Michael Murray was appointed CEO of the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) in July 2022. He brings wide-ranging leadership experience in the professional not-for-profit arts sector and cultural industries provincially, nationally and internationally.
Michael returns to OAC from the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) where he served as director of ACTRA Performers’ Rights Society, Canada’s largest performers’ rights organization.
From August 2015 to February 2021, Michael was executive director for the Toronto Musicians’ Association, Local 149 of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, representing 2,900 members in labour relations and advocacy.
Between 2007 and 2015, Michael was OAC’s popular & world music and arts service organizations officer. His outreach efforts during this time led to significant increases in applicants and grant recipients from Indigenous and racialized communities.
He began his career as a professional musician, producer and songwriter in Montreal. Later, he was named executive director of UrbanArts, a community arts council in Toronto that focuses on engaging youth facing socioeconomic barriers in community building through the arts.
In 2007, Michael was an accompanying delegate on the State visit to Brazil by Michaëlle Jean, former Governor General of Canada, making international connections on technology and social change in the arts. He was an inaugural member of the Canadian chapter of the National Black MBA Association.
Michael graduated in 2007 from the Schulich School of Business (York University) MBA program with a specialization in Arts & Media Management. He is also a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and holds an Honours Bachelor of Music from McGill University.