Welcome Our New Members of the Folklorama Board of Directors

After our Annual General Meeting this past April, we have three new board members! We would like to recognize the time, commitment, and dedication it takes to being a board member, and we give a special thanks to all our board members, both new and returning.

Our three new board members are Tamar BarrPeter Parboji, and Susan Shortill.

In introducing our new board members, we want you to get to know them a bit, so we spoke with each of them to get an inside look at who they are and their background with Folklorama.

Tamar Barr (pictured second from left, below) has been working in non-profit and community service sectors for almost 30 years. Her Folklorama journey started when she was a dancer with the Sarah Sommer Chai Folk Ensemble performing at the Israel Pavilion-Shalom Square. Throughout the next 20 years she would maintain a strong connection to the Israel Pavilion and the Folklorama Festival, filling a variety of roles including committee member, volunteer, and as the Pavilion Coordinator.

“When the opportunity became available, I saw it as an opportunity to personally contribute to the enhancement, engagement, and growth of Folklorama,” states Barr.

When we asked Tamar why community and the board were important to her, she spoke of the many benefits of giving back, and how giving back can come in a variety of forms such as time, skills, and expertise. Joining the board was another great opportunity for Tamar to continue to give back.

“If someone appreciate the values of multiculturism and cultural diversity, they should consider getting involved with Folklorama,” says Barr. “It is an experience where you can make new connections, appreciate learning new things, volunteer your time in meaningful and impactful ways, and be inspired by new and different opportunities.”

Peter Parboji (pictured right, below) has been a part of Folklorama since he was 11 years old. From dancing at the Indo-Caribbean Pavilion to Entertainment Coordinator, and eventually sitting on the Finance and Audit Committee, joining the Board of Directors was the next step for him.

“There’s a sense of pride and energy within each community when they come together each year to showcase their culture that I also felt, even before I really understood what it was,” says Parboji. “I joined the board because I want to do my part to grow the Festival and keep that energy alive for the kids coming up.”

When asked why community and joining the board was important to him, Peter spoke of how a strong sense of community can help you feel empowered. Growing up with a strong sense of community and gaining confidence from Folklorama helped to shape Peter throughout the years. Joining the Folklorama Board of Directors was the next step in that confidence for Peter.

“Working together with a great group of people that have a similar vision of the future is both joyful and rewarding. While I may be new to the board, the same feeling of camaraderie and community that I felt in my Pavilion exists between the board, committee members, staff, and volunteers that I’ve met so far.”

Susan Shortill (pictured right, below) attended her first Pavilion in 1975. Her personal history is long entwined with both volunteer management and Folklorama – even serving as ambassador general in 2011. She joined the Board of Directors this year so that she can continue to give back to organizations that mean so much to people.

When asked why community and joining the board was important to her, Susan spoke about why serving in the community helped her make a difference. Apart from Folklorama, Susan volunteers with several other organizations such as Winnipeg Folk Festival and Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

“These types of organizations are part of what makes Winnipeg vibrant, I enjoy my role in keeping them active, and in promoting volunteerism as part of a positive lifestyle.” states Shortill. “(Being on the board) means keeping an organization alive, current, and forward thinking. Volunteering at any age allows people the opportunity to engage with others to make a difference. Understanding each other is key to growth and coexistence, which is integral to healthy communities. Healthy communities produce thinkers, innovators, teachers, businesses, artists, healers, and entertainers. This makes our world better.”

All three of our new members of the Folklorama Board of Directors are welcomed with opened arms. Although they all have maintained important roles in the Folklorama family over the years, we know that their new contributions to the organization while sitting on the Board will help us to continue moving forward and celebrating cultural diversity for years to come.

To meet all of our Folklorama Board of Directors, click here!