Margaret Ann Bianco, Theatre Director of the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod has a lot of experience having been with the historic and iconic theatre for over 20 years.
However with the pandemic, a lot has changed and nothing is status quo. One of the aspects which is different for her is securing enough volunteer help in different areas such as community events or live concerts. They are looking for ticket takers, merchandise sellers and bartenders. Bianco says it is an asset for those with ProServe Certification.
Bianco explains there are a variety of reasons she has put a call out requesting volunteer help.
“I have some (former volunteers saying) ‘I’m not comfortable to be back yet,’” explains Bianco. “There are some due to illness and different things like that so we just need to kind of build our base back up. We still have volunteers who are on our list that that help us. We just need to get more.”
There isn’t a panic as the Theatre had enough people for the Nov. 5 Connie Calder concert but as they get into more concerts (Johnny Summers in December), their new concert season beginning in February, Bianco says they want to have a large roster to draw from so it is easier on everyone.
“We’re gonna have a lot of concerts and different things happening, so we just want to be able to draw so we’re not tiring anyone out,” explains Bianco. “We will just you know, contact anybody who comes forward.We will retrain everybody that comes on to our roster, and we only need them for concerts and events. Our movies are all taken care of, a group has created their own volunteers.
“We just don’t want our volunteers to be getting worked out. Our Center Stage series is going to be starting in February for more concerts and our database just got a little bit shorter during COVID. Some people are older and are at the retirement phase; there are some people who are ill, and some people who are just not feeling comfortable yet to be in a crowded environment. So we would just like to know that we have a few more volunteers.”