Important Announcement from Folk Music Ontario

Dear FMO Members,

Folk Music Ontario (FMO) announces that Alka Sharma will be moving on to a new role and concluding her 8+ years of service as Executive Director of FMO on December 31, 2021.

“It’s with sadness that we say farewell to Alka as FMO’s Executive Director. She has been a strong advocate of the organization in the Canadian and international folk music community and helmed FMO through many memorable in-person conferences (and one online conference!) and through two years of a pandemic with her calm and steadfast leadership style. Alka has been committed to the success of the staff, membership, and organization. She has facilitated new partnerships and opportunities and has strengthened FMO’s relationships with key stakeholders in the music industry and Canadian government. We wish Alka the best on her new professional adventure.” Amie Therrien, Board President, Folk Music Ontario

“I am grateful to the FMO Board of Directors, Joel Elliott (FMO’s Marketing Manager), and the Copperworks crew (who I have worked with since I started in 2013). I have a great love for the organization, the community, and the exciting future for Folk Music Ontario. It has been an absolute pleasure to have worked with FMO since the beginning when it made its name change from the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals. I will miss the camaraderie, the people, and most of all, the music. Thank you to the community and the music industry.” Alka Sharma, outgoing Executive Director, Folk Music Ontario

Previous to taking on the Executive Director role with Folk Music Ontario, Alka worked as the Interim Executive Director of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. She was also the Senior Manager of Operations with the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival. Alka has worked in various campus / community radio stations and non-profit arts organizations for over 20 years and has extensive experience sitting on various non-profit Boards.

In her time at FMO, Alka has led the production of seven in-person conferences, and one online conference. Alka, along with the FMO Programming Committee, expanded FMO’s year-round programming and professional development opportunities. On behalf of FMO, Alka signed the Breaking Down Racial Barriers declaration, and has been committed to embodying equity and diversity in all its activities. Under her tenure, FMO has collaborated with various music industry organizations, and held Festival Member’s Retreats, incorporated outreach to various communities, including implementing an Indigenous Artists Showcase.

FMO has been instrumental in the development of the careers of thousands of artists, by creating showcase opportunities, performance opportunities, professional development sessions, networking opportunities, facilitated meetings, export development, and more. FMO will continue to build and develop the strengths of these initiatives and will remain a leading voice and advocate for the folk music community in Ontario, Canada, and internationally.

The Board of Directors wishes to thank Alka for her years of service and dedication to FMO and to the folk community at large and wishes her every success as she moves on to her next role.

The board is currently working on a succession plan, which will be announced shortly.

For more information, please contact:
Amie Therrien
Board President, Folk Music Ontario