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New CEO and Director Hired by the National Gallery of Canada | Breaking:


The National Gallery of Canada has appointed a new director and CEO, the art institution announced Wednesday.

Jean-François Bélisle will be head of the national gallery for five years from July 17. He replaces Angela Cassie, who has served as interim director and CEO since June 2022.

Prior to his appointment, Bélisle served as Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Musee d’art de Joliette in Quebec.

He has worked as a manager in the visual arts world since the mid-1990s, the National Gallery said in a statement.

In a statement, Bélisle said he intended to ensure the Ottawa arts institution remained “a fantastic force for good.” (Claudia Morin-Arbour/National Gallery of Canada)

“I believe that art can transform society and look forward to working with the gallery staff and artists from around the country to ensure that our institution continues to be a fantastic force for good,” said Bélisle in the statement. declaration.

Bélisle pledged to pursue projects that will enable the national gallery to play a leading role in Canadian visual arts and increase the presence of Canadian artists in the international art scene.

Tumultuous year for gallery in 2022

For the past two years, the National Gallery of Canada has faced public scrutiny and criticism from both current and former employees.

In November 2022, the Ottawa art institution went wild four senior employeesincluding longtime Curator of Native Art Greg Hill.

In a statement posted on social media After his resignation, Hill said he was “deeply disturbed by the colonial and anti-Indigenous ways in which the Department of Indigenous Ways and Decolonization being driven.”

Later that month, seven former gallery members expressed their concerns about the personnel changes in an open letter to Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez.

The letter said the recent departure, along with previous layoffs, has created a “high degree of internal uncertainty and instability” within the gallery.

Cassie, who was the interim director at the time, told CBC the departure of the staff reflected a need for change, adding the gallery was welcoming new members who were “historically excluded from this institution”.

Earlier this year, the gallery’s leaders said the art institution was make progress in decolonizing its collection and attracting new visitors.

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