Our Staff

Julian Sleath
Julian Sleath
CEO

Julian Sleath brings more than 35 years of leadership and experience in the performing arts to The Bentway. His focus is on developing this new public space and bringing it to life.

Previously, Julian was Executive Director of Performing Arts at The Banff Centre, Program Manager of Cultural Events for the City of Toronto, and served on the Arts and Programming Advisory Committees for the 2015 Pan Am & Parapan Am Games, and for Artscape during the launch of Daniels Spectrum. He has also worked on the realization of numerous cultural spaces including the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts for the Canadian Opera Company, theatres in the UK, concert halls in Russia, an outdoor stage in Dallas, and was working for the technical design team on Koerner Hall in Toronto. 

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Ilana Altman
Ilana Altman
Director of Programming

Ilana Altman is a cultural planner and designer who has a background in art and architecture. In her role as Director of Programming she works with the community to implement innovative and engaging programming, revealing new possibilities for public space.

Prior to joining the Bentway team, Ilana worked for number of notable design firms including Studio Daniel Libeskind and Diller Scofidio + Renfro in New York and KPMB Architects in Toronto. She has led the curation and design of exhibitions and installations at the SFMOMA, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Additionally, she has worked closely with artists to realize public art installations for Toronto’s Nuit Blanche.  In 2014 Ilana founded the Artful City, a Toronto collective that aims to advance public art research, policies, and imaginations. Additionally, Ilana founded and served as the Executive Director of the Pavilion Project from 2015-2017.

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David Carey
Dave Carey
Director of Development

Dave Carey is a park person, a film-lover, and a Toronto-phile.

He joins The Bentway team from TIFF, where he worked for nearly 11 years. Most recently he served as Director of Government Relations & Philanthropy, leading a team of storytellers, partnership-builders, and fundraisers. Dave’s portfolio included steering relationships with all levels of government—from grant writing to programme evaluation; from street closures to liquor licensing; and from arts advocacy to cultural diplomacy—and all forms of philanthropic giving.

Dave has previously held volunteer positions at The 519 Church Street Community Centre, the Ontario Museums Association, and World Pride. He holds a Master of Arts in Communication & Culture from Ryerson University. You can generally find Dave on his bicycle, reading a good book, at the movies, or doing yoga (but not, generally, at the same time).

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Sara Peel
Sara Peel
Director of Operations and Facilities

Sara Peel brings 20 years of experience in the arts and cultural sector to her position as Director of Operations and Facilities at The Bentway. With a strong professional focus and passion for public events in public spaces, she is excited to help make The Bentway a place for the people of Toronto and our visitors to share and delight in. 

Before joining The Bentway team, Sara was the Managing Director of North By Northeast, the Manager of Events at Yonge-Dundas Square, and the Operations Strategist for the Design Exchange’s inaugural Expo for Design, Innovation and Technology. Sara’s portfolio includes creating and managing strong relationships with government and municipal partners, emergency planning and incident management, event management, change management, and creating good policy and operational structure for arts organizations.

Originally hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Sara travelled the world for many years working as a large scale Event Producer, Production Manager and Stage Manager, predominantly in outdoor events and festivals, before settling in Toronto ten years ago. Having started her career cueing cassettes in the Adelaide Fringe in ’95, Sara has maintained a strong relationship with Fringes around the world, and was President of the Board of the Toronto Fringe for three years. She is now Treasurer of the Canadian Improv Games.

She has a giant old English sheepdog named Nigel who expresses affection by drooling a lot. 

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Kasia Gladki
Kasia Gladki
Manager, Communications

Kasia Gladki is an arts lover and communications and marketing professional.

She started her career in New York working in communications and marketing for social justice organizations. She came back to Toronto three years ago to pursue her passion for arts and culture and has become deeply embedded in Toronto’s vibrant arts scene.  She was most recently at Artscape as Assistant Manager, Creative Placemaking Lab, where she supported Artscape’s consulting role in The Bentway project and other thought leadership, resource and knowledge sharing programs. Before this she was Manager, National Canadian Film Day and Co-Director, Communications at REEL CANADA – an organization that promotes the appreciation of Canadian film through screenings for high school students, English as a second language learners, and a nationwide one-day festival.

Kasia holds an MA in Media Studies from The New School in New York and a BA in Art History from McGill University. She is a graduate of the Transom Story Workshop for radio producers and is Vice President of the Board of Dreamwalker Dance Company. Kasia loves swimming in lakes, falling for a good book, and experiencing all the amazing visual art, dance and performance Toronto has to offer.

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Lara Samuel
Lara Samuel
Office Coordinator

Lara Samuel learned curiosity from Comparative Literature, logistics from Opera, patience from Hospitality and precision from Pastry, and is bringing all of the above to The Bentway to keep the team organized, on track and smiling.

Prior to joining the team, Lara worked for a number of arts institutions in Vienna, Paris and Marseilles before joining the Luxury Hospitality industry with roles in Geneva and Toronto.

On vacation, chances are Lara can be spotted in one of her two happy places: her Austrian hometown’s bakery or her favourite Italian restaurant in Aix-en-Provence, France.

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Our Board of Directors

Joe Cressy
Joe Cressy
Toronto City Councillor, Ward 20

Joe Cressy was born and raised in Toronto in a family whose defining values are community building and public service—values that have driven him his whole life.

He has worked on tackling issues aligned with poverty while living in South Africa and Ghana, led literacy programs in fly-in Aboriginal reserves in Northern Ontario, and managed environmental campaigns to protect Canada’s freshwater. Before being elected, he served as a Director of Campaigns and Outreach at the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which supports community-based HIV/AIDS organizations in sub-Saharan Africa.

