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Teiya Kasahara as Queen of the Night in Vancouver Opera’s The Magic Flute. (Tim Matheson/Special to The Globe and Mail)
Teiya Kasahara as Queen of the Night in Vancouver Opera’s The Magic Flute. (Tim Matheson/Special to The Globe and Mail)

Vancouver Opera names new General Director Add to ...

Vancouver Opera has announced its next general director, who will be responsible for running the company as it moves to a festival format after the conclusion of its final season this spring.

Kim Gaynor is a Canadian arts administrator who has been working in Europe for more than 20 years, currently as managing director of the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, a position she’s held for 10 years.

The appointment was announced Monday, after an “extensive international search” according to VO board chair Pascal Spothelfer.

Ms. Gaynor, who was born in Hamilton, Ont., and raised in nearby Burlington, will replace James Wright, who is retiring after 17 years with VO.

In a statement released Monday, Ms. Gaynor called VO’s decision to move to a festival format “a courageous one, designed to ensure the future viability and vitality of the organization.” She called it a decision that she “wholeheartedly endorse[s].”

Prior to her tenure at the Verbier Festival – which is an annual international music festival – Ms. Gaynor was managing director and co-founder of Festival Retz, a chamber music and chamber opera festival in Austria, administrator of the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in London and head of marketing administration at London’s Royal Opera House.

In Canada, she has had positions with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, L’Opéra de Montréal and the Canada Council for the Arts.

The appointment takes effect July 1, although Ms. Gaynor won’t be moving to Vancouver from Switzerland until August.

VO’s first festival will be held in the spring of 2017.

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