Roy Yen is in the business of making magical moments.
Over the past 12 years, Yen has produced more than 850 concerts, events, festivals and mass spectacles in B.C. and around the world, including the Live Sites in Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics, the 150th anniversary of B.C. and Mexico’s 150th anniversary of Cinco de Mayo.
He has produced concerts for the likes of Bob Dylan, the White Stripes, Michael Bublé, Coldplay and Bruce Springsteen.
“There’s a moment in time when the house lights go out and the stage lights come on that it’s absolutely undeniable that human beings are connected,” he said. “You can feel this energy in the room.”
After producing his first concerts and events as a university student, Yen started his production company, Soomö Entertainment, in 2000.
In 2005, he took what he calls “a sabbatical” to take on the role of cultural planner with the City of Vancouver, where he supported events like the Vancouver Marathon, Car Free Vancouver Days and the Juno Awards. Yen continues to use the insight he gained working with the city.
“To understand how municipal governance works is critical to dealing with governments in large public events … because any time you’re dealing with tens and twenties and hundreds of millions of dollars, all these events are tied directly to governments,” he said.
Yen now has his sights set on the Pan Am Games in Toronto in 2015, where he hopes to produce the opening and closing ceremonies. He’ll be applying some of the lessons he learned during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
“I believe that what was great about Vancouver (was) the ability for people to gather and express themselves and collectively celebrate what Canada is,” he said. •
photo | Paul Alexander