The Board of Trustees of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
announced that Michel de la Chenelière, the MMFA's Vice-President since 2017, has been appointed Chair of the institution. Mr. de la Chenelière becomes the Board's 33rd Chair, succeeding Jacques Parisien, who joins Brian Levitt and Fernand Lalonde as Honorary President. The MMFA Board's Nominating Committee, presided by the Honourable Serge Joyal, has also named Roger Fournelle and Michaela Sheaf as Vice-Presidents.
Michel de la Chenelière: new Chair of the MMFA's Board of Trustees
A pioneer in French-language education publishing in North America, and preeminent patron of education at the MMFA, Michel de la Chenelière is an entrepreneur who dedicated his career to education and promoting the French language with publications that bear his name. Through his Foundation, he is continuing his mission to encourage education, academic success and social inclusion through arts and culture, as well as public art and theatre. Since 2010, this remarkable patron has enabled the MMFA to expand its educational and community programs, and to move forward with innovative projects in health and art therapy.
With two major donations from this passionate defender of education, the Museum doubled the area it devotes to education with the creation of the Michel de la Chenelière Studio in 2012, and then tripled it with the Michel de la Chenelière International Atelier for Education and Art Therapy in 2016. This facility has become a model on the international scene, welcoming 300,000 participants every year, a record in Canada.
A member of the MMFA's Board since 2011 and the MMFA Foundation since 2014, Michel de la Chenelière was appointed Vice-President of the Board in 2017. Since 2012, he has chaired the Museum's Art and Education Committee and since 2013 has awarded annual scholarships to students in graduate and post-graduate programs to recognize the quality of their theses. He also serves of the board of FRAME (French and American Museum Exchange), whose members include more than 30 French and North American Museums, including the MMFA.
Jacques Parisien named Honorary President
The MMFA's Board and employees thank Jacques Parisien for his commitment over the three years of his term. Appointed chair of the Board in June 2016 to inaugurate the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace, Mr. Parisien diligently ensured the Museum's good governance as it continued its outstanding growth. The Museum achieved record attendance numbers (with 1.3 million visitors in 2017, Montreal's 375th anniversary). His leadership has led to the strengthening of the Museum's financial stability as well as governance process improvements on projects relating to digital technology, security and the institution's administration. Of note is a grant of $10 million, over five years, which the Quebec government awarded to the MMFA in March 2018.
Joint Vice-Presidents: Roger Fournelle and Michaela Sheaf
Roger Fournelle has spent his career in real estate development, with FDL Compagnie Ltée. He was appointed to the Museum's Board by the Quebec government on January 31, 2012. Since 2014, he has chaired the Museum's Acquisition Committee for Quebec and Canadian Art, which he has served on since 2010. A generous man and active member of the Board, he has donated or agreed to fund the acquisition of more than 50 works that have significantly enriched the Museum's collection of Quebec and Canadian art. These donations include the Maurice Cullen's paintings Lévis Docks from the Hill (1897), Marc-Aurèle Fortin's Trees by the Roadside (about 1940), Carmencita (1922 or before) by Randolph Stanley Hewton, Preparatory Sketch for "Beaver Hall Hill, Montreal" by Kathleen Moir Morris and Seated Nude (1944) by Jacques de Tonnancour.
Michaela Sheaf joined the MMFA's Board of Trustees in January 2019. An entrepreneur and mother of six, Ms. Sheaf has worked in fashion and media, notably as a cultural content producer for television. She holds a degree in political science and art history, and has experience as a product developer and corporate buyer in the ready-to-wear fashion industry. She is also a member of the MMFA's Women of Influence Circle, which supports the presence of women in the Museum through acquisitions and exhibitions of female artists, as well as opening the Museum to underprivileged women.