Chisholm departs as director of Norfolk Arts Centre
Deirdre Chisholm, former curator and executive director of the Norfolk Arts Centre in Simcoe, quietly departed from her position in mid-February. Neither Chisholm nor senior county staff would comment on the situation when asked about it Friday. MONTE SONNENBERG / SIMCOE REFORMER file photo
Twinning management of the Norfolk Arts Centre with the new Norfolk County archives in Simcoe is a possibility now that the executive director’s position at the former is vacant.
Deirdre Chisholm, executive director and curator of the arts centre since January, 2009, departed from her position in the middle of February.
Neither Chisholm nor Norfolk County would comment when asked Friday about the move.
“Maybe at another time, but I really can’t comment,” Chisholm, 65, said from her home in Peterborough.
Chris Baird, Norfolk’s general manager of development and culture, also declined to comment.
However, Baird said that it is business-as-usual at the arts centre under the leadership of Melissa Collver, Norfolk’s director of heritage and culture, and gallery assistant Carrie Kitzul.
Baird said the centre has a full slate of programming planned for March break. As well, summer programming is being developed for budding young artists.
He noted that it’s possible that the municipality will put the arts centre and the Eva Brook Donly Museum in Simcoe under the direction of a single manager.
Last fall, the county assumed responsibility for the museum after the Norfolk Historical Society encountered significant financial headwinds.
Council agreed to take on the museum, provided it serve as the primary repository for Norfolks important records and documents. As such, the county will require the services of a qualified archivist.
“We need to look at all options and find what works best,” said Baird. “They are different skill sets, but good management is good management. It’s something to be discussed.”
Norfolk hired Chisholm as director of the arts centre in the fall of 2008. Previously, she had served nine years as education program co-ordinator at the Art Gallery of Peterborough.
When Chisholm arrived in Simcoe, half of the arts centre building was occupied by Norfolk’s human resources department.
Chisholm oversaw the return of the centre to full arts programming and was in the midst of a major renovation of the heritage building’s exterior at the time of her departure.