As the date of “A Canyon Peoples’ Portrait” draws near and all the parts and pieces of this event are coming together, we thought it might be fun to get to know a couple of the people making this a world-class event and have made Kanab their second home during pre-production.

Bob and Virginia Baird, the producers for this multi-media musical storytelling extravaganza, which will run on Thursday and Friday, April 2-3, are no strangers to events of this magnitude. Virginia’s production expertise encompasses video, theatrical, musical, television, outdoor and stadium events. Her larger scale credits include the “Hill Cumorah Pageant,” the “Children’s Miracle Network” Telethon and “Stadium of Fire.” Robert is a professional engineer, a detail specialist and problem solver. Together, they have produced and/or directed dozens of major events.

“We have worked with Clive Romney before,” Virginia explained, “producing and directing an annual outdoor nativity, “Echoes of Christmas,” involving original music he composed. He is the creative genius behind “A Canyon Peoples’ Portrait.” His vision of ‘what could be’ keeps him and those of us who work with him really hopping.”

“Clive is executive director for Utah Pioneer Heritage Arts, a nonprofit company based in Murray, Utah,” Bob explained. “They are gathering the heritage stories of every county in the state and bringing them to life through the arts. They use local talent, as well as a stable of some of the best in the state, and turn those stories into artisan artbook/CDs – keepsake quality collector’s item souvenirs. Each one includes the Top 12 stories set to foot-tapping, entertaining music, and punctuated with visual art to make it even more memorable. Then, to introduce that collection to the public, they produce a live performance – a launch concert.”

“Seeing the scope of Kane County’s artbook/CD,” Virginia added, “we knew that the launch for “A Canyon Peoples’ Portrait” had to be much more than a concert. We wanted to make this a series of events to capture this county’s rich heritage. On our very first visit to Kanab, as we began work, we discovered a surprising number of multi-talented people eager to help. There’s a community spirit here that seems to have very deep roots.”

“There are phenomenal artists here in nearly every discipline,” Bob went on. “And where needed, we’re bringing people in from all over the state.”

“We’re turning the Kanab High School Auditorium into a multi-media theater for the main production,” Virginia explained, “so that we can combine the visual images of the artists and photographers with the musical, dancing, theatrical and technical talents of our cast and crew.”

“We have included a plein air art competition and invited members of Utah’s Inspirational Art Association to use their talents to capture the magnificent scenery that surrounds us here in southern Utah. We have added a Pioneer Homes Tour that will be hosted by a hand-picked group of young women from the LDS Church’s Kanab and Kanab North Stakes.

Terry Alderman, the husband of our director Linda Alderman, has agreed to conduct a Photography Workshop that will give participants a chance to hone their skills while capturing astounding scenery.

Clive will be bringing a wonderful assortment of pioneer games for the kids and families to play at Hamblin Park in the early afternoon on both days. Bryce Chamberlain, one of the area’s treasured local actors, will be putting on One-Man Shows in the Kanab Library, depicting two of the pivotal characters in southern Utah history.

“We have secured the help of one of Kanab’s best caterers to provide a sumptuous Dutch oven dinner and we will turn the high school gym into a restaurant and art gallery. You’ll be able to enjoy dinner with the visual artists whose works will be on display and for sale.”

“We will have a complete schedule of events posted soon,” Bob added.

“The capstone of the evening on both Thursday and Friday nights will, of course, be the multi-media concert,” Linda concluded. “We know that the arts have the power to help people see things in a whole new way. This concert, featuring the Symphony of the Canyons, with guest musicians, Utah’s best singers and songwriters, musicians, actors, dancers, and even a cowboy poet, along with the professional lighting and all the added visuals, will help you connect with the inspiring and purely entertaining stories that are Kane County’s legacy.”

For complete details and tickets, visit www.ACanyonPeoplesPortrait.com. All proceeds benefit the Symphony of the Canyons and the Mary Woolley Chamberlain Monument Fund.