SweetWater Marks Start of 16th Year With Annual General Meeting and Multi-Year Funding from Ontario Arts Council
March 16, 2019
The SweetWater Music Festival comes into its 16th year after a special, celebratory 15th anniversary year. This year began with the Annual General Meeting on March 14 and some good news from the Ontario Arts Council.
The Annual General Meeting, held at the Harmony Centre in Owen Sound, welcomed not only the current Board but also SweetWater staff and members to look back at accomplishments over the past year as well as a look ahead at the exciting year coming up in 2019.
During her Board Chair report, Colleen Purdon noted the milestone of turning 15 in 2018.
"We are no longer a young festival but are striding into maturity with confidence and verve!"
Colleen ended her remarks by looking to the future.
"As SweetWater moves forward we will need the ongoing support and assistance of our 'SweetWater Family'. We will say goodbye (for awhile) to Mark and welcome a new Artistic Director. We will continue to work with donors, sponsors, and funders to make SweetWater possible. We will continue to realize our strategic plan and grow SweetWater. "
During the AGM, reports were also presented by the Artistic Director, Treasurer, Festival Manager, and the Chairs of key committees including Education Outreach and Fundraising Marketing. Of note, the Artistic Director Succession Committee is nearing the end of its search for a new AD. Final interviews have taken place and decision of who will take on this position will likely be announced in the first half of spring. The Endowment Committee also announced that the SweetWater endowment fund being established this year will be managed by the Ontario Arts Foundation. Along with the long term fund, this arrangement will also include a managed fund to provide principle and interest as is needed.
The SweetWater Board of Directors for the coming year were also elected. Board Chair Colleen Purdon thanked outgoing Director Sydney Misener for her six years of service to SweetWater. Sydney will continue to head up the organization's Hospitality Committee. For the coming year, the Board will consist of Colleen Purdon (who remains as Chair), Jill Willington (who continues as Treasurer), Shawna Macivor (who retains her role as Secretary), Jackie Mersich (Director-at-Large) and Lynda Montgomery (Director-at-Large). Joining the Board as a Director-at-Large is Charlotte Macfarlane. The Board wants to fill the remaining two vacancies this spring and are hoping to secure candidates shortly.
SweetWater also found out recently the Ontario Arts Council will provide multi-year operation funding to organization for the first time. Based on the commitment, SweetWater will receive approximately $33,000 over the next three years (amount may vary slightly year to year in part due to OAC budget). This funding is based on various factors including SweetWater's artistic excellence, financial management, outreach activities, and Board governance.
To read more about the reports noted above, see links below.