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January 8, 2019

Gros Morne Summer Music (GMSM) is thrilled to announce that Colleen A. Smith has been appointed as the organization’s inaugural Executive Director, working in partnership with Founder and Artistic Director David Maggs. Ms. Smith, a seasoned arts executive, MBA graduate and Stanford IPAL scholarship recipient, brings national experience and expertise, an entrepreneurial spirit, and passionate leadership to the growing organization.

According to Maggs, “In the eighteen years I have been working with Gros Morne Summer Music, few things have generated the kind of optimism and excitement as has the arrival of Colleen Smith in the role of Executive Director.

What began as a short term contract to bring the Liminus Strategic Planning work to its conclusion, turned into a transformative undertaking for our operation, clarifying our creative focus and our commercial opportunities, and revitalizing the organization as a whole. Through her extensive resume, Colleen has cultivated an international network of artists, arts administrators, and arts institutions. Bringing this kind of capacity and network toWestern Newfoundland will transform Gros MorneSummer Music and prove a benefit to the entire region.”

Originally from Kinkora, Prince Edward Island, Ms. Smith’s executive leadership spans such organizations as Calgary (TC), Tafelmusik, The  Factory Theatre, The Royal Conservatory of Music and The Corporation of Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall. In Toronto, she played a crucial role in achieving the successful Phase 1 of the Massey Hall Revitalization Project. In Alberta, while working in partnership with Artistic Director Stafford Arima (Broadway credits include Allegiance, Carrie, and Altar Boyz) at TC, she contributed to the advocacy efforts of Creative Calgary, a civic coalition that drove an unprecedented funding increase to the local arts sector. Internationally, she is an active member of the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA), serving as a member of the Finance Committee. “I am grateful for the professional opportunities that I have had thus far in my career, but nothing compares to the remarkable potential imminent within this organization – I truly believe that there is no other arts institution like it in the entire country. Here, in this special pocket of the world, there is such a strong sense of artistry and cultural vibrancy, and I am humbled to be amongst such talent. Working with David, the team and faculty, local and provincial supporters, and this incredibly dedicated Board of Directors, together we shall bring the nation’s attention to arts and innovation in Western Newfoundland and bring the work we are creating to the rest of the country.”
GMSM is one of the largest producers of professional arts activities in Newfoundland. In the summer of 2018, a new vision and mandate for the organization emerged, integrating arts activity and programs with recent work in the area of sustainability and community development. Rooted in Western Newfoundland, GMSM aims to deepen the social agency of art with a commitment to the integrity of artistic practice. Using the interconnected platforms of training (through the Graham Academy), creative development, and presentation, the transformative capacity of art is integrated into daily life. The work of the organization aspires to bring complex social themes into compelling aesthetic encounters, working across and beyond arts practices as a global collaborator.

Board members of GMSM and Co-Chairs of the Graham Academy, Erin Smallwood and Andrea Barrett state, “On behalf of the Board of GMSM and the Graham Academy committee, we are so thrilled to welcome Colleen Smith as Gros Morne Summer Music’s first Executive Director. With Colleen’s extensive and impressive resume we feel extremely confident that her passion, enthusiasm, support of the arts community and vast skill-set are the perfect match for the future development of Graham Academy and Gros Morne
Summer Music.”
David Maggs is active in the arts and academia. He is the founder and pianist for in house ensemble, ‘Dark by Five’, has written works for the stage, worked in augmented reality, is founder and publisher of Old Crow Magazine (, and the director of The Graham Academy, a youth performing arts training academy. He is the creator and co-producer of the CBC documentary ‘The Country’, exploring indigenous identity in Newfoundland. David’s academic focus is on the cultural and existential dimensions of sustainability. His doctoral thesis Artists of the Floating World led to the SSHRC funded Sustainability in the Imaginary World led by PI John Robinson ( He has been a featured speaker at the Canadian Arts Summit, The International Transdisciplinarity Conference, National Valuing Nature Conference, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich, and elsewhere.

For additional information on Gros Morne Summer Music, please contact:
Gros Morne Summer Music
30 Elswick Road, Corner Brook, NL, Canada A2H 2W6 / Youtube / Instagram / Facebook and Twitter @GrosMorneMusic

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