Tributes paid to Cowley Road Carnival director who has lost her fight against cancer

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Tributes have been paid after one of the directors of Cowley Road Carnival has died.

Johannah Aynsley, who was in her early 40s, lost her battle with cancer last week.

Colleagues called her “truly inspiring with tremendous vision, drive, enthusiasm, and energy” in a moving tribute.

Cowley Road Carnival organisers posted on Facebook: “It is with huge sadness that we share the news that Johannah Aynsley, director of Cowley Road Works 2016-2018, died yesterday (15 June) after her fight against cancer.”

Johannah, who lived in Witney and has a young daughter at school in the town, headed up two of the biggest Cowley Road Carnivals in its history in 2016 and 2017, they wrote.

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“Who can forget the mechanical elephant or the escape of giant Colossus from South Park to take part in the procession? Johannah expanded the festival, increased programming by 50 per cent and attendance to over 50,000.

“Before joining CRW, Johannah had worked on the project to redevelop the Guildhall in Abingdon and was previously CEO of a pioneering youth lifestyle hub in Manchester and Creative Director/ Head of The Liverpool Film Academy.

“Tragically, Johannah was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer in 2018 and fought bravely with optimism, tenacity, courage and so much love.

“Taken much, much too soon, we send our love and prayers to her daughter Willow and her family.”