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ESTHER SHIPMAN / Founder

Esther E. Shipman has established a national reputation as an innovative curator, arts administrator, policy/strategy consultant and cultural issues advocate spanning the not-for profit, public and private sectors. She has lectured across Canada and internationally, written extensively about design and culture, and created and produced more than 100 exhibitions, plus dozens of competitions, lectures, events, publications, and other initiatives intended to encourage increased knowledge, dialogue and the incorporation of design and culture into daily life.

Shipman first came to prominence as the Co-founder (1985), then Executive Director of VIRTU/Directions in Canadian Design, the highly acclaimed design advocacy organization, pivotal in the development and promotion of new design in Canada and in introducing leading international design and designers to Canadians. From 2007-2018 she was the Curator of Architecture + Design for Cambridge Art Galleries, Idea Exchange, at their Design at Riverside gallery, Canada’s only municipal gallery dedicated to architecture and design, where she served as the Assistant Commissioner for Canada to the 11th International Biennale of Architecture in Venice (2008).  Select recent large-scale commissions include Curator/Coordinator of the MOVE//Installation Project for the Ontario Association of Architects (2017), Cultural Properties Appraiser and author (700+ page illustrated report): Michel Dallaire Collection, Musée de la civilization Québec (2015), Cultural Properties Appraiser and author, illustrated report: Douglas Ball Collection, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal (2018). Previously, Ms. Shipman served six years as an Executive Board Member and Chair of the Design Sector for the Trade Team Canada-Cultural Goods and Services Committee (TTS-CGS) Department of Canadian Heritage, Government of Canada.

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