Being busy is not unusual but the number of unique shows and the fact that they were all in the Vancouver was unique. It is nice to be in your home bed even if it is just for a few hours.
The week began with a project with a great new client, WestJet. We took on the challenge of creating an event surrounding the inaugural flight from Vancouver to Chicago. Working within the security and space restraints of YVR took some creative thinking. We were able to bring in a great Jazz/Blues band (The Goby Catt Trio) on a themed stage that set the mood in the US Departures area of YVR. It really created a sense of occasion for the passengers.
By the next day we were loading in for the Rick Hansen Gala at the new Vancouver Convention Centre. We have been joining Rick across the country as he hits major cities to produce a fundraising Gala. In Vancouver we once again had the pleasure of working with Luca ‘LazyLegz’ Patuelli. For this event we had Brian Williams as our MC, who is a consummate professional. Vancouver came through for the Rick Hansen Foundation and set a very high mark in term of funds raised.
The same night as we were at the Gala, we also were at the Amway Canadian Championship Soccer First Leg as the Vancouver Whitecaps took on Toronto FC. It was an exciting night at the Whitecaps tied the game in the final minute. If that was not enough for one day we also began another load in at YVR.
Thursday saw us back at YVR with WestJet as they launched service to Whitehorse. For this event we were able to use our intimate knowledge of Whitehorse to celebrate the natural beauty and sites of the Far North with a themed stage, sign posts and special First Nations performance. As this event took shape we were also in the midst of unloading eleven semi-trailers at the Pacific Coliseum for what was eventually our final production of the week.
On Friday we were proud to once again work with the Rick Hansen Foundation as Rick recreated his famous climb up Thermal Hill in Coquitlam. We were with Rick at the same site for the 20th Anniversary and were amazed at the crowds as he made his way up the grueling hill for the 25th Anniversary.
The next day it was time to head back to BC Place as the Whitecaps played in front of a sold out crowd against their Pacific Northwest rivals, the Seattle Sounders. It takes a small army to produce the pre-game ceremony that sets the tone for every Whitecaps MLS home game. Those of us that could squeak out some time trekked out to White Rock to cheer on Patrick as he participated as Difference Maker in the Rick Hansen Relay.
On Sunday we had no show but it was not a rest day as we began rehearsals for the Rick Hansen Celebration 25 at the Pacific Coliseum. It was also the day CTV rolled in with all the broadcast elements for the show.
On Victoria Day, under gray and rainy skies we welcomed the Rick Hansen Relay to the new PNE Amphitheatre stage for the end of day Event. We had the pleasure of having the Canadian Tenors and These Kids Wear Crowns perform.
The week of shows wrapped up with the busiest day as we were on hand as the Rick Hansen Relay ended at BC Place 25 years to the day that he originally rolled up to the Stadium. This time Rick rolled down Robson Street and fittingly ended this journey at Terry Fox Plaza.
The final event of the week was the biggest. The Rick Hansen Celebration 25 was over two years in the planning. The show went through many variations and changes but in the end it turned out to be a spectacular evening as great artists and great difference makers all joined to celebrate what Rick Hansen has achieved and what will continue to be achieved. Performers in the show included One More Girl, Sarah McLachlan, Johnny Reid, Jann Arden, Marianas Trench, the Canadian Tenors, Sean Jones and David Foster. It truly was a magical evening but what really made it special were the stories of ‘everyday’ people who are making a difference. These stories will be highlighted as the show will be broadcast by CTV on June 24. I expect it to be a very emotional and moving show. We only have a time for a short pause as this summer is also busy with shows both close to home and across North America.