Schooling event production 

LUNA Community Event Coordination Program trains students in show production

What: Community Event Coordination Program

Deadline: Friday, Nov. 2

Where: Whistler

Tuition: Free

Reggie Tikas was the biggest success story behind LUNA’s Community Event Coordination Program for young adults.

The former Whistlerite began volunteering with LUNAFliks two years ago before he decided to enroll in the yearlong events program, which led to an events facilitator position with LUNA.

However his time with LUNA was short-lived. Tikas moved on to found his own events production company, called Teeks Tekniques, which wrangled music for events such as Crankworx, the World Ski and Snowboard Festival and 2010 events.

Despite losing one of her star players, LUNA coordinator Kirin Pal-Pross couldn’t be happier.

“His move is unfortunate for us, but it’s great to see his success,” she said. “That is what our program is about.”

The program is geared to young adults 18 to 35 years old who want to learn about producing events and enhancing their skill sets as well as their employability.

“We look for the most creative, energetic, committed and reliable people to fill the positions,” Pal-Pross said. “Our past graduates have produced outstanding events of their own, some of which we’ve made into annual events.”

The most recent example was the Harvest Art Fest, co-produced by Magda Kwaterska who has since moved on to the public relations program at Langara College and now works in communications at Bernard Hodes in Vancouver.

Kwaterska participated in LUNA’s 11-month program, which includes in-class training sessions with industry professionals as well as hands-on event operations and promotions experience. Students graduate with a Community Event Coordination certificate endorsed by the Resort Municipality of Whistler and Whistler RCMP.

“When I started (the LUNA) program, I realized I needed a lot of help to run it,” Pal-Pross said. “Rather than just look for volunteers, I wanted to offer something in return.”

Training sessions include Event Management and Marketing with Maureen Douglas, director of communications for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games; Sponsorship and Fundraising with Sue Eckersley, founder of Watermark Communications, producers of the World Ski and Snowboard Festival; Media Communications with journalist Nicole Fitzgerald; True Colours with Bernie Lalor-Morton of Focus Forward Consulting; Risk Management with Keith Gibson, risk manager for the Municipal Insurance Association of B.C.; and Communications with Ralph Forsyth of Green Monkey Consulting.

In addition to benefiting from the program, participants are also eligible to partake in the Whistler Spirit program, giving students eligibility for a discounted ski pass.

LUNA (Late and Unique Nighttime Alternatives) produces unique, affordable and alcohol-free events year round. Past successes have included LUNAFliks, Sea to Sky Battle of the Bands, Harvest Art Fest, Drop-In Dodgeball, and Moist: The Pool Party.

If you think you may have the next best event inside of you, apply to the Community Event Coordination Program by visiting lunawhistler.com or calling Pal-Pross at 604-935-8372 by Friday, Nov. 2.

The program is free but limited to 16 students.

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