Kelly Langgard to join Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation as Director & CEO

TORONTO, November 24, 2022 - Today, Toronto’s funding agency for the arts, Toronto Arts Council (TAC) and its affiliate city-wide charity, Toronto Arts Foundation, together with their Boards of Directors, announce that Kelly Langgard has been named as the organizations’ new Director & CEO

Claire Hopkinson, who held the position for 17 years and announced her resignation in March 2022, will continue as CEO until the end of this year. Kelly will assume the role effective January 9, 2023. 

With a career in the arts spanning 25 years in Canada and internationally, working at organizations both large and small, Kelly has a great understanding of the arts ecology and the particular social and cultural dynamics of Toronto. Of mixed cultural heritage (Chinese and Norwegian Canadian), Kelly is deeply committed to equity, access and inclusion, and is a visionary leader with a proven track record in partnership building and strategic thinking.

Kelly’s hire comes after an extensive search led by Search Committee Co-Chairs Celia Smith (CEO, Luminato Festival and Chair, TAC) and Gaëtane Verna (Executive Director, Wexner Center for the Arts and Past President, TAC), with members Gary Crawford (Toronto City Councillor and board member, TAC), Dr. Sara Diamond (President Emerita, OCAD University and Chair, Toronto Arts Foundation), Jason Ryle (Past Executive Director, ImagineNative and President, TAC), Michael Sinclair (General Manager, Obsidian Theatre, and board member, TAC) and Susan Wright (Deputy Director, TAC and Toronto Arts Foundation). The search was facilitated by Jason Murray & Melissa Sumnauth of BIPOC Executive Search, a firm specializing in inclusive and diversity recruitment. 

“I am honoured to be joining Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation to build on their leadership in fostering Toronto’s vital arts scene. Supporting artists to thrive and connect – locally, nationally, and internationally – has been my life’s work and I am excited to bring this experience to a city as vibrant and diverse as Toronto. I look forward to collaborating with the TAC and Foundation’s dedicated staff, board members and committees, as well as the City of Toronto, partners, and donors to realize an ambitious, inclusive, resilient and expansive vision for Toronto arts and communities.”
Kelly Langgard

“Together with BIPOC Executive Search and members of the Search Committee, we welcomed applications from around the world from people who were interested in becoming the next Director & CEO of Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation. It was an extensive process with full commitment from everyone involved. As Co-Chair of the Search Committee, heartfelt thanks to the committee members for the work done with purpose, integrity and deep respect; I also want to acknowledge all of the candidates who we met throughout the search process for their interest and dedication to the work of TAC & the Foundation.” 
Gaëtane Verna

“On behalf of the Board of Toronto Arts Council, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Kelly Langgard and congratulate her as she takes this next step in her esteemed career. Her professional experience, respect for the work of TAC and understanding of the current arts landscape in Toronto and beyond inspires confidence that she will lead the Council with intelligence and care in this new exciting phase.”
Celia Smith

“The Board of Toronto Arts Foundation and I are looking forward to working with Kelly to build on the Foundation’s incredible growth and impact. Kelly expresses a great understanding of the synergies between the Foundation and our affiliate TAC, not to mention a clear vision as a leader and advocate for artists. These qualities and others perfectly complement the work we’re doing to increase access to the arts and strengthen Toronto’s cultural landscape.” 
Dr. Sara Diamond

“I’d like to express my thanks to the search committee for the care and thoroughness that was put into the hiring process. It was a lot of work and they did a tremendous job. I have confidence that Kelly Langgard is going to be an exceptional leader, bringing the right skills at the right time to these two wonderful organizations. I look forward to a smooth transition, and to the evolution of Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation under Kelly’s leadership.”
Claire Hopkinson, Director & CEO, Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation 

ABOUT | Kelly Langgard has more than 25 years of experience in public policy, arts funding, governance, strategic planning, partnerships and government and stakeholder relations.  She has led various programs and initiatives aimed at supporting more opportunities for artists and arts professionals.  Kelly began her career at Calgary’s Herland Feminist Film Festival before becoming Executive Director of Images Festival in Toronto, during which time she served on the boards of the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre and the Independent Media Arts Alliance. She has held a number of positions at Canada Council for the Arts: Media Arts Officer, Head of Audience and Market Development, Head of Partnership and International Coordination and Manager of Strategic Research Initiatives. She has also held the positions of Senior Advisor for Cultural Diplomacy at Global Affairs Canada, and Program Manager at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. Kelly is currently the Director of Granting at Ontario Arts Council.

Kelly is replacing outgoing Director & CEO, Claire Hopkinson. 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 ecosystem, Claire has worked with partners and colleagues to build strategic funding opportunities for the city’s artists and arts organizations, both through TAC and its affiliate Toronto Arts Foundation.


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, please contact: Sarah Gladki, Communications Manager at or 416-392-6802 x 217