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THE SCOOP | The National Youth Orchestra (NYO) Announces A New CEO

By Anya Wassenberg on October 11, 2022

The National Youth Orchestra at Koerner Hall (Image courtesy of the NYO)
The National Youth Orchestra at Koerner Hall (Image courtesy of the NYO)

The National Youth Orchestra (NYO) Canada has announced the appointment of Christie Gray as its new CEO. Gray will take up the position November 10, 2022.

In spring 2022, the NYO Canada announced the retirement of Barbara Smith, who had guided the organization for two decades as CEO.

Christie comes to the NYO from Sistema Toronto, where she currently serves as Executive Director. The non-profit group is dedicated to bringing music education to kids in under-served communities.

  • She’s served as Executive Director of Sistema Toronto since 2016, after an 11-month stint at Managing Director;
  • She held a variety of positions in the Royal Conservatory of Music, including Senior Manager, Market Development, from 2003 to 2009, and 2010 to 2015.


“Christie’s passion and expertise for music education were evident from our first interview. While we attracted interest from across the country, Christie stood out for her commitment to youth, her ability to build NYO’s fundraising capacity, and her track record of introducing diverse communities to classical music,” said Kevin Latimer, NYO’s Chair of the Board.

“I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to lead Canada’s leading youth training orchestra and look forward to working with staff, the Board, students and faculty to carry out Barbara’s legacy,” said Christie. “I see incredible potential to engage under-represented groups in the performance and enjoyment of classical music. NYO is well positioned to be a leader in inspiring greater diversity and removing barriers.”

“My heart will always be with NYO and it’s a true honour to leave the organization in Christie’s most capable hands. I’ll be a keen audience member for many years to come,” says Barbara Smith.

Gray was chosen after a national search process.


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