Senior Vice President
New York, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver
1811 4th Street SW, Suite 523
Calgary, Alberta T2S 1W2
1350 Burrard Street, Suite 250
Vancouver, BC V6Z 0C2
Menon Dwarka (he/him/his) has held executive director, artistic director, and community arts leadership positions in Canada and the United States over the last 25 years. Whether it’s hosting digital town halls, implementing project management tools for large and small organizations, winning Digital Strategies Fund grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, or introducing electronic music programs with Morton Subotnick at the 92nd Street Y, Harlem School of the Arts, and Greenwich House Music School, Dwarka’s innovative approach and focus on equity, diversity, inclusion, and access has always resulted in engaging audiences and developing community. His expertise resides in leveraging technology in service of creating more diverse programming and administrative spaces, as well as applying a post-colonial lens to IDEAS initiatives.
A disruptor of stratified ecosystems, Dwarka supports both large and small arts and culture organizations. He has led grassroots organizations like Toronto’s 918 Bathurst Centre and served as a board member of Canadian Opera Company, guiding its equity, diversity, and inclusion taskforce. His cross-sector work to achieve public/private sector partnerships, such as his planning and capacity building work for QuadReal developers, demonstrates his unique ability to work with a variety of stakeholders to ensure the viability of arts spaces and venues across urban and suburban settings.
Regarding development work in the arts, Dwarka has been a peer assessor for the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council, City of Ottawa, and Toronto Arts Council, where he currently sits on the Music Committee. Organizations that he has led have received support from all three levels of government, as well as the Metcalf and Jackman Foundations, among others.
“The ability to speak and listen to diverse communities will be essential for the future growth of the arts and culture sector. The classical art forms we love don’t need to change. We need to make room for our whole self to show up, contextualize the work we make, and support that wider, more diverse worldview.”
“Digitally platforming an organization is far more than just posting videos online. It’s about creating content that reflects a specific cultural vantage point and placing that content in the channels where your audience already lives. Even though our phones can shoot HD footage, uploading without a plan is a lost opportunity.”
A sought-after public speaker, Dwarka has been featured on CBC Television, WBAI Radio, TVOntario’s The Agenda, and The Walrus Talks. He appears on a regularly occurring segment on Sesame Street. He was part of the inaugural cohort of the Banff/Toronto Arts Council Cultural Leaders Lab as well as the City of Toronto’s Economic Development and Culture’s Strategic Planning Committee, which oversaw the creation of Toronto’s 2018-2022 Culture Plan. In addition, Dwarka served as Support Lead for the Metcalf Foundation’s Creative Strategies Incubator and as a board member for MusicWorks Magazine, and previously presided as a board member for CanAsian Dance and the Chamber Factory. He is Chair of Humber College’s Program Advisory Committee and Canadian Opera Company’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. He holds a bachelor of music and master of music in music composition from the University of Toronto.
Dwarka’s ACG client work includes:
Boston Lyric Opera
Center of Creative Arts – St. Louis
José Mateo Ballet Theatre
Miami City Ballet
Textile Museum of Canada
Toronto Public Library
Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra