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New appointments to UTSC arts management program bring wealth of experience

Robert Sirman and Marcus Mitchell, two promiment members of the Canadian arts community, recently joined UTSC's arts management program. (Photos by Martin Lipman and Adam Rankin)

Two prominent members of the Canadian arts community have joined the University of Toronto Scarborough’s arts management program.

Robert Sirman will begin a three-year term as ACM Senior Fellow in Arts Management on January 1, 2015 while Marcus Mitchell is appointed ACM Fellow in Arts Management for the 2014-15 academic year.

"Both Robert and Mitchell bring a wealth of talent and expertise in the arts management field," says Program Director Sherri Helwig. "Robert's contributions will help address a need for strong research specific to arts management in Canada, while Mitchell’s gift for translating lessons learned within his own successful practice into innovative learning opportunities will allow our students to grapple with current, real-world issues they will encounter in their careers."

In their positions Sirman and Marcus will lead or contribute to courses, work with faculty and students on special projects and improve understanding of arts management in Canada through their professional practice, research and writing.

Sirman, a former director of the Canada Council for the Arts, says he’s happy to be back at the University he has strong ties to having received his master’s in sociology at U of T and also having chaired UTSC’s Arts Management Advisory Council. 

“I’m delighted that my appointment will allow me to continue a life-long relationship with the University of Toronto. It’s deeply satisfying to reconnect and serve the program in this new capacity,” he says.

Before serving two four-year terms as Director of the Canada Council for the Arts, Sirman served for 15 years as co-CEO of Canada’s National Ballet School where he oversaw the school’s operations while leading an award-winning $100 million capital expansion program. His distinguished career also includes 20 years of experience with the Government of Ontario including Director of Operations at the Ontario Arts Council and Senior Policy Advisor with the Ministry of Culture.

Marcus is the founding artistic director of the award-winning Acting Up Stage Company, recognized as one of the leaders in musical theatre in Canada. He was also associate producer at Luminato for six years where he worked on international theatre, dance and music projects. Marcus also produced the 2014 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction and served as production coordinator for the It’s Always Something Variety Show that ran at the Princess of Wales and Elgin theatres.

“I’ve seen first-hand how the graduates of this program have gone on to make a significant impact in many organizations in the arts industry,” says Marcus. “It’s a privilege to play a role in preparing the next generation of arts administrators.”

For the past 30 years UTSC’s arts management program has trained students for careers in galleries, museums, dance and opera companies, theatres, orchestras, film and music festivals, and other related organizations and industries. The program combines arts-specific business skills in marketing strategic planning and not-for-profit financial management.

These new fellowships build on the Department of Arts, Culture and Media’s successful visiting artist program that brings distinguished figures from the arts and media to UTSC.

© University of Toronto Scarborough