Monday, August 27, 2007
Another Year Down: Folklorama Epilogue
I can't believe it's been over a week since Folklorama ended, another year that is a faint memory which is bad for me as I try to recall the highlights for the week. It was stressful during the week leading up to Folkorama, but all the hardwork put forth by the dozens of volunteers paid off. Overall, the attendance increased slightly from the year before, the same can be said about the bar and food sales which also took in more cash than last year (we're talking only a few hundred dollars more). The overall mood and atmosphere this year seemed more in control with little problems, this could be in part because it was the second year at Sisler or maybe the planning was more efficient. The topic of Pavilion venue will of course come up in discussion, do you think we should stay at Sisler? Our numbers are down significantly from Tec Voc two years ago... is location a problem? Too far from other Pavilions, any chance we can return to Tec Voc or score a prime location in the St. Boniface area?....discuss!
Immediately after the doors of the Pavilion closed Saturday night (August 18th), the Volunteer party took shape. Food was prepared and catered to feed the volunteer's that stuck around for the evening, as well as delicious cakes wonderfully created by Pastry Chef extraordinaire, Sumi. It's become a tradition the last few years to entertain ourselves with a goofy session of karaoke. Technicalities prevented the sing-a-long from taking place, so as a consolation the stage lights were aimed at the floor for a dance. Continuous dance music with it's mix of disco, classic rock and everyone's favourite social tune, "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" played as a group of us jumped, hopped, spun and stumbled our way through 2 hours of non-stop sweaty wholesome fun. I must admit it was a hell of a lot of fun, I've never danced that long before, especially without the influence of many beers. We were caught on film (watch the video clip), so there's proof that I was dancing, though Sumi said that wasn't "dancing" I was doing.
If I summed up the week of Folklorama, I would say it wasn't too bad, in fact it was kind of enjoyable. It was a pain in the ass bolting from work straight to the Pavilion, but almost everyone that volunteered did, in reality I didn't have to do too much. I wasn't dancing, singing or playing taiko drums on stage, instead I stood around, sat around, got nervous sometimes, ate cheezies and had a great time being around the performers and seeing friends and family. I have it in my head I hate doing this, but when I really think about it, it's something you're brought up to do. I can't think of a year when I wasn't involved, be it as an Entertainment co-coordinator, stage light/soundman, security, ambassador or setup and take down. I remember those gruelling days back at the Buddhist Church basement in the 70's, Sargent Park arena in the 80's, the Cultural Centre tent and Tec Voc school. We have it lucky now, almost luxurious if you compare the conditions and the amount of work to make a hockey arena or a basement look Japanese.
Sumi and I discussed what we could have done differently or tweaked to make the entertainment more enjoyable and diverse. A few things came to mind for next year; modern dance, more visual for the singer possibly dancers or musicians, both dance groups (Kaede/Aurora) performing same night, a second singer? If you watched the show or were part of the show, your comments and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Any ideas for next year? I know that there are already discussions about a Sushi bar for Thursday-Saturday after the late show with possibly some karaoke.
I guess that's it for Folklorama 2007, once the week started it was fun and I loved being there. I had little sleep all week, getting home by 11pm then writing on the computer until after 2:30am on some nights. I didn't care if I was tired and wired, it kept me interested and involved and that's what life is all about, right? I want to thank our wonderful performers, Hinode Taiko who played 3 shows a night for 7 days..Wow! The stunning Kaede and Aurora Dance groups who provided the beauty and colour to the show. The talented Shayna Paulicelli whose voice is amazing and the Judo and Kendo Martial arts groups that energized the pre-main stage shows with excitement and loud action.
Special thanks to my cohort Sumi Saito, who kept me in line (and from being a "lazy ass") and provided me with much inspiration throughout the week. Hidden behind her upbeat cute persona, she has a wickedly sarcastic sense of humour that is refreshing and hilarious. I'm looking forward to working alongside her again next year. Enjoy the rest of your Summer!