Sarah Nelems joins Banff Centre as VP of Development

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BANFF, AB, February 13, 2019 — Canadian fundraising veteran, Sarah Nelems is joining Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity on April 1, 2019 as Vice President, Development, following an international search led by Arts Consulting Group Canada. Nelems was the Director of Philanthropy, Western Canada, for the Canadian Red Cross Society (CRCS) from 2012-2016, and with her dynamic Calgary-based team raised more than $42M during the devastating floods in Southern Alberta in 2013.

Her leadership fundraising for the Red Cross, partnering with the Calgary Stampede’s “Come Hell or High Water” campaign received national attention, and demonstrated how organizations can work together to create transformative change through cause marketing and philanthropy.

“Sarah Nelems is simply one of the best fundraising professionals in Canada,” said Janice Price, President and CEO of Banff Centre. “Banff Centre is Canada’s largest post graduate arts school, and is a gem in the Alberta and Canadian cultural landscape. Sarah has great experience working with donors and sponsors in Calgary and across Canada, which we know will benefit Banff Centre.”

“It’s an honour to join the Banff Centre team,” said Nelems. “It’s a privilege to be able to work on behalf of artists to create more opportunities for them to learn at Banff Centre, to create extraordinary work, and to help them share it with Canada and the world. Banff Centre is a unique arts education institution in Canada, and I am honoured to be taking on this role.”

A graduate of UBC and the London School of Economics, Nelems began her career with Columbia University in New York, in the Development and Alumni Relations Office. Her family has deep roots in Kelowna where she returned in 2003 to become the Executive Director of the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation. Nelems has also served as Vice President of Engagement and Philanthropy at Lester B. Pearson College in Victoria, British Columbia. Nelems’ experience in Canada and the United States will help Banff Centre realize its goal to become an important resource for Canadian and international artists to create their very best work. Nelems will relocate to Banff in April.

About Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity: Founded in 1933, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is a learning organization built upon an extraordinary legacy of excellence in artistic and creative development. What started as a single course in drama has grown to become a global organization leading in arts, culture, and creativity across dozens of disciplines. From our home in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus – artists, leaders, and thinkers – to unleash their creative potential and realize their unique contribution to society through cross-disciplinary learning opportunities, world-class performances, and public outreach.