Following an extensive search, the Board of Trustees of The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG) is pleased to announce Donna Raetsen-Kemp will be the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The search was conducted by the Board of the RMG, with assistance from Peter Spratt, Vice President of Collins Barrow.
“Over the past five years, the RMG has made great progress in sharing and engaging with our communities in the continuing exploration of modern and contemporary art,” said Dr. Christine Castle on behalf of the RMG Board. “As The RMG enters the next phase of its development, we are delighted to welcome Donna Raetsen-Kemp as CEO. We are confident Donna¹s cultural vision and leadership will guide the Gallery in new and exciting directions by inspiring our enormously creative staff and volunteers.”
Raetsen-Kemp was selected from a diverse and high profile pool of individuals who had a strong knowledge of Canadian art, demonstrated cultural leadership, as well as an ability to engage and connect with their communities. Additionally, candidates were considered on the basis of their ability to secure funding and connect with businesses, the Board and other stakeholders.
Previously, Raetsen-Kemp was the CEO of the Station Gallery, Whitby (2005-present) where her cultural vision saw overall attendance increase, six fold to 40,000 annual visitors, as well as the development of a robust education program offering 400 classes annually. Her implementation of fund development strategies saw revenue increase, while maintaining the delicate balance of artistic integrity and business stability. Additionally, Raetsen-Kemp is well connected within the cultural sector and involved with the International Council of Museums, the Canadian Association of Museum Officers and Directors, the Canadian Museums Association and the Ontario Association of Art Galleries.
“I enthusiastically welcome Donna as our new leader. I know her to be talented and thoughtful and I am confident in her abilities and excited for the future of the RMG,” said Olinda Casimiro, Interim CEO and Director of Finance of the RMG.
“The RMG is not only one of the leading public art galleries in Ontario, it’s a cultural hub and people place. That’s compelling to me.” said Donna Raetsen-Kemp, “I’m truly honoured to follow in the footsteps of progressive RMG leaders. The visionary Board and brilliance of the RMG team have set the stage beautifully for this next phase of transformation.”
Raetsen-Kemp’s people-first leadership philosophy will engage the community and mobilize the staff of the RMG to further expand and develop bold programming that continues to tell the story of modern and contemporary Canadian art.
Raetsen-Kemp will begin at the RMG on 17 August 2015.