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Board Members

Board Member -  Pierre Lassonde

Pierre Lassonde, C.M., O.Q.

Chair
Toronto, Ontario

In 1982, Mr. Lassonde co-founded the Franco-Nevada Mining Corporation, the first publicly traded gold company. In 2002, the company merged with Newmont Mining Corp to become the world’s largest mining company. Mr. Lassonde was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2002 and Officer of the Quebec Order in 2008.

Mr. Lassonde is an active and engaged philanthropist in both Canada and the United States. He sat on the Board of Directors of Opera Colorado from 2003 to 2008 and was, until December 2016, Chairman of the Board of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. He has donated to institutions such as the University of Toronto, College Marie-Clarac, the University of Utah, Ecole Polytechnique, the University of Western Ontario, Ryerson and York University as well as the MNBAQ.

Pierre Lassonde has been appointed Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canada Council for the Arts for a five-year term effective July 28, 2015 to July 27, 2020.

Photo : Laura Arsie Photography

Board Member -  Nathalie Bondil

Nathalie Bondil, C.M., C.Q.

Vice-Chair
Montréal, Quebec

Art historian Nathalie Bondil, a specialist in Canadian and French art, is the Director and Chief Curator of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Under her leadership, the Museum has doubled attendance rates to over a million visitors a year and opened two new pavilions, one in 2011 and another in 2016. The Museum has also built an enviable reputation for its design, production and exportation of dynamic exhibitions around the world as well as its civic engagement and educational, social, musical and art therapy activities.

In 2015, Nathalie Bondil was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. She received the insignia of the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French government in 2008, and was promoted to the rank of Officier in 2016. She also holds honorary doctorates from McGill University (2013) and the Université de Montréal (2015).

Nathalie Bondil’s term as a member of the Board of Directors of the Canada Council for the Arts was renewed for four years, effective March 31, 2017 to March 30, 2021.

Photo : © Studio SPG Le Pigeon

Board Member - David Binet

David Binet

Toronto, Ontario

David Binet is the President and CEO of the Woodbridge Company Limited and Deputy Chairman of Thomson Reuters.  He is on the boards of directors of Woodbridge, Thomson Reuters, The Globe and Mail, and other businesses in which Woodbridge is invested.

David Binet has extensive not-for-profit governance experience.  He is currently Chair of the National Ballet of Canada and serves on the boards of Canada’s National Ballet School, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and Business for the Arts.  He is also Chairman of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, based in the United Kingdom, which is dedicated to promoting socio-economic progress and the rule of law around the world.

David Binet was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Canada Council for the Arts for a four-year term effective April 7, 2017 to April 6, 2021.

Photo : Ian Thorpe

Board Member - Jennifer Dorner

Jennifer Dorner

Montréal, Quebec

With a background in visual and media arts, Jennifer Dorner’s artistic practice has developed to reflect her strong passion for advocacy for the arts, culture and social justice on local and national levels.

Since 2014, Jennifer Dorner has been the Director of the FOFA Gallery at Concordia University where she is dedicated to developing programs that connect fine arts research and practice with broader communities. She received her MFA from the University of Western Ontario in 2001.

She was the National Director of the Independent Media Arts Alliance from 2005 to 2013, and also served on the steering committee of the Canadian Arts Coalition.

Jennifer Dorner was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Canada Council for the Arts for a four-year term effective June 6, 2017 to June 5, 2021.

Photo : Ian Thorpe

Board Member -  Beverley K. Foy

Beverley K. Foy

Calgary, Alberta

Beverley Foy, FCA, is a retired client service partner of Collins Barrow Calgary LLP where she provided audit, accounting and taxation services to private companies and their shareholders, and audit services to not-for-profit organizations.

Beverley Foy has held several board and committee roles with Calgary Opera, the Calgary Foundation, YWCA of Calgary, YMCA of Calgary, the International Women’s Forum Calgary chapter and Soroptimist International of Calgary. She is currently on the Board of Governors of the University of Calgary and the Board of Directors of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards.

Her term as a member of the Board of Directors of the Canada Council for the Arts was renewed for four years, effective June 6, 2017 to June 5, 2021.

Photo : Trudie Lee Photography

Board Member - Cheryl Hickman

Cheryl Hickman

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

Cheryl Hickman is General and Artistic Director of Opera on the Avalon, which she founded in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador in 2009. A highly regarded and critically acclaimed soprano, she has worked with several opera companies such as the New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Vancouver Opera, Calgary Opera, and the Canadian Opera Company.

Cheryl Hickman has received many awards and prizes, including from the George London Foundation, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Sullivan Foundation. 

A graduate of the Juilliard School and University of Toronto, she is the current Chair of Opera.ca and sits on the City of St. John’s Arts Advisory Committee. She is also an advisor for Business and Arts NL and is Honorary Patron of the Atlantic Boy Choir.

