This is the third episode of our monthly newsletter feature where you can meet our beloved team. Today, meet Sandra, the Festival’s Finance & Admin Officer.– Hi Sandra! Tell us how you have got a job at the Festival?
– Hi! In the summer of 2019, the Festival was looking for someone to fill a role in their finance department.
Having worked with Alison Scarrow, the previous Executive Director, she knew of my skills and interest
in anything to do with numbers. We chatted for a few weeks and by September 2019, I had been hired
as the Finance and Admin Officer. Working for a not-for-profit organization is a challenging math puzzle
that I was up for!– You studied accounting in college, worked in the financial industry… Why did you choose this
industry for your career?
– From a young age, I have always enjoyed math. I knew I wanted a career that involved working
with numbers. I enjoy organizing and analyzing, like to ensure accuracy and feel satisfied when
everything balances out in the end. I didn’t expect myself to end up working in the Arts industry,
but I’ve enjoyed my time so far!
– If you not a Finance career, what would you choose? What are your hobbies?
– It’s hard to imagine a career in something other than finance for me. If I didn’t have a finance
job, I would likely volunteer in order to challenge myself. I could see myself working with a local
community service group, helping to organize numbers of some kind. In my free time, I enjoy
gardening, cleaning or reading on my back deck while listening to birds and frogs. If it were
winter, I would be outside tobogganing, snowshoeing or even shovelling snow. I love winter and
being outside!– The major part of the Festival this year is virtual. From your perspective, can the online event
evoke the same emotions as the actual concert? How is the Festival going to replace the
emotions of a real show?
– Our emotions have been stretched in all different directions this past year. Our online events
cannot replace the atmosphere of an in-person concert, but we hope they can keep our patrons
connected to the artists. We have created pre-show Happy Hours and additional post-concert
receptions to allow patrons an opportunity to meet and discuss with artists, as they would have
done in-person. The hope is that these experiences will create similar emotions for all involved,
even though we are not together in person.– How did the pandemic change your work?
– Prior to the pandemic, the Festival organized Music Scores where artists would personally visit local
schools to share their love of music. Covid19 forced Festival staff to become more creative in delivering
virtual programming. In doing this, we were able to expand our reach, by potentially visiting the entire
school board, virtually. The pandemic has caused me to step out of my comfort zone and dive into what
has always scared me – technology! Between working at home and working at the office, I’ve learned to
collaborate using shared files, became more familiar with Zoom, attended online meetings and helped
to organize virtual fundraisers. We have been able to evaluate our processes, improve our procedures
and at the same time, continue to deliver great music.
Thank you, Sandra! Next month Staff Sounds will feature Kyra Ruggles, Box Office Assistant.