Steering Committee

Jan-Fryderyk Pleszczynski

Chair,
Montreal Arts Council
Chair
Chair
Chair,
Montreal Arts Council

“Jan-Fryderyk Pleszczynski is the CEO of 4U2C. As a member of the Cirque du Soleil’s executive team, Jan-Fryderyk leads the efforts of the studio specializing in the creation and production of video content, stage design and multimedia experiences for the live entertainment industry.

Prior to holding this position, Jan-Fryderyk invested himself for a decade in the transformation of a Montreal-based 3D animation studio into a leader in the film, TV and interactive entertainment industry. He also practiced corporate law for a number of years at one of the top Canadian law firms.

Deeply involved in his community, he is currently chairing the Conseil des arts de Montréal, sitting on the board of directors of the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde and is a council member of the Order of Montreal.”

Cornell Wright

Chair,
National Ballet of Canada
Past Chair
Past Chair
Chair,
National Ballet of Canada

Cornell Wright is the chair of The National Ballet of Canada. He is a leading corporate lawyer and Co-Head of the M&A practice at Torys LLP.

Robert J. Foster

Chair,
Civic Theatres Toronto
Ex Officio
Ex Officio
Chair,
Civic Theatres Toronto

“Robert J. Foster, B.A, M.A. (Economics), CFA, is Founder, President and CEO of Capital Canada Ltd., an independent investment banking firm. Mr. Foster has provided years of successful support to Canadian companies and entrepreneurs in the aviation, sports and entertainment industries. Mr. Foster’s passionate avocation has always been his volunteer work in Toronto’s arts and cultural community.

Mr. Foster is currently Chair of Artscape and Vice-Chair of Business for the Arts. He serves on the boards of the Harbourfront Foundation, Luminato, The Mayor’s Task Force – Arts & Theatre, The National Arts Centre – Ontario Scene and The Toronto Theatres Working Group.

In 2011, Mr. Foster was the lead Co-Chair for a year long examination of Toronto’s cultural capacity and priorities, which resulted in the Creative Capital Report for the City of Toronto. Mr. Foster was named co-recipient of the Rita Davies and Margo Bindhardt Cultural Leader Award at the Mayor’s Lunch in 2013. Over his lifetime, Robert Foster has generously donated his time, expertise and financial support to more than 30 city and country building initiatives and organizations.”

Nichole Anderson

President & CEO, Business / Arts
Ex Officio
Ex Officio
President & CEO, Business / Arts

“Nichole Anderson, President and CEO of Business for the Arts, holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations and a Masters degree in Art History from the University of Toronto. She joined Business for the Arts in 2006 and has worked with an ever-growing team of volunteers, Board Members and colleagues to develop programs and events of national scale that stimulate business volunteerism and investment in the arts.

Prior to her role at Business for the Arts, Nichole managed the corporate art collection at Hbc, which included Ken Thomson’s beautiful Canadian Art collection, and helped develop museum programming and exhibits for the company’s new museum sites and community events across Canada.

Nichole holds a number of volunteer positions, including Board Member of the Arts Access Fund, which gives full year scholarships for children and youth from underserved communities to take lessons in the arts discipline of their choice. She is a Member of the Canada 150 Advisory Committee for the City of Toronto, and an active volunteer in community.

She is a past Member of the Toronto TELUS Community Board (4 years); Board Member of the Art of Time Ensemble (6 years); Member of the Steering Committee for the City of Toronto’s Creative Capital initiative (3 years); and Vice President of the Health Arts Society Ontario (5 years). She studied music seriously from the age of three, with a focus on the violin, and plays informally now with family and friends.”

Janice Price

President & CEO, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
Ex Officio
Ex Officio
President & CEO, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

Janice Price became President of The Banff Centre on March 16th, 2015. She most recently served as CEO of the Luminato Festival, Toronto’s Festival of Art and Creativity, an organization she led since its inception in 2006. As the Festival’s Founding CEO, Janice helped Luminato become one of the world’s largest and most respected annual multi-arts festivals. The Festival reaches over 800,000 audience members annually, and in its first eight seasons commissioned 75 new works. Previous to Luminato, Janice was the President and CEO of The Kimmel Centre for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia from 2002-2006, and prior to that position, she was Vice President of Marketing and Communications and then Interim Executive Director at New York’s Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts. Prior to her professional engagements in the United States, Janice held senior positions at a number of Toronto arts organizations, including the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts and The Corporation of Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall. From 1992 – 1996, Janice was the Director of Marketing and Special Projects for the Stratford Festival.Ms. Price has served on numerous arts-related Boards, and currently serves on Business for the Arts, Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Council, and the Council of Post-Secondary Presidents of Alberta.

