In just over a year, Sasha Suda has reinvented one of the city’s most treasured cultural institutions with the goal of reconnecting with the local community and engaging a younger, broader audience.
Joining the National Gallery of Canada as the youngest director and CEO in more than a century – and the youngest woman ever appointed – Suda was quick to establish the gallery’s first-ever strategic pillar plan, which focuses on resetting institutional values and curating exhibits that spark conversations.
With an extensive background in art direction and curation, Suda made bringing more relevance to the gallery her top priority – a task she tackled by refreshing the free access public spaces of the gallery and filling them with artwork. She also led a rebranding of the space as a unique cultural destination and venue, which attracted Shopify’s annual Global Summit Reception in 2019.
February is Heart Month and the University of Ottawa Health Institute Foundation is back with its annual campaign. Get ready to #LightTheTownRed
In her first year as chief executive officer, she’s also dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, which drastically affected the gallery. In response to its temporary closure, Suda provided oversight and leadership in the development of a digital project that features online articles, videos and archival material to continue to engage audiences from home.
She has also contributed to numerous publications and articles throughout her career and continues to engage with the broader Ottawa community, specifically the region’s Indigneous community. In 2019, Suda helped open the Abadakone / Continuous Fire / Feu Continuel exhibition at the gallery, the largest recurring Indigenous contemporary art exhibition in the world.