The head of the Winnipeg Art Gallery has been enlisted to helm the Canada Council's visual arts department.

The council named Pierre Arpin its new head of visual arts Tuesday, with the Ontario-born administrator and curator set to begin his tenure on Nov. 19.

Calling Arpin "one of Canada's top art gallery directors," Canada Council director Robert Sirman predicted that Arpin's "vast knowledge of the visual arts, combined with his administrative experience, will be an enormous asset."

With arts degrees from the University of Ottawa and the Université de Montréal under his belt, Arpin has worked as a curator and director at the Ottawa's Arts Court Gallery (now the Ottawa Art Gallery), the Art Gallery of Sudbury and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

He joined the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 2005.

In his new post, Arpin will be responsible for administering the council's various visual arts funding programs, recommending and advising Sirman and the Canada Council board about visual arts policy and meeting with the greater visual arts community across Canada.

Arpin replaces former department head François Lachappelle, who left last spring after being in the post since 1999.