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Valerie Shantz starts today as the new executive director of the Winnipeg Folk Festival

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The Winnipeg Folk Festival has announced it has hired Valerie Shantz as its new executive director.

She begins her new job today.

Valerie is a long-time administrator in the arts and education sector, a background that the board says will allow her to bring a fresh perspective and strategic insights to the festival.

She has held leadership positions at the University of Manitoba and the Province of Manitoba and was most recently the senior strategic advisor at Red River College Polytechnic.

She has a master’s degree in public administration and a degree in theatre and drama.

Valerie has been a regular attendee at the Winnipeg Folk Festival since attending the very first festival in 1974 with her parents.

She has also been involved in the arts in a variety of ways.

She was the founding executive director of Film Training Manitoba and served as director of granting programs at the Manitoba Arts Council.

She has also served on the boards of the Winnipeg Arts Council, Winnipeg Art Gallery, and Manitoba Theatre for Young People (MTYP).

“It’s an honour to come and work for an organization that has been the source of some of my favourite memories and live music experiences,” Valerie said in a statement.

Folk fest board chair Lucy Szkwarek, said “We are delighted to have someone of her calibre and experience join the team, and we believe her leadership will contribute significantly to the continued growth and success of the organization.”

The 49th edition of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, scheduled for July 11-14.

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