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Kelly Wilhelm

Head of the Cultural Policy Hub, OCAD University

Kelly Wilhelm (she/her) is a bilingual executive and strategist with more than 25 years’ experience leading policy and innovation in government, the arts, media, creative industries, and the not-for-profit sector.

As an independent consultant, Kelly leads a portfolio of projects in her areas of expertise. She is Head of the Cultural Policy Hub at OCAD University, a new partnership to build a national network to build informed, inclusive and integrated cultural policy at all levels in Canada. In other projects, she provides strategy and leadership for program and policy renewal at the local, provincial/territorial and national levels. Kelly regularly provides advice to C-suite leaders and is a sought-after speaker, writer and facilitator.

Kelly has extensive experience in senior executive roles in government, the arts and creative industries. These include Chief of Staff to the federal Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency for the regions of Quebec (2021-2023), Chief Strategy Officer at the Canada Media Fund (2019-2021), Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (2016-2018), and Director of Policy, Planning and Strategic Foresight at the Canada Council for the Arts, where she spent 10 years in progressively more senior roles. In each role, Kelly’s leadership and commitment to change and policy renewal transformed the organization and brought significant new resources to its work. She is an equity ally and champion with a track record of deep community engagement and oversight of action-oriented, data-driven equity and inclusion strategies.

Kelly is a graduate of Queen's University (BAH with distinction) and has a Master's degree in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto.


  • Panel B: Social Cohesion and the Role of Cultural Policy (Saturday, April 13 - 2:30 p.m.)

Kelly Wilhelm

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