The City of Kamloops has hired the former executive director of the Kamloops Film Society to be its new cultural services and event manager.
Dusan Magdolen has assumed the role as Barbara Berger, former recreation, social development and culture manager, retires after nearly 20 years with the city.
The change was announced during Tuesday’s committee of the whole meeting, where council and staff gave Berger a standing ovation after she gave a report on the city’s draft 2024 - 2034 Cultural Strategic Plan.
Byron McCorkell, deputy CAO, said this was Berger’s final time presenting at the podium for the department.
“I'd like to thank her for many years of great service to the community,” McCorkell said.
“She came as a result of our 2003 Cultural Strategic Plan. So it's kind of fitting that she decides to retire when we bring forward a new plan going forward.”
McCorkell said the city was excited to have Magdolen come on board, noting he is a Westsyde secondary and Thompson Rivers University graduate. Magdolen holds an MBA, and has a background in theatre and business administration.
“He has lots of tools to bring to our marketing and impact our cultural sector through that.”
Magdolen, who will officially start his new role in January, told Castanet Kamloops he thinks he has “the right balance” of feeling excited and nervous to start.
“I've got really big shoes to fill, obviously Barb’s been in the role for 19 years. But we've got some some overlap and time together, so that's really helpful,” he said.
He said he’s looking forward to putting the City of Kamloops’ Cultural Strategic Plan into action.
“I was very happy at the film society, but one of the biggest selling points of this [new role] is getting to touch arts and culture across the community. I come from a theatre background, and so I just have an interest in a lot of those spaces,” he said.
Magdolen added he’s excited to bring the city’s various arts and culture communities together.
“Not that I know everybody, but I've touched a lot of those areas, so I think that's what I'm most excited about — having that reach to everybody, and trying to bring people together," he said.