Director and CEO
Michelle Chawla is the Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Canada Council for the Arts, a role she began on June 26, 2023, for a five-year term.
Michelle has worked at the Council since 1995. Most recently, she was the Director General of Strategy, Public Affairs and Arts Engagement, responsible for the executive leadership and direction of a wide range of functions including communications, strategic planning, international coordination and cultural diplomacy. Michelle has held many other senior positions at the Council, including Corporate Secretary and Director of Strategic Initiatives, Secretary-General for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and Head of Arts Services.
Through her nearly three decades at the Canada Council for the Arts, Michelle has gained extensive leadership experience in arts and culture policy, program development, equity, corporate governance, government and stakeholder relations, transformation initiatives, international engagement and cultural relations.
From a Punjabi and Quebecois background, Michelle is a member of the Sikh community. She is fluently bilingual, and she is passionate about leading a workplace where all voices are heard and respected through arts and culture.
Photo: Christian Lalonde