Maxine Bailey

Vice President, Public Affairs, TIFF, Toronto, ON. Born: England.

Maxine Bailey is a co-founder of Sugar’n Spice Productions, which produced the plays Sistahs (co-written with Sharon Lewis), Stockholm(e), and Afrocentric. She also directed Afrocentric and Stockholm(e). Over the past 15 years, she has worked with a number of theatre companies, including Company of Sirens, Factory Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille and Nightwood Theatre. She served on the Boards of Artscape, Nightswimming, the City of Toronto’s Film Board. In her role as Vice President, Public Affairs with TIFF, she is responsible for raising 25% of the organization’s annual revenues and raised substantial funding in support of the company’s latest venture TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Honours: Dora Award, Best Performance and Direction, Stockholm(e).

Favourite book? Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. Written in the southern venacular or patois, this is an amazing story of love, acceptance, and pain. I try to re-read this annually to test my own growth, and faith in humankind.

Favourite quote? “It is what it is.” (aka IIWI)

Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? Travel more. India and exploring a few African countries are next on my wish list.

Who or what inspires you? Family, friends, children, books, music, and art. Not necessarily in that order. I’m naturally curious (aka nosey), so I’m always looking around for new ‘n’ interesting things.

Why do you do what you do? Each day is different! I love the challenge. I love the chase. I love the pitch. And most importantly, I love connecting the dots of challenge, chase, and sales pitch into the realization of a new programme within our organization. As a not-for-profit charity, we’re lucky to be based in Canada where all three levels of government still support the Arts. However, you still have to craft a good argument and show the bureaucrats and politicians the features, advantages, and benefits  (aka FABs) of supporting your idea.

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