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News / January 23, 2019

David Balzer to Step Down As Editor-in-Chief and Co-Publisher of Canadian Art

After three years in the role, Balzer will end his tenure in March

The Canadian Art Foundation, which publishes Canadian Art, announced today that David Balzer will leave his position as editor-in-chief and co-publisher of the magazine at the end of March. Balzer will be departing to finish his forthcoming book; in the immediate term, he will be taking up an artist and teaching residency at Quest University in Squamish, BC. He will continue his association with Canadian Art as a contributing editor.

Balzer joined Canadian Art as assistant editor in 2010, assuming the role of editor-in-chief in January 2016. During his three-year tenure, he established a permanent position for an Indigenous editor-at-large, created full-time quarterly editorial residencies for emerging writers, undertook a total redesign of Canadian Art’s logo, print publication and website, and grew digital engagement substantially. He also led Canadian Art to gold medals at the Digital Publishing Awards and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards, as well as multiple nominations at the National Magazine Awards.

“I am beyond grateful to have had this opportunity and couldn’t have done it without the smart, inspiring and, frankly, brave editors and writers who have created and shared this vision with me,” said Balzer in a statement. “Independent, critical writing and journalism about contemporary art are at the foundation of my professional values. I am forever honoured to have gained the trust of so many talented collaborators who have expanded, challenged and enriched my understanding of what art writing and publishing can be.”

In a message to staff, Gabe Gonda and Debra Campbell, co-chairs of the Canadian Art Foundation board of directors, said, “As editor-in-chief at Canadian Art, David has pursued bold and innovative subjects, mentored young writers and editors and championed underheard communities and emerging voices. Through all this, David has remained one of the leading critical voices in contemporary art, and he will continue to play that role for the magazine going forward as a contributing editor. We’re delighted to be continuing our association with David and grateful for his contributions to the magazine.”

The Canadian Art Foundation will undertake a comprehensive search for a new editor-in-chief. In the meantime, we are pleased to announce the following management changes effective March 25, 2019:

Debra Rother, currently co-publisher, will become publisher of Canadian Art. Rother joined the Canadian Art Foundation in 2016, bringing with her 14 years of magazine experience, as well as proven leadership and mentorship skills. Rother possesses strong business acumen and a demonstrated passion for Canadian Art’s continued success. She is a valued leader of the organization who has greatly expanded the foundation’s partnership and revenue portfolios.

Senior editor Bryne McLaughlin, who has been with the magazine since 2001, will assume the role of interim editor-in-chief, responsible for Canadian Art’s editorial operations.

Nicholas Brown, director of programs and partnerships, will continue to play a critical bridging role between the editorial and revenue sides of the organization, serving as ambassador for the Canadian Art Foundation in art communities across Canada.

David has been a transformative leader of Canadian Art, guiding the publication into its 35th year with a renewed editorial vision that reflects vital conversations in the art world—ones that are international, interdisciplinary, inclusive and historical. The staff and board at the Canadian Art Foundation thank David for his three years of leadership and wish him the very best in his upcoming work.