After 25 years, Indian River Festival (IRF) is looking ahead to the next chapter in its Island concert series. Recent changes to IRF’s operations—including a new executive director, new leadership within the board of directors, as well as increased online offerings catalyzed by the pandemic—have created an opportunity for IRF to step back and reassess its position within the Island and Atlantic Canadian music ecosystem. In the coming months, IRF will undergo a brand refresh aligning with its commitment to present varied, innovative, and high-quality programming to highlight the acoustics of Historic St. Mary’s.
Despite challenges posed by the pandemic, IRF came back strong for its milestone 25th anniversary year. Music returned to the halls of Historic St. Mary’s this past summer with IRF showcasing folk, jazz, blues, roots, classical, choral, traditional and contemporary music.
Indian River Festival began in 1996 as a handful of stand-alone concerts to save Historic St. Mary’s and soon grew into a small concert series called Midsummer Magic. Fast forward 25 years and it has evolved into an internationally-renowned festival.
Reflecting the growth and evolution of IRF as a leader in the Atlantic Canadian music scene, the upcoming brand refresh will build on the organization’s strength, stability and legacy, and will include changes such as a new logo, brand positioning, name, marketing and more. The organization also hopes to introduce changes to make its operations more accessible, to assess its environmental impact, and to make sure the designated heritage site is properly maintained. Changes will be made in consultation with IRF’s board of directors, stakeholders and patrons, and will have all parties’ best interests in mind.
“Even though some of our brand elements are changing, our core purpose remains the same: to present outstanding performances in our beloved venue, Historic St. Mary’s,” says Executive Director Lindsay Connolly. “After more than a quarter of a century of incredible music, evolution is not only inevitable, but also essential to ensure the Festival is set up to succeed for the next 25 years. We are excited to move forward in a new direction in consultation with our patrons and community. Many of our supporters have been with the Festival since the beginning, and we want to make sure we uphold their legacy while taking actions to make the Festival the best it can be.”