Kelowna City Councillor Ryan Donn has been named the District of Lake Country’s new cultural development coordinator.
Donn, a long-time Okanagan Valley musician and a former George Elliot Secondary School student, will be responsible for the coordination of the Creekside Theatre, open air performances, public art, and other local cultural and heritage events and activities.
Cultural development coordinator is a new position created at the conclusion of the contract of Creekside Theatre manager Horst Jassmann. The district chose to move in a different direction, adding more duties to the role.
“The District of Lake Country is about to embark on a journey of discovery where the true potential of its cultural capacity will be allowed to flourish if guided properly,” Donn said. “I consider it an honour to be a part of this exciting time of transition in such a dynamic community.”
To make time for his new responsibilities and to address any perceived conflicts of interest, Donn has now stepped down from Festivals Kelowna and is also stepping back from his duties with the Creative Okanagan Society, an organization that he founded to work on the arts in West Kelowna.
"The opportunity for growing culture in Lake Country is immense," he said of the position in Lake Country.
Donn will start in the new position on November 17.
"Hiring someone with experience connecting with the creative community is vital," the announcement from the District stated.
"Ryan has a comprehensive understanding of the logistics and structure required to create successful cultural plans, festival initiatives and community buy-in. He has been the creative force behind the establishment of various cultural initiatives such as Parks Alive!, Pianos in Parks and New York New Years in Kelowna as well as Music in the Park and a World Music Festival in West Kelowna and founded Creative Okanagan as a non-profit organization. Fostering and enhancing the growth of a culturally vibrant and creative municipality is a goal of council as Lake Country becomes increasingly well-known for its desirable lifestyle in the fastest growing municipality in the province."