The Arts and Culture play a critical role in the life of a country. They tell us who we are (or who we are supposed to be) and can help us articulate what we want to become. How can Art and Culture support our collective journey to a more inclusive Canada? How can we make the Art and Culture more inclusive and more reflective of the stories that we are?
He has initiated collaborations with several prestigious theatre companies, including Montreal’s Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, New York’s Lincoln Center and City Center, San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. He also spearheaded the Festival’s involvement in a joint project with CUSO International, Canada’s international volunteer co-operation agency, to establish a performing arts and educational centre in the city of Suchitoto, El Salvador.
Arts innovator and leader Sandra Laronde has conceived, developed, produced and disseminated programming that is Indigenous, multinational, multicultural, multi-and-interdisciplinary, and intergenerational in scope. She is the artistic director of Red Sky Performance, a leading-edge company that has significantly influenced the artistic evolution and innovation of contemporary Indigenous performance. During her nine-year tenure at the Banff Centre, Sandra has realized exceptional programming informed by Indigenous cultures and worldviews in Canada and beyond. Sandra is from the Teme-Augama-Anishinaabe (People of the Deep Water) in Temagami, northern Ontario.
Jeff Melanson, past president & CEO of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, is a highly regarded arts administrator who has led some of Canada’s most notable arts and culture organizations. He was president of the Banff Centre, one of the world’s largest creativity incubators that hosts over 8,000 artists, leaders and researchers every year. He is the former executive director of The National Ballet School and the former dean of The Community School at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. In 2014, Melanson was appointed a senior fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and a senior resident at Massey College, University of Toronto. He is a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and in 2009, was the first arts administrator ever to be named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40. He received a Bachelor of Music from the University of Manitoba and a MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University.