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Minister Joly Announces New Appointments to the National Arts Centre Board of Trustees

by pmnationtalk on November 17, 2017346 Views

New members will support the work of the National Arts Centre Corporation in building excellence in the performing arts

GATINEAU, QC, Nov. 16, 2017  – The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today announced one appointment and two reappointments of part-time members to the Board of Trustees of the National Arts Centre Corporation.

The appointees have backgrounds in business, finance and the arts. Their mandate is to help promote Canada’sperforming arts on the national and international stage.

  • Gail O’Brien (Alberta), reappointed for a two-year term, effective immediatelyGail O’Brien has built a 25-year career in fashion, including 10 years as General Manager of Holt Renfrew Calgary. She is an active member of her community, serving as Vice-Chair of the Glenbow Museum, and on the boards of the YWCA of Calgary, the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and the “SickKids” Foundation Board of Directors. She was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the National Arts Centre on October 1, 2013, and was part of the Capital Planning Committee as well as the Audit and Finance Committee.
  • Tracee Smith (Ontario), four-year term effective September 13, 2017Ms. Smith is the CEO and artistic director of the charity Outside Looking In, which she founded in 2007. This program offers high-school accredited dance programs to Indigenous youth and their communities to engage in long-term intensive education through dance. She is a member of the Missanabie Cree First Nation in northern Ontario and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, an MBA specializing in Indigenous Economic Development, and a Masters in Finance from Queen’s University.
  • Donald Walcot (Quebec), reappointed for a two-year term, September 13, 2017Mr. Walcot was first appointed to the National Arts Centre (NAC) Board of Trustees in April 2013. During his professional life, Mr. Walcot served as the Chief Investment Officer of Bimcor (the Bell Canada pension fund), President and Chief Executive Officer of Sun Life Investment Management Ltd., and Chief Investment Officer of the Ontario Hydro Pension Fund. Mr. Walcot, a chartered financial analyst, is a past chair of the Pension Investment Association of Canada.

These appointments are the result of the Government of Canada’s open, transparent and merit-based selection process. The National Arts Centre (NAC) is the only bilingual, multidisciplinary performing arts centre in Canada and one of the largest in the world. The NAC strives to be a leader and innovator in each of the artistic disciplines it presents: classical music, English theatre, French theatre, dance, variety and regional programming.


“The National Arts Centre plays an essential role in supporting Canada’s vibrant arts scene through showcasing and collaborating with French, English and Indigenous artists across the country. I am very proud of our talented artists, and I am confident that the Board of Trustees will continue to help promote creation and the development of established and emerging artists.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

Quick Facts

The National Arts Centre is a Crown corporation in the Canadian Heritage portfolio. The Board of Trustees is composed of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and six other members appointed by the Governor in Council, as well as the mayors of Ottawa and Gatineau.

In 2016, the Government of Canada adopted a new approach to appointments by the Governor in Council. This approach respects gender parity and is supported by an open, transparent and merit-based selection process—one that will result in the recommendation of exceptionally competent candidates who truly reflect Canada’s diversity.

This new approach requires a selection process for full- and part-time positions.

All appointment opportunities for the 18 organizations in the Canadian Heritage Portfolio are posted as they become available on the Governor in Council Appointments website. Interested parties can apply online.

The National Arts Centre Corporation was established in 1966 by the National Arts Centre Act as part of Canada’sCentennial celebrations. The NAC opened its doors in 1969 and is now recognized as Canada’s premier showcase for the performing arts. It is the only bilingual, multidisciplinary performing arts centre in Canada and one of the largest in the world.

Associated Links

National Arts Centre

For further information: (media only) Simon Ross, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, 819-997-7788; Media Relations, Canadian Heritage, 819-994-9101, 1-866-569-6155,

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