New director takes over Penticton Children’s Festival

Executive director Gord Osland, who helped found the Penticton Children's Festival, announced his retirement late last year and his replacement has been found in actor and musician Conrad Burek.

After eight years of operation, the Rotary Okanagan Children’s Festival has a new set of hands on the reins.

Executive director Gord Osland, who helped found the festival, announced his retirement late last year, and the Children’s Festival society began a search for a replacement that culminated in the selection of actor and musician Conrad Burek to fill the role.

Burek has only been on the job a few days, but said that he’s already been amazed with what he is calling the “largest smallest children’s festival.”

“Given our population, I am impressed at how large it is,” he said. “I am unbelievably impressed with how many people work on this … amazed at much has been done already.”

Osland plans to stay on to mentor Burek through this year’s festival, giving the new executive director the benefit of his 30 years experience in the entertainment industry. Along with performance skills, Burek brings with him a background in marketing and public relations, coordinating programs, working with youth and people with special needs in the arts and social services, not to mention writing sketch comedy.

“It’s a great festival,” Burek said. “I love activities where children entertain themselves.”