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August 2019


We are pleased to announce that Laura Chaignon will join the Kingston Arts Council as our new Programming and Communications Coordinator effective September 3, 2019.

Laura is a bilingual arts administrator and writer who has been living in Kingston for two years. After graduating from a Master's in French Literature at the Université Paris-Sorbonne, she worked in publishing in Paris and in marketing in Montreal. Laura has been actively involved in the Kingston arts community for the past year and a half, as she was the Arts Coordinator for the Centre culturel Frontenac. She is very excited to join the Kingston Arts Council team and will continue her efforts to support a vibrant arts community in the city.


September 2018


On behalf of the KAC Board of Directors, it gives me great pleasure to announce that Kirsi Hunnakko is the new Executive Director of the Kingston Arts Council.

Kirsi was born into a creative family and spent her formative years working for her father’s art gallery and framing business, cutting mat and helping at art shows. Her own creative instincts led her toward theatre and writing. She earned a BA (Honours) in Drama from Queen’s University in 2000, and recently completed her Certificate in Editing from Simon Fraser University. She is in the process of completing two children’s book manuscripts, as well as a book of essays and poetry.

Kirsi has lived in Kingston for 22 years, and has worked primarily in leadership positions in the arts, culture and tourism. She is formerly Artistic and Managing Director of iSTORM Children’s Theatre Company and the Operations Manager for the Haunted Walk of Kingston. Her previous employers also include Queen’s University. The Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Association, and the Canadian Diabetes Association. She most recently worked as the Communications & Finance Coordinator for the Museum of Health Care.

Kirsi is pleased to watch and encourage the emerging creative talents of her daughters, Isla and Evy, and is thrilled to be joining the KAC team to help artists and arts organizations throughout our community thrive. She will join KAC on Monday, October 15, 2018.



August 2018

It’s with tremendous regret that I announce that Danika Lochhead is stepping down as Executive Director of the Kingston Arts Council (KAC), effective September 14, 2018. Danika joined the KAC as Communications & Outreach Coordinator in October, 2015 and became Executive Director in April, 2016. Guided by our strategic plan, Building a Creative Community, which she helped develop, Danika has transformed the KAC into a vibrant and relevant local arts service organization, providing strategic leadership, services and communication supports in the arts.  In speaking with Danika, she says “My time at the KAC has been one of the most important professional experiences of my life and I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished over the last three years”.

Fortunately for the arts community, while Danika is leaving the KAC, she will continue to work in the arts in the newly created role of Manager, Arts and Sector Development at the City of Kingston. We all wish Danika great happiness and success in her new job and I look forward to working with her in her new capacity.

The KAC board will immediately undertake a search for a new Executive Director. Watch for the job posting coming soon.

Billyann Balay