NANCY CLARIDGE

Director

Nancy Claridge was raised in Orangeville and is a partner at the law firm Carters Professional Corporation, a firm that focuses on charity and not-for-profit organizations, in addition to serving the local community. She tries to make a positive impact on the community, serving on the board of the Festival, as well as serving on the boards of two local social housing corporations, as the former President of the Orangeville Concert Association, the past President of the Dufferin County Law Association, a board member of the Greater Dufferin Area Estate Planning Council, a former member of the Rights Advisory Committee for Community Living Dufferin and a former member of the Compliance Audit Committee for the Upper Grand District School Board. Nancy is a mezzo-soprano and frequently performs locally and abroad.

Matthew Culliton

Director

Matthew grew up on a farm in Loretto and moved to Orangeville in 1992. He studied Electrical Engineering Technology at George Brown College. He continues to enjoy a career in Sales and Marketing of Industrial Automation products. Matthew’s community service includes Member of the Kinsmen & Kinette Clubs of Canada; Member of the Program Advisory Council for Conestoga College – Electrical and Energy programs;;Board Member of the Adjala Credit Union, Audit and Nominations Committee; When he can, he enjoys riding his motorcycle.
Matthew is very much a Live Music enthusiast and has enjoyed volunteering at the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival since 2021.

JD Dinsdale

Director

JD was born and raised in London Ontario before moving to Arthur in 1990 where he and his family currently reside. In his professional life JD is a, now semi-retired, Certified Project Manager who spent much of his career in Technical and Operational Management positions in the automotive manufacturing sector. JD’s love of music began with accordion and trumpet lessons at eight & nine years old. But by the time he was 13 he was already on the path to being a serious vinyl record collector. His involvement in the arts was first realized when he made an 8mm short film for a grade seven class project. He later became a member of the Audio/Video club at his high school where he provided technical support for their theatre stage productions, including set construction and lighting. He also produced original lunchtime radio programming for the school’s cafeteria. By graduation he had added photography to his resume and began providing local musicians band photos, poster and album cover design services. JD became a Front of House and In Studio Sound Engineer in the late 70’s, where he worked with such bands as the Symphonic Rock Duo BUSKER, Network (Featuring Ocean’s Janice Morgan), Soma, Vehicle and McLean & McLean, to name a few. JD has been a volunteer with the Orangeville Blues and Jazz festival since 2012, currently in the capacity of Sound and Stage Team leader, with a focus on the Main Stage venue. As much as studio recording is a great artistic collaboration, JD lives for live music and can’t wait for the first weekend in June each year.

Donna Henderson

Director

Donna spent much of her teaching career presenting and performing in student musical and dramatic productions. She has performed in local and dramatic productions herself. As a classroom teacher, she taught Art on rotary to all classes from Kindergarten to Grade 12 as well as instructing adult learning classes. Her volunteer committee work has included many local community groups. Presently, she is Vice-President of Bruce, Grey, Dufferin Retired Teachers. She also is the President of the Dufferin Retired Teachers Unit. She is the Secretary for the Upper Grand Occasional Teachers and the Orangeville District Labour Council. She volunteers at the Blues and Jazz Festival weekend in Orangeville and currently sits on the Blues and Jazz Board of Directors. She wants to give back to her community in as many ways as possible. Her time is spent gardening, tutoring reluctant students, dabbling in acrylic painting and playing with Ciel Gentille, her Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

Larry Kurtz

Founder & Artistic Director

Long-time musician and lead singer of the award-winning Trouble and Strife Blues Band, Larry’s passion for the Blues is so profound he wanted to celebrate it with his community. As Founder of the Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival, Larry’s name is synonymous with the Festival. Over the years Larry has participated in all aspects of the Festival and remains the Artistic Director and driving force 20 years later. In 2016 Larry was named Blues Booster of The Year by the Toronto Blues Society. Larry studied Media Arts at Sheridan College and along with his talent as a musician and artist, he is a fine craftsman and the owner of Kurtz Architectural Millworks in Orangeville for the past 30 years. Larry’s commitment to high-quality craftsmanship is well known and he is just as committed to securing high-quality programming at each and every Festival.

Josh Leitch

President

Josh started volunteering at the festival in 2004 due to his love for music and to support & encourage live music in the community. Josh is a lifetime music student. His band, The Traveling Wannabes, plays at local venues, festivals and not-for-profit events often highlighting Orangeville’s very best local talent. Josh believes that a community can exist only if we work hard at it. He is pleased to be part of this one. Josh’s immediate family has grown to 16, including 8 grandchildren; all residents of Orangeville, and all dedicated fans of the arts and especially live music. Josh started his professional career 48 years ago at Canadian Tire Corporation and has recently retired as a Program Manager, Supply Chain Projects, developing infrastructure and enabling e-comm distribution capabilities. He has a master’s degree in business administration and is a certified Project Management Professional. He teaches Construction Project Management, part-time, at Humber College. He joined the Festival Board of Directors in 2016 and has been the Board President since 2017. Josh has also been serving as the Board Treasurer since 2020. In this capacity, Josh is responsible for financial oversight on behalf of the Board and has participated in various government funding applications and reporting during this time.

Alison Scheel

Director

As General Manager of the Orangeville BIA & Farmers’ Market, Alison’s strength is in building relationships and fostering small, independent businesses. As a strong supporter of the Festival both personally & professionally, Alison volunteers her time because she believes in the importance of the Festival to Downtown Orangeville and the community as a whole. Moving to the area the same year the Festival debuted, Alison & her family have made the Festival an annual family event, with friends and family coming from all over the province to enjoy warm Blues & cool Jazz in the park. “The Blues & Jazz Festival made us fall head over heels for our new community – the atmosphere is warm and welcoming, and the music is high quality – a fabulous weekend for visitors, and small-town living at its very best for residents”. A Board member since 2013, Alison hopes to make a positive contribution to the Festival for many years to come. Alison studied Political Science at York University.

David Spencer

Director

David has a passion for bringing people together for a common goal and vision. Live music has the potential to help people relax, reach out and support new friends. David has organized and performed in music coffee houses at Lakehead University, Queen’s University and summer camps for children. He has also organized a number of community music jams in Brampton, Erin and Six Nations of the Grand River. Now he plays bass for the Westminster Jam and Hammond style organ for the Joyful Sounds Gospel Choir based in Orangeville. David is an author, educator, web specialist and social media communicator on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter). He set up the Erin Ontario News listserv to help residents of Erin stay informed and share ideas. David researched, built a team and wrote scripts as Executive Producer for Generation XC, a 1988 youth television show broadcast from Brampton. In 2003, he co-founded Erin Radio and produced a show with local residents. David formed the Erin Residents’ Association in 2014 to build a safe community, communicate with the Town and support local businesses and community groups. Today, he operates a live video camera for Rogers TV Dufferin and produces Wellington Creates a 2023 volunteer group attracting film and television productions to Wellington County, Ontario. David hopes to attract new volunteers and encourage current volunteers for our Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival.

NOTE: None of the individual directors hold elective office or are appointed by any municipal body.