Cheryl Hickman was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Canada Council for the Arts for a four-year term effective April 7, 2017 to April 6, 2021.

Photo : Ian Thorpe

Board Member -  Isabelle Hudon

Isabelle Hudon

Montréal, Québec

Isabelle Hudon has been Sun Life Financial's Quebec president since August 2010. She is well known on the Quebec business scene for her outstanding leadership and entrepreneurial skills.

Ms. Hudon was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal (2004-08) and President of Marketel, a major advertising agency in Montreal (2008-10). Ms. Hudon was named “Business Woman of the Year” by Consumer Choice Award and Francophone Business Woman of the Year by the Réseau des femmes d'affaires francophones du Canada.

Ms. Hudon serves on the boards of Hydro-Québec, Aéroports de Montréal, Holt Renfrew Canada and Turquoise Hill Resources (TSX: TRQ).

Isabelle Hudon was appointed as a member of the Board of Directors of the Canada Council for the Arts for a four-year term effective October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2017.

Photo: Martin Girard (Shoot Studio)

Linked In Isabelle Hudon Twitter @HudonIsabelle
Board Member - Yann Martel

Yann Martel

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Yann Martel is a Quebec writer who now lives in Saskatchewan. His critically acclaimed novel, Life of Pi, has won several awards, including the Man Booker Prize in 2002. The novel achieved worldwide success, with 13 million copies sold in 50 languages, and its movie adaptation by Ang Lee won four Oscars. Yann Martel has also written a short story collection, The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, the novels Self, Beatrice & Virgil, and The High Mountains of Portugal, and a collection of letters to Stephen Harper, 101 Letters to a Prime Minister. He holds a BA in Philosophy from Trent University (1986) and has received several Canada Council grants throughout his career.

Yann Martel was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Canada Council for the Arts for a four-year term effective April 7, 2017 to April 6, 2021.

Photo : Ian Thorpe

Board Member -  Ben Nind

Ben Nind

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Ben Nind is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada’s English Acting Program. He has written, produced, directed and performed original works throughout the Circumpolar North for over 25 years. He is the founder of Stuck in a Snowbank Theatre and former Artistic and Executive Director of the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre.

He served recently as Co-Chair of the Northwest Territories (NWT) Arts Council and has been actively involved with northern artistic and cultural initiatives including the NWT Minister of Education, Culture and Employment’s Special Committee on Arts and Culture, and the Arctic Winter Games Cultural Program. He has been honoured as an individual member of the NWT Minister’s Cultural Circle.

Ben Nind is currently the Executive Director of the Giant Mine Oversight Board. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Canada Council for the Arts for a four-year term effective April 7, 2017 to April 6, 2021.

Photo : Ian Thorpe

Board Member -  Cheryl Sharfe

Cheryl Sharfe

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Cheryl Sharfe has been actively engaged in Winnipeg’s arts community for more than 30 years. After working in nursing for over 10 years, she earned a Bachelor in Fine Arts from the University of Manitoba (1981), and became a visual artist working in sculpture (wood and metal) and mixed media on paper. She served on the Board of Governors of the Winnipeg Art Gallery (1993-95) and continues to contribute to the WAG by liaising with clients and artists in its Art Rental and Sales program.

Passionate about music, she has also served as a member of the Board of two major Winnipeg-based non-profit organizations: GroundSwell (1993-95), which presents new music from Winnipeg and around the world, and the Suzuki Talent Education Institute of Manitoba Inc. (1991-2002) – now called Suzuki Music Winnipeg – which is devoted to music education. She was President of Sterling Art Sales (1984-99), a company that imported and sold original art glass and ceramics, and is currently Programs Chair of the Manitoba Antique Arts Club and since 1984 has been President of Joy Ventures Ltd. a land development company.

Cheryl Sharfe was appointed as a member of the Board of Directors of the Canada Council for the Arts for a four-year term effective October 30, 2014 to October 29, 2018.

Photo : Lisa Brezinski / L.K.B. Photography

Twitter @csharfe
Board Member - Jesse Wente

Jesse Wente

Toronto, Ontario

Jesse Wente is a broadcaster, curator, producer, activist and public speaker. He has been a culture columnist on CBC Radio's Metro Morning for 21 years and contributes to CBC Radio’s Unreserved in the same capacity. He has programmed for film festivals including Reel World, ImagineNATIVE and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

Jesse Wente is Ojibwe and an outspoken advocate for Indigenous rights and First Nations, Metis and Inuit art. He has served on the board of directors of several organizations including ImagineNATIVE, the Toronto Arts Council and Native Earth Performing Arts, where he served as Board President.

Jesse Wente was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Canada Council for the Arts for a four-year term effective April 7, 2017 to April 6, 2021.

Photo : Ian Thorpe