imagineNATIVE Appoints new Executive Director

June 15 – imagineNATIVE’s Board of Directors today announced the appointment of Ariel Smith as the organization's new Executive Director.

Smith will be responsible for overseeing imagineNATIVE’s operations, HR, finance and execution of Festival and year-round activities. She takes over the role in August as current Executive Director, Jason Ryle moves into the role of Artistic Director to oversee imagineNATIVE’s Festival and year-round programming and artistic initiatives.

Smith is a filmmaker, video artist, writer and cultural worker and has been working in media arts advocacy and administration for over a decade, most recently as the Director of the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition (NIMAC). She has enjoyed a long association with imagineNATIVE both as part of the Festival’s programming team and as Workshop Artist for imagineNATIVE’s annual Film + Video Tour.

“I am thrilled and honoured to step into the role of imagineNATIVE’s Executive Director and to follow in the footsteps of Jason Ryle, who has done a fantastic job in positioning imagineNATIVE as one of Canada’s key institutions, fostering knowledge, innovation and creativity,” said Ariel Smith.

Also starting in August, Daniel Northway-Frank, current Manager of Festival Initiatives, will move into the role of Industry Director to oversee the Festival’s Industry Series and year-round market and professional development programs.

Commenting on Smith’s appointment and the organizational changes, imagineNATIVE Board Chair, Marcia Nickerson said, “The new organizational structure will help us respond to the remarkable opportunities available to imagineNATIVE. We are delighted to welcome Ariel in her new role. Her extensive media arts and leadership experience will be extremely valuable to imagineNATIVE and we look forward to her contributions as Executive Director.”

Ariel assumes her position as Executive Director on August 1, 2016.