Posted on March 21, 2023 at 8:17 pm

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Indian Summer Arts Society Announces Leadership and Curatorial Team

Indian Summer Arts Society Announces Leadership and Curatorial Team

Indian Summer Arts Society Announces Leadership and Curatorial Team

Indian Summer Arts Society Announces Leadership and Curatorial Team appointments

(Vancouver, BC) – The Indian Summer Arts Society Board of Directors today announced the appointment of a new shared leadership team of Pawan Deol, Executive Director of Cultural Programming and Laura June Albert, Executive Managing Director. Also announced: a new collaborative curatorial model, with Anoushka Ratnarajah as lead Curator and Devyani Saltzman as Guest Curator for the 2023 Indian Summer Festival.

Pawan Deol and Laura June Albert are longstanding employees of the Society. They hold deep institutional knowledge and have much experience with the annual Indian Summer Festival, as it’s been delivered in person and online. Deol and Albert immediately take on the shared leadership role for the Indian Summer Arts Society, including the rollout of the 13th annual Indian Summer Festival scheduled for July 2023.

“Over the past year, the team at the Indian Summer Arts Society has been incredibly supported by our community – from artists and musicians, event supporters to Board members and sponsors,” says Pawan Deol, Executive Director of Cultural Programming, Indian Summer Arts Society. “Our beloved festival will continue to feature some of the finest artists and visionaries across Canada, South Asia and beyond. And I’m so pleased to be co-leading as we continue our vision of presenting South Asian arts and ideas.”

After building the Society over the past 12 years, co-founders Sirish Rao and Laura Byspalko recently exited their roles but not before new leadership was secured to ensure that the Indian Summer Arts Society would continue to flourish.

“We built a home twelve years ago and called it Indian Summer,” adds Sirish Rao. “Nothing makes us happier than to know the home we have loved so dearly will be cared for by those that have helped to build it. Our thanks to our dedicated board of directors, who have demonstrated an exceptional level of care in this time of transition, and to our brilliant colleagues who take on the task of building into the future.”

“Founder transitions are incredibly complicated and can be full of anxiety,” said Angie Osachoff, Chair of the Board of Directors, Indian Summer Arts Society, in a shared statement with Am Johal, outgoing Board Chair. “We feel so excited to be passing the organization’s reins to those who have built up its reputation, high production value and generosity of spirit by being an indelible part of its fabric over the past few years. We feel honored to be building the leadership from within. There are exciting days for the Indian Summer Festival ahead that value our history while experimenting with radical new directions that connect to new audiences.”

From novelists to musicians, installation artists to filmmakers, the Indian Summer Festival presents a roster of 90% local artists each year, ranging from emerging to globally renowned. The new Indian Summer Arts Society co-curatorial team of Anoushka Ratnarajah, along with Guest Curator Devyani Saltzman, is responsible for discovering this talent and inviting them to be a part of the annual festival. “I’m looking forward to contributing to the unexpected collaborations, challenging conversations and magical connections the Indian Summer Festival is known for,” says Anoushka Ratnarajah, Lead Curator Indian Summer Arts Society.

About the Indian Summer Festival:

Established in 2011, Indian Summer Festival is a multi-disciplinary arts festival produced by the Indian Summer Arts Society, a not-for-profit charitable arts organization based in Vancouver, Canada, on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. Its mission is to offer daring, multi-arts events that bring together diverse artists, audiences, and artists in a global dialogue and citizenship spirit.

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