THE SCOOP | Chris Lorway Named To Head Banff Centre For Arts And Creativity

L-R: Chris Lorway (Photo: Joel Simon); The Shaw Theatre (Photo courtesy of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity)

The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity announced that Chris Lorway would be appointed to the role of President and CEO of Banff Centre. The post takes effect on April 10, 2023.

On behalf of the Board of Governors of Banff Centre, Adam Waterous, Chair of the Board, commented in a statement to the media.

“Chris Lorway has senior leadership experience across a broad range of artistic disciplines in both Canadian and international contexts. He is well-equipped to move forward our strategic plan, Creative Pathways, which has been carefully crafted to have Banff Centre create, connect, grow, partner and engage with our various communities. Chris Lorway is well positioned to advance the guiding ethos first articulated 75 years ago when Banff Centre was just 15 years old: “Come to Banff Centre for a cultural, intellectual and recreational adventure.”

“As Banff Centre, Canada’s creative jewel in the mountains, which this year is celebrating its 50th year providing Indigenous leadership training, begins its 10-year countdown to its centenary birthday, Chris Lorway will strengthen Banff Centre’s position as Canada’s creative leader in arts, leadership and convening.”

Chris Lorway in brief

Chris Lorway has carved out an impressive career in some of North America’s leading arts institutions. He was born and raised in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. With an MA in Arts Administration from Columbia University, and a BMusEd from Western University, Lorway first made his name in the industry in New York City as a consultant. He worked with the Edinburgh Festivals, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the West Kowloon Cultural District, among other high profile arts organizations.

On returning to Canada in 2007, he became part of the founding team of the Luminato Festival

  • Artistic Director of Luminato Festival from 2007 until 2011 as part of its founding team;
  • Executive Director of Soundstreams from 2012 until 2014;
  • Director, Programming and Marketing at The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall from 2014 till 2016;
  • Appointed Executive Director — Stanford Live / Bing Concert Hall in 2016.

At Stanford, he’s been responsible for artistic and community programs presented across four venues, including more than 200 performances.

“Over several months the Search Committee conducted an international executive search process for a candidate who had the breadth of experience, sectoral relationships, and depth of character to help steer Banff Centre through times which are both challenging and full of opportunity,” said Board Governor Raif Richardson, who chaired the Board’s Search Committee and chairs the Human Resources Committee, in a statement.

“The Banff Centre has had such a significant role in developing some of the world’s top artists and leaders and is poised to continue to build upon that legacy,” says Chris Lorway. “I am thrilled to be selected to lead the Centre at this exciting time and look forward to working closely with the Board and staff on advancing the strategic priorities of this phenomenal institution.”

Chris takes over the role from Janice Price, who held the position for an 8-year period.

Reactions

A number of Canada’s arts leaders are happy to see Lorway return to helm the Banff Centre.

“It is wonderful to have Chris back in Canada. We had the opportunity to work on a number of collaborations during his time at the Luminato Festival and I was always impressed by his vision and support for Canadian artists.” — Karen Kain, Artistic Director Emerita of The National Ballet of Canada.

“Chris’ deep connections into the international arts community has helped many Canadian artists expand their global reach. He has been a champion for Canadian artists and their work and during his time at Stanford, he invited many Canadian artists and companies to campus; advocated for their work with other key presenters across the US, resulting in more robust touring opportunities. That said, we’re thrilled to have him back on this side of the border.” — Ravi Jain, co-artistic director and founder of Why Not Theatre in Toronto.

Congratulations to both Chris Lorway and the Banff Centre.

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