Summer in the City is over for another year. The concert ends, lights fade to black and everyone goes home, right? Wrong! Meet Systems Engineer John Loewen from Sound Art in Winnipeg. John and his team were hired to setup and operate sound at the Prudential Main Stage for the festival.
Loewen says his job is simple but not easy. He makes sure the system is setup correctly, makes sure it stays running through the weekend and ensure the headliner's sound guy is happy with what he is hearing.
Loewen started his work weeks ago by designing the system and testing it in the shop before packing it into trucks and unloading Thursday evening. Local firefighters helped as part of the sound setup crew which Loewen says was a fantastic experience. They know how to work and take direction well. He notes it's one of the shows they go to where they don't have to worry about the crew.
This event is also a good learning experience for people interested in this type of work as a career. Loewen adds there are a few young guys who are keen to help and ask lots of questions. He is quick to note it's a career that takes a lot of hard work and time and is difficult to do with a family but it can be rewarding.
And that is what has kept him in the business. Loewen gets to play with a huge stereo system and that is fun.
Loewen actually has two hats he wears for the company. When it comes to Summer in the City, he grew up in Steinbach and is more than willing to come out and do this show. But his regular gig is designing these types of systems. Most of his day is spent applying what he has learned over the years to permanent installations for large churches, arenas and community centres.
Loewen says this is a very long busy weekend for him but once the headliner hits the stage, as long as he has done his job correctly, he can find some time to sit back a bit and put his feet up.