The National Arts Centre has confirmed Peter Herrndorf (72), will be stepping down as the National Arts Centre’s president and CEO effective June 2, 2018.
“The National Arts Centre is a national treasure, and my role was to create the conditions to allow artists to dream, and to do their very best work,” Herrndorf said in press release statement.
“It has been a privilege to serve Canadian artists, and to help them define who we are as a people”… “Leading the National Arts Centre for the last 18 years continues to be the greatest joy of my life.”
Herrndorf started working for CBC in Winnipeg in 1965. He moved to Toronto in 1967 to take a job with the CBC as current affairs producer, and between 1974 to 1983, he held various roles including head of TV current affairs programming, VP of corporate planning, and VP and GM of CBC’s English-language radio and television networks.
He became publisher of Toronto Life magazine between 1983 and 1992, and served three terms as chairman and CEO of TVOntario through the 1990s.
Herrndorf joined the NAC in 1999, and he quickly became pivotal in establishing the NAC as a central hub for performing arts in Canada. During his first year, he announced the appointment of famed violinist and conductor Pinchas Zukerman as music director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra. To help fund his ambitions for the renewal at the NAC, he started the NAC Foundation — a wildly successful fundraising initiative that has raised over $140 million from the private sector. He was also instrumental in developing and expanding the NAC the Culture Days Festival, which in 2014, attracted 1.6 million participants through 7,000 events across 80 cities and towns across Canada.
To mark 50 year anniversary of the NAC, Herrndorf secured $225-million in federal funds to renovate its ageing performance halls and facilities. Most recently, the NAC also announced a new Department of Indigenous Theatre which will be led by actor and playwright Kevin Loring. The department will open in 2019.
This announcement marks the end of his 18-year role as head of Ottawa’s crown concert hall.
The NAC has not yet named his successor.