Pat (Patricia) Taylor is a producer, writer, director, performer and educator whose credits include documentary films, television specials, plays, musicals, short stories, music videos and major tourist attractions.
In many of these projects, Pat has been in demand for her ability to present material in ways that make it compelling and meaningful to a broad audience. From 1988 to 2002, as producer, co-writer and director of Eureka Theatre Company at the Theatre Royal in Barkerville, she created annual vaudeville-style shows that showcased the town’s colourful history. Pat and her creative/business partners Lee Taylor and Michael Booth Palmer were also responsible for the Barkerville Street and Music Interpretation program, training and directing performers to interact with the public and make the past accessible to visitors from all over the world. In 2002, Pat was asked to join the creative team at Storyeum, an innovative new historical-theatrical tourist attraction in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Pat and her writing partner Michael Booth Palmer acted as historical/educational experts and script/production/casting consultants for Storyeum’s inaugural season. They subsequently wrote and co-produced (with Shel Piercy of Infinity Films) the second season’s original musical theatre show, Land Beyond Today, which opened in May 2005. In the creation of these shows, Pat was required to bring a variety of different historical narratives together with live performers, original music, complex sound and lighting cues, video footage and more…weaving it all into a 75-minute production that was both gripping and instructive.
A member of Women in Film, Pat has been involved in filmmaking since taking a screenwriting course with writer-director Christian Bruyere at UBC in 1984; in that same year she also worked on his made-for-TV film Shelly. She has also produced two music videos for Canadian singer-songwriter Michael Booth Palmer. In 1995 Pat’s company, Black Moon Productions, produced a country music segment and music video for the Variety Club Telethon’s Show of Hearts on Global. She was Assistant Director of Jan Padgett’s educational film The Reluctant Deckhand (National Film Board, 1995), which won the Golden Sheaf Award for Best Children’s Animation at the Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival in 1996, and remains a bestselling children’s video to this day.
In her first major film undertaking, Pat was Executive Producer of Sara’s Story (2000), a documentary produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Shel Piercy. Sara’s Story documents a young woman’s courageous 2.5-year journey with cancer, and was broadcast on Global, Vision TV, W Network and Knowledge Network. Described as “truly inspiring” and “inclusive of the multiple experience cancer wreaks on families” (Maureen Levin, Vision TV), Sara’s Story presented difficult material with passion and humour, making it accessible and relevant to a broad and varied audience.
Pat’s second film project was a continuation of her work on Sara’s Story. When Sara died in July 2000, she and Pat were working on a second documentary based on a roundtable hosted by Sara, in which six cancer patients/survivors between the ages of 19 and 29 candidly discussed the realities of being young and living with cancer. In October 2006, Pat completed the process of turning the footage of this roundtable into Chasing Rainbows: Young Adults Living With Cancer – a 43-minute documentary, enhanced with original music and animation, that offers a powerful insider’s perspective on the specific issues that young people face when they are dealing with a life-threatening illness. In spring 2007, with the support of the BC Cancer Foundation, the film was distributed to cancer agencies throughout BC and screened in Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna. Since then, Pat has presented the film in cities across Canada. It has also been shown in Mumbai (India) and Los Angeles, and Pat has received requests for screenings in the UK, Italy, the Netherlands and Australia. French- and Spanish-language versions are available; translations into Chinese, Arabic, Malay, Hindi, Portuguese and Italian are in progress.
In 2011, Pat established Chasing Rainbows Young Adult Cancer Advocacy as a vehicle to raise awareness and promote a range of resources created by and for young adults who are living with cancer. Most recently, while continuing to advocate for young adults, she has expanded her focus to include their caregivers. As a Section Editor at Cancer Knowledge Network and a blogger at The Huffington Post, she highlights resources and personal stories that provide insight and support into the challenges faced by the parents, friends, partners and others who are on the cancer journey with their young adult loved ones, from diagnosis through end of life.