Sanjay Shahani

Executive Director, Edmonton Arts Council/AB

Sanjay Shahani is an arts professional who has worked in the arts for more than 25 years. He has produced documentaries such as Don't Pity Me, Jaromír Skrivánek, and the series Different, Yet the Same: A Look at Canadian Cultures Today. He has also produced theatre and is especially pleased to have contributed to Twisted Metal and Mermaids Tears, a community-engaged, professional theatre work that represented the plurality of South Riverdale in Toronto. Sanjay has contributed to the growth and development of arts organizations in South Asia and North America. He is particularly proud of his stint as the founding Chair of the Prismatic Arts Festival in Halifax. Prismatic is a multidisciplinary arts festival that is dedicated to advancing the work of artists of colour and Indigenous artists. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at the National Arts Centre.

Most recently, Sanjay was the Strategy Lead for Arts and Culture at the Ontario Trillium Foundation, designing the foundation’s arts and culture investment strategy. Before being appointed to lead the foundation’s strategy, he oversaw province-wide granting to the sector. Prior to joining the foundation, Sanjay was a Theatre Officer at the Canada Council for the Arts and Community and Multidisciplinary Arts Officer at the Ontario Arts Council (OAC). At the OAC he developed Multi-Arts Projects Program as a response to the growing intercultural creative expression of artists and arts organizations from culturally diverse and Indigenous communities.

He is currently the Executive Director of the Edmonton Arts Council (EAC). Just over 17 months ago, Edmonton City Council directed the EAC to develop the next cultural plan for City. Sanjay led the EAC’s partnership with the Edmonton Heritage Council and Arts Habitat Edmonton, oversaw the building of Connections & Exchanges: A 10-Year Plan To Transform Arts and Heritage In Edmonton.Connections & Exchanges was approved by Edmonton City Council in October 2018.

Besides his artistic work, Sanjay has done scholarly work in education and cultural anthropology. As an educator, he has taught at post-secondary institutions in North America.

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