Skip to main content

Arts Toronto's Power Plant gallery gets first woman director

Gaëtane Verna

Handout

For the first time in its 34-year history, the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto is appointing a woman as its director.

The gallery announced Monday that Gaëtane Verna, currently director of the Musée d'art de Joliette, in Joliette, Que., would take on the high-profile post, culminating an international search lasting more than eight months.

Verna, who takes up the new job in March, 2012, succeeds New Zealand-born Gregory Burke. After a five-year stint, he left the not-for-profit art gallery in late May after announcing his resignation in February.

Story continues below advertisement

Power Plant assistant director Christy Thompson, serving as acting director since Burke's departure, will continue as acting head until Verna relocates. All six previous directors at the Power Plant, generally regarded as Canada's premier showcase for international contemporary art, have been men.

Born in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, the fluently bilingual Verna has been at Joliette since 2006. Previously she was curator at the Foreman Gallery of Bishop's University in Lennoxville, Que. She has, among other degrees, an MA in art history from the Sorbonne in Paris.

The Power Plant, which recently completed a $750,000 revamp of its Harbourfront Centre headquarters, does not acquire or sell art; rather its main task is to organize and present themed exhibitions of cutting-edge art borrowed from local and international sources.

While always a prestige venue, the gallery – which has its own board of directors but its budget approved by Harbourfront – has struggled with attendance in recent years, a situation it hopes to rectify next year thanks to the Hal Jackman Foundation, which recently announced it would cover costs associated with admission to provide free entry.

The arrangement with the Hal Jackman Foundation was orchestrated by acting director Thompson.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter