Kirstin Evenden has resigned as President and CEO of Calgary’s Glenbow Museum, less than two months after declaring she was confident the museum’s woes could be turned around, on the day of the museum’s Annual General Meeting.
A news release sent out Tuesday morning announced that Donna Livingstone has been appointed interim president and CEO of the Glenbow, in the wake of Evenden’s resignation. Livingstone is currently the director, cultural and community programming, with Libraries and Cultural Resources at the University of Calgary.
“The Board of Governors believes the organization, with Donna’s leadership and management skills, has a unique opportunity to reset and refresh its place of significance in the arts and culture community,” read the release, adding there is a need to revitalize the Glenbow’s relationships with staff, funders and other key supporters in the community.
“To do that,” the release continued, “it needs leadership that is experienced and comfortable with the type of organizational change required to embrace new potential opportunities and re-engage core constituencies in the pursuit of those opportunities.”
In an interview shortly before the AGM, Evenden sounded confident about the museum’s future, despite an annual operating deficit which reached $1.67-million for 2011-12, and the decision last summer to implement layoffs and cut hours in an effort to reduce operating costs. The measures affected 14 staff members, and resulted in the museum staying closed on Mondays.
“We’ve just completed the second year of our strategic plan ... which I’m excited about because we’ve made some really great progress in terms of how we’re positioning our work in the organization for the community,” she told the Globe and Mail a few hours before the AGM on Sept. 12, when the operating deficit for 2011-12 was revealed. “With regard to the plan, we went out with the intention to on the one hand create a more visible, accessible, dynamic connection to our collections and our exhibitions as an organization ... and on the other hand ensure our financial sustainability. So those two aspects of our mission are linked and we don’t take our eye off of either of them, is really the intent of the plan.”
Evenden was with the Glenbow for 19 years; the past four as president and CEO. “The Board of Governors of the Glenbow thanks Kirstin for her many contributions over the years and wishes her the very best in the future,” the news release read.