Broadcast nationwide on the CBC, The Opening of SkyDome: A Celebration — Andrea Martin and Alan Thicke co-hosted the 90-minute event on June 3, 1989, complete with songs written specifically for the celebration. Brian Williams hosted the TV special. I was Stage Manager, responsible for marshaling over 5,000 performers and coordination on the stadium floor, staging and dressing areas. During 4 months pre-production, I was stage manager for rehearsal space, scheduling and advance coordination with STADCO.
Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, rock band Glass Tiger, musical impersonator Andre-Phillippe Gagnon, guest stars Liberty Silver, Tommy Ambrose, the Toronto Symphony, David Clayton Thomas and CATS star Theresa Pitt, various construction workers such as ironworkers, carpenters and electricians in an Olympic style parade and thousands of “People of Toronto” showcasing multi-cultural heritage performed. It also featured a Guinness Book of World Records longest dancer kick line. The opening show rented every available spotlight on the northeastern seaboard and climaxed with a burst of fireworks and the release of 30,000 balloons, all helped by 5,000 volunteers.
Months of rehearsals in a huge Nut & Bolt factory in Browns Line preceded the event.
Executive Produced by Paddy Samson, Produced, Written & Directed by Stan Jacobson, Artistic Directed by Roland Kirouac, Associate Produced by David N. Rosen, Musical Direction by Rick Wilkins, Production Designed by Rudi Dorn; Costume Design by Olga Dimitrov, Technical Direction by Bob Mitchell, Stage Managed by Pat Thomas and Toby Simkin; Associate Director: Shelagh O’Brien; Lighting Directors: John Botelho and Adrian Goldberg; Audio Direction by Larry Estrin; Lighting Consultant: John Rook; Audio Coordination by Paul Trotter; Head of Wardrobe: Petra Kravjansky; Ethnic Dance Choreography by DJ Wizniak; Talent Coordination by Janet Buffett; Advance Location Coordination by Toby Simkin; Traffic Coordination by Michael Connell; Pyrotechnics by Eric Tucker / Pyrodyne Canada; Laser Directors: Glen Tonsor and Mark Loman; Lasers by Laser Magic Productions; Audio, Lighting & Staging Facilities provided by Ainsworth.