Creating a House of Dreams Together: A Q&A with Juniper Locilento

A smiling woman with brown wavy hair stands in front of a brick wall with her arms crossed.
Juniper Locilento, CEO, NAC Foundation © Photo: Virgil Knapp

Our new CEO, Juniper Locilento, joined the NAC Foundation on August 21. With 20 years of experience in philanthropy and non-profit leadership and a background in Opera she brings a unique perspective to her role.  

Can you share a pivotal moment or experience that inspired your passion for philanthropy, particularly in the arts?  

Yes, absolutely! I clearly remember walking into the newly built Opera House in Toronto for the first time. This project would never have been possible without the Canadian Opera Company's visionary donors. I realized at that moment that philanthropy can be a powerful catalyst for change, and I knew I wanted to play a role. 

How do Donors’ Circle supporters play a crucial role in supporting the arts?  

Donors are essential to ensuring that we at the NAC can realize our vision to be a “house of dreams” for the Canadian performing arts. Among many important things, your support means that we can continue to develop the performing arts through the work on the stage, and engage meaningfully with audiences and communities. 

What unique perspectives do you believe you bring to philanthropy, drawing from your training in the performing arts?  

Having worked in philanthropy to support healthcare, education and human services, I am thrilled to return to my first love: the performing arts. Like our donors, I have a deep appreciation for the work of artists and I believe that the arts are vital to the human experience. 

In your view, what is the most pressing issue facing the arts community today, and how do you hope to address it through your role at the NAC Foundation?  

The performing arts sector is still recovering from COVID-19 and continues to grapple with changing patterns and preferences among audiences. That’s why the NAC has committed to working with artists and arts organizations from across this land to revitalize our sector. Our role at the Foundation is to inspire generosity that can help fuel that revitalization. I am fortunate to work with an amazing team. Together we strive to offer a meaningful giving experience to each of our donors and we are always open to hearing from you to learn how we can make it even better! 

Which NAC performances are you most looking forward to this season?  

There are too many to mention! Each night, when I’m sitting in one of our magnificent theatres, I pinch myself that this is part of my job! 

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