We are dedicated arts enthusiasts who believe a great city demands great art. We work collaboratively to shine a spotlight on artistic excellence, spark creative connections, and support cultural growth in our city.
Claire Hopkinson, M.S.M., Director And CEO - In her 11 years as Director and CEO of the two partner organizations, Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation, Claire has focused on increasing public and political understanding of the impact Toronto’s artists and organizations have on the city. With her vision of fostering a “Creative City, Block by Block”, Claire strives to highlight the important role that artists play in making Toronto a liveable, vibrant city and the potential of art to transform the lives of residents. TAC supports the largest, most culturally diverse community of artists in Canada. Since her appointment to TAC, the Council has doubled its annual grant from City Council, undertaken extensive city wide consultations and recently launched its strategic plan Arts Making 2025. Claire’s vision for Toronto Arts Foundation has resulted in strong partnerships, a doubling of the revenue base, and impactful research and strategic initiatives. The Mayor’s Arts Lunch, which Claire began in 2006, is now a much-anticipated event on the Toronto cultural calendar, and the Foundation’s Neighbourhood Arts Network has grown to 1,700 members since its inception in 2009. She played an instrumental role in moving contemporary opera from the outskirts of the field to the centre with a 25 year background in commissioning, developing and producing new works of opera and music theatre. Her evolution into arts funder – from arts producer – was a logical progression from her volunteer advocacy work as Founding Chair of Opera.ca, Vice Chair of Opera America, and co-founder and President of Creative Trust. In the process she has become committed to the value of developing partnerships and collaboration to further the work of artists in innovative environments. Ms. Hopkinson won the national M. Joan Chalmers Award for Arts Administration in recognition of her contribution to Tapestry New Opera and the arts in Canada and was recognized by Theatre Ontario with the Sandra Tulloch Award for Innovation in the Arts. More recently Claire served as Co-Chair of the 2012 ISPA International Congress in Toronto. She sits on the President’s Advisory Council at OCADU and is Co Chair of the Expo 2025 Canada Steering Committee. Claire is inspired by the power of art to tell important and timely stories; art that permits us a glimpse into possible worlds.
Susan Wright, Deputy Director - Susan has been Deputy Director, and prior to that Director of Operations, for TAC and TAF since 2000. In this role, Susan oversees planning, communications, staffing and financial management and advocates for support for artists and arts organizations. Currently, she is a member of the Steering Committee of CADAC (Canada Arts database), and sits on a number of external committees including IRAFF (Intergovernmental Forum for Arts Funders and Foundations), and Beautifulcity.ca. Prior to joining TAC, Susan spent five years as General Manager of Toronto Artscape, and many years as an arts consultant and manager of small arts organizations. Susan is inspired by the unique ability of arts events to connect strangers with shared inspiration.
Angie Aranda, Manager, Neighbourhood Arts Network - Angie has an extensive background in partnership development, event management, and communications, with numerous years of arts administration experience, previously working for Entertainment One Television, Cookie Jar Entertainment and York University. She is an active member of the arts community, particularly through her photography practice. She holds a Double Honours BA from York University with a focus on Film & Video and Communication Studies. Angie is also a member on the advisory board for East End Arts and AVNU. Angie is inspired by discovering unusual beauty in unexpected places.
Margo Charlton, Research Manager – Margo has been working on Toronto Arts Foundation initiatives since 2006, including community arts engagement symposiums and helping found Neighbourhood Arts Network. She has a Masters of Environmental Studies from York University with a focus on evaluating community arts practices. Her work in community-engaged theatre, research, and evaluation has been recognized by numerous invitations to national and international conferences. She has developed art-based research methods and conducted program evaluations and strategic planning for numerous arts and community organizations. Most recently, she was the lead researcher for Transforming Communities Through the Arts, a SSHRC-funded study of the impact of the arts on three Toronto neighbourhoods. Margo manages Toronto Arts Foundation's annual Arts Stats surevy; a partnership with Leger that taps public opinion about the arts in Toronto. Margo is inspired by the power of arts to change lives and communities – one creative step at a time.
