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President of Yellowknife’s Folk on the Rocks festival resigns

Folk on the Rocks' main stage pictured at the 2017 festival
Folk on the Rocks' main stage pictured at the 2017 festival. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio

Two directors of Yellowknife’s Folk on the Rocks music festival, including its president, left their positions on Monday.

In a statement posted to the festival’s website on Tuesday, organizers said Ryan Fequet, Folk on the Rocks’ president, had stepped down with immediate effect. Andrew Livingstone, a director, is also leaving the board.

The festival, which is coming out of a period of financial uncertainty, holds its 2018 edition in three months’ time.

Vice-president Ashley Makohoniuk will act as president until the festival society’s annual meeting later this year.



‘Loved so much’

Fequet, a policy and regulatory expert, had served as president since 2013. Folk on the Rocks said he had stepped down “to focus on his family, work, and other volunteer commitments.”

Those commitments include Fequet’s run for election as vice-president of Canada Soccer, for whom he has been a director for a number of years. That election takes place in Yellowknife at Canada Soccer’s annual meeting on May 5.

His tenure at Folk on the Rocks included terminating the contract of executive director David Whitelock in 2015, and overseeing the subsequent legal battle when Whitelock claimed compensation for alleged unpaid wages and bonuses.

The festival lost around $170,000 between 2014 and 2016 before restructuring and returning to a more sound financial footing.



Tuesday’s statement quoted Fequet as saying: “Serving a society loved so much by the community has been a privilege.”

Livingstone – who is relocating to Alberta – had been on the festival’s board since 2015, helping to book artists for each event as part of the society’s selections committee.

“The board of directors are very sad to see Ryan and Andrew leave,” said Makohoniuk in a statement.

“Ryan joined at a very integral time and has been instrumental in turning Folk into a well-oiled machine. Andrew’s insight, music knowledge and passion will certainly be missed.”