National Arts Centre Foundation honours Peter Herrndorf by creating $1.2 million CEO’s National Fund in support of performing arts programs across Canada

From press release:

Ottawa, Canada – The National Arts Centre Foundation today honoured the longtime, visionary leader of the National Arts Centre (NAC) by creating a $1.2 million CEO’s National Fund in support of the Centre’s performing arts programs across Canada.

Since his appointment as President and CEO of the National Arts Centre in 1999,
Mr. Herrndorf has upheld his strategic vision of a “national” performing arts centre that lives up to its name, one that sets high artistic standards and includes arts education as a core priority. The NAC recently announced the extension of his contract until 2013.

Spearheaded by the generous contributions of lead donors Grant Burton, Kiki Delaney, Julia E. Foster and Gail O’Brien and thanks to the major contributions of more than 85 others across Canada, the CEO’s National Fund currently stands at $1.2 million to support performing arts and education initiatives from coast to coast – and it’s still growing!

The National Arts Centre and the National Arts Centre Foundation aim to grow this fund to support a wide range of performing arts initiatives that encourage artistic excellence and share performance, creation and learning with all Canadians.

“Peter Herrndorf has not only played a transformational role at the National Arts Centre by restoring its vision and direction, but he has also brought attention to the vital significance of arts and culture to Canadians in all parts of the country,” said Jayne Watson, CEO of the National Arts Centre Foundation. “His dedication has led to the development of exciting new programming, national showcases, and innovative youth and education initiatives … and led us to create the CEO’S Fund in his honour, geared specifically to support and sustain his vision.”

The CEO’s National Fund will support activities that:

  • touch communities across the country and provide unique educational opportunities through national tours by the NAC Orchestra, such as the tour of the Atlantic provinces later this year;
  • give voice and prominence to hundreds of artists from each region of Canada through national showcases, such as the biennial Scene festivals;
  • engage Canadians “wherever they live” through live webcasts and podcasts;

The public can support the National Arts Centre’s country-wide programs by listening to NAC podcasts, visiting the NACmusicbox, attending an NAC production or co-production in their city or by making a donation to the CEO’s National Fund.

For more information about supporting the CEO’s Fund, please contact Jayne Watson, CEO, National Arts Centre Foundation at or 613-947-7000, ext. 331, ot visit


As the National Arts Centre’s President and CEO, Peter Herrndorf has worked to strengthen the National Arts Centre’s national role, as well as its youth and education activities across Canada. Under his leadership, the NAC has resumed regular performance and education tours by the NAC Orchestra; presented biannual “Scene” Festivals in the National Capital Region featuring artists from specific regions of the country, including Atlantic Scene (2003), Alberta Scene (2005), Quebec Scene (2007), BC Scene (2009) and Prairie Scene (Spring  2011); and created the National Arts Centre’s Summer Music Institute, which has trained 581 of the world’s best young musicians from 33 countries since 1999.

He has also been instrumental in the creation of the Institute for Orchestral Studies, a unique apprenticeship program that allows young musicians to gain practical experience with the NAC Orchestra; fostered artistic exchange through dozens of co-productions with theatres and dance companies across Canada; and attracted a dynamic artistic leadership team that includes Pinchas Zukerman, Wajdi Mouawad, Cathy Levy, Peter Hinton, Heather Moore, and Simone Deneau.

During Mr. Herrndorf’s tenure, the National Arts Centre has also enjoyed surpluses in nine of the last 10 years, celebrated strong subscription sales, and created a NAC Foundation with a board comprised of prominent Canadians from across the country. Since its establishment in 2001, the NAC Foundation has raised more than $50 million to support the National Arts Centre’s artistic and educational work across Canada.

Mr. Herrndorf became the NAC’s President and CEO after a remarkable career that included working as Vice-President of English-language television for the CBC, Publisher of Toronto Life magazine, and Chairman and CEO of TVOntario. He is a graduate of the University of Manitoba, a law graduate from Dalhousie University, and a graduate of the Harvard Business School.