Jennifer Green, Philanthropy & Programs Director - The Foundation's vision, Creative City: Block by Block is to connect every Toronto neighbourhood to the arts. Jennifer teaches at Ryerson University, and has been a guest lecturer at the Schulich School of Business, MBA Program in Arts and Media Administration since 2012. She serves as a volunteer to the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. In 2013 Jennifer collaborated with Tod Machover and MIT Media Lab to develop 'A Toronto Symphony: Concerto for Composer and City' with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, now being produced by orchestras around the world. In her pervious roles. Jennifer was the Executive Director of Soundstreams and the General Manager of Kaeja d'Dance. Jennifer is inspired by artists.
Adom Acheampong, Community Coordinator, East End Arts Motivated by powerful intersection of arts, culture, and community, Adom strives to both create and encourage opportunities for meaningful arts and cultural engagement within Toronto. Holding an Honors degree in Arts and Contemporary Studies from Ryerson University, Adom has worked in an administrative, producing, mentoring, and advising capacity within various arts organization to support and develop programming that is diverse, accessible, and responsive. Adom is also an emerging writer, primarily working through short fiction and poetry. Adom is inspired by the creative minds who work despite, in tandem with, and through their individual barriers.
Leslie Francombe, Philanthropy & Sponsorship Manager - Leslie connects arts philanthropists with creative programs that are meaningful and impactful. Leslie, who previously worked with the Foundation from 2009 to 2011 as Community Investment Manager, has worked in a variety of capacities in both large and small organizations and communities for over 30 years, most recently as Director of Development for Tarragon Theatre. Leslie spent almost a decade as Administrative Director at Carousel Players, a theatre for young audience company based in St. Catharines, during which time the company developed their own performance space within an historic courthouse for both public and school performances while continuing to tour into schools and theatres provincially, nationally and internationally. Leslie has also worked as Development Officer for The Grand Theatre, as General Manager at Stratford Summer Music, and as Education Associate for the Shaw Festival. Leslie is inspired by the dedication of individuals to support the arts.
Nadine Haddad, Donor Relations Coordinator - Nadine is an enthusiastic arts fundraiser with a background in music and arts management. As a young emerging arts leader in Toronto, she has worked with Opera Atelier, The National Ballet of Canada, The Regent Park School of Music and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Nadine holds a Bachelor in Music from the University of Prince Edward Island and a Graduate Diploma in Arts Management from Western University. She nurtures her passion for the arts by singing with That Choir, one of Toronto's most exciting acapella ensembles. Nadine is thrilled to be working with the Toronto Arts Foundation connecting the city through creative and accessible arts.
Shana Hillman, Operations Director, East End Arts - With over 18-years experience in audience development, marketing, fundraising and program development Shana is especially interested in sustainability in the non-profit sector and helping companies create deeper value and meaning for their communities, audiences, customers and donors. Past career highlights include management roles with Kaeja d’Dance, inDANCE, YWCA Toronto, Creative Trust and Toronto Dance Theatre. Shana is regularly invited to guest lecture at arts management and non profit management classes at the University of Toronto of Scarborough, George Brown, Centennial and Humber Colleges. An active volunteer, Shana is President of Small Print Toronto, an organization that stages interactive literary events for children, the secretary of TAPA and sits on the TAPA Travel and Retreat Initiative Program (TRIP) and the Dance Representative on the Dora Mavor Moore Awards Review Team. Shana is inspired by the power of the arts to heighten quality of life and revitalize buildings, neighbourhoods and our city.
Sarah Gladki, Communications Manager - Sarah has been involved in the arts in Toronto for much of her life. She is also a visual artist who works with drawing, photography, and moving images. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University where she studied Art History and World Religions, and a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Ryerson University’s Documentary Media Program.
Natalie Kaiser, Stakeholder Relations Manager - Fluently bilingual in English and French, Natalie brings experience in strategic communications, project management and cultural policy analysis, as well as a deep appreciation of the vibrant and innovative artistic community in Toronto. Prior to this position, Natalie was Research Coordinator at ArtExpert, a cultural consulting and strategic analysis firm based in Montreal, where she developed her passion for working in arts and culture. She holds a B.A (2008) and M.A (2010) in cultural geography from McGill University, where she studied in Havana, Cuba. Natalie is inspired by the discovery of shared pasts, stories, spaces and visions that connect a city and turn it into home.
