Jeff Melanson, Executive Director and Co-CEO, Appointed Special Advisor on Arts and Culture to Mayor-Elect Rob Ford

ballet, news, canadaNovember 24, 2010…Canada’s National Ballet School is pleased to announce that its Executive Director and Co-CEO, Jeff Melanson, has been named Mayor-elect Rob Ford’s special advisor on arts and culture.  The unsalaried position will become official once Mayor-elect Ford takes office, Wednesday, December 1.

Melanson’s leadership career began in 1998, when he was Director of Development for Opera Ontario. In March 2000, he was appointed Assistant Dean of the Community School at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, and at the end of 2001, he was promoted to Dean. In his role as Dean of RCM’s Community School, he was instrumental in building the program into the largest community arts school in North America. He expanded the academic content of the program to include the critically acclaimed World Music Centre, DJ technique classes, rock/pop programming, jazz programming and teacher training.  In 2006, Melanson was appointed Executive Director & Co-CEO of Canada’s National Ballet School.  In this role, he has been instrumental in eliminating a significant annual operating deficit, increasing annual revenues by over 50%, overseeing the completion of NBS’ residence renovations, building a dynamic, organizational culture and creating new strategic partnerships with many non-profit and for-profit arts and entertainment corporations.

Jeff Melanson is a member of YPO, a trustee with the National Guild of Community Schools for the Arts (US) and has been an invited speaker on the role of the arts in community development at numerous United Nations and UNESCO events.  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.

The position as special advisor on arts and culture is Melanson’s first political appointment.  Rob Ford’s camp stated the creation of this role demonstrates that Ford values Toronto’s vibrant arts community. “I am extremely excited about this position,” states Jeff Melanson. “I look forward to working with Mayor-elect Ford and all of City Council to ensure that Toronto’s arts and culture continue to be vibrant and healthy.  The areas we’re going to focus on include the accessibility of the arts for children and youth; the increase of private sector support for the arts; large and small arts organizations working together to develop successful business models; and the arts community working to support the economic development agenda for the city.”

About Canada’s National Ballet School

Canada’s National Ballet School is a world leader in the training of professional dancers and teachers. Dedicated to advancing the art of ballet, NBS develops dance professionals in a student-centred environment by weaving innovation with evolving practice in the finest teaching traditions. NBS graduates can be found as dancers, choreographers, artistic directors, teachers, and administrators in over 65 dance companies world wide, and in even more schools around the globe. NBS celebrates its 50th anniversary from September, 2009 – August, 2010.

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