These People Are A-OK: Kelly Shepherd

I have had the pleasure of working with Kelly Shepherd time and again in the Okanagan for multiple events. It’s a small-ish region, so it’s not unusual to cross paths with other like-minded individuals in the area. We had a few free minutes to sit down and chat a bit about what she does.

So what DO you do?
I deal mostly as an entertainment and production director for different events.

Where in the Okanagan do you do these events?
I work at Prospera Place, the Kelowna Community Theatre (KCT), Kelowna City Park.

What kind of events do you put on?
I work for any event. When I get work at Prospera Place it can be anything from Michael Bublé to Tiësto shows we’ll produce ourselves. So really kind of a mixed bag at that venue, and same with the KCT. When there are events we’re putting on we do mostly entertainment and sport and music geared towards the 15-25 age demographic.

What is it about the event industry that draws you to it. Why is it your passion?
It started as an up and coming singer/songwriter and I wanted to get closer to the stage. I was working at Flashback’s and seeing a lot of bands like Nickelback and Jim Cuddy and saw a way to get to the stage from the inside out, which was through production. So I started roading at Prospera Place, and pushing boxes and seeing how everyone else set up their stages and from there I got head-hunted and worked for SW Audio which gave me a lot of experience with the Parks Alive! program. Then I went to school for audio engineering so it’s nice to have a bit of a technical background, but it all kinda started when I was playing music by myself and it’s a really competitive market and I wanted to get closer to some of the bigger stages.

That was a much more well-rounded history than I was even expecting. What can we look forward to seeing from you in the next year?
Well, Center of Gravity is obviously our biggest project. It’s 7 Pro sports, 3 stages and 3 days with over 24,000 people in those days so it takes a bit to put together. I also do little events like FlowRider competitions at H2O with my not-for-profit and then there’s also a partnership with my neighbor where we do this downhill skateboarding event at Skylands. That’s one of the coolest events, six skateboarders in full leather, full helmets racing down Wilden [Road], ripping around these corners and doing big power-slides with hay bales lining the areas that they might crash or wipe out at. It’s just really high-adrenaline and really, really cool to see. I hopefully will do something at Big White this year, hopefully as well… and just building on our current projects.

Awesome. Speaking of awkward segues, what’s the most Awesome thing about the Okanagan?
Oh! There’s some great outdoors venues, I think that we have a lot to offer. Even when I’m driving around high-profile artists performing at Prospera Place I always have people commenting on how beautiful it is with the lake and the mountains and we get a lot of sun. I couldn’t even count how many positive remarks I’ve had from some really large entertainment groups coming through on just how beautiful it is or how beautiful the people are here. The cool thing about Kelowna is it’s kinda like a puddle and when you’re making splashes its a bit more like a wave. If we were all in Vancouver, which is a bit more of an ocean, we’d be competing with a lot more promoters and event producers, people doing the same things we’re doing. Who knows, maybe we’d do well and maybe it would be more challenging, but we’re kind of building the scene here which is kind of nice. I was born and raised here and it’s nice to see the area evolving.


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