CelticFest Vancouver Society has announced that, after nine years at the helm of one of Vancouver’s most popular festivals, Rita Albano is retiring from her position as Executive Producer of CelticFest to seek new and exciting opportunities.
Effective July 1, Rita will pass the torch on to the organization’s new Executive Director, Ian McAteer, who will lead the festival forward in 2013. Rita will continue to provide guidance and support to the organization in the next year.
“With the recent success of the 2012 festival and nine exciting and gratifying years as the Executive Producer I have decided that the time is right for me to move on to other endeavours. Given the talented team of individuals currently in place and the exciting addition of Ian McAteer, I feel I have laid a solid foundation on which Ian can build, and am confident that he’ll ensure the festival continues to grow and prosper.
“The goal of presenting great Celtic entertainment to Vancouver and regional audiences remains. I am very proud to have played a leading role in the staggering growth and success of CelticFest. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the fabulous support from our sponsors and government partners, as well as the skills, energy and commitment of our seasonal staff, volunteer team and Board of Directors.
“I send my deepest thanks to each and every one of them. It’s been an honour to work with them.”
Launched in 2003, the award winning, CelticFest is the largest celebration of Celtic culture in Western Canada. This much-anticipated event held each year in March has grown to be one of the three largest festivals in British Columbia.
Ian, a native of Ireland, brings with him over 15 years experience working in several Celtic Nations. He has held several operational positions throughout his career, and his family has been involved in the hospitality industry in Europe and North America since 1985.
Ian moved to Canada in 2010 for love (he married Vancouve Island-born Stephanie in Ireland) and has been involved with CelticFest ever since.
"I am delighted to be given the opportunity to run the hugely successful CelticFest Vancouver”, he says. “I look forward to building on the success that Rita and her team have achieved, and wish her all the best in her new ventures."