Board of Directors

GARY BROWN
President, Interim Treasurer
Gary has been a Festival Board member since 2005, serving as Treasurer from 2005-2015. He became President in 2016 and acts as Interim Treasurer as well. He moved to the Headwaters area in 2004 and has been active in Festival and other arts activities and events ever since. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and has been CFO of both public and private companies as well as a consultant in finance and business to technology companies. Gary has been involved in the local arts scene serving on the boards of Headwaters Arts (Treasurer and Co-President) and the Williams Mill Visual Arts Centre (Treasurer) and as a member of the Town of Orangeville’s Arts and Culture Committee. He received an award as Community Arts Volunteer Advocate of the Year in 2014. He is passionate about blues music and, along with all of the Festival volunteers, works to ensure that the Festival has a profound and lasting impact on the quality of life and brings sustained economic benefit to the area.

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 as the former President of the Orangeville Concert Association, the current Vice President of the Dufferin County Law Association, a board member of the Greater Dufferin Area Estate Planning Council, a member of the Rights Advisory Committee for Community Living Dufferin and a member of the Compliance Audit Committee for the Upper Grand District School Board.  Nancy is a mezzo soprano and frequently performs with the Headwaters’ Concert Choir, the Great Lakes Touring Chorus and the Amaranth Chamber Choir.

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 15 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 27 years.  Larry 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
Director
Josh moved his family, wife Linda and 3 very active children, to Orangeville in 1989. Their children are married, and they have 2 grandsons, all living in Orangeville. He started his career 40 years ago at, and continues to work for, Canadian Tire Corporation. His current role is Program Manager for a new Distribution Centre in Bolton. He has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and is a certified Project Management Professional. He teaches part time at Humber College, currently in the Construction Project Management program. He joined the OBJF volunteer group 10 years ago, partially due to his love for the music. He believes that a community can exist only if we work hard at it. He is pleased to be part of this one.

PAUL R. MIRON
Director
Paul’s unflappable, sunny personality and vast knowledge of the ever-changing legal landscape have earned him a number of increasingly senior roles which have directly contributed to FCT’s success. In addition to his current title as Senior Title Counsel, Paul is also Senior International Underwriter for First American Title Insurance Company (FATIC), FCT’s parent company.

Paul joined First Canadian Title in 2003 in the role of Legal Counsel, Claims and was promoted to National Commercial Counsel in 2004 and then to Director, National Commercial Counsel in 2007. In 2008 he became the Director, Corporate Underwriting and Senior Title Counsel in 2010. As such he is responsible for the national underwriting of the FCT Commercial product.

From 1994 to 2002, Paul worked as in-house counsel for a national hotel chain known over the years as Journey’s End Corporation, UniHost Corporation, Westmont Hospitality Management Ltd., and finally InnVest REIT. His focus was on commercial real estate and financing matters for the hotel chain. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ottawa in 1982 and later graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor in 1985. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1987.

Paul is also an avid curler and reader

ALISON SCHEEL
Director
As General Manager of the Orangeville BIA & Farmer’s 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.

MICHELLE WILSON 
Director
Michelle is the Branch Manager of TD Canada Trust at the Orangeville Mall. Michelle has worked for TD for the last 27 years. She has actively supported the Festival since inception through volunteer efforts and by advocating on its behalf for sponsorship. She loves the Festival and believes it to be a vital part of the vibrant town of Orangeville. Michelle is a long time resident of Orangeville. Michelle joined the board in 2016.