Get to know the members of the Edmonton Chapter of the International Live Events Association
Alexandra Armstrong, Three Tall Women
Event Design goes far beyond crisp linens and lovely florals - I produce exciting, memorable and most importantly, effective live events for corporations, organizations and non-profits. Matching people with resources is one of my specialties. Education is key to elevating any industry and I am proud to be an instructor of the Event Management program at NAIT. I also teach production workshops and classes at Red Deer College, the University of Alberta and the Banff Centre. Mentoring and teaching builds the skill sets of emerging professionals and supports the overall growth of the event industry. Joining ILEA has honestly been the best business decision I have ever made. The Edmonton community is supportive and generous and the education is top notch. I love re-connecting with my national and international ILEA friends at conferences and I know they are there to offer support whenever I call.
Chris Baker, FMAV
For the past 13 years I have had the privilege to be a part of the special events industry in Edmonton. During that time, I have done everything from lighting design to production management. Currently I am the General Manager of FMAV in Edmonton, and work with a fantastic and creative team! Six years ago, I was asked to be a part of the formation committee for the ILEA Edmonton chapter and am the current Chapter President. I was, and still am excited by the opportunity to be a part of an organization that focuses on education, collaboration and building a community of event professionals within the City of Edmonton. When I am not working, I love traveling with my wife Rebecca and taking our dog Shelby for walks through the river valley.
Shandel Barr, invert720 Productions
Bruce Clarke, Moments in Digital
Shandel Barr is the Vice President of Education & Programming for ILEA Edmonton and Logistics Coordinator at Legacy Partner, invert720 Productions. Shandel is a true team player with resolution focus and has a passion for creating those memorable moments. With 10 years of event industry experience, she continues to develop a reputation for leaving a positive impact on all involved - from clients and stakeholders to freelancers, entertainers and guests. Shandel has a Bachelor’s of Business Degree with a major in Marketing and welcomes all opportunities to further grow as an event professional. When Shandel isn’t helping with local events, she can be found mapping out her next travel destination or snowboarding the Rockies!
Bruce’s love for photography began at an early age. Bruce’s father always had a camera or a video camera in his hand to preserve important family moments. Bruce followed in his father’s footsteps and began taking the lead in capturing important family moments. He began to pursue it as a serious passion when he lived in Japan for a few years in the mid-90’s and focused on travel photography. Although he didn’t understand much about f-stops, aperture, depth of field, or ISO settings, everyone kept telling him that he had a good eye for photography and they encouraged him to pursue photography at a professional level. Bruce began photographing families, events, and a few weddings after returning to Canada. After being hired to photograph an event for Grammy Award winning artist David Foster in 2007, Moments in Digital was officially launched and we’ve had the opportunity to work with hundreds of fantastic clients since then.
Erin Clyde, Foundry Conferences & Events
With over 15 years of experience in event design, creation, and management, Erin is the master behind Foundry’s biggest events. Through the course of her career, she has played an instrumental role in creating and executing remarkable experiences across Alberta and the world, including the first projection animation in Edmonton for YESS brand launch; the Edmonton Valley Zoo’s Festival of Light inception; Dentons’ All IN community impact event; Grande Prairie’s Guitars & Wagons festival; We Stand youth leadership summits; and Northern Alberta’s leading business conference, 55 North. As a fierce negotiator with a mind for strategy, Erin ensures each and every event is not only well-planned but executed with precision. Her favourite events create space for meaningful interactions to happen where guests create memories and are inspired. Daily, Erin oversees numerous little details while walking clients through the process of planning and executing all levels of events: small, internally focused brand launches to multi-day off-site conferences and festivals.
Desiree Concepcion, Alberta Cancer Foundation
A small town girl, living in a big city world. From Ontario, but Edmonton has become home. With a hospitality background, my passion for events was rooted from watching The Wedding Planner. My love for a fast pace environment continued with the opportunity to work with Silverbirch Hotels & Resorts as my stepping stone into the industry. 7 years later, I've grown to enjoy the hustle Edmonton brings and I'm fortunate to give back to the community that has provided me so much by being part of The Alberta Cancer Foundation. I work with community members looking to make a difference by fundraising through events. As the fundraising partner for all 17 Alberta Health Services cancer centres, we take a bold approach by pushing our community for further innovation in detection, treatment and care to those Albertans facing cancer. When I'm not slaying all day to make an impact in the world, I like to indulge in Edmonton's growing food scene and soak up all the amazing festivals. I chose to become an ILEA member to really enhance my professional and social network and bounce off great ideas from inspirational colleagues.