Howard Jang

VP, Arts and Leadership, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
Ex Officio
Ex Officio
VP, Arts and Leadership, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

“Howard R. Jang was appointed Vice President, Arts and Leadership, effective January 8, 2018 at Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity. A native of Vancouver, BC, Jang came to Banff Centre from Simon Fraser University (SFU), where he was professor of Professional Practice in the School for the Contemporary Arts and Director of the SFU Woodward’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.

Prior to his SFU appointment, Jang served as Executive Director of Arts Club Theatre Company in Vancouver for 14 years. Jang has also held leadership positions at Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Ballet British Columbia, The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and The St. Luke’s Ensemble/Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York City.

Jang’s expertise and passion for the arts is demonstrated through his involvement with multiple regional and national boards including The Canada Council for the Arts, Professional Association of Canadian Theatres, and the Vancouver Foundation’s Arts and Culture Advisory Committee.”

Jim Fleck C.C.

Chair, Business / Arts
Ex Officio
Ex Officio
Chair, Business / Arts

“Dr. James D. Fleck, C.C., earned a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario and a D.B.A. from Harvard, before returning to Canada to help found the Faculty of Administrative Studies at York University. He has had a distinguished career in the private and government sectors as well as academia, serving as Secretary of Cabinet for Premier William Davis in the Government of Ontario. He is the founder and former CEO of Fleck Manufacturing Co. and has served on many corporate boards.

An emeritus professor and recipient of an Honorary Degree from the University of Toronto, he was the President of the Art Gallery of Ontario and is Vice Chair of the Museum of Civilization, founder of the Toronto Music Garden and the Power Plant, and Chairman of the Harbourfront Foundation. Dr. Fleck received the Edmund C. Bovey Award in 2003 and was honoured with the Angel Award for Philanthropy in the Arts by the International Society of Performing Arts in 2009. Jim also received the Governor General’s Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts in 2009.”

Gideon Arthurs

CEO, National Theatre School
Committee Member
Committee Member
CEO, National Theatre School

Gideon Arthurs is the CEO of the National Theatre School of Canada. He is currently a board member of OFFTA, of the Steering Committee of the Canadian Arts Summit and has acted as a juror for the 2015 Siminovitch Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Theatre. In the past, he served as the General Manager of Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, where he led several important projects to improve their facilities and reengage audiences. He was the Executive Director at the Toronto Fringe Festival during an important period of expansion for the organization. He is Past President of the Small Theatre Administrative Facility (STAF) and the former Vice-President of the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA). He was a member of the Labour Relations Committee at the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT). Mr. Arthurs is the founding Artistic Producer of the independent theatre company Groundwater Productions.

Amirali Alibhai

Head of Performing Arts, Aga Khan Museum
Committee Member
Committee Member
Head of Performing Arts, Aga Khan Museum

“Currently the Head of Performing Arts at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Amirali Alibhai’s professional experience includes roles as a curator / educator / administrator within the fields of visual, performance and community-based arts. He has worked with diverse artists and organizations, representing multiple disciplines and cultural traditions. He has been actively exhibiting and making art for over 25 years. Amir was founded president of the Rungh Cultural Society, publishing Rungh, a magazine of contemporary diasporic South Asian Culture ; Roundhouse Community Arts Center in Vancouver, where he developed artists-in-communities projects, cross-cultural partnerships and special events programs.

He has worked in the cities of Richmond, BC (Richmond Art Gallery), Surrey, BC (Surrey Art Gallery), and the District and City of North Vancouver, BC (Cultural Planner). He was also Executive Director of the Greater Vancouver Alliance for Arts and Culture. Amir has volunteered on various boards and public committees, including the Board of ArtStarts in Schools, the Board of the Council for the Arts and the Board of the Canadian Conference of the Arts, and served on the Provincial and Territorial Advisory Committee of the National Cultural Human Resource Council.”

