Announcing the 2016 TAC Cultural Leaders Lab Fellows

Toronto – Toronto Arts Council (TAC) is pleased to announce the 18 Fellows selected to participate in the 2016 TAC Cultural Leaders Lab.

Now in its second year, the program is a unique partnership with The Banff Centre that kicks off with a one-week intensive leadership retreat in Banff, followed by scheduled programmed activities in Toronto.  The goal of the program is to enhance leadership capacity for mid- to senior-level arts professionals in Toronto. It is designed for those who have demonstrated the potential to lead change in their organizations, communities or arts sectors. 

Toronto Arts Council is delighted to be working with the Banff Centre again this year” says Claire Hopkinson, Toronto Arts Council’s Director and CEO.  “We anticipate unparalleled learning opportunities for each of the selected arts leaders and a legacy of a strengthened arts sector contributing to city- building in Toronto in the years ahead.” 

The second-year cohort, selected from a total of 71 applicants, is an accomplished and diverse group from across arts disciplines, with experiences ranging from leadership roles in arts organizations and festivals to grassroots and local initiatives.  Collectively, their work uses arts strategies and approaches to increase civic-engagement, animate public spaces and create a more inclusive, accessible and culturally rich society. 

The Toronto Arts Council Cultural Leaders Lab recognizes and celebrates the critical role that arts leaders play in defining and driving progress in the city of Toronto” says Janice Price, President, The Banff Centre. “The program creates the space for a deep examination of Toronto’s arts ecology and the broader city to which it connects. We are honoured to partner on this project with the Toronto Arts Council and look forward to continued energy and impacts around the city over the life of the project.

TAC and The Banff Centre are developing the Leaders Lab program to respond to the need for increased opportunities for cross-sector learning and collaboration among Toronto’s arts and cultural leaders.  TAC and The Banff Centre are designing a hands-on program that provides current leaders with the motivation and tools needed to redefine leadership and its role in building the creative city.  The program will create the space for a deep examination of Toronto’s arts ecology, and the refinement of the skill sets needed to support a vibrant future for the arts and for our City.

Art and culture are the means by which a society makes sense of what is happening to it. All Torontonians benefit from better leadership and better cultural organizations” says Jerry McGrath, Director of Innovation and Program Partnerships at The Banff Centre. “Societies that underinvest in creative activity must borrow ideas and understanding from elsewhere, and lose crucial control over the voices that describe the world as they see it.”

Year Two of the program begins in March 2016 and will include monthly sessions in Toronto in addition to an intensive one-week retreat at The Banff Centre in May.  The deadline for applications to participate in Year Three of the TAC Cultural Leaders Lab is in October 2016.
2016 TAC Leaders Lab Fellows (photos & bios here):

  • Aida Aydinyan, Vice President, Business for the Arts
  • Jutta Brendemühl, Program Curator and film blogger, Goethe-Institut
  • John Caffery, multidisciplinary artist engaged in art in social change
  • Lawrence Cherney, Founding Artistic Director, Soundstreams
  • Amelia Ehrhardt, choreographer, performer, and curator, Dancemakers
  • Matthew Fava, musician, Director of Ontario Region at the Canadian Music Centre
  • Seema Jethalal, Managing Director, Daniels Spectrum, Artscape
  • Prachi Khandekar, architect, graphic designer, writer
  • Brandy Leary, dancer, choreographer, writer, Artistic Director: Anandam Dancetheatre
  • Sally Lee, Executive Director, CARFAC Ontario
  • Su-Ying Lee, independent curator
  • Brad Lepp, Director of Communications, Soulpepper
  • Etmet Musa, Ethiopian/Eritrean singer/songwriter
  • Ananya Ohri, Executive Director, Regent Park Film Festival
  • Sean O’Neill, Associate Director of Adult Programming and Partnerships, Art Gallery of Ontario
  • Jivesh Parasram, multidisciplinary artist, founder and Artistic Producer of Pandemic Theatre
  • Michael Prosserman, dancer, founder and Executive Director of UNITY Charity
  • Charlie Wall-Andrews, musician, Manager, SOCAN Foundation

Contact:  Susan Wright, Deputy Director, Toronto Arts Council,; 416-392-6802 x211.