All that Jazz

Last week was busy. Actually, busy is an understatement.

As I do each year for the past five years, I was a member of the volunteer stage crew for the Ottawa JazzFest. This year I was the stage coordinator for the lunch time show on the second stage, and was either helping with coordinating the same stage for the early show, or running lights. Either way, it was early starts and very late nights.


Highlights included running lights for Elliot Brood, and watching Colin James and Aretha Franklin from the monitor board.

This year I was able to unload the trucks, hang lights, and finish with the loading of the trucks to take all the stage gear away until next year.

This year I made the effort to document some of the shows and setups. I brought my Fuji X-PRo1 and 35mm each day, and if I had the time (which wasn’t as often as I’d hoped) I shot a few frames. Here I put a few of my favourites. The full set is available on my Flickr page. It was an exhausting week, and I can’t wait to do it all again next year.






Load in

One of my many “hobbies” includes working as stage crew for various theatres in the city. As well, every June, I also am on stage crew for the Ottawa JazzFest. For me, it is one of the highlights of June, and truly initiates summer.

This year is no different, and the other day I took the day to help with the load in of the main lighting and sound equipment. All this gear is rented from a company in Ajax. They bring it all up on a 40 foot truck. So the first order of business is unloading the truck and putting road cases in locations where they will be needed. For the most part, the cases include lights (and their cables, control consoles and such) and sound (speaker arrays, monitors, more consoles and a lot more cables).

Road cases

A fraction of load in for the jazz festival.

After unloading, I took time out in our rest period to take a few frames of the cases. By the end of the day, we had the lights up, speakers in place and cabling near done. And at the end of the festival, we do it all in reverse. Striking it takes a lot less time, and loading the truck is an art unto itself.

JazzFest runs from June 20 to July 1. If you are in the Ottawa area, its truly worth checking out.