Media Releases

Banff Centre President Jeff Melanson to join U of T’s Massey College

April 24, 2014

TORONTO, ON – Jeff Melanson, currently the President of the Banff Centre, has been appointed Senior Resident of Massey College in the University of Toronto for the 2014-15 academic year.  The announcement was made today by John Fraser, Master of Massey College and Meric Gertler, President of the University of Toronto.

Gertler said he is looking forward to Melanson’s arrival: “Jeff is a visionary leader with a rare ability to span the arts and business communities successfully. The U of T and the whole city will benefit from Jeff’s decision to return to Toronto.”

“Jeff Melanson helps Massey College fulfill one of its major mandates which is to be an effective bridge between ‘town and gown,” said Fraser.  “His experience in the world of the performing arts is particularly relevant this year as we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of our founding by the late Vincent Massey, whose 1952 report on the arts in Canada helped to establish the Canada Council and which was the subject of this year’s  successful Walter Gordon Symposium on the Arts. We welcome him to our community.”

“I am honoured and delighted to be appointed Senior Resident,” Melanson said.  “I have always been captivated by the visionaries associated with Massey College and I am inspired by Meric Gertler’s vision for the growth of the university and the contribution it can make to building a globally competitive Toronto.”

Melanson said he will use his time as Senior Resident to work to ensure arts and creativity become a central focus for city building and the development of the next generation of leaders. He will also be a Senior Fellow at the U of T’s Munk School of Global Affairs cross appointed to the Innovation Policy Lab and will continue work on a book about creativity and society, adding, “I look forward to inspiring and being inspired by the Massey College and University of Toronto communities.”

Effective November 1, 2014, Melanson will become president and CEO of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He was appointed president of The Banff Centre on January 1, 2012. He holds a bachelor of music from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, where he studied opera, Russian art song, and choral conducting.  Melanson also pursued vocal studies at the Oberlin Conservatory. He holds an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo.

Since the late ‘90s, Melanson has held leadership roles at Canadian arts institutions.  He served as Dean of the Community School at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto from 2001-2006, when he was appointed executive director and co-chief executive officer of Canada’s National Ballet School. In his time there, he was instrumental in eliminating a significant annual operating deficit, increasing annual revenues by over 50 per cent, overseeing the completion of the school’s residence renovations, and creating new strategic partnerships with many non-profit and for-profit arts and entertainment corporations.

Melanson is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and a trustee with the National Guild for Community Arts Education (US). He is a frequent guest lecturer on arts management to arts students and MBA classes from universities across North America and around the world, and was the first arts leader to be appointed one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40™ for 2009. In 2010, Melanson was named Wilfrid Laurier University’s MBA Alumnus of the Year. In November 2010, Melanson was appointed special advisor on arts and culture to the mayor of Toronto.

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For more information:
U of T Media Relations, 416-978-0100