Today, at 4:18pm on the Friday before a long weekend, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia released a statement that it is looking for a new CEO. The position was held by Nancy Noble, who previously served as the CEO of the Museum of Vancouver for over a decade before taking the AGNS job in 2016. The release says the gallery's board voted to not renew Noble's contract.
Speaking by phone with The Coast, Grant Machum, acting board chair, says that "we were at the end of her five-year term contract and it was a natural place to think about whether we renew the contract or not. And we were thinking forward, with the new gallery. And we thought: We need a new type of leader for the new gallery, someone that is experienced in running a gallery of that calibre."
Machum is referencing the AGNS's upcoming relocation from Hollis Street to a new building on the Halifax Waterfront, set to break ground this spring. "The big thing we will be looking for: Someone that's very experienced in—and knowledgeable about—new builds," says Machum. "And when I say new builds, it's the construction of the new gallery."
The board has appointed Sarah Fillmore, the gallery's longtime chief curator and deputy director of programs, as interim CEO. "You couldn't ask for a better person to be involved," Machum says.
The AGNS announcement says the search for Noble's replacement will begin "right away." Machum estimates the job will be filled in four to six months.