Fourth Annual Backstage Access Show Brings Together Alberta Theatre Pros

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

19 BackstageAccessOn Tuesday March 1, 2016, The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium hosted Backstage Access Production Expo.  This was the fourth year that the Jubilee Auditoria team presented this event to Alberta theatre venues, including community theatres, high schools, colleges and universities, houses of worship, and professional theatres.

The event featured a trade show with over 30 theatrical equipment manufacturers from across North America as well as education sessions on such topics as theatrical lighting, theatrical audio, stage management, and design.  The event alternates yearly between the twin Edmonton and Calgary Jubilee Auditoria.

Backstage Access is the Jubilee’s way of providing opportunity for networking and education, and sharing the knowledge of our staff and invited guests.

Backstage Access featured a Roadhouse Roundtable, which was attended by over 60 delegates.  This event was for venues in Alberta that book produced events. The delegates had an opportunity to meet with their peers in the industry, and discuss common issues in a facilitated environment.

A special guest for the Roadhouse Roundtable session was Janet Sellery from Sellery Health and Safety, who discussed measures towards a safer theatre and best practices to move forward after an incident. She provided insights into challenges and opportunities related to improving safety in our theatres.

A highlight of Backstage Access is the Workshop Sessions, which featured sessions on lighting, audio, and stage production. There was a session on “Tales From The Road” where people shared stories of travelling the world with a touring productions.  These sessions were facilitated by Jubilee staff and some invited guests from the theatre and touring world.  The sessions ranged from Lighting and Audio 101, geared to community theatre and high schools, to more advanced classes on incorporating video into a show, Busking on Lighting Consoles, and Advanced Mixing on Digital Consoles.

Over wide range of manufacturers were represented at the Technology Trade Show , and over 30 vendors showed off their latest in equipment providing about 300 attendees an opportunity to see this equipment in action.  Attendees to the free trade show were able to speak directly to industry professionals, also allowing a “hands on” experience with new and emerging equipment and technologies,. The trade show takes place on stage and in the shop of the Jubilee. The vendors were provided a focused audience that were very interested in how they could use new technology presented.

Next year, March of 2017, Backstage Access will return to Edmonton for the fifth edition.

“We have also focused on bringing in a wider range of people that use presentation technology, including the event production industry, house of qworship technicians, and architects and the engineering community. We have a great working relationship with the IATSE locals in both cities, and the Alberta CITT have been involved with their membership,” Rob Montgomery

Backstage Access Chair. “This year the Alberta CITT presented a three-day Console Training class prior to the expo, which was a great success and sold out all three days. Based on surveys of Backstage Access participants, we are looking at expanding the event with more Master Classes before and after the Expo.  We are also looking for more audio and staging (truss, motors, etc.) vendors for the trade show, as we are now a bit lighting heavy.”

“As this is a community outreach project for the Jubilee and the Culture department, supported by The Friends of The Jubilee, we are able to keep the costs for attendees, and for trade show vendors, well below most commercial shows,” adds Montgomery. “We have a program in place to offer Workshop Session passes to non-profit, community theatre and students.”

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