Fairbanks Concert Association Names Marie-Sylvestre Oleson Executive Director
The new Executive Director of the Fairbanks Concert Association (FCA) is Marie-Sylvestre Olesen, effective July 6.
Originally from Montreal, Canada, Olesen says she grew up with access to cultural diversity and performing arts. “I immersed myself in music and live events like the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, Montreal International Jazz Festival, Drum & Bass Festival, rock, folk, classical, opera, ballet, symphony, theater, and more,” she says. “I believe live performances connect us to the world. I am excited at the prospect of working with the Fairbanks Concert Association’s board and staff in collaboratively maintaining the organization’s high standards of excellence while growing new opportunities.”
Olesen has lived in Fairbanks since 2014. Previously, Olesen served as UAF’s coordinator the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activity and coordinator for Arctic and special projects. An experienced nonprofit leader, she also served as the executive director of the Yukon Quest International Association Canada, where she led a successful celebration of the Yukon Quest’s 30th anniversary. She earned a master’s degree in tourism management from the University of Greenwich and holds a bachelor’s degree in visual arts with a minor in anthropology from the University of Montreal.
FCA board chair Mike Powers cited Olesen’s passion for the performing arts, her proven leadership skills, and her years of experience managing programs and events.
“Ms. Olesen has a captivating enthusiasm and experience establishing strong, collaborative partnerships,” Powers says. “She brings exciting ideas to engage our audiences and continues our legacy of community partnerships. This upcoming season marks our seventy-fifth year of presenting professional performing artists in Interior Alaska. We are excited to be celebrating our history and setting the course for the next seventy-five years under Marie’s leadership.”
Powers praised Anne Biberman, the departing executive director who was with FCA for fourteen years.
“It is impossible to overstate our appreciation for Anne’s hard work and dedication and for everything that she achieved for the organization over her years of service,” Powers says. “She has grown and diversified the artistic experiences offered by FCA, deepened our connections in the community, and positioned the concert association to thrive for many years to come.”