Carissa Klopoushak appointed Interim Artistic Director of the Ottawa Chamberfest

*Text from Ottawa Chamberfest press release


credit Bo Huang

After thirteen years at the artistic helm of the Ottawa Chamber Music Society (OCMS, Ottawa Chamberfest), Artistic Director Roman Borys has announced that he will be stepping down effective August 14, 2020. “I am very grateful to the entire Chamberfest community for embracing my artistic leadership with such commitment and enthusiasm. I am very proud of the excellence and growth that have been achieved in collaboration with the artists, artistic advisors, supporters, partners, volunteers, staff and board, over the course of the last thirteen years. I will fondly remember the remarkable journey we’ve had together,” said Mr. Borys, during whose tenure Chamberfest evolved from its summer festival roots into a year-round arts organization. “As the disruption caused by the pandemic slowed the cycles of commitments and deadlines tethered to the many facets of my work life, it became clear to me that this was the ideal time to pass the Chamberfest torch to an outstanding next generation artist whose energy and vision will continue to drive the organization into the future.”


Patricia Blute and Vineet Srivastava, Ottawa Chamberfest Board Co-Chairs, expressed gratitude on behalf of the Board of Directors saying, “During his tenure, the organization has soared to incredible heights, particularly over the past five years. Roman’s three-pillar approach connects artists and audiences through the Summer Festival, Concert Series and Community Engagement and Education initiatives, and has established this arts organization as a leader in its field. We will greatly miss his inspirational leadership, his creative genius and his friendship.”


On the shared recommendation of outgoing Artistic Director Roman Borys and ongoing General Manager Peter MacDonald, the Board of Directors has appointed Ottawa-based violinist Carissa Klopoushak as Interim Artistic Director.


“The Board of Directors is excited to welcome Interim Artistic Director Carissa Klopoushak to succeed Roman, to continue the great work he has begun and to bring her own vision to Ottawa Chamberfest. Carissa and Peter will form an effective management team,” said Blute and Srivastava.


“Carissa Klopoushak is a powerful performer, experienced curator and frequent Chamberfest contributor,” said Borys. “Her passion for chamber music and adventurous small ensemble collaboration defines her artistic voice as one of the strongest in the field.”


Dr. Klopoushak is a member of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Ironwood Quartet and serves as co-Artistic Director of both the Ritornello and Classical Unbound chamber music festivals. She performs on a Vuillaume violin on loan from the Canada Council Musical Instrument Bank and will officially start her new role at Chamberfest on August 17.


“I am excited and deeply honoured to become the next steward of this important Canadian cultural institution, Ottawa Chamberfest. I’m looking forward to continuing the creative trajectory established by Roman, while bringing my own unique experiences to this adventure,” said Klopoushak. “I’m pleased to continue and to deepen my elevenyear relationship with this festival, concert series, and all that this organization encompasses.”


Peter MacDonald said, “Roman leaves Chamberfest in a very strong position. His programming plans in response to COVID-19 give us tremendous opportunities to continue serving our community of artists, volunteers, patrons, donors, sponsors and partners. The entire team is excited to work through this transition with Carissa, who is a creative, collaborative and energetic member of the regional and national cultural scene.”


Despite the suspension of all regular concert programming due to COVID-19, Ottawa Chamberfest has continued to engage its audience and artists through new initiatives including online Chamber Chats: At Home, Chez vous every Tuesday and Thursday, and successful live-streaming concert presentations.


Ottawa Chamberfest presents chamber music in an annual summer festival, a concert series, and community engagement and arts education activities with a vision of changing lives through music.


Media Contact: Peter MacDonald General Manager pmacdonald (at) chamberfest.com

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