Mike has been working 38 years in the live entertainment industry. He is a proud member of IATSE Local 357 and is the Head Stage Electrician at Centre in the Square. Currently, they are working a modified contract recording symphony concerts with drastically reduced hours. Mike is also an Entertainer Motorcoach Fleet Owner. COVID has forced to cancel the touring schedule completely for the past 8 months. Mike says “It has been tough to lay off staff, keep the fleet in good mechanical order, and keep current with expenses like insurance, taxes, etc. But on the bright side, we have been able to expand our fleet in order to be ready for when our industry reopens.” Mike has hope and looks forward to the day where we can be working together again!
Anthony is from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has been in the entertainment industry for 7 years. Working from general AV to lighting/video. Anthony now lives in Toronto and freelances for various companies pre-covid. He currently does lighting and video for live music, broadcast, and corporate events. Currently, Anthony is waiting for the world to recover so the industry can get back to doing what we all love the most and that we so desperately miss.
Sabrina has an 18-year career in live events that has included both theatre and corporate events. She is currently the Operations Manager of the Pumphouse Theatres in Calgary and freelances as a Production Manager and Lighting Technician. The Pumphouse Theatres have a focus on education as well as supporting community, small and emerging organizations produce live events safely. Assisting the live events community to navigate safety, government regulation, and best working practices is something that is very important to Sabrina. This is why she joined the committee for the Calgary effort for #Lightuplive. Being able to draw attention to the size, scope of the impacted people, and supply chain for live events in Calgary was a privilege currently unparalleled in her career. There is currently no safe way to gather in large groups all we can do is work together to mitigate the risks of gathering, keep humanizing the statistics for our industry and support each other during these unusual times.
Debbie has been a member of IATSE Local 680 since 1991. For the last 15 years, she has been the Call Steward for the Local, crewing shows like The Rolling Stones Bigger Bang Tour, the 2006 Juno Awards, numerous WE Day shows, several Cirque du Soleil shows, the annual Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, large and small corporate events as well as all shows at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax. Last year was the Local’s busiest year ever and 2020 was shaping up to be close to that volume. “The hardest thing about this shutdown has been the uncertainty of when people will be able to get back to work and just missing everyone,” Debbie says. Advocacy of the major entertainment unions has been pivotal in making sure that no one was left behind, and addressing flaws in the social safety net to government. This is especially important for workers who don’t fit in a normal work environment, such as live events where many are employed as “gig workers.”
Jennifer is the Production/Admin Assistant at The Starlite Room/ConcertWorks and former Account Manager for NASCO – A production technical staffing company for venues and event properties across Canada. Jennifer’s accounts included Rogers Centre, Budweiser Stage, RBC Echo Beach, Veld, and the Living Arts Centre. Her current role with The Starlite Room/ConcertWorks has helped establish the company as a major contributor, influence, and facilitator in showcasing international, domestic, and local artists in the City of Edmonton and the Province of Alberta. Jennifer is one of the founding members of the Canadian Independent Venue Coalition (CIVC), who has been advocating for live music venues and the music ecosystem in Canada. www.supportcanadianvenues.ca
With a background as a classically trained singer, Jennifer’s previous roles include tenures at Canadian Music Week, NXNE, production for AEG/Goldenvoice including Edgefest and Wakestock, and as a published music writer for BeatRoute, Hush Magazine, Abort Magazine, Punkanormal Activity, and The Spill Magazine.
Nicole Goguen is a 32-year-old technician that has been working in the live event industry for 14 years. Nicole has been instrumental in making #WeBuildEntertainment and #LightUpLive Toronto a reality. Starting her career in Saint John New Brunswick, and then moving to Toronto in 2012. After freelancing for many years in lighting she became a member of IATSE Local 58 as a board op and is currently the Head of Lighting at Medieval Times Toronto. As the founder of We Build Entertainment, Nicole works with technicians and other live event workers to bring people together and help build a stronger more unified community.
Harrison has been an instrumental past of the Live Event Community execution team since its early days as an important resource for out-of-work workers. His knowledge of technology and social media made him an ideal candidate to maintain communication though Instagram, an important conduit to younger workers. His countless hours preparing for the Light Up Live execution on 22 September definitely paid off with the result being a social reach of 9 million and almost 12k posts over the week.
Harrison has been in the live event community for 12 years. Currently he is the head of audiovideo at Isabel Bader theatre at Victoria University. He also worked at TIFF Bell Lightbox as an Assistant Booth Manager before COVID-19. Pre-covid, Harrison spent his time supporting First Nations (1492 Landback Lane), Teachers, and the Encampment Safety Network (Instagram). During the pandemic he has learned how to make scrambled eggs like Gordon Ramsay (it doesn’t involve profanity or shouting).
Once upon a time there was an incredible workforce involving thousands of people. These talented individuals ranged from musicians, actors, lecturers, creative show designers, stagehands, lighting and sound engineers, visual effects and laser technicians, transportation and logistics personnel, caterers, wardrobe assistants, bus drivers, structural engineers along with a vast array of support teams to backup and contribute their skills aiding all these people.
There is no one better to launch our Live Event Community Stories video series than Tony Crea. He started the T.I.N cup busking fundraiser weekly outside of Long & McQuade at Bloor & Ossington in to raise funds for “techs in need”.
“There are thousands of technicians across this country” who are out of work, says Tony. An industry veteran of 40 years, Tony has worked with many of them.
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