The board of directors of ArtsBC announced today (December 18) the appointment of Neil Harrower as the organization's new executive director, effective January 13, 2014.
Harrower, originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, has worked in arts administration since 1995 with such organizations as Vancouver's Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival, the Vancouver International Writers and Readers Festival, Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and Granville Island's Waterfront Theatre. After several years as director of touring with Ballet BC, Harrower moved to Nelson, BC, where he served on the board of the BC Touring Council as board member and treasurer for nearly a decade. He was Capitol Theatre's executive and artistic director for several years until launching his own arts consultancy firm in 2012.
He became Nelson and District Arts Council's (NDAC) executive director in 2013 and will stay on in this role concurrent with his consulting work and his new position with ArtsBC. Harrower will work from his home-based office in Nelson.
Harrower replaces former ArtsBC executive director, Sheryl McGraw, who the board of directors commend for her exceptional service, dedication, and commitment to arts and culture in BC. A press release issued by the board today states:
"Despite challenging financial times, Sheryl organized and coordinated the very successful Sustainability Semesters, played a key role in the Arts Coalition of BC, a coalition of a group of BC’s arts service organizations, created and updated BC Arts News, organized BC Arts and Culture Week and Arts Champions awards, in 2013 commissioning of three BC artists to produce original artwork for the award. She increased attendance at conferences in Richmond, New Westminster and Vernon and increased membership and benefits to members. We wish her all the best in her continuing education and know she will always be a champion for the arts in BC."
Harrower is eager to start his new position with ArtsBC, seeing it as the evolution of a career that has revealed, through longevity and dedication, a passion to support and promote the value of artists and arts organizations.
ArtsBC/The Assembly of British Columbia Arts Councils is a provincial arts service organization with a mandate to support and develop the central role of arts and culture in building sustainable, vibrant and economically diverse communities in BC. For more information about ArtsBC, visit artsbc.org.