Courtney Coulombe, Planit Events
My name is Courtney Coulombe and I am the Owner and Lead Planner of Planit Events Inc. I have been planning events for many years, even though my job descriptions at previous jobs may not reflect that. I have planned and executed small family gatherings to large events and trade shows with over 500 attendees. I had my “Aha!” moment while working at a trade show handing out “swag” to attendees when I thought to myself, “I love being here, so why am I not doing this full time”. It was from that moment that I pushed forward, and in 2015 I took the leap of faith and created Planit Events Inc. Before opening the company, I completed my Event Management certificate through NAIT, and the Fashion Design and Apparel Production Diploma through Marvel College. These two programs have given me the creative edge, and the management skills needed to produce small and large events throughout Alberta. I currently reside in Edmonton, AB with my husband David and daughter Sophia.
Sandra Crawford, InFocus-Events
Established in 2003, InFocus-Events is an Edmonton-based company that specializes in event and wedding planning, and conference management. InFocus-Events has a commitment to quality, customer service, and to meeting and exceeding customer expectations. From consultation to event completion, our professionalism and attention to detail can help you be successful with your functions of any size. InFocus-Events holds its business to the highest standards. We take pride in our guiding principles and in conducting our business in an ethical manner. We follow the ILEA Principles of Professional Conduct & Ethics and the Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) of the Convention Industry Council that promotes development and implementation of industry-wide accepted practices. We have a passion for event management and have directed the creation, development and execution of many events, conferences, seminars, and community improvement initiatives. We understand and utilize all phases of event management to engage and entice attendees while achieving the established goals and objectives. We are strategic, innovative, forward thinking, enthusiastic, ideas-driven team players. Stakeholders and colleagues have included international organizations, provincial politicians, city councillors, police services, school boards executives, business and community leaders, and technical experts. We have dealt with all three levels of government and the international stage and have a strong understanding of protocol which carries over to all events. We look forward to the opportunity to connect discuss events with you!
Michael Cristello, Students' Association of MacEwan University
My name is Mike, and I’m the Events Producer here at the Students' Association of MacEwan University (SAMU). I'm the guy behind the scenes who plans, preps and executes the variety of campus experiences like Fall Fest, Speaker Series, Winterfest, and many more. For the last 15 years, I've had my hands in the entertainment industry that has allowed me to work along side of music legends, on large budget movie sets, voice radio commercials, produce festivals, execute a North American speaking tour, manage video game launches, logistics for a ski tour company, and assisted in fund raising for numerous charity events. I have had many exciting, one of a kind experiences which I’ve worked hard to achieve but I never forgot about being respectful, friendly and kind to others. It doesn’t cost you anything to be a good person.
Ashley Cruz, University of Alberta
Ashley worked as an interior designer for 3 years before realizing her true passion for planning special events and weddings. As a result, she is now a NAIT Event Management graduate as well as a WPIC Certified Wedding Coordinator. She recently began working as the Events & Administrative Assistant with the Biomass Energy Network based out of the University of Alberta, and she is also actively involved with the ILEA Edmonton Chapter as a Director. She joined ILEA in 2017 as a student member in order to take advantage of the valuable continuing education and networking opportunities offered by the association. During this time, she was able to meet many incredible event professionals and secure her place as an "up and comer" in the Edmonton events industry. When she was asked to join the Board of Directors in 2018, the answer was a resounding "yes"! She can't wait to continue her ILEA journey and give back as much as she has received. When she isn't dreaming up a special event or wedding, you can find her doing yoga or drinking wine - sometimes at the same time!
Rowena Cui, PlanIt Sound
“Business is community. And community is our business.” These are the words that drive me, and this is how I endeavour to evolve and grow as a business owner. I'm the COO/Owner of PlanIt Sound Inc., and our goal is to actively engage with our thriving community, while helping to grow the business brands of high profile organizations through the power of creative video, musical anthems and special events. I chose to become an ILEA Member as I believe that ILEA provides a strong platform to further and share my skills, knowledge, and relationships in the events industry and to better serve clients and our industry as a whole.
