We had a chance to chat with our new Artistic Director, Edwin Huizinga, as takes on this new role with SweetWater.
You are only the second Artistic Director in SweetWater's history. Do you feel you are taking on a big assignment after Mark Fewer's 16 years heading up the Festival?
My role to fill feels HUGE, however, it's been more then 20 years since I first stepped into Mark's studio at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto for a lesson. Since then I have traveled the world performing, become artistic advisor and board member to many different organizations focusing on music education, programming, composition, performing and more - learning so much along the way. I really feel like I have accumulated a wealth of knowledge to share with the Grey Bruce community and beyond!
What interested you the most about providing artistic leadership for SweetWater?
SweetWater has a special place for me, because it is situated in rural Ontario, where I grew up. I grew up in Puslinch, Ontario, and my family used to go every summer to Tobermory, or Killarney to go camping - in other words, Ontario is home for me. Also, smaller communities in the world are such a joy to work in because everything you do feels like you're making a big difference in the community, and you have a chance to really activate the members of the community into participating into something great!
What do you bring to SweetWater from your experience in the music world to date?
One of the beautiful things about my experience over the last decade or more as a professional musician, producer, and director, is that it all adds up to so many situations that I have been able to learn from. From amazing creative things, to seeing curated experience fail in ways one can never see before you try something, I feel like I have enough ideas to work with for at least 20 years or so :). And I'm getting more every day!
What sorts of plans do you have for SweetWater moving forward?
Moving forward, I am simply excited to share more world-class music, world-class musicians, and involving the community to an even greater capacity, as well as stoking a few fires with some new ideas and new collaborations!
Is there anything you're particularly looking forward to in your new position with SweetWater?
I am looking forward to SweetWater 2020 next September more than you can possibly imagine. We are all in for such a great weekend!!!
Anything else you want to tell the SweetWater family about what the "Edwin Era" will be all about?
One of the things my closest friends tell me is that I'm a good listener, and for that I would simply like to say, please share with me any and all new ideas, or creative thoughts you might have. I really look forward to trying to include as many unique and amazing things into the festival as I can, for years to come.
A special thanks to Edwin for taking the time to chat with us. Watch for more updates from our new AD over the coming weeks and month.