Jody Burkholder (left) and Jordan Davies are the new technical directors at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society, the society announced March 21, 2022. (Submitted photos)

Jody Burkholder (left) and Jordan Davies are the new technical directors at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society, the society announced March 21, 2022. (Submitted photos)

Vernon performing arts centre welcomes new technical directors

Jordan Davies and Jody Burkholder will bring decades of experience to the team

Following nationwide industry postings, the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society (VDPAC) has announced the appointment of two new technical directors.

Accepting the role was Jordan Davies, a veteran Okanagan-based theatre tech and former 10-year technical director of Kelowna’s Rotary Centre for the Arts. He’s joined by award-winning light designer and technical director Jody Burkholder, a self-proclaimed “Yellowknifer from Montreal” having served for 20 years at the St. Ambroise Montreal Fringe.

“We were bowled-over by the number of high-calibre applications from across the country,” said executive director Jim Harding.

“Altogether, the extensive professional technical director (TD) experience and wide-ranging skill sets covering all aspects of technical production — including their past training and mentoring of inexperienced and emerging student theatre techs — were interchangeable between several candidates. It caused us to rethink how our tech department could work to handle our typically heavy workload more efficiently and effectively. So we adopted a ‘TD1/TD2’ model to begin with — but we are not finished.”

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The new appointments were triggered by the departure of former TD Rylee Block and assistant TD Aaron Quibell, who each left in February to pursue freelance work on tour and in the movie industry.

“We currently have over 200 dates booked or on hold already for 2022,” said Harding, “and judging by the tremendous response to our first three Spring SPOTLIGHT shows, patrons are clearly eager for live performance, so we believe our bounce-back after COVID may be more robust than we thought. Many previously postponed concerts and show tours are re-booking. Technically, we need to be prepared to meet the returning demand.”

VDPAC hosted 235 out of a possible 321 dates in 2019, with each event requiring various on-site technical support and tech coordination weeks in advance. The new TD1/TD2 model will give the TDs the flexibility to share the advance work and the running of shows or events to better manage workloads.

Both TDs are eager to complete VDPAC’s conversion of its Marie Fleming Studio to a self-contained and technically-equipped coffee house-style venue, which will be made more affordable to performers and artists in the area.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jordan and Jody,” said Harding. “We are confident they will build a strong team to help deliver fantastic-looking events, with opportunities for techs to work and learn in one of the most beautiful performing arts facilities in B.C.”

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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