The Images Festival Board of Directors announces the upcoming departure of our Executive Director, Samuel La France, effective January 2023. Sam submitted their resignation to the board in September 2022 and has developed a timeline in consultation with the Board of Directors on a comprehensive transition plan for the coming months.
Sam began their role as Executive Director of Images Festival in the fall of 2019. During their time in the organization, Sam helped to develop adaptive methods for navigating remote presentations of the festival within the parameters of COVID-19 restrictions in Toronto and beyond, and led a return to in-person presentations at the 2022 festival. This work helped build extensive connections to global experimental media arts communities, curators, and artists.
Sam initiated and helped sustain the continued construction of thorough procedures to address conflict within the organization at all levels. They collaborated with the Board through professional consultations with Toronto-based leaders in anti-oppression work to develop and execute an Accountability Workplan, build a comprehensive Discrimination, Harassment, and Human Rights Policy, draft and publish a Conflict Resolution Policy for the organization, and overhaul the Employee Handbook. In addition to the development of better internal written policy, Sam advocated for increased access to resources in the organization by reducing wage gaps between employees through a compensation strategy, and plans to attain certification from the Living Wage Network for Images Festival during the transition period.
“I feel privileged to have been able to work with the team and Board at Images Festival over three admittedly challenging years,” Sam shared. “The festival holds an important place in Toronto’s media arts community, and needs to be upheld by it; I’m excited to see it continue to transform with the leadership of a new Executive Director and that of Images’ Programming Director Jaclyn Quaresma. My thanks go out to the countless colleagues and collaborators who have supported our work during my time with Images, to Images’ dedicated Board of Directors, and to the many team members who helped me grow and made my time at Images so memorable and rewarding.”
The Board of Directors would like to extend our gratitude to Sam for their service to Images Festival. Their contributions to the ongoing restructure of the organization have been instrumental in our work towards accountability and change. An open call for a new Executive Director will be shared in the coming days.
The Images Festival Board of Directors