Announcing the 2020 TAC Leaders Lab Fellows

Arts leaders will work together to create change in Toronto’s arts and culture sector

TORONTO, February 19, 2020 - Toronto Arts Council and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity are pleased to announce the 2020 TAC Leaders Lab fellows, a dynamic group of forward-thinking arts professionals who will work together over a one-year period to strengthen Toronto’s arts sector.

Recognizing the importance of strong leadership to the health and success of Toronto’s creative sector, TAC Leaders Lab was developed in 2015, in partnership with Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, to enhance leadership capacity in Toronto’s arts and culture sectors. Participants in the program, selected by peer assessors, have demonstrated the potential to lead change in their organizations, communities, or arts sectors. With experience in curation, arts education, fundraising, consulting, podcasting, and arts administration, the 2020 cohort is an impressive group that will join a growing network of Toronto-based arts leaders.

Throughout the year-long program, fellows will work together with the help of facilitators to exchange cross disciplinary perspectives and approaches to leadership. The program is shaped by the interests and strengths of the cohort, and will focus on both personal and professional development.

Not only do TAC Leaders Lab fellows engage in issues facing their organizations and arts disciplines, but work is also being done to address arts and culture concerns confronting the city. Each year, fellows are given opportunities to engage with city councillors on important issues, and are acknowledged for their work by Mayor Tory and Toronto City Council.

The 2020 faculty includes facilitator and Artistic and Managing Director of SummerWorks, Laura Nanni; Vanier Scholar, visual artist, and activist Syrus Marcus Ware; and poet, painter, filmmaker and storyteller Elder Duke Redbird.

The 2020 cohort joins a network of alumni who have furthered their careers after taking part in TAC Leaders Lab, including Suzanne Carte, Senior Curator, Art Gallery of Burlington, Paola Gomez, Co-Founder and Program Director, Muse Arts, Brendan Healy, Artistic Director of Canadian Stage, Umair Jaffar, Executive Director, Small World Music and Seema Jethalal, Director General, Ontario, Canadian Heritage.

The program kicks off with a one-week leadership retreat in Banff, followed by monthly programmed activities in Toronto. 

“The 2020 TAC Leaders Lab fellows are accomplished and engaged individuals who are already making a positive impact on Toronto’s cultural landscape. By participating in this program, they’re given the time and space to hone their leadership skills and work together to address sectoral challenges,” said Claire Hopkinson, Director and CEO, Toronto Arts Council. “We’re pleased to partner with Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity on this vital program that both emboldens Toronto’s arts leaders now, and shapes the arts sector for the future.”

"I have seen the TAC Leaders Lab grow and develop into a program that is, in real time, addressing the growth and capacity of our Cultural Leadership in Canada," said Howard Jang, Vice-President Arts & Leadership, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. "I see a program that is making that intrinsic link between the role and opportunity of a Cultural Leader to be an integral player in today’s economy and social and community advancement. Banff Centre is proud to be aligned with TAC on this very critical program of professional development."

2020 TAC Leaders Lab Fellows (photos and bios here)

  • Bilal Baig, playwright, director, and workshop facilitator
  • Anna Camilleri, artist; founding Artistic Co-Director, Red Dress Productions
  • Michèle Pearson Clarke, artist, writer and educator; Photo Laureate, City of Toronto
  • Julian Diego, community arts practitioner
  • Emily Fitzpatrick, curator; Artistic Director, Trinity Square Video
  • Layne Hinton, multidisciplinary artist and independent curator; Co-Curator, Art Spin
  • Cayley James, writer; Development Coordinator, Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto
  • Bareket Kezwer, muralist, community engaged artist, curator, cultural producer and graphic designer; founder, Womxn Paint
  • Emily Law, dance artist, choreographer, and producer; Co-Artistic Director and Co-Choreographer of Mix Mix Dance Collective; Co-Producer, Parks N’ Wreck; founding member, Warehouse Jacks
  • Bridget MacIntosh, producer and consultant
  • Daniel Mack, aka Mayo, arts educator, textile artist; co-founder, Coalition Building
  • Marsya Maharani, independent curator and researcher
  • Nahed Mansour, Senior Manager of Programs, Gardiner Museum
  • Jaime Martino, Executive Director, Tapestry Opera; choreographer, Momentum Dance Toronto
  • Laura Mayo, Executive Director, Art of Time Ensemble
  • Anupa Mistry, writer and producer; Host, Burn Out podcast
  • Cara Spooner, dance, performance and theatre artist; Public Programming & Partnerships Manager, Workman Arts




About Toronto Arts Council

Toronto Arts Council (TAC) is the City of Toronto’s funding body for artists and arts organizations. Since 1974, TAC has played a major role in the city’s cultural industries by supporting a very broad range of artistic activity. From the emerging artist to the most established, from celebrated institutions to arts that challenge convention, TAC is typically the first funder to offer support. Today, TAC grants lead to exhibitions, performances, readings and workshops seen annually by over 9.5 million people. Through its ongoing funding of over $18 million annually, TAC cultivates a rich engagement between artists and audiences. It is proud to reflect Toronto’s vibrancy through the diversity of the artists, arts communities and audiences that it serves. For more about Toronto Arts Council, visit

About Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

Founded in 1933, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is a learning organization built upon an extraordinary legacy of excellence in artistic and creative development. What started as a single course in drama has grown to become a global organization leading in arts, culture, and creativity across dozens of disciplines. From its home on Treaty 7 territory in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff Centre aims to inspire everyone who attends its campus – artists, leaders, and thinkers – to unleash their creative potential and realize their unique contribution to society through cross-disciplinary learning opportunities, world-class performances, and public outreach. For more about the Banff Centre, visit

Contact Information

For information about TAC Leaders Lab, please contact Peter Kingstone, Program Manager: 416-392-6802 x 208 |