Art is a powerful way of understanding and expressing the world. Canadians have developed a vibrant cultural sector, with numerous cultural institutions, that help express and define what it means to be Canadian. More than ever, the world needs more Canada.
Join us at our first event of 2020 for an insightful discussion moderated by Sarah Milroy, Chief Curator at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, and panelists Christopher Deacon, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Arts Centre; Simon Brault, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Canada Council for the Arts; and Dr. Sasha Suda, Director and Chief Executive Officer, National Gallery of Canada, as they share their unique perspectives on the future of Canada’s cultural infrastructure.
Date: Monday, January 20, 2020
Location: Chateau Laurier
About Sarah Milroy
Sarah Milroy is a Toronto-based critic and writer, contributing widely to such publications as the Globe and Mail, Walrus, Canadian Art and Border Crossings. In 1991, she and Michael de Pencier co-founded the Canadian Art Foundation, and she served as the editor and publisher of Canadian Art magazine from 1991 to 1996. From 2001 to 2010, Milroy was the staff critic of the Globe and Mail, covering major exhibitions and artists' projects from all parts of Canada.
About Simon Brault
In 2019, Simon Brault’s mandate as Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts was renewed for four years. He has been at the head of the Council since 2014. Also in 2019, Simon Brault becamethe first Canadian to be elected Chair of the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA).
Mr. Brault has been active in the cultural sector for over 30 years and has been a driving force behind a number of major projects.
His first non-fiction book, Le facteur C : l’avenir passe par la culture (La Presse / Éditions Voix parallèles, 2009), explained the dramatic rise of cultural concerns in the public agenda. This lively, highly acclaimed work was published in English as No Culture, No Future (Cormorant Books, 2010).
A much sought-after speaker, Mr. Brault delivers many speeches every year at national and international venues, addressing the economic and social contributions of the arts and culture. In 2017, he represented Canada as a cultural expert at the first G7 on arts and culture.
Simon Brault has received numerous distinctions for his commitment to the social recognition of the arts and culture. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and an Officier de l’Ordre national du Québec.
About Dr. Sasha Suda
Sasha Suda is the Director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada.
The youngest person to assume this post in more than a century, Sasha was appointedin February 2019 and is passionate about revitalizing the Gallery’s relevance to audiences across Canada and beyond. Her ambitions for the Gallery reflect both the times in which we live and art’s importance to them: to bridge cultures, to engender diversity and perspective, and to unleash the power that civic institutions hold.
To this end, Sasha has demonstrated immediate leadership by establishing three core institutional values that will help the workforce move in a bold new direction: the Gallery is centered on art; it offers a warm and generous welcome; and it embraces the unfamiliar and the future.
Born in Toronto to Czech parents, Sasha studied at Princeton University before
completing her Master’s degree in art history at Williams College and her PhD at New York University. Her professional career began at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where she worked in various roles in the Medieval Department between 2003 and 2011. Following this, Sasha returned to her native Toronto to work at the Art Gallery of Ontario, first as an assistant curator, and eventually as Curator of European Art and the Elliott Chair of Prints & Drawings. In these roles, she led major international exhibition projects and spearheaded innovative digital initiatives that presented historical art to audiences in a new light.
In addition to her work in major art institutions, Sasha sat on the Association of Art Museum Curators’ Committee for Career Advancement and represented Ontario at the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.
She lives in the Sandy Hill neighbourhood of Ottawa with her two children, Frances and Felix, her husband Albert, and their trusty dog Phil.
About Christopher Deacon
Christopher Deacon is the President and CEO of the National Arts Centre, a major, bilingual multi-disciplinary home for Canada’s most creative artists. The NAC collaborates with artists and arts organizations across the country, welcomes one million visitors every year, acts as a catalyst for performance; and invests in ambitious new works by artists and arts organizations nation-wide.
Christopher Deacon is a champion of the arts and believes in supporting ambitious new creation, propelling Canadian artists on the world stage and nurturing the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. Under his leadership, the Centre strives to be artistically adventurous in each of its programming streams — the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre and Popular Music and Variety.
Prior to heading the NAC starting in June 2018, Mr. Deacon was the Managing Director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra where he spearheaded numerous ambitious initiatives, including major international orchestra tours, commissions of important new orchestral work such as Life Reflected, a multidisciplinary and critically acclaimed work performed in Canada and in Europe.
Trained as a composer and flutist with a degree in Music from the University of Toronto, Christopher Deacon has developed a career in arts administration, working with orchestras and arts organizations across the country, with most of his career at the NAC. He played an important leadership role in the Architectural Rejuvenation and Production Renewal of the Nation Arts Centre and is currently guiding the NAC through its strategic vision for the next decade, focusing on the power of storytelling, the importance of welcoming everyone every day, and dedicating a space for Indigenous creation and communities at the Centre.