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Making the move from films to festival
Winnipegger and Frantic Films president of production named Folk Festival’s new executive director
While the Winnipeg Folk Festival has wrapped up for another year, the fun is just beginning for Lynne Skromeda.
The Fort Rouge resident was recently named the festival’s executive director and is scheduled to start her new job Sept. 4.
The festival has been without an executive director since 2011. Skromeda said she can’t wait to get started.
"I’ve literally been going to the festival my whole life. My parents took me when I was a little kid. I call it my Disneyland and everyone who knows me knows it’s my favourite time of year," she said.
"I’m extremely excited to get started."
Skromeda is a familiar face on the local entertainment scene. She has spent the past 12 years working at the award-winning film and television company Frantic Films, where she is currently finishing up as its president of production.
"It’s been an amazing experience being here. I’ve had exposure to so many incredible things. We’ve done some great shows over the years and I’ve been involved in everything," Skromeda said.
"I love the diversity, the variety and the pace of it. It’s always fast-paced and it changes a lot. (The company) is something I’ve very proud to be a part of. I’m going to miss it a lot."
Skromeda said part of what made the Folk Fest gig attractive is that it will allow her to remain in Winnipeg.
"Winnipeg is really important to me, and I wouldn’t want to leave. I love it here," she said.
Skromeda said she is confident her experience and love of the city will make her a good fit for the job.
"I have this inherent, incredible love of the festival. It’s my opportunity to go from being second-in-command to leading an organization. It’s a great next step," she said.
"Running a festival is very similar to running a production. There are a lot of commonalities that make it a really well-suited position for me."
Skromeda has already visited the festival’s office to meet the staff.
"Everyone is so excited and passionate about the festival. It’s so great to be walking into a team that’s so jazzed about what they do," she said.
Her first order of business as executive director is to start work on strategic planning, as well as do some fundraising for the capital campaign.
"We need to raise a million dollars for our site improvement. I’m really up for the challenge," she said.
Skromeda said she’ll also be working on improving the festival’s year-round programming with more shows, and more outreach and education initiatives. The festival is also gearing up for its 40th anniversary next year.
"I’m such a passionate Winnipegger and it’s so nice to be part of an organization that’s really giving back (to the community)," she said.
"I feel like I’m coming into the organization at such a great time."
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