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Manitoba Museum CEO Announces Plans To Retire


Winnipeg, MB (February 26, 2020): After leading the team at the Manitoba Museum for the past 23 years, Claudette Leclerc has provided notice to the Board of Governors of her plan to retire from the position of executive director and chief executive officer of Manitoba’s largest non-profit centre for heritage and science learning, effective March 31, 2021.  Leclerc will remain in her position for the next 13 months providing ongoing leadership and direction to the Museum staff while assisting with transition planning as required.

“The Manitoba Museum is one of the central cultural institutions for our province, a cornerstone that preserves and promotes our shared heritage, while also making an important contribution to the learning and knowledge that drives the future of our community,” says James Cohen, Chair of the Board of Governors. “This combination of the past and the future in a single facility is unique. It takes a special team and a special leader to make it succeed, and for more than two decades, that special leader has been Claudette Leclerc. She has built a stellar reputation in her time as executive director and chief executive officer. All of us on the Board of Governors, past and present, are grateful for the tremendous leadership she has brought to an institution that means so much to so many Manitobans.”

Leclerc began her career in Manitoba’s arts and cultural community in 1984, leading the Winnipeg International Children’s Festival. Starting in 1991, she served as Executive Director for the Folk Arts Council, the organization that runs the world-renowned Folklorama summer festival. She joined the Manitoba Museum as Executive Director in 1998 and went on to become the longest-serving Executive Director and CEO of the Museum in its 50-year history. In that time, the Museum has undergone major capital renewal, established strong and meaningful relations with Manitoba’s Indigenous communities, hosted international travelling exhibitions, and developed numerous successful exhibitions and programs in partnership with diverse communities enjoyed by millions of visitors. The recent expansion of the Alloway Hall exhibition centre, the renewal of the Nonsuch Gallery, and the launch of the new Winnipeg Gallery and the soon-to-be-renewed Grasslands and Orientation Galleries are just a few of the countless initiatives that Leclerc has championed and overseen at the Museum.

“The Manitoba Museum has enjoyed significant success over the past 23 years, and Claudette’s outstanding leadership and tremendous passion for the Museum and the community it supports have been vital to this success,” says Penny McMillan, Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors. “Her commitment and dedication to the Museum, its programs, and the employees and volunteers who support the facility are an inspiration to all of us. I know many people across Manitoba, and the broader museum and cultural community at large, will join us in thanking Claudette for everything she has done, and in wishing her and her family the very best as she prepares to enjoy retirement.”

“It has been a tremendous honour to have served the Manitoba Museum alongside an incredible team of museum professionals for more than 20 years, so this was not an easy decision to make,” says Leclerc. “My passion for, and support of, the Manitoba Museum will never change. But as we near the successful completion of our Bringing Our Stories Forward Capital Renewal Project and the celebration of the Museum’s 50th anniversary and Manitoba 150, I felt it was the right time to move forward with my plans to retire. I will always love the Manitoba Museum and the dedicated team who make it so special, but I am excited for the chance to spend more time with my family and enjoy the next phase in my life.”

Leclerc will remain in her role until March 31, 2021, and will retain her complete responsibilities as usual during this time period. The Board of Governors, meanwhile, will move forward with transition plans, including a national search process to identify a new permanent full-time executive director and chief executive officer.

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For interviews or more information, contact:
Jody Tresoor
Communications Specialist, Manitoba Museum
w: 204-988-0614 c: 204-228-2374
[email protected]