NAC names Christopher Deacon new president and CEO

Former National Arts Centre Orchestra managing director Christopher Deacon is the new president and CEO of the NAC.

Former managing director of the NAC's orchestra replaces Peter Herrndorf

Christopher Deacon was announced as the NAC's new president and CEO on June 12, 2018. (National Arts Centre)

Former National Arts Centre Orchestra managing director Christopher Deacon is the new president and CEO of the NAC.

The NAC made his hiring official Tuesday.

The Montreal-born Deacon, 59, had managed the orchestra for the last 22 years.

"The National Arts Centre is a place of dreams for artists and producers in Canada. It is the place where many do their best work, a destination that says they have 'arrived.' Or the launching pad for their future artistic path," Deacon said in a news release.

"I love what the NAC means to Canadians and I have a passion for what it could become in the next chapter of its development."

In an interview with CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning on Wednesday, Deacon said the NAC needs to improve its French branding and digital outreach.

"It's not just enough that your advertising is in both languages. You really have to kind of live and breathe it.... So I hope that the brand of the NAC becomes a little more francophone. And the other thing is we need to be using digital media to reach Canadians everywhere, which I guess is obvious," he said.

Listen to Deacon's entire Ottawa Morning interview below:

His first job at the National Arts Centre was in the kitchens at age 17. A few decades later Christopher Deacon is now in the top job. 9:08

Replaces Peter Herrndorf

He is the first person in the NAC's 49-year history to be promoted from within to become president and CEO, the NAC said.

He replaces Peter Herrndorf, who retired earlier this month after holding the job since 1999.

"Christopher Deacon is a champion of the performing arts in Canada," said Herrndorf in the release.

"He's got a proven record as a risk-taker and as an adventurous arts administrator leading highly ambitious projects."

At an event on Tuesday, Christopher Deacon thanked his parents for fostering his passion for music. 0:56