Jayne Watson was appointed CEO of the National Arts Centre (NAC) Foundation in 2009. She leads a team of highly-skilled development professionals dedicated to supporting arts education and programming at the National Arts Centre, a thriving hub for performance, creation, and learning in Canada. The NAC Foundation has achieved record fundraising goals over the period of Ms. Watson’s leadership and has championed new initiatives such as its first-ever national fundraising Campaign which raised more than $25M for a national Creation Fund to help Canadian creators think bigger about new works in theatre, music and dance. During her time as CEO, the Foundation has surpassed fundraising goals for projects such as Canadian and international tours (China, UK and Europe) for Music and Theatre; the creation of the Share the Spirit Program, which brings the magic of the performing arts to deserving audiences who might not otherwise be able to attend, as well as special purpose fundraising for performance, creation and learning projects across Canada. Ms. Watson works closely with a volunteer board that champions the NAC and its priorities across Canada.
Ms. Watson joined the National Arts Centre in 2001 as Director of Communications and Public Affairs. She helped to establish national media partnerships with print and broadcast media for key NAC programming such as its regional Scene festivals, NAC Orchestra Tours and for prestigious national celebrations such as the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala. In 2008, Ms. Watson co-chaired the NAC’s strategic planning process and co-authored the NAC’s 2008-2013 strategic plan, “Performing for Canadians.”
Ms. Watson has more than 25 years experience as a senior executive, political advisor, and consultant. Prior to joining the NAC in 2001, she served as the Director of Communications at Export Development Canada, and held senior communications roles in the Office of the Speaker of the House of Commons and Canada Post Corporation.
Ms. Watson has served as a member of the Advancement Committee of the Board of Ashbury College; as a member of the Ottawa chapter of Gold Medal Plates fundraising Committee for Canadian Olympic athletes; as a Queen’s University Trustee Representative on the Agnes Etherington Art Centre Advisory Board; and as Vice-Chair of the External Relations and Development Committee of the Board of Queen’s University. She was also on the Organizing Committee for Ottawa’s 2016 One Young World conference, and served on the International Advisory Board of the Biennial of the Americas (2015). Currently she is a member of KCI’s Fundraising “Trends Advisory Board.”