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.


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