Barry Hughson to Join American Ballet Theatre

Steps Down as Executive Director

March 14, 2024… Rags Davloor, Board Chair of The National Ballet of Canada, today announced that Executive Director Barry Hughson will step down at the end of the 2023/24 season. After 10 years with the National Ballet, Hughson will join American Ballet Theatre as its new Executive Director on July 1, 2024.

“Barry has been a transformative leader for The National Ballet of Canada, deftly guiding the company through a decade of extraordinary growth and great challenges, including a global pandemic. Throughout his tenure, he showed unwavering commitment to moving the organization forward and supporting the bold artistic vision of two Artistic Directors in Karen Kain and Hope Muir, while steadfastly ensuring the company’s fiscal resiliency and sustainability. On behalf of all of us at the National Ballet, I send our deep gratitude and good wishes to Barry as he embarks on this exciting new role with American Ballet Theatre,” said Davloor.

“My time at The National Ballet of Canada has been the most rewarding of my career to date and it is with mixed emotions I leave this brilliant company. It was an honour and a privilege to support the courageous and inspiring ambitions of Artistic Director Emerita Karen Kain for eight years and Artistic Director Hope Muir for the past two years. I look forward to joining American Ballet Theatre, the company that meant so much to me in my early days as a dancer. I will always cherish my time at the National Ballet and offer my deep thanks and heartfelt admiration to the dancers, musicians, staff, donors and the Board of Directors of this incredible company,” said Hughson.

“Barry has dedicated an incredible 10 years of leadership to The National Ballet of Canada and leaves the company ready to embrace an exciting and ambitious future. I am sincerely grateful for his support and leadership in these past years and wish him the very best for this exciting new chapter at ABT,” said Hope Muir, Joan and Jerry Lozinski Artistic Director.

The National Ballet of Canada operates on a co-CEO model with both the Artistic Director and Executive Director reporting to the Board of Directors. The board has full confidence in the leadership of Artistic Director Hope Muir to guide the company during this transition. The Board of Directors has formed a search committee and will commence an international search for an Executive Director immediately.

Hughson joined The National Ballet of Canada as Executive Director in 2014. Over the last decade under his leadership, the company has accelerated its trajectory of artistic growth, fiscal responsibility, community engagement and international presence, including landmark tours.

The National Ballet of Canada Milestone Accomplishments Under Barry Hughson’s Tenure

  • Returned the company to the world stage with international and national touring to London, Paris, Hamburg, Moscow, St. Petersburg, New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Ottawa and Montréal
  • Built a network of community partnerships and expanded education and outreach initiatives
  • Collaborated with national arts leaders in government advocacy on behalf of The National Ballet of Canada and the arts sector
  • Led and implemented important new company-wide EDI initiatives
  • Navigated the COVID-19 pandemic and, with the generous support of government and the National Ballet donor community, kept every dancer, orchestra member and full-time staff member employed
  • Achieved a 10-year cumulative budget surplus and grew the endowment to over $100 million.

Barry Hughson’s Biography >

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The National Ballet of Canada’s Education and Community Engagement programmes are generously supported by the Anna McCowan-Johnson Dance Accessibility Fund at The National Ballet of Canada, Endowment Foundation.  

The National Ballet of Canada gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Ontario Arts Council; the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council; the Government of Canada – Department of Canadian Heritage, through The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage; and the Government of Ontario through The Honourable Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Barry Hughson. Photo by Karolina Kuras.

For more information, please contact: 

Belinda Bale
Director of Marketing and Communications
416 345 9686 x314
Catherine Chang
Associate Director of Communications & Content Strategy
416 345 9686 x302