Today we hear from Associate Producer/Operations, Caitlin McKee. She has an abnormal obsession with Hello Kitty. It’s scary.
My name is Caitlin and I am the Associate Producer/Operations for the Firehall Arts Centre. My position here is actually split part time with the Firehall’s sister organization the Dancing on the Edge Festival, where I also function as the Associate Producer. I’ve been working with the Firehall for just over two years, but actually first began here 10 years ago in my first arts job as a Box Office and Front of House representative. After spending two years working here as well as completing a summer internship, I knew I loved what I was doing and everything that was happening within the Firehall and was encouraged to think about making it a career. Long story short, it led me to my passion as an Arts Administrator and took me to the University of Toronto’s Arts Management program until I was approached 6 years later to return to the Firehall to my current position.
It is incredibly difficult to name my favourite thing about the Firehall. From the “Firehall Family” that works so hard to make sure everything runs smoothly, to the history and stories that have developed and been retold over the years, to the fact that I get to come to work every day to a job I care deeply about, it’s hard to pick one thing that sticks out from the others. But if I had to pick one of my top ten things it would be the Firehall’s Youth Training Program. I’ve been involved with the Training Program from its beginning in 2010. Since that time we have completed three successful programs and started our fourth earlier this month. The training program has seen so many successes with all of its participants. We have seen them go on to the Stage Craft program at Douglas College, continue on to Capilano University in the Acting program, return to school to complete their GEDs, transfer their newly attained skills to full time employment, and continue to work with the Firehall in all sorts of capacities. Best of all, they continue to come back as volunteers, patrons and supporters of the Firehall, making them some of our strongest advocates.
None of this would be possible without the Firehall’s amazing team who take time out of their already busy days to mentor individuals and help train them in positions like Technical Production, Customer Services, and Marketing. The training program itself receives a very small amount of funding, and was extremely fortunate this year to receive extra funding from the Vancity Community Foundation, but we continue to look for new means to support the program to ensure we can keep it running for years to come.