Coastal Jazz & Blues Society parts ways with its executive director

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      One of Canada's top music organizations is running without an executive director.

      That's because the Coastal Jazz & Blues Society has eliminated this position, which had been occupied by Mike Forrester since he was hired in 2014.

      The society stages the annual TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, which is the largest music event in B.C. Its annual budget exceeded $4 million in 2015 and 2016, according to filings with the Canada Revenue Agency.

      Forrester, a French horn player, is a former vice president of marketing and development with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and a former vice president of Livent.

      As executive director of Coastal Jazz & Blues, he devoted a great deal of attention to attracting more musicians from Asia. The festival also tried to expand its appeal to younger audiences. 

      In late 2014, the Canadian dollar started falling sharply in comparison to the U.S. greenback, and that has imposed higher costs on B.C.-based festivals that bring in talent from south of the border. 

      This year's jazz fest highlights included performances by Ziggy Marley, Donny McCaslin, Bokanté, Antibalas, Jim Campilongo, and Thievery Corporation, as well as the annual free concerts at David Lam Park and Granville Island.