Jeff Melanson is an executive leader and prominent figure in the Canadian arts and culture community. For the last decade and a half, Jeff has worked in a number of well-known Canadian cities, facilitating, contributing and helping to grow the country’s arts community. Jeff currently leads Creative Change Management Consulting, a consulting firm that serves both the creative and business sectors.
Utilizing his extensive experience and creative entrepreneurship expertise, Jeff has committed his career to building stronger, more vibrant communities through the arts across the country.
Jeff served as the President and CEO of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO), which was established in 1922. Housed in Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto’s Entertainment District, Jeff and his team boosted attendance and patronage to well over 250,000 audience members in the TSO 2015/2016 season.
Jeff and his team also helped create a well-received TSO awareness campaign. Aimed at introducing live symphony music to a new generation, the program successfully brought 23,000 first-time attendees to TSO during the 2015-16 season.
While helming TSO, Jeff’s commitment to presenting the symphony to a new demographic resulted in 44 sold out shows in one season. As part of his ongoing efforts to expand the arts and culture community of Canada, Jeff spurred the creation of a weekly radio show (which he co-hosted) featuring TSO performances and behind the scenes content. “The Sunday Night with TSO” radio show remains number 1 in its time slot and boasts more than 43,000 regular listeners.
Before beginning his career in the cultural and fine arts community, Jeff attended the University of Manitoba, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Music in 1997. Jeff then went on to earn his Master’s in Business Administration in 1999 from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.
After his studies, Jeff Melanson worked as an Assistant Dean and then Dean at The Royal Conservatory of Music’s Community School in downtown Toronto. While at The Royal Conservatory, Jeff was responsible for strategic planning, business development, corporate fundraising, and curriculum development, coordination of academic programming, financial planning, and faculty performance reviews.
After spending six years at The Royal Conservatory, Jeff served as Executive Director of The National Ballet School. At the School, Jeff’s duties included strategic management, fundraising, marketing/development, board governance, new product/service development, human resources. Jeff was also charged with managing the school’s annual $22 million budget.
Before leading TSO, Jeff served as President of The Banff Centre. Located in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, The Banff Centre is one of the world’s largest creativity incubators, serving local, national and international artists, mathematicians, business leaders and innovators.
During his time at The Banff Centre, Jeff oversaw the annual $60 million operating budget and more than 570 full-time employees. Jeff and his team were also responsible for the creation of the Peter Lougheed Leadership Institute.
Jeff’s continued commitment to Canada’s arts and culture community has earned him a number of accolades and designations including Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University, Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Senior Resident at Massey College, and being named as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2009.
Jeff also volunteers as a Trustee for the National Guild for Community Arts Education in New York.