Armen Karapetyan, Finance Officer - Armen has extensive working experience with numerous non-profit organizations, predominantly in administration and finance. Prior to moving to Toronto, Armen lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he held a position at the Barthelmes Conservatory of Music; a rewarding and enjoyable experience he recalls with a sense of accomplishment and pride. Immediately upon his arrival, Armen immersed himself into the Toronto art scene by volunteering with local arts organizations, including the Toronto Summer Music Festival, The Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra, Canada’s National Ballet School and b Current Performing Arts, where he assisted with administrative, marketing and accounting duties. Armen holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and currently serves on the Board of Directors with Sinfonia Toronto. Armen is inspired by positive change, and working for an organization that is instrumental in bringing change, through local artists and art organizations, to communities we live in.
Tanya Oleksuik, Communications Manager, East End Arts - Tanya manages the strategic communications, marketing, promotions, social media, outreach, and website activities for East End Arts, a strategic initiative of the Toronto Arts Foundation. Tanya brings over 15 years of experience working in Toronto's arts community, corporate sector, and as a freelancer. She is passionate about community building, collaborating, and connecting people and ideas. Tanya is actively involved in volunteering and doing astronomy outreach; promoting STEAM; creating new music, videos, coding, and app projects; participating in citizen science projects; and looking (way) up. Constantly learning and creating, she is inspired by the universe.
Parul Pandya, Community Engagement & Communications Manager, Neighbourhood Arts Network - Parul Pandya is an enthusiastic community builder, collaborator, advocate and appreciator of community, art and diversity. She is born in the UK and moved to the Toronto area at the age of six. From an early age, it became abundantly clear what the two things she was passionate about were: words and art. This led her to study Renaissance Studies (with a special interest in the Italian Renaissance), History and Sexual Diversity at the University of Toronto. Parul has been skillfully working in non-profit in various roles through the past decade, including as a programmer, producer, manager and consultant. After finishing managing in community granting for the largest government funder in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, she recently transferred these skills into producing, writing and programming with the Toronto Arts Foundation/Neighbourhood Arts Network. Her exposure to hundreds of non-profits has allowed her to seamlessly transfer her knowledge, skills and enjoyment of engaging diverse organizations and open her own consulting practice. Community Impact Non-Profit Consulting engages Greater Toronto Area based social services and arts-based non-profits to build, grow and sustain their practices. Parul is inspired by all types of diversity that lead to the creation of colourful artistic expressions.
Michelle Parson, Office Manager - Before joining the Foundation's team in 1997, Michelle was General Administrator at Ballet Creole, and Human Resources Clerk at Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago. Michelle is a busy vocalist, singing with a number of bands in her Caribbean community. She has performed and toured with Ballet Creole, Inner Stage Theatre, Naked Mask and La Petite Musicale of Toronto. Numerous freelance performances have allowed her to share stages with high-profile local and international artists. Michelle is inspired by the wisdom, talent and strength of her friends and loved ones.
Jaclyn Rodrigues, Community Engagement Manager - Jaclyn supports Toronto Arts Foundation by developing and implementing strategy to engage stakeholder groups through outreach efforts, marketing campaigns, communications, special events, and manages their newest initiative, Arts in the Parks. Jaclyn is a graduate of Ryerson University's Performance Production program where she studied every facet of performing arts management from carpentry to communications. Having spent many years dancing herself, Jaclyn has worked with The Banff Centre, The Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, and Canada's National Ballet School. To date, Jaclyn is proud of her accomplishments with her work at Kaeja d’Dance as their resident graphic designer and producer, assisting with their 25th anniversary celebrations, and leading their award-winning community outreach project, Porch View Dances, from its inaugural year through to its fourth. Jaclyn is inspired by the generosity and mentorship of arts managers, and by artists and the risk they take sharing personal stories in public spaces.
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