A graduate of the University of British Columbia, Gregory Nixon’s career in the arts began in the Toronto’s theatre community. After several years as a freelance actor and producer, Nixon founded the Toronto Fringe Festival in 1989, which is now celebrating its 20th year of operations and continues to be a dramatic presence on the Toronto arts scene. Nixon was the Producer of the Festival through its crucial first five years presiding over the annual event as it grew to be the largest theatre festival in Toronto. He managed all aspects of the development and marketing of the event as well as building equity for the Fringe “brand”. He was instrumental in creating the Canada-wide National Association of Fringe Producers and securing a national Trademark for Canadian Fringe Festivals. He also worked as a consultant on the creation of the Summerworks Festival, and the Fringe Festival of Independent Dance Artists.
Nixon was Associate Director at the Harbourfront World Stage Festival, working closely with the Festival Director on programming, marketing and special projects. He spent two years as Producer and Assistant Director with Revolver Films in Toronto, a film company producing music videos, television commercials and independent shorts. Nixon spent five years at The Arts Foundation of Greater Toronto (later Arts Toronto) as Producer and Artistic Director. There he produced Toronto’s annual ArtsWeek Festival (a large-scale collective marketing project to raise public awareness of the arts) and the Toronto Arts Awards, including supervising the creation of over 20 short films celebrating recipients of the award. He was also Creative Director for all aspects of Arts Toronto’s marketing, branding and promotions. For the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto, Nixon co-created P3 Productions, a filmmaking program celebrating visual arts. Nixon wrote and directed five half-hour films about contemporary artists associated with the Power Plant (including Kim Adams, Spring Hurlbut and Turner Prize recipient Douglas Gordon.)
In 2005, Nixon joined the Culture Division of the City of Toronto as Project Manager of the Live With Culture program, a city-wide marketing and promotion campaign for the arts. As Project Manager, Nixon created and implemented numerous marketing programs and promotional initiatives for Live With Culture, including street banners, display and television campaigns, online initiatives, and out of market campaigns designed to develop cultural tourism to the city. He created Arts in the Hood, a community arts program with projects in Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods, and was on the team that created Toronto’s first Nuit Blanche.
Throughout his professional career Nixon has continued to write, produce and direct his own films, many of which have sold to broadcasters and been exhibited at film festivals around the world, including POE which showcased at the Toronto International Film Festival, BUDDY which was acquired by CBC and broadcast nationally. Nixon was nominated for best Independent Video at the MuchMusic Video Awards. He has travelled extensively and has published both his writing and his photography.
Gregory Nixon has been on numerous arts juries, committees and Boards of Directors (currently he is a Board member of DNA Theatre, The Chimera Project, and Mammalian Diving Reflex). He has received and been nominated for many prestigious awards, including the Premier’s Award, and continues to be a guest speaker on subjects ranging from arts marketing, filmmaking and civic/community engagement.