Ottawa Festival Network announces new President and Chair

Toby Whitfield assumes the role of President and Chair as Holly Tarrison-Gaskin steps down

Please join us in welcoming Toby Whitfield, Executive Director at Capital Pride, as Ottawa Festival Network’s (OFN) President and Chair. Last night, the OFN Board of Directors appointed Toby to this role until the Annual General Meeting being held May 24, 2023.

This change comes as Holly Tarrison-Gaskin steps-down after notifying the Board of Directors and OFN staff of her intention earlier this spring. “Thank you to Holly for her tireless work with OFN over the years and in particular her recent leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and her support for festivals, special events and fairs as they relaunch and recover,” said Toby.

Holly was a long-standing member of OFN before joining the Board of Directors, ultimately becoming President and Chair. Her contagious energy and passion for the industry, was much noticed and appreciated by staff during this time as she worked with OFN on various projects through the years. We thank Holly for her leadership and support during an important time of transition and adversity.

Toby, who also serves as the Chair of OFN’s Advocacy Committee, has been involved in various projects with OFN, including a pilot project in collaboration with Ottawa Public Health, before joining as a member of the Board of Directors. We look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role.

“OFN plays an important role in supporting and developing the festivals and events in Ottawa. Our members host events big and small that bring people together, build community and contribute significantly to the local economy. Capital Pride has long valued our membership in OFN and I’m pleased to continue to support OFN’s work in this role,” said Toby.

About Toby Whitfield

tobyToby Whitfield (he/him) brings over a decade of experience in managing and working in progressive non-profit organizations of various sizes, in both Toronto and Ottawa. He has extensive experience leading teams; providing strong representation and advocacy; and managing events, programs and services. He continues to support leaders of non-profit organizations with matters involving board governance, human resources, and financial management.

Toby has been involved in Capital Pride in various roles since 2016, when he first joined the Board of Directors. Since then, he has served as Treasurer (2017), Chairperson (2018), and Festival Director (2019). In these roles, he led the organization through significant growth, including expanding summer festival programming, introducing new signature events, and developing new community and corporate partnerships.

Toby is committed to continuing to deliver on Capital Pride’s mission with a focus on continuing the organization’s work to create spaces for marginalized voices within our community.