Claire Hopkinson, Director and CEO
Prior to her appointment as Director and CEO of Toronto Arts Council, where she’s been since 2006, Claire Hopkinson spent approximately 25 years commissioning, developing and producing new works of opera and music theatre. In so doing she’s been instrumental in moving contemporary opera from the very outskirts of the field to the centre. Passionate then as she is now about the potential of Canadian artists to tell their own stories, she invested considerable time and energy into getting Canadian works onto international stages. Her evolution into arts funder – from arts producer – was a logical progression from her volunteer advocacy work as Founding Chair of Opera.ca, Vice Chair of Opera America, and co-founder and President of Creative Trust. In the process she has become committed to the value of developing partnerships and collaboration to further the work of artists in innovative environments. Much of the impetus for Claire's interest in cultural policy has been to support the growth of creative arts organizations.
In May of 2001, Ms. Hopkinson won the national M. Joan Chalmers Award for Arts Administration in recognition of her contribution to Tapestry New Opera Works and the arts in Canada. In 2006 she was recognized by Theatre Ontario with the Sandra Tulloch Award for Innovation in the Arts.
Claire is also an active member of the City of Toronto War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration Steering Committee, the Arts and Culture Working Committee for the Toronto City Summit Alliance, and the national task force for Culture Days 2010.
Susan Wright, Director of Operations
Susan has been Director of Operations for TAC and TAF since 2000. In this role, Susan advocates for support for artists and arts organizations with City Council and compiles arts research and statistics in defense of this work. Currently, she is a member of the Board of Directors of CADAC (Canada Arts database), and sits on a number of external committees including IRAFF (Intergovernmental Forum for Arts Funders and Foundations), Beautiful City Alliance and a Toronto City Summit Alliance working group. Susan’s other responsibilities at TAC include financial management and general operations. Prior to joining TAC, Susan spent five years as General Manager of Toronto Artscape, and many years as an arts consultant and manager of small arts organizations.
Angie Aranda, Neighbourhood Arts Network Outreach and Events Coordinator
Angie Aranda's interests lie in partnership development, community engagement, information sharing and social innovation in the not-for-profit sector. She has numerous years of administration experience, with previous employers including Entertainment One Television, Cookie Jar Entertainment and York University. She has also worked extensively in the area of volunteer facilitation with Doors Wide Open, Riverdale Hub, National Film Board of Ontario, Women in Film &Television and the Art Gallery of Ontario and served as an outreach consultant for Mujer. Angie received a double honours Bachelor Degree from York University with a focus on Arts in Film & Video and Communication Studies. In addition to her work with the Neighbourhood Arts Network at Toronto Arts Foundation, Angie is also a member of the advisory board 2012-2013 Grassroots Youth School.
Margo Charlton, Research Manager
Margo Charlton has over three decades of experience in the arts in Canada. She has worked as an artistic director, theater producer and arts administrator. Much of her theatre work focused on the development of new works; she commissioned and directed the first productions of two Governor General Literary Award-nominated plays.
In addition to her work in professional theatre she has always been concerned about the role of arts in community development. Her pioneering work in popular theatre, popular education and community arts has been recognized by numerous invitations to make presentations at national and international forums and conferences. Margo holds a Bachelors Degree in Theatre from University of Winnipeg and a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University. Her current interest is the development of evaluation approaches for community arts including art-based research methods. As an independent consultant with Resonance Creative Consulting Partners she assists arts and community groups with strategic and evaluation planning.
Ella Cooper, Senior Coordinator, Neighbourhood Arts Network
Ella Cooper has a strong background in community outreach, arts marketing, strategic planning, events management, volunteer development and social media/web services for the Canadian cultural sector. She is also an award-winning multi-disciplinary artist, photographer, arts educator/facilitator and was the founding director of the Emerging Arts Professional Network. Ella also has a Masters in Arts Education with a focus on community arts empowerment practices with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography and new media art. Ella is dedicated to the celebration and support of the arts and has implemented empowering community centred programs for at risk youth, not for profits, community centres/assistance programs and local school districts in Toronto, Vancouver, Surrey, Williams Lake and Montreal. She is the recipient of many grants and awards, her work has been presented in galleries, subways, gardens and the streets of Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary as well as by the CBC. Ella continues to be a featured speaker at national conferences and enjoys collaborating with local schools as a guest artist-educator.
