Festival appoints KW Symphony cellist as manager

A sense of innovation and renewed vitality is in the air for the Elora Festival with the appointment of Chris Sharpe as festival manager.

“It’s an honour for me to be working with Noel, the staff, and board for the Elora Festival – a festival that I have long admired – both as a performer and as an audience member,” Sharpe said.

He comes to the Elora Festival after having been a cellist in many of its concerts over the years. He began playing the cello at the young age of 11 and joined the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in 1979 while studying music at Wilfrid Laurier University. He was appointed to the position of associate principal cello with the symphony in 1985 and also conducted its junior and intermediate youth orchestras.

Sharpe brings a vision of education, outreach and accessibility to the Elora Festival – an annual event he describes as having “an excellent balance of strong tradition with innovation that keeps it at the forefront of North American music festivals.”

John Spearn, chairman of the board of directors for the Elora Festival, says that he has known Sharpe for over 30 years.

“He has an extensive background in both administration and the performing arts and we are delighted that he has chosen to join us.”

With Sharpe onboard, The Elora Festival is looking towards another milestone anniversary year. When asked about what makes the now 36-year-old festival tick, Sharpe pointed to its a “perfect mix of elements: Noel Edison’s artistic leadership, the world-class Elora Festival Singers, skilled staff and dedicated volunteers – and the beauty and cultural scene of Elora itself.”