MacLaren welcomes Lisa Daniels as new Executive Director


MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie ON

The MacLaren Art Centre’s Board of Directors is excited to announce the appointment of Lisa Daniels as its new Executive Director. Daniels began a gradual, hybrid transition (remote and on-site) into the role on May 17, 2021. She will begin working fulltime in Barrie on September 7, 2021.

“Lisa is an enthusiastic and passionate arts leader with over twenty years of progressive experience working at the senior management level in the cultural and regional public art gallery sector in Ontario and Alberta. She is a proven leader with expertise in synthesizing the organizational health of the gallery with the artistic vision and cultural dynamics of the local community,” noted Board Chair Michael MacMillan. “Lisa stood out because of her track record in providing the strategic leadership, creative inspiration, and sound management needed to successfully move the gallery through its next phase of development and into the future. She is also an established curator and has curated numerous contemporary and historical exhibitions, including over fifty local and regional artists. We look forward to working together with Lisa in facilitating a renewed dynamic between art and community in the region,” commented MacMillan.

“I have long admired the innovative programs, exhibitions, and achievements of the MacLaren Art Centre and I am honoured to have the opportunity to build on that accomplished history. I am particularly looking forward to working with the passionate and creative staff, Board of Directors, volunteers, and the broader community—to actively work together to make space for diverse narratives in a way that values and empowers different worldviews and forms of knowledge,” Daniels commented. “I am very excited to get to know the artists living and working in the region and exploring purposeful partnerships as we work together to strengthen our creative and dynamic community.”

Daniels earned a BFA from NSCAD University, her MA in Art History with a diploma in Curatorial Studies & Visual Culture from York University and is currently completing her PhD in Art History & Visual Culture at Western University with a focus on the curatorial and community role of the regional public art gallery.

In her most recent position as Director/Senior Curator at the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery in Sarnia, Daniels successfully led the gallery team and community through an artistic and organizational revitalization that dramatically increased community engagement with innovative exhibitions and projects, ancillary programming, and community partnerships while at the same time building recognition for the gallery across the province. This renewed energy provided the leverage to move forward with the new gallery project; to secure maximum funding from all levels of government; to achieve fundraising and sponsorship targets; and to create the momentum needed to realize the purpose built, category A gallery in Sarnia’s downtown core. With a focus on building meaningful and inclusive partnerships, her ability to build relationships with artists, collectors, key stakeholders, industry leaders, and the general public is significant.

Please join us in welcoming Lisa to the MacLaren Art Centre and to Barrie/Simcoe County.

Image courtesy of Lisa Daniels

About the MacLaren:
Today and every day, we acknowledge the land we are on. This land is the traditional territory of the Anishinaabek, which include the Odawa, Ojibwe and Pottawatomi Nations, collectively known as the Three Fires Confederacy. The local bands consist of the Chippewa Tri-Council, who are made up of Beausoleil First Nation, Georgina Island First Nation and Rama First Nation. We would also like to acknowledge the Wendat Nation (Huron) who occupied these lands prior to the middle of the 17th century. We also recognize the enduring presence of all First Nations, Métis and the Inuit peoples.

The MacLaren Art Centre is the regional public art gallery serving Barrie, Simcoe County and the surrounding area. The MacLaren is housed in an award-winning building that combines a renovated 1917 Carnegie Library with a contemporary addition designed by Siamak Hariri in 2001. A cultural and architectural landmark in downtown Barrie, the complex includes multiple galleries, an education centre, a garden patio, café, gift shop and framing department.

A must-see travel destination in Ontario, the Gallery showcases a wide range of artwork by contemporary Canadian artists. Exhibitions highlight artwork by regional artists along with works from its significant Permanent Collection. Programming is year-round, from exhibitions to special events to workshops, with activities for all ages.

Media Contact: Tania Grégoire, Marketing & Events Manager
705-720-1044 ext. 227 or


About the MacLaren Art Centre
The MacLaren Art Centre is the regional public art gallery serving the residents of Barrie, the County of Simcoe and the surrounding area. The Gallery presents a year-round programme of innovative exhibitions, education activities and special events.

As a registered charity, the MacLaren Art Centre relies on public and private support for its operations and programmes. The MacLaren gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of its Members, Patrons, Donors, Sponsors, Partners, the City of Barrie, the Ontario Arts Council, the Government of Ontario, the Canada Council for the Arts and Canadian Heritage.

Gallery Location
37 Mulcaster Street, Barrie, Ontario, L4M 3M2, 705-721-9696
From Toronto: From highway 400 north, 90 km north of Toronto, take the Dunlop Street East exit to Mulcaster Street and turn left. The MacLaren is one block north on the right hand at the intersection of Collier Street and Mulcaster Street.

Gallery Admission
Suggested admission $5

Summer Hours:
Wheelchair accessible