Joselito II De Los Angeles, Student Member
Hello! My name is Joselito II De Los Angeles and I am the Music Director for Apollo Entertainment Company Inc. I'm a 4th year Music student, which means I am also an ILEA student member! I decided to join as my network already included members of ILEA, and I wanted to surround myself with other like minded people. Even though I'm a student, I've been fortunate enough to travel for gigs playing to different audiences. I've played for crowds up to 4000 people. In the future, I would like to open up a venue to support the music scene in Edmonton and do as much as I can to give back.
Raian Halabi, Student Member
With a background in architecture and interior design, Raian has a desire to build and create things. As part of the event planning division with River City Events for the past 6 years, she handles all the companies corporate client events and has worked extensively on many high profile events in and around Edmonton. Raian provides event planning and design support through consulting on rental items, theme and décor planning, and final execution of the event. Share your vision with her and she will design your event.
Stephani Harvie, Tycoon Event Planning & Promotions
I believe that the best events are a unique combination of creativity and functionality. When I am not planning events with Tycoon Events, I am cooking, baking (probably with too much butter), painting and dreaming about pizza. I love a glass of red wine and chatting about anything events related, so of course I did not hesitate to sign up with ILEA. Something not everyone knows about me is that my husband, Will, and I are partial owners of a cattle ranch in Olds, AB. Growing up on a farm has made both of us really good at working hard and playing hard.
Dayna Herr, Eventrix
Meet Dayna Herr, from Eventrix. Dayna began her career in marketing, and that expertise now underscores her event management work. With 20 years of experience, Dayna can focus on the big picture and still keep a sharp eye on the details, so everything is done right, on time and within budget. This cross-functional expertise means she is in demand by corporate clients to organizing festivals, galas, grand openings, media events, golf tournaments, product launches, fundraisers, sponsorship activations and more. Dayna’s approach is to work closely with clients to understand their needs and then do whatever is necessary to exceed their expectations. This has earned her many long-term clients and has also built strong working relationships with a wide range of suppliers who also appreciate her client focus and professionalism. Dayna’s passion for the business extends to every corner of her life – she even met her husband at a charity event. Dayna believes a rising tide lifts all boats, and sees ILEA as a great opportunity for event professionals to meet, share knowledge, and work together as advocates for the industry. She knows that ILEA’s work benefits everyone by advancing high standards.
Roy Jackson, Roy Jackson Design
Roy is the owner of Roy Jackson Design and has been doing stage lighting for 40 years (where does the time go?). From touring with bands to designing for theatre and industrial clients, he have done everything from outdoor festival stages to custom set designs for conventions and trade shows. Currently RJD is focusing on large format outdoor illumination; lighting prominent buildings such as the Alberta Legislature, Leduc City Hall. We are also a major provider for the Zoominescence at the Edmonton Valley Zoo Festival of Light. Also we have some very cool special effect items that that are new to the city! Roy would love to show them to his fellow ILEA members. And when not at work I can be found at the EDKRA racing my Go Kart.
Kaylah Jenson, The Canadian Brewhouse
I work for The Canadian Brewhouse and its sister companies. We throw parties every day for a living! I also plan all executive and big corporate travel along with big yearly AGMs where we bring all Management into town for meetings and then plan 3 nights away in a different country as a group. These are big travel groups with 50-80 people in attendance. We felt it could be beneficial to be the voice for the food & beverage/hospitality industry as we know ILEA has the AGLC as a guest to speak about new/changing regulations in the liquor and/or cannabis industry. Any knowledge, or even networking, we can absorb will never be a bad thing!
Sam Khosla, invert720 Productions
With over 20 years in the events and hospitality industry, Sam shares his strong passion for the community as an active member in both MPI and ILEA. As a Production Manager at invert720, he works with clients and meeting planners to help bring their dreams to reality. Sam spent his first 10 years in the industry working in hotels through various positions which later evolved into his focus on live event audio visual production. In 2007, Sam made the move from Saskatoon to Edmonton to take on new challenges. He spent 5 years as Manager of Audio Visual Events for Sharps Audio Visual out of the Shaw Conference Centre before moving on to his next challenge as a Production/Account Manager At Mediaco/FMAV. In his free time, Sam likes to travel with his family and take staycations to work on his “honeydo-list” for his lovely wife, Shayroz. Sam has a passion for many sports - both playing and watching, and even has his black strip belt in Mixed Martial Arts!
