Leadership Transition at Festival of the Sound

It is with mixed emotions that we share with our Festival family news that our Executive Director, Ms. Alison Scarrow-McGarvey will be leaving us at the end of January as she has accepted an exciting senior leadership position at the Township of the Archipelago, here in West Parry Sound.

Since joining the Festival in January of 2013, Alison has helped to advance the Festival as a world-class chamber music festival.

Relying on skills and experience in administration, government relations and finance, Alison has shepherded the Festival through some challenging times and helped bring the Festival back to financial stability. Ms. Scarrow-McGarvey has provided guidance to our Board and leadership to the Festival’s operations team to create key business relationships while implementing business and governance accountability systems.

Among Alison’s many other contributions, under her leadership the Festival:

  • Was recognised as one of the Top 100 Festivals and Events in Ontario by Festival Events Ontario; 
  • Was the successful recipient of a major Canada Council of the Arts grant for the commissioning of Sounding Thunder: The Song of Francis Pegahmagabow. Alison worked tirelessly with Artistic Director James Campbell and the Festival team to bring to fruition a multi-disciplinary work focusing on Canada’s most decorated WWI sniper, local First Nations Chief, and founder of the Indigenous Rights movement in Canada; one of only 200 such projects funded in 2018 by the Canada Council; and
  • Was recognized by the Parry Sound Area Chamber of Commerce – Business Excellence Awards as the 2016 Business of the Year.

Our Board has implemented a transitional leadership plan and created an Ad Hoc Recruitment Committee to select Alison’s successor. We are fortunate to have a very capable operations team that remains in place while Ms. Scarrow-McGarvey has kindly offered to provide the Festival with consultations until the Board has completed a robust orientation for a successor.

In the interim, with the support of James Campbell and the Board, President Donald Sanderson will assume the position of Executive Director (Acting) on a voluntary basis. This strategy will be evaluated by the Board monthly until our new Executive Director is in place.

As always, we are interested in your thoughts. Please continue to reach out to us if we may be of assistance in any way.

Thank you for your continued support for the Festival of the Sound.

Respectfully yours,

James Campbell, Artistic Director 
Donald Sanderson, President