Powell Street Festival Society Announces Two New Director Positions

The Powell Street Festival Society is excited to share that the organization is growing!

In our 45th year and eager to support this growth phase, we are pleased to announce a restructuring that will create two new positions from the existing Executive Director role: Director of Programs and Director of Operations. Together, these two positions will lead Powell Street Festival Society as we continue to support Japanese Canadian arts and culture and the neighbourhood that we call home, Paueru-gai (Powell Street).

The executive director since 2015, Emiko Morita who has led the Society through this period of unprecedented growth, will fill the Director of Programs position and continue to oversee the Society’s programming, projects and community engagement. The Director of Operations will oversee the operations of the organization, pursue funding and fundraising opportunities and ensure the financial health of the Society.

Over the past several years, Powell Street Festival Society has experienced a period of remarkable growth: Festival attendance has grown; the depth and variety of our year-round arts and culture programming has increased; and we have reaffirmed our commitment to social justice and equity work in the Downtown Eastside, first with a revision to our Society Constitution in 2020, and then with on- the-ground action.

This growth has been made possible by the tireless efforts of our staff who have consistently delivered high level existing programming while embracing new opportunities for development. The Society has continued to evolve and has implemented processes and documentation systems to ensure smooth operation of our programs.

In light of these developments, the Powell Street Festival Society Board and leadership see this moment, now, as a moment of opportunity. By expanding the leadership team and shifting to a shared structure with two Directors we will support the organization’s growth, commitment to high level arts production, and deepening relations with the Downtown Eastside community. The expansion is also made with the intention of supporting the exemplary work of the existing Executive Director, Emiko Morita and allowing her to focus on the provision of high-quality arts programming and community engagement in the Director of Programs role.

By dividing the responsibilities currently held in the single Executive Director position into two equal Director positions, both of whom will report directly to the Board of Directors, we are strengthening the resilience of the organization, ensuring continuity of leadership, and cultivating further innovation and growth.

For interviews or inquiries about this change in structure, please contact Duston Baranow-Watts at media [at] powellstreetfestival.com

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