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NLFB’s new executive director is Sudburian Célyne Marie

She’s taking over from Max Merrifield, who is moving on to a new position
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Célyne Marie. (Supplied)

Northern Lights Festival Boréal (NLFB) is welcoming a new executive director, Célyne Marie. 

Starting in November, Marie will play an instrumental role in the everyday dynamics of the organization and planning of the long-standing music and arts festival. 

Certainly no stranger to festival planning, Marie has been a key volunteer at past editions of NLFB, as well as signature music and arts festivals such as Up Here. 

She has served as their artist hospitality co-ordinator since 2017. Through this experience she became familiar with ins and outs of festival management. 

In 2019, Marie worked as a freelance artist hospitality lead for River & Sky and venue manager with both the Northern Ontario Music and Film Awards and JUNOfest.

She has sat on the board of directors at CKLU and as a member of the parent council for Valley View Public School for 10 years, where she first gained experience with fundraising and event planning. 

With fond memories of attending NLFB every year as a child in the 80s, she has expressed festival work as her passion in life. Born and raised in Sudbury, Marie is ecstatic to continue living in her hometown while pursuing her dream.

“We all know this pandemic has forced the live music industry to quickly begin reevaluating and restructuring in creative and innovative ways, all under the shadow of uncertainty of what the future of festivals and touring will look like,” Marie said, in a press release. 

“With 2021 comes the 50th edition of Northern Lights Festival and I don’t take the confidence that our board of directors have put in me lightly, nor do I undervalue the support that Max and the staff have been showing me from day one.  

“Nurturing a vision for the future of our festival is a priority and a passion project for me and I will do my very best to exceed expectations in this new role while working collaboratively with, and in support of, our local arts community as a whole.”

After seven years, Max Merrifield has moved on from the executive director position, leaving the role in a strong position. Merrifield has remained in the role of artistic director, where he will be responsible for the programming and artistic vision of the organization.

“Despite the challenges presented in 2020, NLFB managed to deliver music events including Bloom in the spring, a virtual Canada Day, a first-time patio tour, and under Max’s leadership we even successfully hosted NLFB 49 as a drive-in festival. 

“On the heels of record-setting years for NLFB, we are thrilled about the passion, energy and experience that Célyne will bring to NLFB 50, whatever form the 2021 event,” said Ryan Land, NLFB board member. 

Marie will be starting with NLFB in November, with planning for the 50th edition already underway. The 50th edition is set to take place on July 8-11, 2021.