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Art Gallery of Ontario Appoints Bernita Kiefte as Executive Director, Marketing and Communications

(Toronto, April 7, 2010) The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Bernita Kiefte as Executive Director, Marketing and Communications, effective May 3, 2010.

Kiefte brings a powerful blend of leadership strengths to the AGO from marketing, business development, coaching and organizational development, as well as volunteer engagement in arts communities.

“I am very pleased that Bernita will be joining the Art Gallery of Ontario at this point in our history,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, the Michael and Sonja Koerner Director, and CEO. “The AGO is experiencing a great moment in time, and we are confident that Bernita’s expertise in marketing and branding will help us reach a bigger and wider audience and position the AGO as a place where everyone feels welcome.”

“The AGO has a phenomenal story to tell and I am thrilled to be joining its dynamic and dedicated team,” said Kiefte. “I look forward to partnering with my colleagues to discover innovative and exciting ways of inviting more people to enjoy all that the Gallery has to offer.”

Bernita Kiefte’s newly created executive role reflects the AGO’s focus on drawing new audiences to the gallery, as well as growing all lines of business. As the Executive Director, Marketing and Communications, Kiefte will report to the Director and CEO, Matthew Teitelbaum and will be a member of the AGO’s leadership team. In this capacity, she will lead and be accountable for the development and execution of the Gallery’s marketing and communications plan.

A seasoned professional, Kiefte has built and led innovative business development and marketing teams, programs and technology solutions as a senior leader within the telecommunications industry. She was a key player in developing a technology start-up company, and for four years, contributed as a consultant in financial services to support the success of information and advanced technologies, life sciences and healthcare, and media and entertainment. Her strategic expertise has frequently been leveraged in these areas: business and organizational development, innovation, commercialization, visioning, employee engagement, customer experience, change, communications and branding.

She will be joining the AGO from Performance Excelerators where, as President, she has thrived in multiple roles – as leadership coach, consultant, educator, writer and speaker. Since early 2007, her clients have spanned all leadership levels in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Kiefte earned her MBA and pursued PhD studies at the Richard Ivey School of Business. Since then, she has earned her Associate Certified Coach (ACC) designation through the International Coach Federation after training with Adler International Learning and OISE, University of Toronto. She is an active member of the International Coach Federation, the Center for Creative Leadership, the NeuroLeadership Institute and the International Positive Psychology Association.

ABOUT THE AGO

With a permanent collection of more than 79,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. In 2008, with a stunning new design by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, the AGO opened its doors to the public amid international acclaim. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase made of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block along the Gallery’s façade; and the feature staircase, spiraling up through the roof of Walker Court and into the new contemporary galleries above. From the extensive Group of Seven collection to the dramatic new African art gallery; from the cutting-edge works in the Vivian & David Campbell Centre for Contemporary Art to Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, a highlight of the celebrated Thomson Collection, there is truly something for everyone at the AGO.

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For more images and more information, contact: Antonietta Mirabelli, 416-979-6660 ext. 454, antonietta_mirabelli@ago.net

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