New artis­tic direc­tor at Mari­posa

Packet & Times (Orillia) - - FRONT PAGE - PA­TRICK BALES

A new artis­tic direc­tor will be at the helm of the Mari­posa Folk Festival for 2018.

The Mari­posa Folk Foun­da­tion an­nounced this week Liz Scott will take over for Mike Hill, who has been in charge of the tal­ent for the past 11 years.

Scott as­sisted Hill in cu­rat­ing this year’s festival, and Hill plans to stay on the festival’s board of direc­tors, re­vers­ing the roles going for­ward, pro­vid­ing as­sis­tance to Scott as she brings in the mu­si­cians who will make up the Mari­posa bill.

It’s a good sign for the fu­ture, said Pam Carter, pres­i­dent of the foun­da­tion.

“I think it speaks to the suc­cess of the festival, that we’re mov­ing from one artis­tic direc­tor to an artis­tic direc­tor and an as­sis­tant artis­tic direc­tor,” Carter said. “We’re grow­ing. We’ve had great suc­cess since we’ve come back to Oril­lia and we plan on con­tin­u­ing that.”

Carter high­lighted Scott’s “wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence” in the Cana­dian folk mu­sic scene, serv­ing in a va­ri­ety of roles, from pre­sen­ter to artis­tic direc­tor, in a num­ber of venues, from house shows to largescale fes­ti­vals. She is the for­mer artis­tic direc­tor for Ea­gle­wood Folk Festival and Village Vibes at Blue Moun­tain Re­sort and has also served as a Juno Awards judge and Folk Al­liance In­ter­na­tional men­tor, and is a cur­rent mem­ber of the Folk Mu­sic On­tario board of direc­tors.

Those are the kinds of chops needed from an artis­tic direc­tor tak­ing over pro­gram­ming at a festival com­ing off one of its strong­est years in re­cent mem­ory. The line-up for the 2017 Mari­posa Folk Festival was well-re­ceived, with thou­sands pack­ing Tud­hope Park for each of the three days in July.

Carter was quick to note how well she thought the part­ner­ship be­tween Hill and Scott last year helped make the festival what it was.

“I think the suc­cess of the 2017 festival just demon­strates what a great team they have to­gether and the re­sults they are able to ob­tain through their artis­tic pro­gram­ming,” Carter said. “They work re­ally well to­gether. They com­ple­ment each other. They both bring skills to the ta­ble and put to­gether a great artis­tic line-up.”

Scott came onto the foun­da­tion’s radar about a year ago, Carter ex­plained. Suc­ces­sion plan­ning is key for its board of direc­tors, par­tic­u­larly for a group that re­lies so heav­ily on the ef­forts of vol­un­teers. It was Hill who brought a pro­posal to the board to tran­si­tion him­self out of a role he had held for a decade.

“He’d known Liz through in­dus­try, through the var­i­ous other fes­ti­vals and events,” Carter said. “She came on board as the as­sis­tant direc­tor. That al­lowed the board the op­por­tu­nity to get to know her, get to know how she works (and) for her to get to know us.”

The ex­per­i­ment worked and plans are al­ready in the mak­ing for Scott’s first year in charge. An email was sent Wednesday, ad­ver­tis­ing the avail­abil­ity early-bird tick­ets for the 2018 festival, as well as a teaser to stay tuned for pro­gram­ming an­nounce­ments in the near fu­ture.

As for Hill, he’ll re­main an “in­te­gral part” of the artis­tic pro­gram­ming for Mari­posa. Carter noted his role in the festival’s resur­gence in the nearly two decades it has been back in Oril­lia.

“He knows the festival inside and out,” she said. “His con­tri­bu­tions to the festival have cer­tainly contributed in a ma­jor way to the suc­cess of the festival.”

Scott was at­tend­ing an in­dus­try event in New­found­land and was un­able to com­ment be­fore press time.


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