Jayne Watson to Step Down as CEO of the National Arts Centre Foundation on May 31, 2023

The National Arts Centre (NAC) today announced that Jayne Watson will step down as CEO of the National Arts Centre Foundation on May 31, 2023.

Jayne Watson joined the NAC in 2001, serving as Director of Communications and Public Affairs until 2009 before she was appointed CEO of the Foundation. Under her leadership, the Foundation set new fundraising records – more than $125 million since taking the helm of the Foundation – and brought significant new sources of private philanthropy to the strategic priorities of the NAC, including support for Indigenous Theatre, the creation of new work, tours of the NAC Orchestra and theatre productions, and arts learning and engagement across Canada.

Jayne led the fundraising for the National Creation Fund, raising more than $20 million in investment capital for Canadian music, theatre, and dance creators from across Canada. This project is one of the most important initiatives the NAC has ever undertaken thanks to the generosity of the donors who Jayne engaged in this important effort.

“Serving as CEO of the National Arts Centre Foundation has been the privilege of a lifetime,” said Jayne Watson. “I will step down from this role with gratitude for the opportunity to have worked at Canada’s premier performing arts organization. I am honored to have worked alongside of some of the most talented artists, fundraisers, and arts leaders over the many years I worked here. I continue to be inspired by their vision and generosity.”


“Jayne has had a tremendous impact on the performing arts in this country,” said Christopher Deacon, President and CEO of the NAC. “When Jayne first took on the job of CEO of the Foundation, she came to me in my then role as Managing Director of the NAC Orchestra, and she said, ‘What do you want me to do to help the Orchestra?’ My answer was simple: ‘Get us back to international touring.’ Did she ever deliver! Tours to China, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Carnegie Hall were fully donor-funded thanks to Jayne’s powers of persuasion. We also toured across Canada thanks to donor support, again most of it raised by Jayne. We wish Jayne the best as she embarks of the next exciting chapter of her life. We will miss her dearly, but I have no doubt we will see her frequently in the seats of our performance halls.”

“Jayne Watson is the Gold Standard when it comes to arts fundraising,” said Susan Glass, Chair of the NAC Foundation Board. “The NAC always comes first in everything she does. Her skills as a connector of people, passions, principles, and ideas continue to benefit the Centre and Canada’s performing artists in countless ways. She is powerfully persuasive and genuine with boundless energy. She is an absolute pleasure to work with. We will miss her terribly.”

For more information about the process to find the next CEO of the NAC Foundation, please visit: https://nac-cna.ca/en/careers



Carl Martin
Senior Advisor, Strategy and Communications
National Arts Centre
613 291-8880


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