The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) today announced that Dwayne Dixon has joined OAC as Interim Music Officer. He steps in for Jessica Deljouravesh, who will become Interim Associate Director of Granting while Elise Chalmers is on parental leave as of November 2, 2020.
“It gives me great pleasure to welcome Dwayne as our Interim Music Officer,” said Carolyn Vesely, CEO. “His deep knowledge of urban music, his professional background as an artist and a producer, as well as his leadership experience in arts administration give him tremendous perspective in this role. Dwayne will work closely with long-serving Music Officer David Parsons and program administrators Jenny Knox and Rachel Mutombo to guide applicants through OAC’s music programs."
About Dwayne Dixon
Dwayne has more than 15 years of experience in the arts as well as in the corporate and entertainment sectors. In 2016-17, he was Executive Director of the Nia Centre for the Arts, a youth arts organization focused on helping young Black artists. During his tenure, he secured an additional 7,000 square feet from the City of Toronto for their venue to be renovated into Canada’s first multidisciplinary professional space dedicated to Black art. Dwayne also produced Nia’s first large-scale multidisciplinary arts festival, Blowout Fest.
From 2013 to 2015, Dwayne was the Executive Director of Manifesto Community Projects, where among his achievements he produced Canada's largest hip-hop and urban arts festival at Yonge & Dundas Square in Toronto.
In 2004, Dwayne established an urban artist showcase called Follow Your Instinct (FYI) to create opportunities for aspiring performing artists. This led in 2010 to his creation of FYI Kids, an enrichment program focused on re-instilling self-esteem, confidence and stage presence in children through music, culture and sports. Over the years, FYI Kids has worked with more than 3,000 children in tandem with the Canadian National Institute For The Blind (CNIB), the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO), the Toronto Centre For The Arts, the Chinese Moon Festival celebrations and the Ontario Science Centre.
Dwayne’s varied career has seen him produce, host and program radio shows. He has emceed events and has recorded as a hip-hop artist. He has had gigs in the corporate world, most recently as a capabilities coach for TD Bank. He has served on the board of directors of Urban Music Association of Canada (UMAC) and RISE Edutainment and as a program committee member for Prologue Performing Arts.
In 2017, Dwayne was the recipient of the Afroglobal Television Excellence Award for Heritage.