It’s just under six months to go until next year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival opens and the team for 2020 is now at work with our sights set on delivering summer’s much-loved world-class LGBTQI festival.

In this transitional period following the departure of the outgoing CEO and Creative Director, the Board are pleased to announce the appointment of two passionate and trusted community members into these interim positions.

Our Executive Producer of the past two festivals, Grant Lowe will act as CEO. Grant brings with him an extensive 20 plus years’ experience in community, event management, live performance, concert touring, arts and entertainment. Grant has also given his time previously to Mardi Gras back in 2007/2008 where he volunteered with us working on Fair Day and many other events.

Kat Dopper, who has resigned as a Volunteer Director of the Mardi Gras Board, has been appointed Interim Creative Director for the coming festival. Kat is a well-respected figure in the events, live arts and music scene. In the gender and sexuality diverse community Kat is well known as the Founder and Director of an all-inclusive event brand and brings her experience, enthusiasm and rich community relationships to Team Mardi Gras.

Above: Grant Lowe and Kat Dopper

“The Board recognises that we are moving through a period of change. It’s fantastic to see two known industry professionals who understand our organisation come together to lead, plan and deliver Mardi Gras 2020. The Board are very excited for what’s in store. We look forward to sharing more details with you at our Season Launch,” says Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Co-Chair, Giovanni Campolo-Arcidiaco.

Recruitment for the new CEO is well underway. A great pool of high-calibre applicants have submitted their interest for the position. Our recruitment firm Korn Ferry are currently conducting interviews for the short-listed candidates, in collaboration with the Board. Following the appointment of the new CEO it is expected that they will provide input into the future staffing models, including the selection process of the Creative team and other associated positions. We will continue to keep you informed of our recruitment progress in the coming weeks.

2020’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival starts on Friday 14 February, culminating in the spectacular Parade and Party night on Saturday 29 February.

Festival event registrations are now open. Community groups, arts organisations, artists, venues, independent and commercial producers are all invited to register their event as part of our vibrant and diverse two-week festival. Find out more here.

Parade float applications will open in September, with Fair Day stall applications opening soon after.