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MacLaren Art Centre announces new Executive Director 

 The MacLaren Art Centre’s Board of Directors is excited to announce the appointment of Lisa Daniels as its new Executive Director.  Daniels began a gradual, hybrid transition (remote and on-site) into the role on May 17, 2021. She will begin working fulltime in Barrie on September 7, 2021.  

 “Lisa is an enthusiastic and passionate arts leader with over twenty years of progressive experience working at the senior management level in the cultural and regional public art gallery sector in Ontario and Alberta. She is a proven leader with expertise in synthesizing the organizational health of the gallery with the artistic vision and cultural dynamics of the local community,” noted Board Chair Michael MacMillan. “Lisa stood out because of her track record in providing the strategic leadership, creative inspiration, and sound management needed to successfully move the gallery through its next phase of development and into the future. She is also an established curator and has curated numerous contemporary and historical exhibitions, including over fifty local and regional artistsWe look forward to working together with Lisa in facilitating a renewed dynamic between art and community in the region,” commented MacMillan. 

“I have long admired the innovative programs, exhibitions, and achievements of the MacLaren Art Centre and I am honoured to have the opportunity to build on that accomplished history. I am particularly looking forward to working with the passionate and creative staff, Board of Directors, volunteers, and the broader community—to actively work together to make space for diverse narratives in a way that values and empowers different worldviews and forms of knowledge,” Daniels commented. “I am very excited to get to know the artists living and working in the region and exploring purposeful partnerships as we work together to strengthen our creative and dynamic community.”  

Daniels earned a BFA from NSCAD University, her MA in Art History with a diploma in Curatorial Studies & Visual Culture from York University and is currently completing her PhD in Art History & Visual Culture at Western University with a focus on the curatorial and community role of the regional public art gallery.  

 In her most recent position as Director/Senior Curator at the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery in Sarnia, Daniels successfully led the gallery team and community through an artistic and organizational revitalization that dramatically increased community engagement with innovative exhibitions and projects, ancillary programming, and community partnerships while at the same time building recognition for the gallery across the province. This renewed energy provided the leverage to move forward with the new gallery project; to secure maximum funding from all levels of government; to achieve fundraising and sponsorship targets; and to create the momentum needed to realize the purpose built, category A gallery in Sarnia’s downtown core.  With a focus on building meaningful and inclusive partnerships, her ability to build relationships with artists, collectors, key stakeholders, industry leaders, and the general public is significant.  

Please join us in welcoming Lisa to the MacLaren Art Centre and to Barrie/Simcoe County.