Board and Statutes

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The Board of the Bergen International Festival

  • Thorhild Widvey (The Norwegian State) - Chair of the Board

  • Hilde Onarheim (The Bergen Municipality)

  • Stian Davies (The Vestland County Municipality)

  • Silja Ekeland Bjørkly (The Vestland County Municipality)

  • Dag Rune Olsen (The Bergen International Festival Board of Representatives)

  • Nina Skage (The Bergen International Festival Board of Representatives)

  • Karianne Mjelde (Employee Representative)


Established by the County Governor of Hordaland by letter dated 21 January 1989, with amendments confirmed by the County Governor by letter dated 21 January 1991, by letter dated 4 February 1992, by letter dated 8 May 1996, by letter dated 17 September 1997, by letter dated November 18, 2002 and by letter dated November 23, 2011.


  • The events shall portray the best Norwegian and international artistic creations, essentially within music, but also ballet, opera, theatre, folklore and other art forms.

  • The Bergen International Festival, henceforth referred to as "the Festival", aims to be the foremost Norwegian manifestation of its kind, with international impact.



§3 THE BOARD OF REPRESENTATIVES3.1 The Foundation shall have a Board of Representatives consisting of ten members with personal deputies. The current Board of Representatives is as follows:

  • The Norwegian State 1 member

  • The Hordaland County Municipality 1 member

  • The Bergen Municipality 1 member

  • Stiftelsen Harmonien 1 member

  • The National Stage, Bergen (DNS) 1 member

  • The Kavli Trust 1 member*

  • The Grieg Hall 1 member

  • The University of Bergen 1 member

  • KODE Art Museums 1 member

  • Bergen Kunsthall 1 member

*The Kavli Trust is no longer a member of the Board of Representatives. An updated list of members will be added when the Statutes are changed.

All members must have insight into and expertise relevant to the Bergen International Festival.

3.2 Members of the Board of Representatives are appointed for a term of four years. New appointments during a term occur only by vacancy. No one can act consecutively as a member for more than eight years.

3.3 At least six of the members of the Board of Representatives must reside in the city of Bergen or the County of Hordaland.

3.4 The Board of Representatives must have a Chair and a Deputy Chair elected by and among the members.

3.5 The Board of Representatives has the following tasks:

  • Advising the Board on the long-term development of the Festival and the cooperation between the Festival and other local and national institutions of arts and culture.Issuing a statement on the budget, accounts and annual report before sending to the subsidy partners (see §7).

  • Electing two Festival board members with personal deputies.

  • Appointing a nomination committee that forwards suggestions for the election of the two members of the Board, and their deputies, who are elected by the Board of Representatives.


3.6 The Board of Representatives shall hold meetings at least twice a year and when the Chair or at least three members so require. The Chair must summon meetings in writing and at least two weeks in advance, stating the issues to be dealt with. The Board may, with one week's notice, request that a case is submitted to the Board of Representatives.

The Board of Representatives can make binding decisions when at least seven members or deputy members are present. In the case of a tied vote, the Chair has a double vote. Negotiations must be recorded in writing.

The Chair can decide to summon the Board and the Artistic Council for joint consultation with the Board of Representatives.

§4 THE BOARD4.1 The Foundation shall have a Board consisting of seven members with personal deputies. All are elected for a four-year term. A member of the Board of Representatives cannot be a member of the Board. No member of the Board can sit for more than eight years. In the case of a tied vote, the Chair has a double vote, although not in matters of employment.

  • The Norwegian State appoints the Chair of the Board with a deputy member.

  • The Hordaland County Municipality appoints two board members with deputy members.

  • The Bergen Municipality appoints one board member with deputy member.

  • The Board of Representatives appoints two board members with deputy members, while one board member with deputy member is appointed by - and from - the permanent employees of the Bergen International Festival.


The election period follows the municipal election period, although newly elected members will start on 1 January.

The four-year term as mentioned in the first paragraph regarding the length of service does not apply to the board member who is appointed by the employees of the Bergen International Festival.

4.2 The Board, which is the Foundation's supreme body, has the following tasks and responsibilities:

  • Managing the Foundation's affairs.

  • Ensuring that financial affairs and asset management, as well as contractual obligations, are subject to satisfactory control. Accounts are kept in accordance with the rules of the Accountancy Act.

  • Having the overall financial and operational responsibility for the Foundation.

  • Hiring a Director and other senior staff.

  • Approving the Foundation's budget.


4.3 The Board must ensure that:In the occurrence of taking a financial loan and other significant financial dispositions, the annual accounts, annual report, audit report and a written copy of the annual meeting report must be sent to the subsidy partners.

§5 THE DIRECTOR: THE ARTISTIC LEADER5.1 The Foundation shall have a Director responsible for the artistic management and responsible to the Board for the financial operation of the business and the organisation of annual events.

5.2 The Director is employed for a fixed term. The Board determines the number of years the term holds. By its end, a new term may be agreed, or permanent employment may be given.

5.3 At the proposal of the Director, the Board appoints an Artistic Council which will have an advisory function and assist the Director in artistic issues.

5.4 The Director is responsible for making contracts with artists and visiting ensembles within the stipulated financial framework. The Board may issue special instructions for the financial administration.

§6 ACCOUNTING AND AUDITINGThe Foundation must at all times follow the current laws of accounting and auditing.

The Board of Representatives chooses the Foundation's auditors. The choice requires the support of all subsidy partner representatives. The subsidy partners approve the financial statement.

§7 AMENDMENT OF STATUTESAmendments to these statutes require the approval of the Board of Representatives and all three subsidy partners - the State, the Municipality of Bergen and the Hordaland County Municipality.Amendments must be approved by public authority in accordance with the Foundations Act rules of amendment.

§8 DISSOLUTIONDissolution of the Foundation requires approval from the Board of Representatives and all three subsidy partners - the State, the Bergen Municipality and the Hordaland County Municipality. 

§9 SUPPLEMENTARY DECISIONSIn addition, and where appropriate, the rules of the Foundations Act, as well as the rules of the Limited Companies Act, will apply. 

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