Amy Regan is humble about her achievements but she is proof that you can do what you love while taking huge steps forward to make a positive change. This Canadian producer concedes that she’s guilty of such stereotypes as incredible politeness and undeniable love of hockey but also that she loves proving that there’s a better way to push the envelope. Regan certainly got the opportunity to prove this point as Canada (along with the rest of the world) began to emerge from the bubbles we’d constructed during the pandemic. Of course, for Ms. Regan this meant overseeing major crews and crowds in the creation of events which had not been seen for years. Working with major celebrities and vast numbers of the public to deliver the exciting entertainment that audiences across Canada had been waiting for, on events such as the Canadian Country Music Awards and Canada’s Got Talent, Amy ensured that these shows left no doubt that “real life” was back. As the person in charge for implementing the covid safety protocols, she also achieved this without any danger to all involved parties.
Country music awards shows are equally popular in Canada as they are in the United States, perhaps even more so. The CCMA’s made history in 2021 as the first Canadian live awards show to come back with a full audience. Remarkably, this massive production with a live audience resulted in zero cases as the CCMA awards show, thanks directly to the policies co-executive producer Amy Regan put in place. She informs, “I’ve run all of my shows on the same basic covid plan with minor adjustments for testing requirements depending on where we are at with waves. Getting everyone on board with following all of the rules was actually pretty easy because we all had the same goal of putting on a safe and entertaining show. We didn’t want to be that show which had bad press due to outbreaks. There were a few times that I had to remind people to put their masks on and a few times that I had to kick people out from backstage because they hadn’t been covid screened or tested but for the most part everyone was cooperative.”
Throughout her time on the CCMA’s, Amy Regan has worked with the biggest stars of the genre including Shania Twain (CCMA, CMA, Grammy, and Canadian Music Hall of Fame Award Winner), Keith Urban (Grammy, CMT, American Music Awards Winner), Old Dominion (ACM and CMA Award Winning Group), and Blake Shelton (CMA, Billboard, and American Music Award Winner) but she regards 2021 as the highlight of her career. This is due to the fact that one of the two hosts of the CCMAs was Priyanka, winner of Canada’s Drag Race season one. Ms. Regan declares, “It was the first time in country music history that a queer/person of color/drag queen hosted an awards show. With this we finally put our money where our mouths were and made sure that country really was for everyone. Priyanka co-hosted with Lindsay Ell and made the worldwide debut of her single ‘Country Queen.’ It was so amazing and so heartwarming to be part of making this happen. To get the entire country music community on board and being there to support her brought tears to my eyes.
Further supporting her adamant belief in the greatness found in those of Canada, Amy served as a line producer for the long awaited return of Canada’s Got Talent. In the decade the show was off the air, contestants were forced to travel to the US to get exposure in hopes of being discovered. Auditions for CGT took place in Ontario, shortly before the fifth wave of the pandemic began. Amy was committed to utilizing strong safety protocols to keep the show in production and enable telling the stories of great Canadian talent. She communicates, “It was important for my reputation as the person creating and running the covid plan that we have zero cases on set so I put in to place very strict rules for all competitors and crew including daily testing. I basically was a bundle of nerves the entire week as we shuttled over 500 competitors (some flying from across the country) in and out of the venue. We successfully completed the audition phase without any positive cases and I was able to breathe for a few weeks. The 5th wave hit about 2 weeks after that and the plan had to change again to accommodate the ever-growing cases in Ontario and the rules and regulations put in place by the government.” Shows such as CGT feed upon the energy manifested between performers and a live studio audience, making Ms. Regan’s work the literal linchpin empowering this show. Hosted by Howie Mandel, Lilly Singh (host of late night US TV’s A Little Late With Lilly Singh), rapper Kardinal Offishall, Trish Stratus (WWE Hall of Famer), and hosted by Lindsay Ell (CCMA Nominated singer with two #1 Canadian singles as well as a #1 US single), Canada’s Got Talent has reinforced the idea that the world is resembling a more normal and happily exciting place. Amy Regan is a major asset in achieving that end.
Writer: Arlen Gann