Sara Diamond

President, OCAD University
Committee Member
Committee Member
President, OCAD University

Dr. Sara Diamond is the President of OCAD University, Canada’s, “University of the Imagination”. She holds a PhD in Computing, Information Technology and Engineering, a Masters in Digital Media and Honours Bachelors of Arts in History and Communications. She is an appointee of the Order of Ontario and the Royal Canadian Academy of Artists and a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to Canada. She is the winner of the 2013 GRAND NCE Digital Media Pioneer Award, recognized as one of Toronto Life’s Top Fifty and she is a Senior Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto. She was recently honored as one of Canada’s 150 leading women. Since her appointment in 2005 she has led OCAD University’s evolution to a full university, helping to build its transdisciplinary and research-creation research capacity and infrastructure, integrate STEM subjects, create its Digital Futures Initiative, launch the Indigenous Visual Culture Program, strengthen its approach to inclusion, and grow its undergraduate and graduate programs in studio art and design. Diamond is a researcher in media arts history and policy, visual analytics and has created wearable technologies, mobile experiences and media art. Diamond was honoured with a 1992 retrospective at the National Gallery of Canada, represented Canada in festivals and biennials, and her works reside in collections such as the MoMA in New York City, National Gallery of Canada and Vancouver Art Gallery.

Michèle Maheux

Executive Director/COO, Toronto International Film Festival
Committee Member
Committee Member
Executive Director/COO, Toronto International Film Festival

Michèle Maheux is the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for TIFF and has been with the organization since 1989, holding progressively more senior positions. Maheux’s focus includes strategic planning, leadership development, staff and volunteer resources, special projects and key operational activities at TIFF and for TIFF Bell Lightbox. Maheux has been a member of provincial, municipal, industry and arts organization committees, and has served as a juror at international film festivals and as a mentor within the industry. In December 2011 she was recognized by WXN among the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada and in September 2012 she was awarded, with Piers Handling, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. She is past Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of Ryerson University and is a Director of the Movie Theatre Association of Canada and Toronto Downtown Jazz Society.

Julie Nagam

"Chair in the History of Indigenous Art in North America Joint appointment at University of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Art Gallery"
Committee Member
Committee Member
"Chair in the History of Indigenous Art in North America Joint appointment at University of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Art Gallery"

Dr. Julie Nagam (Meětis – Anishinaabe/French, German/Syrian) is the Chair of the History of Indigenous Art in North America, a joint appointment between the University of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. She is an Associate Professor in the faculty of History. She has recently published Traveling soles: Tracing the footprints of our stolen sisters (2017); Deciphering the refusal of the digital and binary codes of sovereignty/ self-determination and civilized/savage (2016); be polite…. because the settlers might be listening and watching (2016). Her current SSHRC funded projects include The Transactive Memory Keepers: Indigenous Public Engagement in Digital and New Media Labs and Exhibitions (www.glamcollective.ca). Nagam hosted and organized The Future is Indigenous (http://abtec.org/iif/symposia/3rd-annual-symposium/) and the International Indigenous curators exchange with Australia, Canada, Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Finland. She is co-editor of Indigenous Art: New Media and the Digital, a special issue of PUBLIC journal. She has curated and exhibited at ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and in 2013 she curated Lisa Rehiana’s new media installation in pursuit of venus at A-Space Gallery in Toronto, Canada. Currently, Dr. Nagam is curating a public art installation for a Reconciliation Walk at The Forks in Winnipeg, and leading a team that is creating an Indigenous App for Winnipeg’s art, architectural, and place-based history. She has co-curated with Jaimie Isaac INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE, the largest contemporary exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in fall 2017-18. Her artwork where white pines lay over the water, was shown in, Toronto, Ontario, San Paulo, Brazil, Lyon, France, Wellington, New Zealand. Her installation singing our bones home was shown in Markham, Ontario in London, England and in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Nagam has new public artwork, Electrical Currents for Winnipeg Arts Council, commissioned work for Nuit Blanche Manitowapow, speaking to the moon, in Toronto, Canada fall of 2017, and newly commissioned work for Smithsonian’s exhibition Transformers in New York, USA, 2017-18 and The future is in the Land, a solo exhibition at A-Space, Toronto Canada.