Calgary

Irulanne ~ Calgary Japanese Omatsuri Festival 2016

Après avoir manqué l’édition de l’année dernière due à notre voyage en Europe, je suis retournée chanter au Festival Japonais de Calgary Samedi passé.
Malheureusement, rien n’a changé…
Malgré que j’ai chanté du mieux que j’ai pu, l’accoustique terrible de la scène et l’ajout inutile d’écho ont pratiquement ruiné ma performance. De plus, le son dans les moniteurs étaient si fort et si distorsionné, je pouvais à peine me concentrer sur ma chanson. Je rêve du jour où je pourrai chanter à nouveau sur une scène professionelle.
Mais les gens ont apprécié donc c’est ce qui compte! :)

* * *

After missing last year’s Japanese Festival, I was back to sing at the Omatsuri last weekend.
Unfortunately, nothing has changed. I did the best I could but the poor acoustic, the excessive echo and the distorted vocals coming back from the stage monitors ruined my performance. Overall, it’s not *that bad* but I dream of the day I’ll be back singing on a professionally managed stage where I don’t sound like that. But people appreciated the performance so I guess it’s all good :)

Calgary Omatsuri 2014 ~ Running the show (Take 2)

Once again, I was the director of Entertainment for the Calgary Japanese Festival Omatsuri.

(I was also in charge of the website and the Facebook page, but that’s another story)

The Omatsuri was held on Saturday August 23rd at the Bowness Community Centre; a brand new location for our growing festival (+5000 attendees).

Throughout the year, I worked my butt off in order to be able to accommodate and schedule >100 performers, including singers, dancers, martial art artists, a pantomime from Japan, taiko drummers and so on! During the day, I was mostly in charge of the stage while my volunteers and helpers extraordinaire were managing the martial art demo area and the dressing rooms.

Even though the weather was a bit cold and windy, the festival was successful beyond expectation; the day went by super quickly and without major hitch.

I was able to sing a few songs during the day: I opened the programing with Asu to iu hi ga” (from Rimi Natsukawa), Blue Bird (from Ikimonogakari) and Kokoro no Kakera (theme song of PS3 game Ni No Ku Ni).

 

 

Unfortunately, this was my last year running the outdoor programing and entertainment. Being involved at that level is a lot of work – and I now found it hard to deal with the drama associated with running events and the constant trouble-shooting. We have decided that we would take a vacation next summer and go to France to visit my husband extended family – who are lovely and charming people. If next year’s Omatsuri do not overlap with our trip, I might end up singing there again. Who knows! :)

 

Performance at the New Year Party of the Japanese Community of Calgary

I  was invited to perform and sing at the traditional CJCA New Year Party in Calgary.

The first song was “Bara wa Utsukuchiku Chiru” from the anime Versailles no Bara.

The second song was “Ettou Tsubame”, a classic from Mori Masako, a popular Japanese idol of the 70s.

My performance was very well received by the audience although my singing was not optimal. During the soundcheck, everything was fine but when I returned in the evening, all I could hear was the karaoke blasting into the speakers. In order to hear myself sing, I had to push my voice a bit more than I like to. But you know, The Show Must Go On!

You can watch a video recording of Ettou Tsumabe on youtube.

Enjoy! :)

 

 

Calgary Japanese Festival Omatsuri – Running the show…

What was I doing when all my friends were enjoying Anime Revolution and Otakuthon last week-end?!

I was running the Entertainment at the Calgary Japanese Festival Omatsuri!

I explained my responsabilities on the festival board in a previous post below. Basically this year, I was in charge of the Entertainment/Outdoor programing – and everything related to that including but not limited to: the performers, the volunteers, the stage, the dressing room, food, admission and expenses for all these people, the MC-ing, the talent show… ALOUETTE! It was a lot of work. The festival was blessed with almost 3000 visitors, gorgeous weather, enough food for everyone and non-stop on-schedule flawless entertainment. I was exhausted, in a lot of pain from running around all day (foot surgery two months ago) but still managed to pull this off without any significant hiccups. I am still a bit surprised myself.

As promised, I performed during the Anime & Jpop Talent Show. My first song was “Time Goes By”, one of my all time favorite Jpop song from “Every Little Thing”. The second performance was “Sora wa takaku Kaze wa Utau” from Luna Haruna (Fate/Zero) in a duet with Yan Zhou (Animethon’s karaoke contest director). We had recorded that duet before but we never performed it live together. I think we sounded great together ^^;

After my performances, I was told by several people that my Japanese singing was perfect, that when they were closing their eyes, they were under the impression that they were listening to a genuine Japanese singer. Well, I guess I’ll take the compliment :)

Now, will I do it again next year? I don’t see why not. It might be a problem though if once again, Otakuthon, Anime Revolution and the festival are all on the same week-end…

Here’s the video of my performances.

You can see my photo gallery on the Omatsuri Facebook Page here!

 

Omatsuri 2013 – Calgary Japanese Festival

I have been involved with the Calgary Japanese Festival “Omatsuri” since its first event, in 2011. Back then, all I did was showing up in the morning and manage the DRINK table all day with my husband Mark and another volunteer called Lucia. It was actually a lot of fun and the day went by super quickly.

For the second year, I decided to be more involved and create and host the website for the festival, plus opening a Facebook page and a Twitter account.  However, shortly after that, I was invited to be a performing Guest at Anime Revolution which was the same week-end as the Omatsuri 2012. I couldn’t let go this opportunity so I kept volunteering for the festival but only for its online presence.

Last January, I attended the first meeting for the Omatsuri 2013 to get the heads up and everything I needed to update the website for the next event. The committee was short of a director for the programing and entertainment. I am not sure what happened at that moment but I volunteered for the position. I thought it would be the best opportunity for me to enhance my organizational and event managing skills. After Anime North Idol and all the other fandom events I had been involved with in the past, I was pretty sure I was equipped to manage such an important part of the festival. Unfortunately, it also meant that I needed to turn down a new invitation from Anime Revolution.

Ever since, I have been working countless hours to reach out to performers and groups, and even organize a Jpop Talent show featuring several singers from Alberta. I have created Application Forms, shared my input during meetings, made several changes to the website and actively promoted the festival on all platforms. I also went through foot surgery while doing all this, but that’s another story :)

I must admit that being a Director hasn’t been as easy as I thought it would be. I had to deal with people who would take weeks to reply to emails or would play “hard to get” after being invited to perform. One third of the volunteers assigned to my team never replied to my emails. Some people even told me to give up and walk away – but with persistence and diplomacy, I was able to get enough people on board to establish a solid outdoor entertainment schedule for the festival.

Did I said that I will also be singing at the Jpop Talent Show? Look forward to it. It will be great :)

Today, we are one month away from the event and I am more in control then ever. I have accomplished enough that I shouldn’t need to work on important details “last minute”. I plan on attending Animethon the week-end before the Omatsuri and enter my daughter Kara in the Cosplay Contest with her (improved) Sailor Moon costume. Did I ever said that I was a Judge for the very first cosplay competition at Animethon back in 2000? :)

See you there!