Claire Hopkinson moving on as Director and CEO, Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation

The Boards of Directors of Toronto Arts Council (TAC) and Toronto Arts Foundation announce the upcoming departure of Claire Hopkinson, Director & CEO.

TORONTO, March 15, 2022 – The Boards of Directors of Toronto Arts Council (TAC) and Toronto Arts Foundation announce the upcoming departure of Claire Hopkinson, Director & CEO.

After 17 years of inspired leadership and exceptional achievements, Claire has decided that the end of 2022 marks the optimum time for both herself and the organizations to transition to new opportunities.

Since 2005, Claire has developed Toronto Arts Council into Canada’s leading municipal arts council, nearly tripling its investment in Toronto’s arts community, with a $25 million annual budget. Committed to supporting the entire arts eco-system, Claire has worked with partners and colleagues to build strategic funding opportunities for the city’s artists and arts organizations. Of particular note has been her focus on ensuring that both TAC’s granting and its governance are representative of the people and art forms of the City. Further, she has worked tirelessly to bring the arts into the forefront of civic leadership, recognizing the transformative powers of the arts to city building.
Claire’s impact at Toronto Arts Foundation has been equally impressive. As the city’s leading arts charity, the Foundation under Claire’s leadership has pursued its vision to enrich every neighbourhood with the benefits of the arts. Attracting unprecedented levels of philanthropic support for the Foundation’s work, Claire has created exceptional fundraising opportunities and events including the very popular Mayor’s Evening for the Arts. The primary force behind the development of Arts in the Parks and the Neighbourhood Arts Network, Claire has created meaningful opportunities for artists and audiences in every corner of the city.

In 2017 Claire was presented with a Meritorious Service Medal by the Governor General of Canada in recognition of her work in the arts community and she leaves both organizations in a state of stability and achievement.

“I came to TAC and Foundation as an artistic producer with a personal understanding of what the arts are capable of, and of the challenges facing artists and arts organizations. It's been an incredible privilege these last 17 years to tackle these challenges, to find opportunities to expand the reach of the arts across the city and to help give voice to the rich diversity of incredible artists Toronto is home to. I've been blessed to work with an exceptional team of talented and committed colleagues and two supportive and knowledgeable boards of directors. I have sincerely loved working with, and learning from, each one of them! I also treasure the numerous and important relationships developed along the way, with civic leaders, arts colleagues, visionary philanthropists, academics and community partners. I'm proud of the two organizations I am leaving and look forward to witnessing the next generation of leadership move Toronto's arts sector forward,” said Claire Hopkinson, Director & CEO, Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation.

While the Board and staff of TAC and the Foundation will miss Claire’s energy, enthusiasm and leadership, we are confident that there will be no difficulty in attracting great talent as we search for her replacement. Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation are vibrant, well-managed organizations vital to the success of the arts community, the city and all its residents.
A Search Committee, approved by both boards yesterday evening, will be Co-chaired by Gaëtane Verna (Director of the Power Plant and Past President of TAC) and Celia Smith (CEO of Luminato Festival and Board member of TAC) and will include the following members: Jason Ryle (Past Executive Director, ImagineNative and TAC President), Dr. Sara Diamond (Past President & CEO, OCAD University and Incoming Chair, Toronto Arts Foundation), Michael Sinclair (General Manager Obsidian Theatre, and TAC Board member), Gary Crawford, Toronto City Councillor and TAC Board member. The position will be posted in the spring and both Boards look forward to welcoming the incoming Director & CEO by the end of the year.
"The City of Toronto and Toronto’s arts community have benefited from Claire’s passion, dedication and transformative work as CEO over the past seventeen years. Claire leaves an outstanding record of accomplishment, helping bring the arts to every corner of the city, creating new and innovative funding programs and ensuring swift assistance to artists hit hard by the pandemic. The Board of TAC is grateful to Claire for her visionary leadership and sound management and wishes her well as we work to effect a smooth transition."
Dina Graser, Chair, Toronto Arts Council

"Claire has been a trailblazer in the Toronto arts community for decades. For the past 17 years, the Board of Toronto Arts Foundation has been steered by her leadership and creativity through its many years of growth and transition. Her dedication to supporting artists has been a constant, but particularly throughout the challenges of the pandemic. She has been a powerful voice on behalf of the arts community and a fearless advocate for artists of all media in the City of Toronto. We wish Claire the very best!"
Susan Wortzman, Interim Chair, Toronto Arts Foundation

“I am honoured to be co-chairing the Director & CEO Search Committee. TAC and the Foundation are essential to the ecology of Toronto and I look forward to co-leading the search committee in order to find an individual that will support, care and be the champion of our city's artists and world class arts institutions for the coming years. The arts sector plays a key role in the development of our city. Finding a new leader is both exhilarating and a thought-provoking endeavour as we seek to continue Claire’s extraordinary leadership of Toronto’s arts community.”
Gaëtane Verna, Director of the Power Plant and Past President of Toronto Arts Council



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 offered innovative and responsive programs, enabling artists and arts organizations to explore, create and thrive. With funding of over $25 million annually, TAC grants lead to exhibitions, performances, readings and workshops seen each year by over 5 million people across the city. TAC is proud to play a leadership role in fostering Toronto’s dynamic and diverse arts scene.

About Toronto Arts Foundation
Toronto Arts Foundation is a charitable organization that sparks creative connections, spotlights artistic excellence, and supports vibrant cultural growth throughout our diverse city, through private sector investment. To learn more or to make a donation, visit

Contact information:
For more information or to book an interview with Claire Hopkinson, please contact:  
Sarah Gladki, Communications Manager at or 416-392-6802 x 217