Toronto Arts Council Welcomes New Directors

At its recent Annual General Meeting Toronto Arts Council (TAC) elected four new Directors to its Board.

February 21, 2013

The new appointments include Aileen Carroll, former Minister of Culture and MPP for Barrie, Ontario; Seema Jethalal, the inaugural Managing Director of Daniel’s Spectrum, the new cultural hub in Regent Park; and Josh Grossman, Artistic Director, Toronto Downtown Jazz, producer of the famed annual TD Toronto Jazz Festival. Susan Crocker, Chair of Toronto Arts Foundation, the sister organization to TAC, was also elected to serve as a TAC Director.

“Toronto Arts Council is fortunate to welcome both the in-depth artistic expertise offered by Seema Jethalal and Josh Grossman, and the strong political acumen of Aileen Carroll”, said Toronto Arts Council Chair John D. McKellar. “I would also like to thank Susan Crocker who is already playing an invaluable role at The Toronto Arts Foundation and welcome her formally to TAC’s Board. All four new members combine a profound understanding of the role that the arts play in society and will offer TAC a unique perspective at this exciting time in our history.”

“2013 is shaping up to be a transformative year for Toronto Arts Council and for the arts community” remarked Claire Hopkinson, Director and CEO. “Given the qualifications and collective wisdom of our Board of Directors and our committee members, I am confident that we are well positioned to deliver enhanced investment to the arts while striving to always be efficient and responsive.TAC

President Karen Tisch gave warm thanks to the three departing members of the TAC Board for their valuable contributions over the past five years, respectively: Alice Klein, Founding Editor of NOW Magazine, Melanie Fernandez, Director of Community and Educational Programmes at Harbourfront Centre, and Gregory Oh, concert pianist and Artistic Director of Toca Loca ensemble, all three of whom were elected to the TAC Board in 2007. She further thanked all Co-Chairs of all seven Grants Committees, whose contribution totaled a significant 5,000 hours combined in 2012.

Biographies of New Members of the Board of Directors

The Honorable Aileen Carroll, P.C., a native Haligonian, was Member of Provincial Parliament for Barrie, from 2007 until 2011. During part of her mandate as MPP, she served as Minister of Culture and Minister of Seniors. Prior, from 1997 to 2006, she represented Barrie, Ontario, as the Member of Parliament. During that time, Ms. Carroll served as Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs from 2001 until 2003 and as Minister of International Co-operation, responsible for C.I.D.A. until 2006 when there was a change of government.Prior to her political career, Ms. Carroll was a partner, owning and operating Canadiana Curtains for fourteen years, in Barrie, Unionville and Oakville. Prior still, she worked as a public servant at both the federal and provincial levels. Aileen Carroll is a graduate of St. Mary’s University and York University. She and her husband D. Kevin Carroll, Q.C., lawyer and former head of the Canadian Bar Association, have two children who live and work in Toronto.

Susan Crocker, Chair of Toronto Arts Foundation, is an active advisor in the Toronto cultural and international development communities. She sits on the Board of the Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) at the Royal Ontario Museum, and is a recent trustee of the Museum. She serves as Chair of the Advisory Board of the Coady International Institute and is a Governor of St. Francis Xavier University. She is a past Chair of the Canadian Stage Company, and Past Chair and Board member of the Board of Management of St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. Ms. Crocker’s career highlights include CEO of Hospitals of Ontario Pension Plan, senior executive positions at The Toronto Stock Exchange, Partner with Ernst and Young Management Consulting, and executive roles with CIBC in New York and Toronto. Numerous Board positions previouse to Toronto Arts Council include Toronto Community Foundation and Art Gallery of Ontario Foundation as well as significant financial, real estate and energy commercial enterprises.

Josh Grossman has been Artistic Director for Toronto Downtown Jazz (TDJ), producers of the annual TD Toronto Jazz Festival, since January, 2010. His experience encompasses both music performance and arts administration. A trumpeter and graduate of the University of Toronto’s Jazz Performance Program, Josh has performed in big bands under the direction of Phil Nimmons, Paul Read, Ron Collier and Paul Ashwell; he has performed with the Chris Hunt Tentet since its inception in 2002. Josh is the founding Artistic Director and Conductor for the Toronto Jazz Orchestra (TJO), now in its 15th year; he has also served as Performance Manager for The Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory of Music, Manager with the High Park Choirs of Toronto, and Artistic Director for the Markham Jazz Festival. Additionally, he serves as Administrator for Continuum Contemporary Music.

Seema Jethalal joined Artscape in June 2011 as the inaugural Managing Director of Daniels Spectrum, a cultural hub in Regent Park. This center is a home to seven arts and social innovation organizations and supports a number of organizations that use the facility for musical, theatrical and dance performances; cultural celebrations; film festivals; educational events; capacity‐building workshops and more. Seema sits on the Board of Directors of Manifesto Community Projects after having worked there as the Managing Director. She is a member of Civic Action's Emerging Leaders Network and the Neighbourhood Arts Network Advisory Committee. Formerly a 2012 DiverseCity Fellow, Seema was a member of the Regent Park Film Festival Board of Directors, ArtReach Toronto’s Community Advisory Committee as well as CSI Regent Park’s Advisory Committee. Seema holds a B.A. in Cultural Studies from McGill University and a M.A. in Media Production from Ryerson University.

2013 Toronto Arts Council Board of Directors

Chair - John D. McKellar C.M., Q.C
President - Karen Tisch
Secretary - Cindy Wan
Treasurer - Harold Chmara


  • Curtis Barlow
  • Dallas Bergen 
  • Nova Bhattacharya
  • Janet Carding
  • Aileen Carroll
  • Harold Chmara
  • Susan Crocker
  • Matt Galloway
  • Danis Goulet
  • Josh Grossman
  • Ruth Howard
  • Seema Jethalal
  • Moynan King
  • Linda Lewis 
  • Natalie Lue
  • Devon Ostrom
  • Andrew Pyper
  • Colleen Smith
  • Priscilla Uppal
  • John Van Burek
  • Jessica Wyman

City Appointed Directors

  • Councillor Michelle Berardinetti
  • Councillor Gary Crawford 
  • Councillor John Parker
  • Councillor Josh Matlow
  • Councillor Adam Vaughan

Toronto Arts Council (TAC) is the City of Toronto's funding body for artists and arts organizations. Since 1974, Toronto Arts Council (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 7.5 million people. Through its ongoing funding, TAC cultivates a rich engagement between artists and audiences. It is proud to reflect Toronto’s vibrancy through the diversity of artists, arts communities and audiences that it serves.

Please click here for more information on TAC and for brief biographies of all board members.

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For more information:
Susan Wright, Director of Operations
Toronto Arts Council
416-392-6802 x 211