Jul 2020

Time for Change: An Announcement From The Nextfest Arts Company

Announcements   /  

To our Nextfest family,

The Board, Staff, and Curators of The Nextfest Arts Company are excited about the future of Nextfest as we announce that we will be hiring a new Festival Producer. After ten years with the festival and seven years as our Festival Producer, Maggie Barton Baird has decided to transition out of this role to create room for new energy and perspective. We are inspired by her decision and are grateful for this opportunity to make space for IBPOC leadership within our festival and in the Canadian arts community.

In her tenure as Festival Producer, Maggie has navigated incredible obstacles including producing the 2015 Festival after the fire that engulfed the Roxy Theatre on 124th Street (the main festival venue); transitioning from former Festival Director, Steve Pirot, to current Festival Director, Ellen Chorley, in 2017; and most recently presenting a completely digital online version of Nextfest this past June. Maggie has been a strong advocate of creating a safe space for community gathering within the festival.

She has spearheaded many initiatives to make Nextfest accessible to emerging artists and audiences alike including leading the development of The Nextfest Arts Company’s Safe(r) Spaces Guidelines, engaging with the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing communities of Edmonton through her work with NICA Consolidated, and working diligently to champion community engagement. Her leadership has brought necessary change for The Nextfest Arts Company in accessibility, inclusivity, and accountability.

Photo By Mat Simpson

“I am immensely grateful for the experience and growth that this role, this team, and the artists we work with have provided me over the past ten years. Nextfest has truly changed my life, and it has been the greatest opportunity of my career. I am excited to see the next generation take over the position with new energy behind emerging artists, especially those from the IBPOC community. Simply put, I feel it’s time for me to get out of the way.”

— Maggie Barton Baird, outgoing Festival Producer


Nextfest marks the beginning of a long creative journey for a huge array of artists. Our circle continues to grow and evolve with our artists and staff as they grow and evolve, too. We are a platform for emerging artists, a meeting ground for community, a springboard for creative invention. Mentorship, inclusion, learning, creative risk, and vulnerability are at the core of everything we stand for.

As such, we will be ensuring that mentorship, training, development, and learning opportunities are included in our hiring of the new Festival Producer. We will focus on raising up a future producer, not based on past experience but focussed on their dedication to the artists, connection to the community, and excitement to grow into this role. We encourage those who are interested to apply: we are looking for your enthusiasm to be greater than the length of your resume.

“We are sad to see Maggie leave Nextfest. Maggie left us in a strong position to continue to the embodiment of Nextfest’s mandate and we are immensely excited to welcome a new member to the Nextfest team and proud of Maggie’s decision.”

— Bradley Moss, Board President

A job posting has been posted here

Listen to Maggie discuss this decision in this interview with CBC Edmonton’s Mark Connolly. 


The Nextfest Arts Company
Have questions? Reach out: hello@nextfest.ca


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