BANFF – After leading the Banff Centre since 2015, President and CEO Janice Price is ready for the next step and her final year at the head of the organization.
After completing her first five-year contract in 2019, Price negotiated with the board for an additional four years with the commitment that her second term would be her last.
“I am a big believer that it is healthy for organizations to bring in new leadership, new ideas,” Price said, adding that she was ready to spend more time with her family. “I’m looking forward to some more free time for travel and other fun pursuits.”
The road to the Banff Centre took Price across North America. Born and raised in Toronto, she would serve as the director of marketing and special projects for the Stratford Festival from 1992 to 1996.
She would also serve in senior positions at the Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts in New York, at Massey Hall in Toronto and the Kimmel Centre for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.
“A number of my colleagues said that Janice is a big city girl, I am not sure I can imagine her in Banff,” Price said. “The reality is that the world comes here. Not only is it beautiful and we are blessed to live here, I don’t feel at all that I am not at the centre of the most important global conversations and artistic work that is happening.”
Through the years, Price says she always enjoyed the work due to its reach across the country.
“For me, it was about the scale, the national scale, the breadth of the work we do.”
Under her leadership at the Banff Centre, she oversaw the creation of a new strategic plan, the renovation of the Lloyd Hall residence, and growing the endowment fund from $40 million to $55 million during her tenure.
“We started with the beautiful renovation of the residence on campus that was transformed to an amazing place for artists, visitors and guests to stay,” Price said. “A crowning achievement, which is the completion of the revitalization of the Jenny Belzberg Theatre, that has been a highlight.”
At the beginning of COVID-19, the Banff Centre temporarily laid off roughly 400 people which made up about 75 per cent of its workforce. In June 2020, the Banff Centre permanently laid off 280 of those workers. The pandemic impacted its conferences and hospitality services as well as in person classes and live performances.
Looking ahead to her next step, Price hopes to continue working with various boards across Canada.
“I have served on boards, mostly dedicated to my sector. I will definitely be looking at board service,” Price said. “In both the non-profit and social services and education area but also some corporate board work once I have the time to dedicate to that.”
Over the course of her last 10 months with the organization before her contract expires in March 2023, Price will prepare for the next person to take over.
“I worked with the board in helping them identify a shortlist of experienced search firms in the field of arts, culture and post-secondary education,” Price said. “The board is hopeful I will be able to overlap the last few months of my tenure with the new, announced and on-site Banff president so I can work with them on the transition.”
What will last for Price after the contract ends is the time she spent not only at the Banff Centre, but in the community itself.
“It is bittersweet. It is really such a special place and an amazing gift that I was given to spend the last years of my art administration at such an amazing job in this beautiful place,” Price said. “There is nothing like Banff. It is unique in the world. When you do what I do for a living, it is the best job in the world.”