Welcome to our newly revived written “Spotlight on …” segment! The work done at Quick As A Wink would not be possible without the time, energy, talent, and help of numerous QAAW community members. It’s time to celebrate some of the valued members of our team who are essential to our success!
Today’s “Spotlight” is on the wonderful and welcoming Yvonne Van Blarcom!
If you have attended a Quick As A Wink performance in recent years, you have likely met the lovely Yvonne; she has been an essential part of our Front of House team for some time now and currently serves as one of our Front of House co-managers!
Prior to becoming involved with QAAW herself, however, Yvonne was a fan of Quick As A Wink’s work and was a frequent audience member. “I first became involved [with Quick As A Wink] as a spectator [during] Glory Days in 2004,” Yvonne says. “I found out about the play though my children's music connections. I was super impressed with the story and the music, all written and composed by local talent, [which] was very inspiring. I then tried to catch all of the shows after that.”
It didn’t take long for Yvonne to become involved with Quick As A Wink herself. “Around 2010, I started playing a musical instrument myself,” she says. “I ended up joining a community concert band and sat next to Jan Gnemmi [QAAW’s other FOH co-manager]. She asked if I'd like to help out with working the table at Front of House at the Quick As A Wink shows. Jan is so sweet; you can't say no! In 2015, Jan was looking to move away from the position and asked if I would like to take it over. With my work commitments, I didn't want to commit to this totally, but I offered to co-manage with her. We're a good team!”
Front of House has proven to be a rewarding experience for Yvonne over the years. “I have a few favourite memories from Front of House,” Yvonne says. “[These include] the smile from a special guest after helping them to their seat, hugs and friendly greetings from folks that I see four times a year at the shows, and sharing a joke with others.”
Yvonne has been a long-time fan of theatre and enjoys all the different aspects that bring a show together. “I have always loved live performances,” she says. “I love watching the pit band as much as I enjoy what is happening on the stage. My daughter would say, 'Mum, you are supposed to be watching the play, not me!' It's [also] fun watching the actors recover from a faux pas; [it] makes it so much more entertaining to me!”
Could QAAW fans ever expect to see Yvonne take the stage herself if the right role arose? “Dream role?” says Yvonne. “No, my skills are best put to use out front!”
So what does Yvonne enjoy doing when she isn’t volunteering her time with QAAW? “Definitely following everything that my two girls do!” she says. This includes Kelsey Van Blarcom, another QAAW community member!
Yvonne is also a passionate musician and enjoys spending her time playing. “I learned to play the clarinet at 46," she says. "See, you are never too old! I took private lessons for two years, playing the recitals alongside my daughters! I now play in two concert bands for fun, one with my husband who plays bass."
Looking to hear Yvonne play for yourself? You may be in luck! “New Horizons band will be playing the music festival at Acadia on April 30th,” Yvonne says, “and the Valley Community Concert band are in the middle of their Senior Homes spring tours.”
Thank you so much for all the wonderful work you do, Yvonne! It is always a pleasure to work with you, and we are so happy to have you are part of our team!
Do you have someone you think deserves to be highlighted in our “Spotlight on …” feature? We are always looking for suggestions on who to feature! Send us an email or Facebook message with the name of your suggestion.
New “Spotlight on …” segments are posted every weekend. We hope you join us next week to celebrate another valued QAAW community member!