October 24, 2011 – Martha Durdin, Chair of the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) today announced the appointment of Peter Caldwell as Director and CEO of the Ontario Arts Council. He succeeds John Brotman who is retiring after ten years at the council’s helm.
“Peter impressed us with his personal experience as an artist, his firm understanding of the arts community and the leadership skills that he brought to the remarkable transformations at OCAD University over the past several years,” said Martha Durdin OAC Chair. “He takes over an organization that has not only thrived in the last decade but which, under John's guidance, reflects the growth and diversity of Ontario's arts community.”
“The arts have been integral to my life, and the Ontario Arts Council is integral to the arts in Ontario,” said Peter Caldwell. “I am very excited about playing a leadership role at OAC as it approaches its 50th anniversary of service to artists, arts organizations and all Ontarians. I hope to honour the legacy of the organization, while also maximizing future opportunities.”
Peter Caldwell was Vice President, Finance & Administration at OCAD University (formerly Ontario College of Art & Design) from 1994 to April 2011. During this time, he served as chief administrative officer of Canada’s largest university specializing in art and design education. Among Caldwell’s accomplishments at OCAD, he oversaw the university’s expansion from two to 12 buildings, including the architecturally-acclaimed Sharp Centre of Design, designed by architect Will Alsop. In 2009, Peter Caldwell was appointed a Lifetime Honorary Alumnus by the OCAD University Alumni Association. In June 2011, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by OCAD University, recognizing his contribution to the university and to the arts and culture community.
Peter Caldwell has spent his entire career in the arts. He was Executive Director of the Arts Foundation of Greater Toronto (1985-1994), where he was responsible for the programming, marketing and financial management of all activities including ArtsWeek and the Toronto Arts Awards. Prior to that, he was Program Director at Toronto Theatre Alliance (1981-83), Theatre Consultant at the Ontario Ministry of Culture and Recreation (1980-81), and Coordinator of Training Programs at Theatre Ontario (1977-80). Caldwell’s volunteer work includes the Boards of Directors of the Laidlaw Foundation, Toronto Artscape Inc., Design Exchange, Performing Arts Development Fund of Toronto and Platform 9 Theatre. He has served on the major grants review panel for the City of Toronto’s Cultural Affairs Division.
Peter Caldwell has an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at University of Western Ontario. As an undergraduate at Stetson University in Deland, Florida, he majored in French and minored in Spanish. He will join OAC on February 6, 2012.
The search for John’s replacement was led by OAC Chair Martha Durdin with board members William Aitchison (Stratford), Albert Alexanian (Hamilton), Verlyn Francis (Toronto) and Harvey Slack (Ottawa). The nation-wide search was led by Searchlight Recruitment, included wide consultation with the arts community.
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