ProducerEquinox Vigil was conceived and is directed by Sharon Stevens, a native Calgarian, award-winning video artist and long-time community activist and organizer. Sharon’s dynamic personality, devotion to community and passion for public art has made Calgary a better place to live for more than 30 years. She has served on the boards of numerous arts associations and has won multiple awards for her own art, which focuses on public participation. Equinox Vigil represents Sharon’s profound respect for the power of art and public ritual in building strong, loving communities. She created the event after serving in 2010 as an intern and guest artist at the Night of All Souls, held annually at Vancouver’s Mountainview Cemetery. She was also inspired by her journeys to Mexico to witness traditional Day of the Dead celebrations.
Production ManagerAs a founding member of the Equinox Vigil, Jodie Stevens is the Production Manager and contributes her expertise as a fibre/textile artist to the overall creative design of the event. As the artist liaison, she is part of the art selection, logistics and contract administration. She provides administrative support, overall technology requirements and bookkeeping. She brings a background in event management which includes emergency response and troubleshooting for public events.
“I have been working in community engagement with Sharon Stevens since I was nine years old. From this young age I learned about pre-production, production and post-production including scheduling, managing budgets, designing props, making props out of found materials, being an actor, creating b-roll for documentaries etc. But mostly I learned about community engagement and it’s with me in everything I do”.
Jodie brings her training in textile and fibre arts as well as her art background and education to the success of Equinox Vigil and various art events.
Lizzie McGovern brings 20 years of work in film and theatre, specializing in garment construction and costume design, to her sensitive staging of Equinox Vigil. She has been part of Vigil since its inception in 2010, contributing her creative skills to produce an overall visual concept as a background for the art installations and performances. Using flowers, silk flags and lighting elements, she works with her volunteer design team to enhance the overall experience of visitors, setting a reverent mood in harmony with the natural beauty of the Union Cemetery that welcomes all participants. As part of the collaborative team, she works with the other team members to produce a unified whole.
“The Union Cemetery has been a perfect place to express my love of colour and connection with nature. I love the community aspect of Equinox Vigil working with all the different people involved in creating the event. It’s also an opportunity to work with artists and musicians and people dedicated to creating community around such an important life event as death.”
Stewart Stevens has been the Site Manager since the first Equinox Vigil in 2012. He oversees the details from electrics to deliveries to setup and take down. Always a cheery smile and a wacky colourful shirt, Stew adds his charm to the village we create every year.
Social Media Manager
With a background in Visual Arts and a Degree in Arts Administration, Victoria Sanchez joins Equinox Vigil as Production Assistant and Social Media Manager. She shares her international experience working in the production and management of art festivals, exhibitions, and community-led projects.
“I am a strong believer in the positive impact that comes with creating and promoting relevant artistic and cultural experiences for the public. As an avid volunteer myself, I truly value the enthusiasm and dedication of people coming together to build on this idea.
I look forward to working with the Calgary Community in this unique celebration of art, history, life and death.”
This is Chris’ first year as Music Director for the Equinox Vigil. He has been a member and director of the Union Choir, which has performed at the Equinox Vigil in previous years.
Chris is a Calgary based musician and educator. Throughout his entire life, music has been his life source. He started playing piano at six and has performed with numerous musical acts in and around town for the past 15 years. Currently, he is studying piano technology to become a piano technician. The piano being used at this year’s Equinox Vigil is an instrument in which he has prepared.
Chris loves to share his passion for music with all walks of life. He strongly believes music and sound is everlasting and that it exists everywhere you look. He is eager to hear the musicians and the landscape work in concert for this event.
Kathryn resides in Calgary as a designer, director, and singer/songwriter. For the past four years, she has been collaborating with various companies in the music and theatre communities as well as acting as a local production manager. Select credits include: Benefit (Downstage Theatre); Good Night Ladies (Keyano Theatre); A Beautiful View, King Kirby, Soliciting Temptation (Sage Theatre); The After Party; Ride (Lunchbox Theatre); Wizard of One, To Dream Again (Storybook Theatre); Medea (Chromatic Theatre); Timmy, Tommy, & the Haunted Hotel (Pape & Taper); Death, Smee’s Secret, Macbeth (adaptation) (The Tighty Whities); The inVISIBLE Project, A Chitenge Story (Handsome Alice).
Volunteer ManagerTalia Potter is a lifelong volunteer and has been working as an arts administrator in Calgary for over a decade. Her focus has been on the people, volunteers specifically, including the small army of over 1800 volunteers with the Calgary Folk Music Festival. In addition to being passionate about the folks who make events happen, Talia has also worked in operations, coordinating food vendors and artisans, forging partnerships between organizations, helping to manage site teams, working with the City of Calgary, and even leading smaller organizations. Currently, Talia spends most of her time with her 8-month old son and takes on small contracts with organizations she believes in.
Lantern Procession Artist
Yvonne Kustec is a Calgary based artist whose work explores theories around image, identity, and femininity.
Lantern Procession Artist
Amy has been deeply embedded in community, culture, and the arts for most of her life. Her holistic and empathetic understanding of living and dying is rooted in a wealth of life experiences, an incorporation of feminist values and principles, and diverse education and professional roles.
Web Designer / Publicist
Johanna has been working in the nonprofit sector since 2000, contributing to the nonprofit landscape in Calgary in a myriad of ways. She is a 360° consultant, providing management support, grant writing services, publicity, creative and technical writing, graphic design, website development and social media savvy – all with a keen understanding of the needs of the nonprofit sector.