Gregory Burke, Remai Modern executive director and CEO stands for a photograph on the roof top patio at the Remai Modern in Saskatoon, SK on Tuesday, October 16, 2018.
Liam Richards / Saskatoon StarPhoenix
The Remai Modern art gallery board plans to hire an executive search firm to find its next leader, according to the interim board chair.Beau Atkins said the board is preparing to hire a firm in July to find a replacement for Gregory Burke, who announced his resignation in December but remained until March to help find his successor.Lynn McMaster was announced as the interim CEO for the art gallery in April. McMaster, a veteran executive with children’s museums, is expected to remain in place until a permanent CEO can be found.Burke was hired to lead the Mendel Art Gallery in 2013 and to guide the transition to the new Remai Modern, which opened in October 2017 at River Landing. The final cost of the gallery and the parkade beneath it remain unknown, but it’s well over $100 million.Burke’s hiring was announced about 10 months after his predecessor as Mendel CEO, Vincent Varga, resigned in May 2012.Jason Aebig, who was then chair of the Mendel board, said the board took its time hiring Burke to find the right person to lead the transition to Remai Modern.The Remai Modern board of directors is also reviewing applications from those who want to join the board.A shakeup happened in February after city council decided not to renew the terms of board chair Scott Verity and secretary Alison Norlen. Other board members opted to leave, resulting in the departure of the entire executive.Mayor Charlie Clark said city council became involved in gallery operations to address unspecified workplace issues.Departing board members and Burke suggested interference was related to the gallery’s underlying philosophy.The current board leadership includes Atkins and interim vice-chair Grant Stoneham.There were 14 board members prior to the departures earlier this year and only 10 remain on the current board after replacements were named in February. The board expects to make recommendations for new board members to city council in July or August.City council is considering changes to the way CEOs are selected and reviewed at the non-profit corporations that operate in city-owned buildings like Remai Modern, SaskTel Centre and TCU Place. No decisions are expected until November.The Remai Modern is the only known art gallery of its size in Canada that is governed by a board appointed by a city email@example.com/thinktankSKRelated