A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Jeff Herd has over 40 years of experience producing and managing and touring stage productions and companies across Canada, the United States and in Europe. He began his ambitious career at the age of 15 as an apprentice at Rainbow Stage in Winnipeg. In 1973 Herd joined Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet as production stage manager, a position he held until 1980.
In the 1980’s Herd travelled throughout Canada working in the field of design and production at a variety of organizations including the Globe Theatre, Alberta Theatre Projects, Theatre Calgary, Alberta Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal, the Expo 1986 World Festival, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. From 1987 to 1989, he was production manager at The National Ballet of Canada, where he worked closely with the artistic and technical teams to produce local performances as well as tours throughout Canada and North America. From 1991 to 1997 Herd’s career led him back to the RWB where he fulfilled the role of Production Director. During that time he directed the production of many new works including Antony Tudor’s Lilac Garden and Mark Godden’s Angels in the Architecture, and created the lighting design for many of the RWB’s productions.
In 1997 Herd accepted the position of company manager for Cirque du Soleil’s largest and most well-known production “O “ based at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. In his capacity as company manager, Herd successfully transitioned “O” from its initial creation phase into a fully operational and sustainable production. After “O” Jeff created the “technical and show support department” for Cirque Las Vegas including the areas of technical strategy, human resources recruitment and training, global purchasing and procurement and consistent maintenance of the shows. Herd had an active role in the creation of the Resident Shows Division at Cirque du Soleil which centralized the support departments in order to accommodate the expansion of Las Vegas productions.
Herd’s work at Cirque du Soleil led to an opportunity in Belgium and in 2007 he left Cirque to accept the position of General Director at Dragone, a creations and productions company. Founder Franco Dragone, who created many of the original Cirque shows, recruited Herd based on his extensive knowledge in the field of production.
Now back in Winnipeg with his wife and two young children, Jeff Herd is bringing his diverse experience and training to the position of Executive Director at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet.