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!