Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Creating Tuscany - In a Field House in Fort McMurray

One of the things I've begun to really enjoy when writing this blog is getting a chance to see "behind the scenes" at local events. I've volunteered for various events, and for others I've been invited to take a "sneak peek" into the inner workings. This happened again this past week when I was invited by the Northern Lights Health Foundation to drop by MacDonald Island as they were setting up for the Spring Fling 2012 Gala - An Evening in Tuscany.

This stunning backdrop, and the one of the Tuscan street scene, is from a company called "Backdrops Beautiful" - and they are indeed beautiful.

It's little things like the items above that intrigue me. You can never quite tell what they are, and I hate to ask as I rather like being surprised when I arrive at the gala and see what they have become.

What many don't realize is the amount of work that goes into staging these events. Considering that often they rely heavily on volunteers I am always a bit amazed that they take shape as quickly and well as they do.

In the other field house I found yet another backdrop being erected, and got to see how it was attached to the trusses, which is pretty interesting.

And then of course there are all the little details, like silent auction items. From enormous things like backdrops to much smaller items every detail must be attended to, and I am sure at times it must seem like an overwhelming task.

The incredible moment, of course, is when you see the finished product, the backdrops in place...

And the fountains set up...

And the silent auction items lovingly arranged, ready for bids.

And suddenly it's not a field house, but an evening in a Tuscan piazza, or in a Tuscan field.

I am always a bit amazed by these galas, at the intensity of the effort that goes into planning and executing them. I am even more amazed by the commitment and dedication of those who plan them, organize them, stage them, and then reveal them to the community. I find myself giggling a bit at those outsiders who denigrate this city as some "wild west" type of place with no culture. Every year various organizations host these incredible galas and open them to the city. Every year we have a chance to enjoy these events, but often we have no idea what goes into them or the work it takes to create them for us. This past year I've had the privilege of having a glimpse of that work and effort and it hasn't taken a single iota of the "magic" of such events away. I think, instead, it has added to it. I've had the honour of taking a glimpse into the making of the magic, Fort Mac, and now I share it with you!

My thanks to the 
Northern Lights Health Foundation
MacDonald Island Park
for allowing me to watch as
Tuscany was recreated in a field house.

1 comment:

  1. Kelsey StefanizynTuesday, March 27, 2012


    Thank you so much for stopping in and documenting just how these events come together. It is quite a process, but one that I never truly get to step back and look at, because I am always in a world of creating ... Thank you again for supporting the foundation and mipc.