In mid-April The Mississauga Arts Council sent out a press release that announced the election of new volunteer officers on the Board of Directors, they included Brian Crombie as President, Jeannette Chau as Vice President, Wojtek Jaskiewicz as Secretary and Charles Chu as Treasurer.
Somewhere in all that was the news of the abrupt departure of Executive Director Anu Vittal. It seemingly happened overnight and the press release went on say how Vittal in her letter she said how thoroughly she enjoyed her time at MAC. From all accounts, she had no intention of stepping down.
Mike Douglas, a well-known magazine editor and former television director was appointed interim Executive Director.
Since there didn’t seem to be any good reason for Anu Vittal to resign, Can-India reached out to her to provide one.
Word is you left MAC abruptly, why?
I did not leave by choice but the conditions were created within MAC in such a manner that I was left with no option in this situation.
I have always believed that it is important to surround yourself with like-minded people and working for the core cause of a non-profit organization requires the qualities of ethics, moral character and integrity. Unfortunately, in any scenario when you know that you are working with others who are incompatible with those qualities, you are left with no choice!
Did you like the job?
I loved my job. My strategic plan and direction was always aligned to fulfill MAC’s core mandate which was to support, promote and provide artists with professional platforms and viable financial channels with increasing pay scales in the creative industries.
During my tenure I successfully implemented the 3 year Strategic Plan for MAC and from it evolved several new platforms supporting artists including the full day MACArts Festival, MAConference as well as, reinvigorating the MARTYS with new categories like Beauty& Fashion, Culinary arts and segregating the combined categories like Performance arts (Music,Dance,Theater) so as to present more opportunity to recognize artists in their specific fields. My idea was to create, connect and celebrate 17 cultures across 10 disciplines of art. I believe that MAC was mirroring the diverse mix of the current population of Canada and providing a matrix of programming to engage citizens, new immigrants from various regions of the world to “Bring the world together through art” via a common platform.
I achieved all of the goals that were set, in particular to achieve financial sustainability for MAC. I was even negotiating to partner with the City Culture Division for a multi-year service contract for MAC. I had mentioned this in my deputation to the city Councillors and Mayor in November 2015.
What are your future plans?
Though I love the challenge of finding myself in uncharted territory, I have to say the loss of my role at MAC has been like a child has been grabbed from my hands by force.
I have always believed that my “gift” is to do greater good for humanity and over the last 11 years I have worked tirelessly as a volunteer supporting the cause of artists, increasing pay equity for artists, equal opportunity and more platforms to showcase artists of diverse cultures creating, connecting and celebrating this great nation.
As an intelligent and intuitive being I know what I am capable of, so if a project or opportunity arises that I feel passionate about I will say “Yes”. My motto is “Know your own potential and be brave”! – CINEWS