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Folk Alliance International Announces New Executive Director

Folk Alliance International Announces New Executive Director
April 9, 2014, Kansas City, MO ~ Folk Alliance International is pleased to announce new Executive Director Aengus Finnan, who brings his years of experience as a cultural community leader, musician, presenter and arts administrator to the organization and to Kansas City, effective July 1, 2014. After an extensive search The Board of Directors have selected Mr. Finnan and look forward to the future of Folk Alliance in his capable hands.

"Our Board of Directors is so excited to bring someone of Aengus' caliber onboard to lead us," says David Hirshland, Board President. "Folk Alliance has come so far in the past 8 years under Louis' leadership, and we just couldn't be happier that Aengus is joining us, not only to continue our success but to grow from where we are."

The Folk Alliance Board brought in Arts Consulting Group (ACG) to assist with their search through nearly 50 candidates, and were very impressed with the quality of all applicants. "We brought finalists who represented a wide range of business and cultural arts experience to our conference in February." notes Donald Davidoff, Board Treasurer and Chair of the Search Committee. "To find that our best choice is Aengus who is already a well-respected member of our community is such an added bonus."

Welcome Aengus Finnan
Born in Dublin Ireland, and raised in rural Canada, Aengus Finnan comes to Folk Alliance via Toronto, ON and his former position as the Touring and Audience Development Officer for the Ontario Arts Council (OAC); overseeing the National and International touring programs and the International artist residency program. His diverse history in arts administration, education, culture and community outreach as well as his perspective as a musician lay the groundwork to forge a new path for Folk Alliance, while honoring tradition.

Working in English and French, Aengus has most recently been responsible within OAC for the launch of an Audience Development presenter program, and advised on the development of an Aboriginal Music Presenter program, and the $45 million Music Ontario fund. As an artist, he released 3 recordings and toured extensively throughout North America, Japan and Australia, before founding the Shelter Valley Folk Festival in 2003 where he served as the Executive and Artistic Director until 2010. Aengus has served as Board President for the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (now Folk Music Ontario), established the Art Beat community outreach initiative for the OCFF, and co-founded Canada's annual Gordon Lightfoot tribute concert series. A visual arts graduate of Lester B. Pearson United World College, Aengus Finnan also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and a Bachelor of Education specialized in Aboriginal and Northern Education. He worked as a music teacher in the Arctic, and later as a Program Manager for Community Futures, an economic development agency focused on self-employment. Aengus is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for his cultural and humanitarian work, was twice nominated for the Premier's Award for Excellence in the Arts, and is a past recipient of the New Folk Songwriting Award from the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas.

More About Folk Alliance
Since 1989, and with over 3000 members worldwide, Folk Alliance has served as an organization promoting, advocating and supporting folk music with an annual conference that is one of the five largest music conferences in North America. Folk Alliance continues to grow while providing a unique range of member services to our community, which includes artists, record companies, publishers, presenters, agents, managers, music support services, manufacturers and anyone that works in the folk world.

The 26th Annual International Folk Alliance Conference took place February 19-23, 2014 at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City, MO. The event brought together record numbers of participants from the folk music community, connecting artists, industry, and educators in business, celebration and recognition of the folk tradition. Alongside the conference this year also launched the inaugural Winter Music Camp, reaching anyone who wants to learn to play or play better, from beginner to master using nearly any acoustic instrument. The dates for the 2015 Conference and Music Camp and the second year in Kansas City are February 18-22, mark your calendars and stay tuned for showcase entery and early bird registration announcements this summer.

Learn more about Folk Alliance, it's events and initiatives at, and please contact Joelle May for press requests and more information.

updated: 7 years ago