Regina Folk Festival and its long-serving CEO part ways

The Regina Folk Festival (RFF) and its CEO are going their separate ways.

Sandra Butel, who spent 21 years as the festival’s CEO and creative director, confirmed her departure to Global News, however, on the advice of her lawyer, Butel said she can not comment any further at this time.

The president of the Regina Folk Festival, Melissa Biro, would not comment on Butel’s departure either.

“We will not be discussing personnel matters at this time,” Biro said in an emailed statement.

Biro would not comment on when Butel left, but did say the show will go on.

Planning for the 2020 Regina Folk Festival, which returns to Victoria Park in August, is currently underway.

Last year, Butel told Sask Culture’s Engage Magazine that she had pulled back from managing the day-to-day operations of the festival to allow her team to lean in and share a sense of ownership for the RFF.

She said the shift allowed her to concentrate on funding and creating a more inclusive event.

“I’ve learned that my role isn’t to micro-manage the entire operation but to instead help move it forward, grow, thrive and succeed. I want to ensure there is room for the next generation because this is what is going to ensure the RFF remains strong and ultimately, more sustainable,” Butel told Engage Magazine.

Last year, the festival celebrated its fiftieth year, going from individual indoor performances to a full weekend of music in the heart of downtown Regina that attracts thousands.

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