Tim Ranson is the newest members of the Empress Theatre Society’s staff.
Ranson has assumed the duties of executive director and theatre manager after the departure of former executive director Brent Hutchinson.
“I am thrilled to have Tim on board with us at the Empress Theatre,” Empress Theatre Society president Dianna Wakelin said. “He brings with him a wealth of knowledge about the performing arts as well as the art of showcasing and enhancing the performance.”
Ranson, who has been executive director of Fort Macleod Allied Arts Council, will oversee the operation of the Empress Theatre while ensuring the organization’s mission, vision and financial objectives are met.
Ranson will also be responsible for the development and marketing of artistic programming and the fostering of solid working relationships with organizations and community groups in Fort Macleod and southern Alberta.
“His enthusiasm about the theatre and the possibilities is contagious and I look forward to working with him,” Wakelin said.
Ranson brings more than 30 years of experience in the arts and culture sector to the position, most recently working with the local community as executive director with Fort Macleod Allied Arts.
“The Empress is a proud ol’ gal and I’m pleased to be promoted to captain of her guard,” Ranson said. “It’s a huge responsibility and a wonderful opportunity.”
“There are countless memories to protect and many more to generate,” Ranson added. “I’ll be seeking a balance between honouring the theatre’s history and ensuring a viable future.”
Ranson’s life-long career in show business began in the 1970s when he found summer work with the Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show.
After university his hobby became his vocation and he worked across the country and abroad in the professional theatre.
Ranson came back to Alberta in 1988 to direct the lighting for the Winter Olympics medal ceremonies in Calgary.
After a brief stint in rock and roll Ranson went on to travel with the Alberta Ballet and Ballet British Columbia for several years.
In 1995, Ranson’s credentials and experience landed him a gig in the film and television industry.
With another door open to him, he took work on numerous productions including Lonesome Dove, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, North of 60, Viper and The Jack Bull.
In the early 2000s, Ranson became a prop master and collaborated on a variety of projects including Caitlin’s Way, The Magic of Ordinary Days, The Ron Clark Story, Scar and the pilot episode of Heartland.
Born in Lethbridge, and with an enduring affection for the southwest corner of the province, he impulsively moved to Fort Macleod in 2008.
“I’d been in the Empress years ago while in town shooting some scenes for In Cold Blood, was aware of the South Country Fair and wanted the pace of a smaller town,” Ranson said. “When my dog approved of the river it was a done deal.”
“The community has since shown itself to be extremely supportive and I feel very fortunate to be here.”