Employee Spotlight: Joseph Richard, Senior Manager of Event Services
March 21st, 2019
Each month, our "Employee Spotlight" series showcases the dedicated British Columbians working behind-the-scenes at Canada’s premier stadium. This month, we sat down with Joseph Richard, the Senior Manager of Event Services at BC Place, who has been with the B.C. Pavilion Corporation, which operates both BC Place and the Vancouver Convention Center, for 35 years.
Joseph is responsible for overseeing the events department, which takes the initial idea for an event from the sales team and client and then coordinates all of the logistics required to turn it into the successful sporting event, concert or cultural gathering people from around the world come to Vancouver to enjoy.
What do you love about your job?
"My favourite part of the job is the people I get to meet and the relationships that I can form with an incredible variety of individuals. Sometimes balancing the external and internal requirements for an event can be challenging. For example, what the client is looking for and what the building can and can't do, but we usually manage to meet in the middle and make it work which is rewarding."
Is there an event you've worked on that stands out as your favourite?
“I’ve actually got three. The first is the 1994 Grey Cup, which was the first Grey Cup I did in the building. I was fortunate enough to form a really good friendship with the head coach, Dave Ritchie, so that victory meant a lot for me when Dave was able to pull that off with the team. It was very early on in my event management career at the stadium; I had just returned from working for three years at the Vancouver Convention Centre."
"The next one was the Paul McCartney concert in 2012. Paul McCartney has always been one of my favourite artists. The first rock and roll album I ever bought was Wings Over America so that was huge for me. I just love the body of his work, and then when I had the chance to work with his people and they were so amazing, it just kind of made everything come together for me."
"My third favourite event was the Times of India Film Awards. It was probably one of the biggest cultural events we ever did in the building. I grew up with a lot of Indo-Canadian friends and Bollywood movies, especially those starring Sunny Deol are a guilty pleasure of mine, so having the ability to see some of the huge Bollywood stars that I grew up with was great. It was an amazing event from the standpoint of its cultural significance and also opening up BC Place to a whole audience that normally wouldn’t have come to this building.”
How has working at the stadium impacted your life?
“I actually met my wife here. I met my wife, Rachel, when she was staying with a friend who used to work at BC Place and she came on a tour of the building."
What is something the public may not know about BC Place?
“I think one thing the public may not be aware of is how much BC Place is a community partner. Hosting something like the BC High School Football Championships gives a safe environment for the kids to perform at their highest level with perfect conditions so that a bad field will not determine who wins the game. It's often one of the few games when the scouts from NCAA or Canadian colleges make it down to watch these kids so it’s great that they’re playing in an environment where it’s their skills determining who wins, not who’s got the best shoes or who’s lucky enough to have the best conditions that day. We’ve been a community partner with the Subway Bowl and the team that puts it on since I’ve been at the stadium in 1994 and it’s amazing to see the number of kids that have had that chance to perform at a high level and go on to pursue their athletic careers.”
What event are you most excited for at the stadium this year?
“I’m most excited for the return of Paul McCartney this year. As I said, I’m a huge fan and I’m really looking forward to that. I’m also looking forward to the BC Lions 2019 season. After a lot of years with Wally Buono at the helm, they’ve had a big administration change and they’re shifting the way they approach a lot of things, so I’m looking forward to the Lions coming back as well.”