Please join us in welcoming our new E.D. Karen Carter

Nov 16, 2020

At the conclusion of an international search process, MacLaren Art Centre is delighted to announce the appointment of a new Executive Director, Karen Carter. Karen will begin her role on January 4, 2021.

“Karen is an exemplary arts executive whose transformational leadership with C-Art Caribbean Art Fair, BAND, Myseum and Heritage Toronto reflects her commitment to community building, innovative programming and artistic excellence. We expect Karen to play a transformative role at the MacLaren Art Centre at a pivotal moment in our history, and we look forward with great enthusiasm to working with her in this role,” says MacLaren Board President Michael MacMillan.

“I am so excited to be joining the team at MacLaren Art Centre. The MacLaren has a solid reputation as one of the best regional museums in the country. I am excited for the opportunity to bring my community-centred approach to the museum at this time in the organization’s history,” says Karen on her appointment.

Karen is the former Executive Director of Heritage Toronto, a City of Toronto agency responsible for the education and promotion of Toronto’s heritage. She is the founding Executive Director of Myseum of Toronto and co-founder and Director of Black Artists’ Network and Dialogue (BAND), the organization dedicated to the promotion of Black arts and culture in Canada and abroad. Karen is also the Founder and Creative Director of C-Art a Caribbean Art Fair launched in January 2020 in Mandeville, Jamaica. C-Art is a new approach to the contemporary art fair connecting artists from the Caribbean region to the international art world. The exhibition When Night Stirred at Sea: Contemporary Caribbean Art, currently on display at the Peel Art Gallery, Museum + Archives (PAMA) in Brampton, is her most recent collaborative project.

Karen replaces former Executive Director Carolyn Bell Farrell, who retired on July 15, 2020 after thirteen years in the role.

The MacLaren Art Centre is the regional public art gallery serving Barrie, Simcoe County and the surrounding area. The MacLaren is housed in an award-winning building that combines a renovated 1917 Carnegie Library with a contemporary addition designed by Siamak Hariri in 2001. A cultural and architectural landmark in downtown Barrie, the complex includes multiple galleries, an education centre, a garden patio, café, gift shop and framing department.

A must-see travel destination in Ontario, the Gallery showcases a wide range of artwork by contemporary Canadian artists. Exhibitions highlight artwork by regional artists along with works from its significant Permanent Collection. Programming is year-round, from exhibitions to special events to workshops, with activities for all ages.