New Directors Elected at Annual General Meeting

Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation hosted their Annual General Meetings on June 11, 2018

TORONTO, June 12, 2018 - Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation hosted their Annual General Meetings last night, June 11, 2018. In her remarks to those assembled, Director and CEO Claire Hopkinson spoke about the growth of both organizations over the past year, the success of many new programs and their shared commitment to promote equity and inclusion in the arts. Hopkinson highlighted Toronto Arts Council’s Equity Framework, and its new voluntary self-identification form which was implemented in January 2018. She noted that the Framework is already providing the Council with valuable information about who is applying for and receiving TAC grants. Detailed results will be announced at the end of the 2018 granting round.

Toronto Arts Council Board Chair Susan Crocker reflected on the role of the arts to expose messages of humanity and inspire joy. Crocker noted Toronto Arts Council’s role in supporting artistic work, stating: “Our goal is to ensure that we are an effective granter, and I think it’s clear that with our increased funds since 2014, we’ve really demonstrated that we can be strategic, focused, impactful, and that we’re prepared to make changes as necessary. It’s really been a good story.” Crocker thanked outgoing board members Aileen Carroll, Josh Grossman, Lauren Howes, Louis Laberge-Côté and Harold Chmara.

Toronto Arts Council Board President Nova Bhattacharya thanked the board of directors and committee members, and acknowledged their volunteer contributions of about 2500 hours’ worth of commitment, passion and expertise. Bhattacharya also thanked the staff for serving the arts community and noted the role of both the staff and the board in working with city’s artists and organizations to bring the “intangible, soul nourishing, humanity-embracing aspects of the arts into our daily lives.”

Toronto Arts Foundation Board Chair Kathleen Sharpe remarked on the extraordinary level of activity of the Foundation led by Caire Hopkinson and its dedicated staff, and thanked outgoing board members Harold Chmara, Treasurer and Susan Crocker, Past Chair. “We are honoured to be involved in this organization,” Sharpe said on behalf of the board.

Incoming Directors to Toronto Arts Council include Jason Ryle, Michael Herrera and Richard Paquet. Toronto Arts Foundation welcomed incoming Director Michael Herrera.

Jason Ryle is the Artistic Director of the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, the world’s largest showcase of film, video, audio and digital media created by Indigenous artists from Canada and around the world. Prior to his appointment as artistic director in 2016, Jason served as the festival’s Executive Director since 2010 and a variety of other roles for the organization since 2002. Ryle joins the Toronto Arts Council board as Visual/Media Arts Committee Co-Chair.

Michael Herrera is the Vice President, Finance and Administration, at United Way, providing strategic leadership in accounting and financial management. He supervises the Finance and Administration Department's day-to-day operations and oversees the development and delivery of accurate and relevant reports to United Way stakeholders. Herrera joins the boards of Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation as Treasurer.

Richard Paquet, Product Design and Development Consultant of Richard Paquet Inc, is a multi-lingual, strategic and intuitive, merchandising and marketing specialist who possesses a reputation for creativity coupled with a commercial knowledge and understanding. He has over twenty years’ experience in retailing, wholesaling and manufacturing of Home Decorative accessories and Seasonal merchandise and a portfolio of clients in Canada, America and Asia. Paquet currently serves on the board of Toronto Arts Foundation, and joins the Toronto Arts Council board as an At-Large appointment.

Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation also unveiled their 2017 Annual Reports, documents that highlight the impact of the two organizations over the last year.

To view the Toronto Arts Council’s 2017 Annual Report, click here.

To view the Toronto Arts Foundation’s 2017 Annual Report, click here.


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


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. For more about Toronto Arts Foundation, visit


For more information, contact Sarah Gladki, Communications Manager at or 416-392-6802 x 217