Man behind the scenes

I had a chance to attend Horstorama last week for a fond community farewell to the retiring Horst Jassman, who has run the Creekside Theatre for the past 16 years. 

Horstorama featured speeches, heartfelt performances, and a time to reminisce. 

Some readers may be aware that, starting January 1, I'll be taking the reins from Horst to run the Creekside Theatre for the District of Lake Country. 

Below is a video by former Mayor Bob McCoubrey, who talks about the Creekside Theatre, how it was founded, and the process for hiring Horst. 

Interesting pieces of Horst’s background:

Co-founder, Vancouver East Cultural Centre, 1973
18 years operational manager at ‘Clutch’, where he wrote and produced: ‘Patsy Cline’, ‘Hank Williams, The Show He Never Gave’, and ‘Nat King Cole, Forever Plaid’
Producer of the P.N.E. Aboriginal Pavilion for five years
Entertainer of the Year, Township of Langley
Moved to the Creekside Theatre, 1999

As Bob McCoubrey says in the video, George Elliot Secondary School had been rebuilt as a joint-use facility. By the time we finished it, we were out of money. It was crucial to find someone who understood music, theatre, lighting, and sound, and who could create productions and shows. Horst was hired, and one of his first questions was, "What’s my budget?" 

Well, there was no budget, so over the past decade and a half, through ingenuity and determination, Horst built the theatre into what it is today. 

After working alongside Horst these past few weeks, I think the community of Lake Country and the Central Okanagan owe a debt of gratitude to this man for taking a vision and making it happen.

As he exits stage left, I want to honour the dedication that the ‘man behind the scenes’ put into culture in the Central Okanagan.

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About the Author

Ryan Donn is a singer/songwriter, event producer, digital creative, and Councillor at the City of Kelowna

I love creating songs, which have been used by the Terry Fox Run, Kelowna’s Centennial Celebration, or heard on various local radio stations. 

In the past few years, I've focused on creating community events including Music in the Park, New York New Years, Castanet’s Free Family Skate, Talented Kids, Talented Kelowna, and others.

Originally from Scotland, I’ve lived in Kelowna for over 20 years. My wife, Kimberly, and our two daughters, Lyla and Bella, share our home with Tom (adult with diverse abilities).

In 2014, I was elected to Kelowna City Council. 

Opinions are my own, and don't represent the City of Kelowna, Festivals Kelowna or Creative Okanagan. 

To connect with Ryan:

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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