Staff

To contact one of our staff – please go to our Contact Page here

Founder/Artistic Director – Larry Kurtz is a  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 11 years later. 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 24 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.

Director of Operations – Gary Skinn is a long time Festival Volunteer with extensive experience “on the ground” as a site/operations facilitator. With a science background and electrical skill he, along with his wife and new son, share two main passions: music and gardening.  Working both at home and in the community, Gary is thrilled to be turning these hobbies into a career as the operations manager of the OBJF.

Director of Development/Marketing – Peter Ross brings extensive experience in marketing and development combined with income building for major Canadian Arts Organizations.  Some of these include The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Canadian Opera Company, Canadian Film Centre and The Toronto Symphony.  He developed the largest endowment program for any cultural organization in Canada, initiated a comprehensive series of programs to facilitate revenue growth, and implemented a conversion of ticketing distribution and management. His success in these areas required building significant sources of income by leveraging business opportunities and actions to drive revenue growth while focusing on brand development, capital fundraising and financial capacity building. Peter’s high standards of professional and personal integrity result in strong relationships with stake-holders, donors and co-workers and will be a major compliment to create a highly recognized and successful festival.

Volunteer Coordinator – Alison Hird is a keen follower of live music, and comes with a career history of events management and volunteer coordination. Recently retired from the Dufferin County Museum, Alison is a freelance consultant providing cataloguing services to museums, private individuals, and organizations. Alison is most known locally however, for her pioneering website What’s On Ontario, which ran for more than a decade providing free publicity for the arts, live music, and community events. “I have watched the OBJF festival grow since the outset, and I am proud to be working with the organizing team of this truly magnificent local event.”
The Volunteer Coordinator position is made possible through a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.