Jon Cope, a musician with 40 years of experience and knowledge of the WA folk scene and 25 years working as an arts manager in leadership roles in arts and community sector organisations, has been announced as the new Artistic Director of FolkWorld Inc.
FolkWorld Inc. is the parent organisation of the popular Fairbridge Festival, a much-loved family music festival established in 1993.
His appointment comes after the departure of Rod Vervest who nurtured the programming of Fairbridge Festival for eight years.
FolkWorld Inc. President Drew Dymond said, “Jon’s record of leading multicultural and community-driven music and arts initiatives combined with his enthusiasm, comes at a perfect time for FolkWorld as we move through a challenging period following cancelling two festivals due to COVID-19.
“The 2023 Fairbridge Festival is shaping up to be a particularly wonderful gathering and will provide yet another world-class folk music festival.”
Jon Cope said: “There’s been much great work done by many people over the past three decades to make the Fairbridge Festival such an iconic cultural event. I’m excited to join the FolkWorld team and work together on delivering more amazing cultural experiences for our diverse festival community.”
Jon played at the inaugural Fairbridge Festival back in 1993 with the Press Gang and returned over the years with music acts, Fling, Blue Celts, Focsle Firkins, and Martin & Coole. His family has participated in the Fairbridge Festival experience for over two decades, transitioning through the various strategic focus areas of the festivals’ program structure.
As an arts manager Jon has worked for several arts organisations including Kulcha Multicultural Arts of WA. In 2014 he established Kaleidoscope Multicultural Arts Management, a specialist music agency for multicultural and folk artists, and coordinates concert events for major arts venues in WA.
He is also the co-creator and facilitator of the World Music Café social enterprise promoting a diverse multicultural performance schedule, and he’s a strong advocate for collective community-driven arts initiatives and the value of culture for enriching community wellbeing.
The 29th Fairbridge Festival will be held from 14-16 April 2023.