December 11, 2019
Ally Mandrusiak, Executive Project Manager
"I keep the project on track, make sure it’s moving in the right direction, and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. I’m also the go-between for the architects, the contractors, and the Winspear on all things related to the project."
What’s the best thing you get to do each day at work?
Learn! I don’t have a background in architectural design or construction, so each day brings a new opportunity: I never know what the day is going to look like. I walk in thinking that I have my day all laid out, and then something comes up that I never would have seen coming. It’s a complicated project with lots of moving pieces, so changing priorities and daily plans are just a part of the job. I’ve been with the Winspear for approximately 10 years, and as the former Director of Events Management, I have a good understanding of how this place operates, from staff to musicians to maintenance to security, but also from the perspective of our patrons and clients. I get to bring this knowledge to the project, which is an exciting way for me to help ensure that the public’s experiences of the new, open, and accessible Winspear Centre are the best experiences we can offer.
Outside of work, how do you spend your time?
Predominantly, when I’m not at work, you can find me with my family, our two puppies, and friends. I try and have my family in for dinner every Sunday. With all the different schedules, it’s hard to have everyone there all the time, but we do the best we can; thankfully, these dinners happen more often than not. For many years, between football and hockey schedules, the traditional Sunday family dinner didn’t happen, but I’m glad we’re finding the time to do it now. I also like to go on family vacations: usually to Disney World with my granddaughters and Hawaii with my oldest son’s mother-in-law. As mother-in-laws we get along great, which is something you don’t hear too often.
When somebody asks you about the Winspear Project, what’s the first thing you will tell them? Why is that important to you?
I usually talk about the different elements that will be part of the project, including the Music Box, the child care center, and programming space. This project is something that will benefit the community in so many different ways. The Music Box provides an affordable, multi-use space that can host everything from string quartets to wedding receptions. The new lobby space will have a variety of uses, and will be full of life and activity at all points during the day: not just before a concert. With new programming space, we can expand the programming we currently offer, providing the opportunity for more people to come through our doors and experience the magic that goes on here. We’re helping to create exceptional memories.
What makes you want to support this project?
When the Winspear Centre is complete, it will be a much more inviting place: open to the community every day. Not only will this provide the community a new place to explore, but it will also be an exciting shift in the way we at the Winspear think about our home. We’ve spent 22 years with our doors closed unless there is an event, and opening our doors and welcoming the public in will make our home more lively, exciting, and accessible. I’m all about giving our guests the best experience possible, and I truly believe that the Winspear Project will make that happen