The Board of FolkWorld Inc. is pleased to announce the appointment of Jon Cope as Artistic Director.
Jon is a musician with 40 years of experience and knowledge of the WA folk scene. He is also an arts manager with 25 years working in leadership roles in arts and community sector organisations.
Jon’s appointment follows the recent departure of Rod Vervest after eight years in the AD role. Given FolkWorld’s recent key staff changes, the uncertainty arising from COVID, and the planning for 2023 already well underway, the Board moved swiftly to appoint a new AD.
FolkWorld Inc. is the parent organisation of the popular Fairbridge Festival, a much-loved family music festival established in 1993.
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 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.”
The 29th Fairbridge Festival is being held from 14-16 April 2023.
About Jon Cope
Jon Cope is a musician with 40 years’ experience and knowledge of the West Australian folk scene. Starting in Perth folk clubs as a teenager, he’s performed at music festivals across the Australian circuit and internationally throughout Europe and Asia. He played the first Fairbridge Festival in 1993 with Press Gang, and returned over various years with music acts; Fling, Blue Celts, Focsle Firkins, and Martin & Coole. His family has participated in the Fairbridge Festival experience over two decades, transitioning through the various strategic focus areas of the festivals’ program structure.
As an arts manager for 25 years, 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. Jon is a strong advocate for collective community-driven arts initiatives and the value of culture for enriching community wellbeing.
Artistic Director Curatorial Statement
FolkWorld’s Fairbridge Festival is a long-running successful family folk-based music festival with multiple programming strategies contributing to a diverse multi-layered cultural event.
Following recent challenges with the impact of the global pandemic and the cancellation of this year’s 2022 festival, the immediate focus will be on gathering the programming team together to deliver a fantastic Fairbridge Festival event in April 2023. We will contact all the previously booked 2022 artists shortly as we review this year’s cancelled festival program and we appreciate everyone’s patience as the new team gets underway.
Moving forward towards 2024, we intend to bring the FolkWorld community together for an inclusive special 30th Anniversary celebration.
Photo credit: Jon Cope by Jon Green