The Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts (SCFWA) will be heading into its fifth decade as the country’s longest running gathering of Canadian writers and readers under new artistic leadership.
The SCFWA Board has appointed Marisa Alps as the Festival’s new Artistic and Executive Director, taking over from Jane Davidson who will retire at the end of October 2022.
Alps was chosen after an extensive search, led by the Festival Board’s Succession Committee.
The Committee felt that Alps, who has been involved in the Festival in the past as a volunteer and board member and whose work experience includes key positions at Harbour Publishing and Douglas & McIntyre, brings an extensive and expansive vision for the future of the Festival and the range of skills needed for the diverse administrative, operational, communications, financial, programming, and community needs of the Artistic and Executive Director position.
“Marisa’s vast experience, knowledge and connections within the publishing industry, as well as her love for and knowledge of the Sunshine Coast makes her a perfect fit moving forward,” said SCFWA Board President John Lussier. “It will be exciting to see what Marisa brings to the position.”
“It is impossible to express our gratitude to Jane for the 15 years she devoted to the Festival.” Lussier added. “She led with such integrity and vision, helping to make the SCFWA one of Canada’s premier literary festivals. She will be deeply missed – but we know the Festival is in good hands.”
“I have been a fan and a devoted attendee of the Festival for over twenty years, and I have felt firsthand the magic and transformation that happens in the pavilion when authors share their stories and connect with their audiences,” Alps said. “Being chosen as the next Artistic and Executive Director is the opportunity of a lifetime. I am honoured to continue a legacy that was created by a community of people with such foresight and vision: festival founder Betty Keller, the original SunCoast Writers Forge, the numerous dedicated board members, producers, sponsors and volunteers, and of course the amazing outgoing AED, Jane Davidson.”
Alps will transition into her new role working alongside Davidson during the 2022 Festival at Sechelt’s Rockwood Centre August 11-14.
“I am thrilled with this appointment,” Davidson said. “I have great confidence in Marisa and the future of the Festival. This is such a good news story.”