Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) has announced that festival trailblazer Greg Clarke has joined the organisation as Creative Director. Clarke will work closely with the CEO Terese Casu to lead the cultural development of Mardi Gras and strengthen the event’s position as the world’s leading diverse LGBTQI festival.
With a solid background in major event and festival management, Clarke comes to SGLMG from his previous position as Director and CEO of Adelaide Fringe – an event that thrived under his leadership to become the largest arts festival in Australia.
On his appointment Greg Clarke said, “Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras holds a special place in my heart. It is a wonderful celebration of the diverse LGBTQI communities as well as an impetus for driving social change. I’m looking forward to joining the hard working and enthusiastic team behind this incredible Festival.”
More than a seasoned administrator, Clarke is an Australian visual artist and performing arts producer. Over the course of his extensive arts career he has continued to reinvent himself: first as an artist and performer in the eighties; theatre manager, nightclub owner and dance party promoter throughout the nineties, including Spicey Friday and Jamie and Vanessa’s dance parties; and producer, festival director and arts executive in the 21st century.
Prior to his role as Director and CEO of Adelaide Fringe, Clarke was Head of Events at the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Senior Producer at the Sydney Opera House, and held senior management roles at Belvoir St Theatre and the Australia Council. In 2012 he was named amongst the top 25 most influential people in the arts in Australia (The Australian).
Terese Casu SGLMG CEO said, “Greg is a formidable force in the arts and major events industry. His experience in successfully growing and managing large scale festivals is unparalleled. We’ve had some early broad discussions on exciting new event ideas we would like to introduce to the Festival, as well as ways to improve experiences at some of our flagship events. We are both looking forward to sharing these with the community over the coming months.”
Clarke’s appointment follows a successful 2016 Mardi Gras season. The Parade enjoyed a record number of floats (over 170) and 12,500 participants, and the largest crowd viewing the Parade ever recorded. Over 80,000 community members and their supporters attended Fair Day, and a sell-out Party.
The 2017 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras runs 17 February – 4 March. For more information, visit: www.mardigras.org.au for details.
Image: Greg Clarke and Terese Casu (supplied)