Farewell to Julia Foster: NAC Board Chair wraps up successful term

Julia Foster in Iqaluit during the NAC Orchestra’s 2012 Northern Tour. © Fred Catroll

For eight years, Julia Foster brought her intellect, her business skills, and her love of the arts to the National Arts Centre as the Chair of Board of Trustees. Julia’s second term recently ended in July, after a fond farewell from the NAC’s staff, artists and her fellow board members.

“She is the best Chair of any arts board in Canada,” said Peter Herrndorf, the President and CEO of the NAC. The NAC experienced exciting growth during her leadership including Orchestra tours to the North, Atlantic Canada, China and soon to the United Kingdom. Julia’s deep affection for theatre resulted in a renewed focus in both English and French Theatre, and the renaissance of the Resident Acting Company in English Theatre, and the creation of NAC Presents, a new all-Canadian singer-songwriter series of contemporary music.

Julia came to the NAC with deep corporate and arts experience. She has served as the Chair of the Ontario Arts Council and Stratford Theatre Festival, as well as her recent appointment as Chair of York University in Toronto. That experience allowed her to support the NAC’s management team to build big projects while always balancing the books at the same time.

Perhaps Julia’s biggest achievement was presiding over the NAC’s new brand. Unveiled on a crisp and bright winter morning in February 2014, the NAC’s new logo symbolizes a spotlight shining on the national stage across the country. “Canada is our stage,” is the NAC’s new tagline, a small piece of poetry that Julia Foster is very proud of.

After two terms and eight fulfilling years, Julia will be building a legacy at the NAC through the Julia Foster Fund, both her family and many of her friends and colleagues have made a significant gift to the NAC Foundation to help nurture the next generation of artists that grace our stage, as well as stages across the country. Thank you Julia!

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