Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity has selected Chris Lorway as President and CEO, following an international executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). He will begin his tenure on April 10, 2023.
An accomplished arts and culture expert and a Canadian born and raised in Cape Breton, Chris Lorway joins Banff Centre following his tenure as both Executive and Artistic Director at Stanford Live, Stanford University's performing arts presenter and producer that hosts more than 150 performances and events annually. Over his six years at Stanford Live, Lorway commissioned and co-produced more than 30 new works and developed an active online performance space, the Bing Studio, that now presents over 80 shows each season. Lorway doubled the organization’s annual operating budget by increasing ticket revenue by 80%, overall tickets sold by 65%, and contributed income by 25%. He also guided a three-year strategic planning process with the staff and the advisory council and championed initiatives to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace.
Prior to his position at Stanford Live, Lorway served as Director of Programming and Marketing at The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall, two of Canada’s largest concert facilities with an annual operating budget of $21 million CAD, of which he was responsible for securing nearly $6 million in annual revenue from ticket sales. He guided the organization through a comprehensive rebranding that helped cultivate an experiential relationship with the audiences. Lorway also formed an advisory committee of local presenters and promoters who focus on highlighting artists from diverse communities with a long-term goal of creating partnerships to ensure that the programming accurately represents the demographic profile of Toronto. Lorway’s previous positions include Director of Festivals and Performing Arts at Lord Cultural Resources, Executive Director at Soundstreams, Artistic Director at the Luminato Festival, and Associate Director of Corporate Sponsorship at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. He also served as a consultant in the United States with AMS Planning and Research and AEA Consulting.
In making the announcement, Banff Centre Board Chair Adam Waterous said, “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 is carefully crafted to have Banff Centre create, connect, grow, partner and engage with our various communities. And, as the Centre counts down to its centenary and celebrates 50 years of providing Indigenous leadership training, we are excited about Chris’s ability to strengthen Banff Centre’s position as Canada’s creative leader in arts, leadership and convening, as well as a global influencer in arts and culture everywhere.”
“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,” said 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.”
Board Governor Raif Richardson, who chaired the Board’s Search Committee, added that “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. We are thrilled that Chris will be joining us and very thankful to Arts Consulting Group for guiding us through this rigorous process.”
“Congratulations to Banff Centre on appointing Chris Lorway as President and CEO,” said ACG President Bruce D. Thibodeau. "It was our honour to partner with the search committee, board, and staff of Banff Centre to place a champion for artists, education, Indigenous leadership, and arts and culture communities worldwide. Leading with strong knowledge of the industry and deep appreciation for Banff Centre’s history, Chris is well positioned to advance the organization into a new phase of growth and service.”