New Faces and New Funding for the Canberra International Music Festival

The Canberra International Music Festival is strengthening its team after a record number of people attended the 2016 Festival. This week the Festival announced the appointment of a new General Manager and substantial investments from the Australia Council for the Arts as well as the ACT Event Fund. Having earned a reputation for excellence and a sense of adventure, the Festival is preparing the way for the 2017 Festival, earmarked for 27 APRIL to 7 MAY 2017.

A record number of people attended the 2016 Festival with sell-out concerts and over 6,400 attendees, an increase of 9% over the previous year. At a time when the classical music industry in Australia is experience a downturn in audience numbers, this increase is a testament to the Festival’s growing popularity and Canberra’s maturing arts scene.

The Festival’s success in attracting new music lovers has been recognised by the Australia Council for the Arts in a very competitive market. Its recent announcement that the Festival has been successful in receiving Project Funding has been strengthened by the ACT Government’s renewed commitment from the ACT Event Fund. These funds arrive at an auspicious time and will allow Roland Peelman and the team to continue building the Festival.

“This Festival has come of age, and in a sophisticated city such as Canberra, the music Festival can connect with the age, the many strands of thought and experience. We are so grateful that the people of Canberra can make a Festival like this possible, both for our audiences here and our visitors.” Roland Peelman, Artistic Director.

The Festival is delighted to welcome Gavin Findlay as its new General Manager. Gavin is well known in Canberra’s musical community having been Director of Canberra Youth Music from 1997-2002. He originally studied tuba and played with the Tasmania Symphony Orchestra for eight years before moving into arts management and later the Australian Public Service. For the last two years he has been President of MusicACT, campaigning successfully to improve ACT Government policy and regulation to better support live music and cultural events.  A noted multi-instrumentalist, Gavin appears regularly on stage with groups such as the Canberra Wind Symphony and electronic group Ample-Sample. For Gavin, working with the Festival was an opportunity too good to miss:

“I’m over the moon to be appointed to the role at such an important moment in the Festival’s history. It’s obviously already a very well-run organisation and I am really looking forward to working with Roland and drawing on all my skills to maximise our potential in every aspect of the operation.” Gavin Findlay, General Manager.

The Canberra International Music Festival will release more details about its 2017 program in November this year, visit www.cimf.org.au and stay tuned for more details.

For more information about the 2017 Canberra International Music Festival, including interviews and high resolution images, please contact Miranda Borman, the Festival’s Marketing and Communications Consultant, on 0434 100 571 or miranda.borman@cimf.org.au

A fantastic wrap up to the 2016 Festival

We are moving into Canberra winter and whilst some of us seek warmer climes up north or overseas, we can reminisce over this year's Festival, by far the warmest in our 22 year history and arguably the most joyful. Who can forget the subtle shadings of colour the Zapico brothers, performing as Forma Antiqva, found in Spanish baroque music, worthy of the best Velazquez paintings. How could we forget the simple humanity of Marco Beasley's singing, a lifetime of delving into ancient Mediterranean culture? And for a town that is accustomed to top notch guitar playing, many people commented on how superlative the guitar music was in this Festival. Thank you José Maria Gallardo del Rey. I could go on for a long time. Wading through the stacks of photographs taken, the recordings made and the video footage, the memories are flooding back. All of us will have different moments to cherish and for different reasons. That is exactly what a Festival is about: a great diversity of experience, connection, engagement and enjoyment.

Our thanks go to all the artists who brought their very best and worked together on projects that were only possible in that moment. How else to explain an opera production in Fitters' workshop? Where else would you hear James Crabb, José Maria Gallardo del Rey and Joseph Tawadros improvising together?

We were truly blessed with such an array of talent, and with a team of stage managers, young artists, interns, volunteers, front of house people and many more who brought all this to you in great style.  Words fail to express how grateful I am to everyone for embracing this annual undertaking, becoming part of our family, and making the Canberra International Music Festival one of the best festivals on this planet.

Roland Peelman
Artistic Director

Read the rest of this email online here.