Executive Director of the Ottawa Arts Council set to retire in June 2019 after 28 years at the helm

After serving as the Executive Director of the Ottawa Arts Council for close to 30 years, longtime arts advocate and administrator Peter Honeywell announced he will retire from his position following the 2019 Annual General Meeting on June 18, 2019.

A recipient of the Order of Ottawa in 2013, Honeywell’s career with the Council began in 1986 as a member of its board of directors, followed by his appointment to Executive Producer of the “Festival of the Arts” project from 1988 to 1990. In 1991, he became the Executive Director of the Ottawa Arts Council, bringing arts advocacy to the forefront of the Council’s mandate and mission, while representing artists and local arts organization’s best interests at the municipal level. Since then, he has dedicated his career to supporting the growth and success of established and emerging artists throughout the nation’s capital.

Among his career accomplishments is working with the Culture Manager to establish an arts grants program at the former City of Ottawa, building municipal arts support following amalgamation, and leading advocacy campaigns in both 2004 and 2008 to stop the devastation of the arts grants programs during city budget debates. He has championed the expansion of the Ottawa Arts Council’s Arts Awards Program which, since 1988, has awarded more than $300,000 to 190 professional artists and arts supporters, recognizing outstanding creative work and community impact.

“I feel very optimistic about the future of the Ottawa Arts Council and the direction of the arts in Ottawa; the changes over the past 30 years have been extraordinary,” says Honeywell. “The local producing arts community is central to the heart and soul of our city. Attitudes are changing and the benefits of the arts are now well documented. I look forward to seeing new energy, ideas and leadership move us in new directions.”

Recently, as a member of the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) Expansion and Arts Court Redevelop-ment Steering Committee, Honeywell was instrumental in the realization of a professional multi-disciplinary arts centre, assisting the OAG and Arts Court programming partners to achieve their goals through the redevelopment of Arts Court in Ottawa’s downtown core.

“Peter is seen as a steadfast advocate and visionary leader by the community and his peers,” says Julia Johnston, President of the Ottawa Arts Council Board of Directors. “His influence and contributions have had a significant and enduring impact on the organization’s growth and the community to which he is so devoted, and we thank him for all he has done and will undoubtedly continue to do to support and encourage our local arts sector. On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, we are grateful for his years of leadership and wish Peter all the best in his retirement and future endeavours.”

A Celebratory event to honour Peter Honeywell’s esteemed career will take place prior to his retirement. The position vacancy will be posted publicly on March 18, 2019, with the intention to have his successor in place by early June 2019.

About the Ottawa Arts Council
The Ottawa Arts Council is an arts umbrella organization founded in 1982, following a recom-mendation by the City of Ottawa Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Arts. For over thirty five years, the organization has represented the interests of Ottawa artists and is dedicated to strengthening our membership and Ottawa’s arts and culture sector. For more information about the Council and its community impact, visit ottawaartscouncil.ca.