Pierre Lassonde named New Chair of the Board of the Canada Council for the Arts

Pierre LassondeOttawa, July 30, 2015 – The Canada Council for the Arts welcomes the appointment of Pierre Lassonde as the new Chair of its Board of Directors. Mr. Lassonde assumes the role immediately for a 5-year term. He was selected after a comprehensive search, following the death of former Chair Joseph L. Rotman in January.

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“A highly respected entrepreneur and philanthropist, Pierre Lassonde holds a deep conviction of the importance of the arts in the lives of individuals and nations. He is well known for his ability to analyze and understand the risks and, even more so, the opportunities of the business world. His knowledge, considerable experience and creativity will serve him well in the role of Chair of the Canada Council, addressing the challenges related to the public funding of the arts, said Simon Brault, Canada Council Director and CEO.

“The Canada Council and its Board of Directors are engaged in a process of transformation designed to scale up the impact of our investments to support the creation and sharing of Canadian art and literature at home and abroad. I also want to thank Vice Chair Nathalie Bondil for her leadership as she assumed the duties of the Chair in these last few months.”


Quick Facts

  • Mr. Lassonde is a highly-respected Canadian businessman and philanthropist based in Toronto, whose career in Canada and the United States has spanned more than 30 years.
  • In 1982, Mr. Lassonde co-founded the Franco-Nevada Mining Corporation, the first publicly traded gold company, which was also recognized for its innovative business model. In 2002, the company merged with Newmont Mining Corp to become the world’s largest mining company.
  • From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Lassonde also acted as Chairman of the World Gold Council.
  • He is the author of The Gold Book: The Complete Investment Guide to Precious Metals, published in 1990.
  • Mr. Lassonde is also a highly active and engaged philanthropist in Canada and the U.S., particularly in the fields of arts, education and community development.
  • He was the Chairman of Opera Colorado's Board of Directors from 2003 to 2008 and is also currently Chairman of the Board of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ) (since 2006).
  • Over the years, he has generously donated to institutions such as the University of Toronto, College Marie-Clarac, the University of Utah, École Polytechnique, the University of Western Ontario, Ryerson and York University as well as the MNBAQ.  
  • In recognition of his many accomplishments, Mr. Lassonde was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2002 and an Officer of the Order of Quebec in 2008.

Canada Council for the Arts
The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s national public arts funder. We champion and invest in artistic excellence so that Canadians may enjoy and participate in a rich cultural life. In 2013-14 we allocated $153.6 million dollars towards artistic creation and innovation through our grants, prizes and payments. We also conduct research, convene activities and work with partners to advance the sector and help embed the arts more deeply in communities across the country. We are responsible for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO which promotes the values and programs of UNESCO to contribute to a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable future for Canadians. The Canada Council Art Bank operates art rental programs and helps further public engagement with contemporary arts.

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