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Edmonton Fringe Theatre’s executive director to step down in March

A file photo of Adam Mitchell, executive director of the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival. Global News

The Edmonton Fringe Theatre will be looking to hire a new executive director after announcing that Adam Mitchell, who has spent five years in the role, will step down from his post next month.

“Adam has provided admirably calm and steady leadership during his five-year tenure with Fringe,” Shivani Naidu-Barrett, the board chair of Edmonton Fringe Theatre Adventures, said in a news release issued Tuesday.

“He will be greatly missed by the organization and the community, but we are excited to see what the future holds for him.”

Mitchell described himself as a longtime “Fringer” and advocate of the Edmonton Fringe Theatre.

“In my time as executive director, I have seen the Fringe experience for artists, staff and patrons grow as we’ve transformed its operations, governance structures, artistic pursuits and community connections,” he said. “We’ve renewed commitments to longstanding relationships and built new ones.

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“I am proud that we have returned to our roots as the place where independent artists thrive here in Edmonton, and that we continue to provide positive leadership worldwide.”

The Fringe said Mitchell’s departure will become official on March 26. Naidu-Barrett said that Megan Dart will take over as interim executive director until the position is permanently filled.

Dart will also be tasked with overseeing the production of the 40th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival.

“She brings a wealth of experience to the position, and we have great confidence in her ability to steward the organization through what is a challenging time for arts organizations,” Naidu-Barrett said.

READ MORE: Edmonton’s Fringe Festival hosts telethon to keep event running 

Dart said she was honoured to take on the role “in this time of transition.”

“I am incredibly grateful to the board for the opportunity to collaborate with Fringe’s passionate and talented team in the coming months as we navigate an uncertain festival season due to evolving health restrictions and pandemic realities,” she said.

“Organizing a festival is much more complex and challenging this year, and we expect the festival will look very different.”

READ MORE: 2020 Edmonton International Fringe Festival cancelled over COVID-19 pandemic 

The Fringe said the process of finding a new full-time executive director won’t begin until the fall. Naidu-Barrett said both Dart and Mitchell will work with the festival’s artistic director Murray Utas as well as the board to fill the position.

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The Fringe festival is one of the most popular events on Edmonton’s annual summer festival calendar. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 10-day affair was cancelled last year.

“While the decision to cancel is difficult and emotional, we also know it’s necessary,” Mitchell said at the time. “The health and safety of all Fringers is our top priority.”

Watch below: Some Global News videos about the Edmonton Fringe Festival.

–With files from Global News’ Caley Ramsay