Stormy day

Today we had the pleasure of hosting the National Arts Centre Orchestra on our stage as they played with Omara Portuondo and her group as part of Omara’s Last Kiss tour.  As usual, hosting the orchestra takes some extra work.

This started last night when the team cleared off the stage and took down the back drape as the whole stage would be needed for performance space. It was great to come in this morning and have things ready to go!

We unloaded the NAC truck and then it was time to start. Before the truck arrived, we placed the piano and other backline for Omara’s group. That gave the orchestra somewhere to start from.

The set up went well, until we got to line checking the mics. There seemed to be an issue with several of them. It seemed what they had in common was that they all required phantom power. After some trouble shooting, it turned out that the monitor rack was dead! That’s a first for us. Luckily there was a spare and John had us up and running in no time.

The next exciting event was the storm that rolled in, unexpectedly! No warning, not in the forecast. It just decided to happen. For two hours, heavy rain, thunder and lightening! We couldn’t proceed with the sound check and had to protect the stage. Luckily no one got hurt and nothing was damaged.

It was all worth it when Omara took the stage in front of an adoring audience.

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A grateful artist

Today’s 6:30 performer was Angelique Francis. She put on a great show and got the audience up and dancing and singing with her–so much energy!

After the concert she asked me to thank the team today for her. She said they found the stage ready for them–it was so smooth and easy. Hurrah! That is just the way we like it for all our artists.

Well done everyone, both on the early shift and the late shift, for helping this band feel so welcome and cared for!

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First show on the main stage!

The volunteers worked hard today so that the music could start right on time. One team worked with John to finish all the last minute set up tasks. Another team worked with Riek to set up the two soundchecks in the afternoon. The third team came in late afternoon to take over on the stage. They will handle the changeover and then close the stage at the end of the night. It is a lovely evening for some great music outside!

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Opening day!

Today the stage will be live and our audience will get to hear great music on both stages! The team has been working hard to get things ready and will be doing the last minute things today before the first sound checks start.

Thanks to all our volunteers who were part of the set up teams! The days are long and the work is not always the easiest but you came through!

This year’s photos have a home on the picture page and you can check them out–more will get added over the festival.

I hope you enjoy the music!

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Today’s crew was busy. I saw a lot of changes between my morning visit and my afternoon visit. Well done!

Activec was busy building the new stairs for the main stage. Andrew took a photo of the old stairs, in case anyone misses them:

Old stairs

The new ones have metal supports and should be better for everyone. Hurrah!

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The second truss is up!

The team stayed longer yesterday to make sure that they finished putting up the truss on the OLG stage in Confederation park.

OLG stage truss up

It looks great!

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Getting the truss up

The team has been busy this week! The stage cover for the main stage was built. The follow spot tower is up, ready for the four follow spots for Chicago. Today the main focus was building the truss structures for both stages and organizing the main stage backstage. It looks good!

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Many thanks to the wonderful people who helped make cookies for the stage volunteers today!

In one day, working really well together, we made 1508 cookies! That should fuel us well!

Thanks to Bill, Fiona, Doreen, Bess and Elizabeth for coming by and helping out!

Here is the list of this year’s cookies:

Best Cinnamon Raisin
Burnt Sugar Ginger
Butter Pecan
Butterscotch Salty Oat
Candied Ginger WC
Cherry CC Oatmeal Toffee
Chocolate Overload
Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters
Coffee Toffee Butterscotch
Cranberry Bliss
Crinkly Crackly Toasted Pecan
Crispy Salted Oatmeal WC
Dark Choc Pistachio Smoked Salt
Malted Chocolate Pecan
Oatmeal Cranberry Crunch
Toffee Oatmeal CC
Triple PB
World’s Best Gingersnaps

Here is the stack of cookie containers, ready to come backstage!

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Stage volunteer Meet & Greet

Thanks to all the volunteers who came out last night to Dovercourt for our meet and greet. It was lovely to catch up with the returning volunteers and to welcome the new ones!

John gave an orientation talk and included some videos and images of our set up in years past.

Andrew provided our safety training. As volunteers, we take safety very seriously, so we require all of our volunteers to take in one of the two offered safety training sessions each year. The second one will be at the main stage June 19th. It is always good to get a refresher on safety as it applies to our work and site!

Snacks were available, of course. We know that things go better that way!

It is hard to believe but we start working at our site June 10!

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The 2019 festival is coming!

Yesterday, the festival announced the lineup for this year’s festival. There are some changes to the stage locations and area layout that will affect the stage team–but they have not been finalized yet. Stay tuned as we figure out how to work best with these changes.

A major change this year is that there will not be any festival events on the Monday, giving us all a bit of a rest. That will be great!

Stay tuned for emails from John about scheduling. If you have not heard from him, please send him an email. If you have any friends or family members who would be great volunteers, please let John know as well–many hands make the work easier for all of us!

See you soon!On the Stage

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