today in the Toronto Star I learned that Rita Davies stepped down from her post as executive director of culture at the City of Toronto, and that her last day was July 20.
I don't know Davies, but I did interview her a couple of times and she struck me as an individual who was defnitely passionate about making the city a better place through the arts, and about making the city a better place for artists and creators. She held the position, reports state, for 13 years.
As the Toronto Arts Council ED Claire Hopkinson noted in a related release, Davies helped make possible the founding of Artscape, and by extension Artscape's studio and living spaces for artists. Hopkinson also notes that Davies made great strides on the equity front in terms of arts funding.
Most recently, Davies might be known for providing great support and leadership to the Creative Capital Gains project, a 2011 consultation and reporting endeavour aimed at safeguarding arts funding in a cuts-seeking environment at Toronto City Hall.
The Star reports that it's unclear whether Davies will be replaced.
(Image of Toronto City Hall via the City of Toronto)