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Edmonton Arts Council announces departure of Executive Director

February 5, 2024

Photo by Understudy Studio

The Board of the Edmonton Arts Council (EAC) announced today that Executive Director Sanjay Shahani has accepted the position of Director General, Strategy and Public Affairs, at the Canada Council for the Arts, and will be departing the EAC in March. 

Shahani joined the EAC as Executive Director in 2016, and since that time has led the organization through an exciting period of growth and transformation. Shahani oversaw the creation of the City of Edmonton’s cultural plan, Connections & Exchanges: A 10-Year Plan To Transform Arts and Heritage In Edmonton (20192029). The plan outlines a deliberate, collaborative, and adaptable strategy to advance city-building goals through a community-driven vision for cultural development, linking directly to the City of Edmonton’s own strategic visions. As the EAC implements Connections & Exchanges, Sanjay has led the EAC staff and board in executing the Actions of the plan and measuring the EAC’s impact via a Measurement, Evaluation and Learning framework, as well as pivoting to respond to the challenges of COVID. In 2022, Connections & Exchanges was recognized with an Award of Excellence in cultural planning from the Creative City Network of Canada. In 2023, Shahani was recognized for his work at the EAC with a Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal.

We wish Sanjay well in his new position in Ottawa. While we are disappointed to lose a visionary leader who has positively transformed the organization, and with it, the arts ecosystem in Edmonton, the EAC is in good hands with its current leadership and staff. Our services and programs for the community will not be impacted in the interim, while we plan our next steps,” said Christopher Filipowicz, Chair of the EAC Board of Directors. 

Shahani’s last day at the EAC will be March 22, 2024. The EAC board will announce recruitment plans and next steps.