The Board of Governors of the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall have named Jesse Kumagai to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer, effective February 26.
“We’re so proud that after an extensive international search, we found the very best candidate for this role was not only a Canadian and a Torontonian, but an integral member of our current management team,” said Eileen Costello, Board Chair. “Jesse’s authentic passion, knowledge, and connections in the broader music community are outstanding, while his vision and leadership will position us for growth and success when we reopen Massey Hall and for the years ahead in both Massey and Roy Thomson halls.”
Kumagai succeeds Interim President & CEO, Thomas C. MacMillan who will assist with the transition and take on the role of Special Advisor to the Corporation. In this role, MacMillan will continue to serve as a member of the Massey Hall Building Committee and Co-Chair of the Massey Hall Campaign Cabinet.
“On behalf of the Board of Governors, I want to express our deep gratitude and appreciation to Tom MacMillan,” added Costello. “Tom stepped into the role of Interim President & CEO following the sudden loss of Deane Cameron in May of 2019. Tom agreed without hesitation and lent his steady and caring hand to the organization at the most challenging moment in our history. We will be forever grateful for his leadership and generosity. We are also thrilled Tom has agreed to continue to play an important role in the Massey Hall Revitalization moving forward.”
“Since joining the organization in 2003, these halls and the incredible people who pour their hearts into every show have become like family to me. I can’t imagine a greater honour than to be trusted with the responsibility of leading this profoundly talented team into the most exciting period in our history,” said Kumagai. “As we invest more in artists, audiences, and our iconic venues over the coming years, we will continue to honour our rich history and increase our impact in the community.”
His appointment comes at a pivotal moment for the Corporation. With the Massey Hall Revitalization underway, the National Historic Site will soon offer expanded and enhanced programming, introducing new performance spaces and amenities for artists and audiences. In addition, artist development initiatives and education and community outreach activities will expand in both halls. Roy Thomson Hall hosts “the leading artists of today while providing a home for an ever-expanding range of Toronto's premiere arts and entertainment from the Toronto International Film Festival to the world-renowned Toronto Symphony Orchestra.”
“Jesse Kumagai has been a steadfast advocate for the musical arts in Toronto for many years, and has been one of the TSO's closest and most valued partners,” said Matthew Loden, TSO’s Chief Executive Officer. “He has a collaborative and generous approach to his work, and we are delighted to be able to continue working with such a strong leader."
Kumagai’s volunteer commitments have included serving on the boards of the Canadian Live Music Association, Polaris Music Prize, Unison Benevolent Fund, Toronto Music Advisory Council, Music Advisory Committee of the Province of Ontario, and the Juno Awards.
“Jesse Kumagai has the history of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall running through his veins,” says Riley O’Connor, Chairman, Live Nation Canada. “He works for the success of these venues with inspired leadership and creativity which serves the community.”