SHEILA CHISHOLM speaks to newly appointed General Manager of Cape Town City Ballet, Fiona Gordon:
Good news from the financially strapped arts world is so rare these days that, when Debbie Turner, CEO and Artistic Director for CTCB, announced that Fiona Gordon (pictured left) has joined Cape Town City Ballet’s ranks as General Manager, congratulations flowed from our local arts communities.
The economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent worldwide lockdowns has affected practically every sector, the arts most notably.
With theatres closed and performers unable to do their jobs, many have been affected, from arts administrators to stage technicians to front of house staff.
Which turns Gordon’s appointment into a happy exception to the overall “lost job” pandemic. It also indicates the faith CTCB’s Board – chaired by Suzette Raymond – has in the company’s future. So what do we know about Fiona Gordon?
Career in the arts
Gordon grew up in the Eastern Cape, before her academic studies took her to UCT in the Cape for a Bachelor of Music in Dance (UCT), and to Wits in Gauteng for a Masters In Cultural Policy and Management.
She regards highlights of her career (so far) as “working with the National Arts Festival; the South African pavilion at the Venice Biennale; the South African Cultural Observatory; Hatch Ideas UK; The Arts and Culture Trust; UJ Arts & Culture; the National School of the Arts; Jade Bowers Design & Management and various industry-specific conferences.”
From 2014, as Managing Director of Creative Fix, Gordon developed strategies and support systems to clients in cultural, creative and entrepreneurial sectors. As someone who has helped to make businesses, festivals and cultural events “happen,” Gordon’s reputation has proven her an experienced arts manager.
Summing up her new position Gordon says: “I am thrilled to be working with such a dynamic team. It’s a great honour to be trusted to keep bringing the magic of dance to as diverse an audience as possible.”
Obviously, CTCB performances are cancelled until further notice. This makes Gordon’s work cut out preparing for the unknown. Fortunately, her curriculum vitae indicates she has what it takes to do it.