Koffler Centre of the Arts is delighted to announce that Matthew Jocelyn has been appointed General Director of its organization. Jocelyn will begin his role as General Director Designate on July 24, 2023 and will assume the full position starting October 2, 2023. The current Interim Director Anthony Sargent CBE will remain in place until Jocelyn takes the leadership position in October. Jocelyn will be based in Toronto and report to the Koffler Centre of the Arts Board of Directors. In this role, Jocelyn will act as the face, voice and inspirational spokesperson for the organization and its
programming, leading the creation, delivery and expansion of a coherent multi-disciplinary programming strategy consistent with Koffler’s values and mission. Jocelyn will ensure the promotion of culturally significant artists, both emerging and established, as well as develop programming that is accessible and engaging to people of all backgrounds. He will also play a crucial role in developing and sustaining the gallery’s networks and partnerships with other cultural institutions and deepening
community connections within Toronto and abroad.
Prior to joining, Jocelyn was the Artistic and General Director of Canadian Stage, Canada’s leading not-for-profit contemporary theatre company. Jocelyn brings significant experience in both performing arts and creative directorship to his new position at the Koffler. After studying at Mount Allison and McGill universities, Jocelyn went on to complete his studies at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. In 1982 Jocelyn moved to Paris where he co-founded the Théâtre de l’Autre Rive. He has also held numerous teaching positions at the École Normale Supérieure, the American University of Paris and more recently at the University of Toronto. During his 28 years in France, Jocelyn also worked extensively at the Opéra national de Paris, and in 1998 was appointed General Director of the multi-disciplinary Atelier du Rhin in Alsace. In 2008, Jocelyn was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture. As an opera librettist, his work has been produced around the world, including most recently at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In 2016, MacLean’s magazine called him “one of this country’s most brilliant creative forces – and one of its most controversial.”
"The Koffler has been extremely fortunate to have the very talented and experienced Anthony Sargent CBE as our Interim Director, and it was hard to imagine a successor who could possibly step into the role that Anthony has filled so impressively and effectively during his tenure. But in Matthew Jocelyn we have found another spectacularly accomplished and visionary leader who can continue and expand on the multi-disciplinary programming and partnerships, locally and internationally, that are becoming the hallmark of the organization. Matthew is a brilliant and highly seasoned artistic and general director, and we warmly welcome him to the Koffler,” said Helen Burstyn C.M., Board Chair.
Speaking in anticipation of Jocelyn’s tenure at the Koffler, Brett Ledger, Chair of the Search Committee at Koffler Centre of the Arts, says, “Our Committee was fundamentally looking for brilliant artistic vision and brave, empathetic leadership. And in Matthew, I think we have found that, and much more. Matthew is an established and widely respected arts leader, both in Canada and internationally. As an artist, he has always demonstrated a truly creative and innovative approach, and we look forward to his leadership as the Koffler continues to expand its programming and reach.”
“Ever since I moved to Toronto in 2015 and first got to know Matthew Jocelyn, I have admired his formidable intellectual depth, his omnivorous cultural interests, his easily confident internationalism, and - as a friend and colleague – his generosity of spirit and his deliciously irreverent sense of fun!,” said Anthony Sargent CBE, Interim Director. “I cannot imagine anyone to whom I would more happily pass the thrillingly exciting torch of evolving the Koffler Centre of the Arts into a new future at a new time - more ambitious, working on a wider canvas, and engaging Torontonian, Canadian and global artists and communities ever more inclusively.”
Matthew Jocelyn, General Director Designate, said “The new artistic mission of Koffler Arts, so beautifully shepherded in by Anthony Sargent, strikes an acutely resonant bell, and corresponds exactly to what I want to focus my energy on at this time: the development of a Toronto-based, national- and global-thinking creative nexus, imbued with deep humanist values and true artistic mettle. This is a golden opportunity to continue to promote an audacious conversation between the visual, literary and performing arts and the world we live in. It’s a thrill to be joining this unique organisation with its long history of spirited artistic, pedagogical and community engagement.”
The Koffler Centre of the Arts graciously acknowledges Daniel Weinzweig from Searchlight Partners as
having led the search for the new Director.
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Photo credit: Cybèle Young