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Shoshana Wasser

Senior Communications Coordinator (Government & Media Relations)
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058

Interim CEO Announcement

January 10, 2022

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) Chair Rita Davies today announced the departure of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Carolyn Vesely.

“The OAC Board of Directors wish Carolyn well in her new endeavours and we thank her for her contributions, years of service to OAC and to the arts in Ontario,” said Rita Davies.

Prior to being appointed CEO, Carolyn served as OAC’s Director of Granting, where she oversaw the creation of OAC’s new online application program, Nova. Carolyn also led the design of OAC’s Funding Framework that resulted in enhanced program options for OAC grant recipients. She joined OAC in 2001 after an accomplished career directing galleries in Ontario and British Columbia.

“I wish OAC all the best as I work on new projects supporting the arts sector,” said Ms. Vesely.

The Ontario Arts Council has begun the process of recruiting a new full-time CEO. The Board has appointed Sandra Cruickshanks as Interim CEO to lead OAC during the transition.

“We feel very fortunate to have brought Sandra on board,” said Davies. “As the former VP, Engagement at our sister provincial granting agency, Ontario Trillium Foundation (2008-2014), Sandra is an accomplished leader with an understanding of our core business. Her expertise in communications, corporate affairs, governance, and human resources will be invaluable as she works with OAC’s senior team, staff, and board to continue delivering on its important mandate of serving Ontario’s artists and audiences.”

“It’s an honour to be asked to serve as the Ontario Arts Council’s Interim CEO,” said Sandra Cruickshanks. “I look forward to working with the great team at OAC on their important work of enriching our Ontario communities by investing in the arts.”

At OTF, Sandra led the Human Resources, Communications and Volunteer Management teams. The OTF experience provided the opportunity for her to develop deep knowledge of the province’s not-for-profit sector including the arts. For the past eight years Sandra has been a consultant to charities, not-for-profits, family and private foundations.


Sandra serves on the Board of Governors of McMaster University, her alma mater. She is a volunteer with West Neighbourhood House and the St. Christopher House Endowment and with MAS, a Toronto-based group of volunteer consultants.


Read more about Sandra Cruickshanks.

For more information contact:

Kirsten Gunter
Director of Communications
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058