A photo of Onalea Gilbertson
Onalea Gilbertson | Photo: Miguel Anaya

Onalea Gilbertson

Spanning all sorts of genres and sizes, every way of performing feeds her soul

Cherie McMaster

If you went to the Bell Grandstand Show at this year’s Calgary Stampede, then you’ve seen the one and only Onalea Gilbertson in action.

As the show master in Trailblazer, she hosted and performed for an audience of 25,000 people during this year’s production. The one-of-a-kind adventure dazzled audiences with elaborate song and dance numbers, acrobatics, and live music.

“I love to make things,” she says. “I love to sing. I love the theatre. I love creating hybrid performance styles and multidisciplinary performance styles. And I do love working in the community as well.”

A consummate crossover artist, Gilbertson’s original work is a unique blend of music and the theatrical. As a performer she has worked in both the traditional and the avant-garde playing roles on the stage, screen, and in cartoons, and has performed numerous roles worldwide including the role of Hecate in the hit show Sleep no More in New York City.

Tune in to hear what she is up to and how she works with different communities in Calgary and beyond.


About The Storytelling Podcast

Sharing diverse stories of creativity in our city, The Storytelling Podcast shines a spotlight on artists and projects that connect Calgarians to the arts.

Part of The Storytelling Project, this series raises awareness about Calgarians who, by living creative lives, are making Calgary a better city, effecting positive change and enriching others’ lives.

Have a story to share? Email us at news@calgaryartsdevelopment.com.

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