Joe understands that strong infrastructure and social services are vital to the quality of life in a big city, and his passion for social justice translates to his work at City Hall. In his various appointments, including to the Board of Health, Toronto Community Housing Corporation Board of Directors, Sub-committee on Climate Change and Adaptation, and in his role as Toronto’s Youth Equity Advocate, he is committed to making life better in Toronto.

As Councillor for Ward 20, Joe works tirelessly to build better neighbourhoods, expand and improve public green spaces, and make life in downtown Toronto more equitable.

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Mike Layton
Mike Layton
Toronto City Councillor, Ward 19

Mike Layton is the City Councillor for Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina.

As Councillor, Mike has worked tirelessly to protect and improve City services that people depend on, and to preserve the diverse character of the city’s neighbourhoods. He has been a strong voice on City Council to make Toronto a world leader in the fight against climate change. He has also championed building new affordable housing, investments in arts and culture, aboriginal issues and reconciliation, and better public transit and cycling infrastructure.

In 2012 and 2013 Mike was voted “Best City Councillor” by NOW Magazine readers.

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Judy Matthews
Judy Matthews
Judy and Wilmot Matthews Foundation

Judy and Wil Matthews have a history of leadership and philanthropic giving to a wide variety of the City of Toronto’s programs, arts and cultural organizations, and city-building initiatives. Passionate Torontonians, they are deeply committed to enriching the City and the lives of its citizens.

Judy Matthews holds a long-standing interest in urban renewal projects that emphasize creativity, beauty and greener more inviting spaces. She first became interested in civic initiatives in her early twenties while working on the anti-Spadina Expressway campaign. After her four children were settled in school, she completed an M.A. in Urban Planning from York University and began honing her professional expertise in the Planning Departments at Metro Toronto, the City of Toronto and the University of Toronto. Judy has directed her energy to realizing an impressive array of projects that improve Toronto’s livability and creativity including the award-winning St. George Street revitalization and the development of the $30-million Open Space Master Plan for the University of Toronto, as well as the creation of the Music Garden at Harbourfront. A seasoned expert in creative public and private partnership solutions and an invaluable resource, Judy strongly believes in the role not-for profit organizations organizations play in civic life. A few of the organizations that have benefitted from her guidance include Creative Trust, The National Arts Centre, Toronto Community Foundation, The United Way and more recently, Artscape, the Canadian Opera Company, Evergreen, and Park People.

Judy has received many honours for her work including being nominated one of Toronto Life’s 50 most influential people of the year in 2016; a 2016 Canadian Urban Institute Award; and a 2014 Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

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Wil Matthews
Judy and Wilmot Matthews Foundation

Judy and Wil Matthews have a history of leadership and philanthropic giving to a wide variety of the City of Toronto’s education and medical programs, arts and cultural organizations and city-building initiatives. Passionate Torontonians, they are deeply committed to enriching the City and the lives of its citizens. 


Wil Matthews worked as an investment banker, serving in various positions with Nesbitt Burns Inc. and its predecessor companies from 1964 until his retirement in 1996. As a prominent business leader, he has served as a director on a wide variety of corporate boards, as well as on the boards of many community and social organizations, including Renaissance Energy, Husky Energy, WestJet Airlines, SQI Diagnostics, and is presently on an advisory committee to Imperial Capital. In addition, Wil has dedicated his expertise to the boards of many community and social organizations including Dellcrest Children’s Centre, the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, Trinity College, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and The Toronto Symphony Foundation. 


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Tom McCullough, MBA, CIM, CIWM 1
Tom McCullough
Chairman and CEO, Northwood Family Office

Tom McCullough is a longtime advisor to families of significant wealth. He has spent over 35 years in the family office/wealth management field, and is chairman and CEO of Northwood Family Office. Northwood is regularly recognized as Canada’s #1 Family Office in the Euromoney Private Banking and Wealth Management Survey.

Tom is an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management where he teaches the ‘Management of Private Wealth’ course in the MBA program, as well as the Rotman ‘Family Wealth Management’ educational program designed specifically for families of wealth. He is co-author of the book Family Wealth Management, published by John Wiley & Sons. 

Tom is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Western University’s Ivey School of Business, a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Wealth Management, and a Fellow of the Family Firm Institute. He is also chairman of the CEO group of the Wigmore Association, a collaboration of eight independent family offices from around the world. 

He is actively involved in a wide range of philanthropic activities, most notably poverty alleviation and education in the developing world. 

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Anthony Sargent
Anthony Sargent, CBE
CEO, Luminato

After studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University Anthony worked 13 years in production and presentation at BBC TV and Radio, then as Artistic Projects Director at London’s Southbank Centre. In 1990 he moved to Birmingham as City Council Head of Arts, creating Birmingham’s first Arts Strategy and leading all the Council’s major arts projects and festivals, co-leading with Sir Simon Rattle Birmingham’s acclaimed 10-year festival of the 20th Century, Towards the Millennium. After rejoining the BBC in the nationwide management of the uniquely ambitious Millennium Music Live festival, he became founding General Director for 15 years of Sage Gateshead (Norman Foster’s award-winning international centre for music performance and education), achieving what was then the UK’s highest ever single charitable donation to the arts outside London. In 2015 he moved to Canada to lead Toronto’s international Luminato Festival, steering it through its admired 10th anniversary and launching Luminato’s second decade.

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