Nicole Konkin, Sugar Plum Events
Nicole is a NAIT trained Event Producer and has produced events for over 12 years. She owns and operates Sugar Plum Event firms in Toronto, Thunder Bay and Edmonton. The Edmonton firm is her favourite location because of the people! The community has created a unique space for an incredible amount of live events, a world class standard in production, experience, talent and industry standards. Nicole plans weddings, galas, fundraisers and community initiatives that are socially conscious. She especially loves special events that are focused on youth! When Nicole first heard of ILEA, she was ecstatic! Finally- a place where event professionals would gather to improve the industry and experience for the betterment of every stakeholder involved. She found a home at ILEA with other professionals who wanted to learn, mentor and influence the market standards so that everyone would benefit from a well planned event and well educated producer.
Nela has a Master of Arts degree in Production Management, holds a CSEP (Certified Special Event Professional) and CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) designations and has many experience producing live events in Europe and Canada. She is an Esprit Award recipient and current President Elect for our ILEA Edmonton chapter. She loves connecting with event profs and building new relationships - and that what ILEA is all about!
Caitlin McElhone, CM Events
Owner and lead planner, Caitlin McElhone, is passionate about lifestyle, urban living and executing exciting events for her clients. Born and raised in Edmonton, Caitlin has been planning corporate events full time since 2006 - that's over 100 events and counting! Caitlin studied Marketing and Clothing & Textile Design at the University of Alberta where her passion for design grew and she was exposed to the event planning industry for the first time. From there she worked full time with one of Edmonton's leading event planning companies, ComLinks Events, where she was fortunate to be involved with and lead planner on many incredible projects locally, Nationally and Internationally. Some events Caitlin has managed and executed since opening CM Events in 2011 are: Global TV Woman of Vision Luncheon, Parkland School Division Milestone and Merits, Henry Singer Awards, Homes for the Holidays, Rotary Roast, Black Tie Bingo, CASA Carnival and the Brian Webb Dance Company Art Auction just to name a few. Caitlin has also developed four courses for the NAIT Event Management program and enjoys teaching and sharing her experiences with students and industry professionals. Passionate about Edmonton and getting involved with the community, Caitlin is an active supporter of local arts, not-for-profit groups, festivals and the farmers market. She lives, works and plays in downtown Edmonton with her husband Scott and their two sons.
Jody Paulson, Ringmaster Events
Jody is a skilled event professional with over 20 years experience in the planning, management and development of high quality events. She has expertise in creation of project plans, budgets, marketing, promotions and communications for events ranging in size from 40 - 1,000 participants. With experience in both not-for-profit and for-profit sectors as well as working with board of directors, advisory committees and ad hoc committees, Jody offers her clients a well rounded knowledge of the business of events. Jody has a proven track record of building and maintaining positive relationships with key stakeholders and is dedicated to achieving strategic objectives. She has an ability to demonstrate a high touch style of execution with professional and effective communication, marketing and leadership skills. For the past six years, Jody has been working with four Faculties at the University of Alberta managing Centennial celebrations. Jody takes great pride in providing customized campaigns for all of her clients and is able to manage the end to end process from inception and conceptualization to execution and implementation. Jody became a Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) in 2014 and has been a member of ILEA since that time. Jody is currently the ILEA Edmonton Chapter Past President.
Hannah Whittaker, Edmonton Public Library
Originally from Sydney, Australia, Hannah has called Edmonton home since 2009. She has a degree in Design for Theatre and Television and over fourteen years experience in arts administration and event management with stints at CiEvents, Citadel Theatre, and Fringe Theatre Adventures. She is currently the Fund Development Events Specialist with the Edmonton Public Library. Hannah joined ILEA in 2017 and is the current VP Communications for the Edmonton Chapter. She has truly valued getting to know her community.
Have you been to an event recently that was engaging, innovative, memorable and seemed to run seamlessly? Perfect- that’s exactly what the client was hoping for! With close to 10 years of experience, Kelsey has worked on countless events in a variety of industries and still enjoys the excitement of seeing the client’s vision come to life. From small stakeholder engagement events to large fundraising galas and conferences, Kelsey thrives on the creative aspect of event design and also excels in the fine details that are necessary in bringing everything together and providing an engaging guest experience. A strong community both personally and professionally are key to anyone’s success and joining ILEA and the board in 2019 was a natural next step in getting more connected with the local events industry. Kelsey is always up for an adventure with her husband and 3 young kids. From caring for their 12 chickens, hiking mountains, travelling, hosting games night or simply exploring farmer’s markets there is so much to see and do!