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Banff Centre For Arts and Creativity Announces Chris Lorway as New President & CEO - Full Release

Posted on January 10, 2023
New CEO and President Chris Lorway

Chris Lorway. Photo by Joel Simon.

On behalf of the Board of Governors of Banff Centre, Adam Waterous, Chair of the Board, is pleased to announce the Board’s unanimous decision to appoint Chris Lorway as President & CEO of Banff Centre effective April 10th, 2023. Waterous commented, “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 has been carefully crafted to have Banff Centre create, connect, grow, partner and engage with our various communities."

"Chris Lorway is well positioned to advance the guiding ethos first articulated 75 years ago when Banff Centre was just 15 years old: “Come to Banff Centre for a cultural, intellectual and recreational adventure.” As Banff Centre, Canada’s creative jewel in the mountains, which this year is celebrating its 50th year providing Indigenous leadership training, begins its 10-year countdown to its centenary birthday, Chris Lorway will strengthen Banff Centre’s position as Canada’s creative leader in arts, leadership and convening.”

Lorway, a Canadian citizen, born and raised in Cape Breton, comes to Banff Centre from his current position as both Executive and Artistic Director at Stanford Live. His artistic and community programs draw on the breadth and depth of Stanford University to connect performances to the significant issues, ideas, and discoveries of our time in a season featuring over 200 performances and events across four primary venues.

“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.” said Board Governor Raif Richardson, who chaired the Board’s Search Committee and chairs the Human Resources Committee.

“The 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,” says 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.”

At the commencement of her second term as Banff Centre President & CEO, Janice Price informed the board of her intention to leave at the end of her term. The Board thanks Janice for her service and wishes her well as she returns to Toronto to engage in Board and consulting work.

During her eight-year tenure, highlights of Price’s contributions include the oversight and completion of two successive strategic plans (Creative Voices in 2016 and Creative Pathways in 2021); the revitalization of many of Banff Centre’s key physical facilities, including the Centre’s largest performance venue, relaunched as the Jenny Belzberg Theatre, and the Lloyd Hall campus residence; the launch of the Banff International String Quartet Festival in partnership with Director Barry Shiffman; and improvements to the size, role and impact of the Foundation Board of Directors, while also integrating its work more closely with the Board of Governors.

Upon learning that Chris Lorway will be the new President & CEO, several leaders in their fields who know Lorway commented.

“When I learned of the Board’s decision to appoint Chris Lorway, I was pleased that the CEO succession process had resulted in an appointment of someone with Chris’s warm and engaging personality and global experience. I am confident that Banff Centre will be in good hands under his leadership.” Janice Price, Banff Centre President & CEO 2015-2023.

"It is wonderful to have Chris back in Canada. We had the opportunity to work on a number of collaborations during his time at the Luminato Festival and I was always impressed by his vision and support for Canadian artists." Karen Kain, Artistic Director Emerita of The National Ballet of Canada.

“Chris is known to be an arts leader of tremendous skill and experience. At Banff Centre, he has a unique opportunity to reinvent Banff Centre’s global position in our post-COVID world, and to lead the institution to renewed heights of influence. I wish him every success.” Mary E. Hofstetter C.M. Banff Centre President & CEO 2000 – 2011

"Chris' deep connections into the international arts community have helped many Canadian artists expand their global reach. He has been a champion for Canadian artists and their work and during his time at Stanford, he invited many Canadian artists and companies to campus; advocated for their work with other key presenters across the US, resulting in more robust touring opportunities. That said, we're thrilled to have him back on this side of the border." Ravi Jain, co-artistic director and founder of Why Not Theatre in Toronto.

In advance of learning the identity of the new President & CEO, a number of leaders of Banff Centre’s community have commented on the new CEO’s unique opportunity to advance Banff Centre.

“I am very excited for the next chapter in Banff Centre’s story. A new CEO provides an opportunity to inject new energy and ideas into this amazing organization. I understand that the current board has put great efforts into selecting a candidate who can deliver on Banff Centre’s strategic goals.” David Weyant, Banff Centre Chair 2014-2019

“This is a time for rebuilding and renewal of all key areas at Banff Centre after the devastation of the COVID years. A new CEO has a wonderful opportunity to implement the new multi-faceted strategic plan, and I look forward to meeting him or her and send my best wishes for a smooth transition.” Brenda Mackie, Banff Centre Chair 2010-2014

“I am excited to welcome the new CEO of Banff Centre. Banff Centre Foundation and Banff Centre supporters are ready to be a part of this positive step forward. Banff Centre is a national treasure, and this is a transformational opportunity to re-energize its evolving purpose in Canada and the World.” Jill Price, Incoming Chair, Banff Centre Foundation.

“Banff Centre has been about the excitement of innovation and reimagining in the arts and leadership for 90 years. With the promise of a new CEO, a bold strategic plan, and the need for the creativity and vision that Banff Centre can bring to Canadian Arts, Linda and I are both committed and optimistic about the revival at Banff.” Doug Black, Honorary Co-Chair, Banff Centre Capital Campaign.


Prior to his role at Stanford Live, Lorway was Director of Programming and Marketing at The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall, where his focus was on developing a cohesive brand identity for the institution and ensuring that the programming at the halls reflected the diversity of the city of Toronto.

Prior to that position, he was the inaugural Artistic Director of the Luminato Festival, where he commissioned or co-commissioned nearly 50 new works from Canadian and International artists.

Before his return to Canada in 2007, he was a consultant in the United States with AMS Planning and Research and AEA Consulting. These two roles offered him detailed insight into the governance and operations of major cultural organizations, including Carnegie Hall, New York City Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the West Kowloon Cultural District and San Francisco Opera.

Prior to his consulting experience, he worked for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where for two seasons he was part of the Lincoln Center Festival team. It was there he was introduced to some of the world’s top artists and companies. He also had roles in marketing and development at Lincoln Center and worked on the first phase of the $1.5 billion campus redevelopment project.

Banff Centre was guided in this international executive search process by Arts Consulting Group.