while also sharing a message of inclusion and unity for a strong and bright future as a nation. As such, diversity and authenticity were critical criteria for the onstage programming, though even then, as Production Manager Colleen Caron shares, “The country’s diversity made it a challenge to showcase all that it has to offer.” But that didn’t stop the Stampede from putting forth a noble effort. Though the show was branded as a Canada 150 initiative, the idea was to deliver something unexpected, unlike any one of the more typical celebrations going on across the country. Among the acts featured during the show were the Alberta Ballet, The Young Canadians, adult choir Revv52, Inuit throat singers Cailyn DeGrandpre and Samantha Kigutaq, plus dozens of other musicians, acrobats, and dancers of all ages. It was the largest assembled cast in the event’s history with 308 performers in total. For many working behind the scenes to stage this annual event, the Grandstand Show is a year-round project, with planning for each new edition beginning shortly after the preceding one has ended. Caron has been with the Stampede since 1998 and the production manager for the Grandstand Show since 2001. As such, her role is to support the vision of the creative team by bringing resources together – people, equipment, and whatever else might be needed. She manages a $4.5 million bud- get and is there to ensure all systems are continual- ly moving forward. “As a non-creative person, I always marvel at the ability of the creative team in the initial brainstorm- ing sessions,” she shares. “The ideas sometimes are so out there that I question how we can possibly pull it off, but thanks to the incredible profession- als that work on this production, somehow, it all comes together. It’s truly amazing what can be accomplished in just six to eight months, only to put it all to bed in mid-July and repeat the process over and over again each year.” Many of those creative and technical profes- sionals are also year-to-year fixtures of the produc- tion. As Caron explains, “We’ve had a longstanding working relationship with our technical suppliers. They provide so much more than service or equip- ment; their expertise is very highly respected – so much so that they are brough