Street closures around NAC during the Ottawa International Jazz Festival

Q & A: Virginia Thompson – Executive Producer, Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala

Virginia Thompson

Virginia Thompson

© Luther Caverly – lutherphoto.com

Q. You are executive producer of popular Canadian TV programs such as Corner Gas. Now you’re producing the prestigious “GG Gala” at the NAC. What’s the biggest difference working for TV versus the stage?  

A. Fewer donuts at a gala! But in all seriousness, the key difference is being with the audience during the show, seeing their response to an artist, to a piece of music or the work on stage. In television you don’t get that immediate connection. The stage is a much more intimate experience. 

Q.  You’re about to produce your third GGPAA Gala next June 29th. What have you loved most?   

A. Being inspired by the laureates. When I’m not producing the gala, I’m creating film and television projects. I adore what I do but there are times where I’m in need of inspiration. Every year I learn from the Governor General’s laureates’ and their artistic journey. 

Q. What does it take to produce the gala?

A. Stamina. Flexibility. Nerves of steel. 

Q. Sounds like a gymnast!

A. That’s not far off! A sense of humour is also a must. Oh, and you have to like working with teams such as the gala’s production crew, the National Film Board (who produce short films about each laureate), Rideau Hall, and others. Lucky for me, our gala teams are outstanding. 

2017 laureates will be announced March 9, 2017. 
Details: ggpaa.ca

 

Prélude magazine – The People
Winter issue, 2017

Carl Martin

Senior Advisor, Communication / Conseiller principal, Communications

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