Jennifer Green, Associate Director, Strategic Initiatives
Jennifer has over 12 years experience in arts management in the cultural sector. In addition to her role at the Toronto Arts Foundation she is currently Consultant to ‘A Toronto Symphony Project’ at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and works with Ian Alexander Creative Consulting with clients in music, dance and theatre. Jennifer served as Executive Director of Soundstreams, General Manager of Kaeja d’Dance, Toronto and in a variety of capacities at the Upper Canada Playhouse, Morrisburg; The Regent Theatre, Picton; the Princess Court Theatre, Kingston and the Weave Shed Arts Centre, Cornwall. She holds a B.A in Speech & Theatre & English Writing from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York and an M.A. in Theatre from the University of Toronto. Jennifer serves on the Advisory Committee for North York Arts.
Lila Karim, Managing Director, North York Arts
Lila Karim has over 15 years experience in arts administration and events management in the cultural sector. She has worked for several non-profit organizations including the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, ReelWorld Film Festival + Foundation and Astral - Harold Greenberg Fund. Lila is active within the film community as the Festival Director of the Toronto Irish Film Festival. She has also produced award-winning work as a digital photographer and filmmaker. Lila received her Bachelor's degree in photographic arts from Ryerson University.
Jason Maghanoy, Community Investment Manager
Jason Maghanoy has a broad spectrum of experience working in the arts, working for some of the most celebrated arts organizations in the City of Toronto, including The Word On The Street, and as part of the sponsorship department at TIFF. Jason is also a playwright, represented by Great North Artists, a graduate of both McGill University and the National Theatre School of Canada, was a member of the Banff Playwrights Colony and was short-listed for the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwriting Fellowship at the Juilliard. Currently, he is a member of the Tarragon Playwrights unit, and the playwright-in-residence at Theatre Passe Muraille. His plays have been produced in Montreal, Toronto, as well as Tokyo, Japan.
Dewi Minden, Executive Assistant & Special Projects Manager
Dewi came to TAC after serving as the first Executive Director of the Music Gallery from 2006 - 2009. She is the Executive Assistant to Claire Hopkinson and directs communications for TAC and TAF. Originally from Vancouver, Minden is also a trumpet player, conductor, and composer as well as the director of Minden Arts Management, her independent company established in 2003 which provides production management and arts administration services to arts organizations and independent artists. Dewi was a founding member of the Robert Minden Ensemble contemporary music quartet with whom she toured internationally from 1986-1996, performing at Lincoln Centre, Kennedy Centre, and most major hall across North America. In addition to her composition work, Dewi was a trumpet player and a Music Director of Musical Theatre in Vancouver from 2003 - 2006. She holds an Undergraduate Degree in Music from UBC, a Masters Degree in Music from Laval University and did further graduate studies in composition at the University of Toronto. In addition to assisting the ED, Dewi manages communications at Toronto Arts Council/Foundation and is editor for the Toronto Arts Insider E-Newsletter.
Armen Karapetyan, Accountant
Armen Karapetyan brings a wealth of experience to Toronto Arts Council. For the past 15 years, Armen has worked with numerous non-profit organizations, predominantly in administration and accounting. Prior to moving to Toronto, Armen lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he held a position at the Barthelmes Conservatory of Music. Armen’s time at the Conservatory was a rewarding and enjoyable experience he recalls with a sense of accomplishment and pride. Upon his arrival, Armen immersed himself into the Toronto art scene by volunteering with local arts organizations, such as the Toronto Summer Music Festival, The Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra, Canada’s National Ballet School and b Current Performing Arts, where he assisted with administrative, marketing and accounting duties. Armen holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and has assisted STAR Company and Interactive Ontario with their administration, financial management and accounting needs. Armen currently serves on the Board of Directors with Sinfonia Toronto.