CCUNESCO operates within the Canada Council for the Arts

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO) is an autonomous organization operating under the authority of the Canada Council for the Arts, a federal crown corporation. Learn more about the Council and its priorities here.

CCUNESCO supports the Permanent Delegation of Canada to UNESCO

Canada is represented at UNESCO by the Permanent Delegation of Canada to UNESCO. Global Affairs Canada is responsible for appointing the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Canada to UNESCO. The position is currently occupied by H.E. Élaine Ayotte.

In accordance with the Canada-Quebec Agreement concerning UNESCO (signed in 2006), the Permanent Delegation of Canada includes a Quebec Permanent Representative who is appointed by the Government of Quebec. The position is currently occupied by Ms. Julie Miville-Dechêne.

CCUNESCO's work is steered by an Executive Committee

The Executive Committee defines CCUNESCO’s strategic directions and oversees its activities. The Committee is composed of government representatives, Sectoral Commission Chairs, and experts from civil society elected at the Annual General Meetings. The diversity of expertise found within the Committee enables CCUNESCO to carry out its mandate. Consult CCUNESCO's Constitution and By-Laws to learn more.

Executive Committee Members

  • Christina Cameron, President, Canadian Commission for UNESCO
  • Danika Billie Littlechild, Vice-President, Canadian Commission for UNESCO
  • Sébastien Goupil, Secretary-General, Canadian Commission for UNESCO

Canada Council for the Arts (permanent member)

  • Simon Brault, Director and Chief Executive Officer

Global Affairs Canada (permanent member)

  • Rebecca Netley, Director, United Nations Division 

Canadian Heritage (permanent member)

  • John Pinkerton, Manager, Multilateral Relations 

Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (permanent member)

  • Chantal C. Beaulieu, Executive Director

Government of Quebec (permanent member)

  • Christina Vigna, Directrice générale, Affaires francophones et multilatérales, Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie

Chairpersons of the Sectoral Commissions (appointed members)

  • Marie-Josée Fortin, Sectoral Commission, Education
  • Jean-Marc Blais, Sectoral Commission, Culture, Communication and Information
  • Liette Vasseur, Sectoral Commission, Human, Social and Natural Sciences

Two persons appointed by the Canada Council for the Arts (appointed members)

  • Jennifer Dorner, Director, FOFA Gallery at Concordia University
  • Vacant

Three persons elected by the Annual General Meeting (elected members)

  • Nadia Duguay, Co-founder and Director-General, Exeko
  • Jack Lohman, Chief Executive Officer, Royal BC Museum
  • Lenore Swystun, Founder and Director, Prairie Wild Consulting Co.

Christina Cameron
President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO

Christina Cameron

In 2005, Christina Cameron became a Professor in the School of Architecture and Chair-holder of the Canada Research Chair on Built Heritage at the University of Montreal. Her research focuses on UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention and conservation approaches in Canada from 1950 to 2000.

Christina Cameron has been actively involved in World Heritage as Head of Delegation for Canada (1990-2008), Chairperson (1990, 2008) and Rapporteur (1989). She has chaired international expert meetings on strategic planning (1990-1992), historic canals (1994), a global strategy for a representative World Heritage List (1994), cultural landscapes (1998), working methods (1999-2000) and a proposal to establish a World Heritage Indigenous Peoples Council of Experts (2000-2001). She has advised on the preparation of World Heritage nominations in Japan, Barbados, China, Korea and Canada.

Prior to joining the University of Montreal, Christina Cameron’s career as a heritage executive with Parks Canada spanned more than 35 years. As Director-General of National Historic Sites, she provided national direction for Canada's historic places, focusing on heritage conservation and education programs. She also served as Secretary to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada from 1986 to 2005.

In 2008 she received the Outstanding Achievement Award of the Public Service of Canada, the country’s highest recognition for public service, in 2012 was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and in 2014 received the Gabrielle Léger Medal for Lifetime Achievement in the cause of heritage conservation. Christina Cameron was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2014. She also serves as Chair of the Advisory Committee on the Official Residences of Canada.

Ms. Cameron has written extensively on Canadian architecture, heritage management and World Heritage issues. She recently co-authored “Many Voices, One Vision: The Early Years of the World Heritage Convention » (2013).

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Danika Billie Littlechild

Danika B. Littlechild lives in Maskwacis, Alberta. She chaired the Sectoral Commission on Culture, Communication and Information of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO from 2007-2011. Danika currently practices law in Ermineskin Cree Nation, working with Indigenous Peoples in a variety of areas including governance, Indigenous legal orders, environment, and international law. Danika also serves as consulting legal counsel for the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), an Indigenous NGO with General Consultative Status (ECOSOC), which represents Indigenous Peoples from North America, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

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Sébastien Goupil

Prior to joining the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, Sébastien worked for over 12 years in the federal public service, mostly as a leader in policy development. He also spent two years outside the federal government, including as Senior Advisor to Montfort Hospital’s CEO. His most recent position was Acting Corporate Secretary and Chief of Staff to the Librarian and Archivist of Canada at Library and Archives Canada.

Between 2010 and 2014, Sébastien was the first man to sit on the executive committee of Status of Women Canada, including as Director General of Policy and External Relations. In this position, he led policy development, research, intergovernmental affairs and international relations. He was also responsible for the government-wide implementation of gender-based analysis, Canada’s approach to gender mainstreaming.

Previously, Sébastien worked in Portfolio Affairs at the Department of Canadian Heritage, notably as Director of Policy and Governance where he provided advice on issues relating to one of the largest portfolios of cultural organizations working at arm's length from government. During his tenure, he focused on the long-term sustainability of national cultural institutions, in particular Canada’s national museums.

Between 2002 and 2006, Sébastien held other positions within the federal government. He served as Senior Advisor in the Citizen Participation Branch of Canadian Heritage, where he led work on citizen engagement and youth participation. During his time at Citizenship and Immigration Canada, he focused on the area of newcomers’ integration and settlement, at headquarters, in Ottawa, and in the Ontario Region, in Toronto.

Sébastien holds both a Master’s and a Bachelor’s degree in history from the Université du Québec à Montréal. His specialization is in Ancient Greek history and Antiquity. He is married and has two daughters.

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Simon Brault

Photo Simon Brault

Simon Brault began his five-year term as Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts on June 26, 2014. He comes to the position with a full understanding of his role, having served as Vice-Chair of the Council’s Board of Directors from 2004 to 2014.

Mr. Brault has been active in the cultural sector for over 30 years and has been a driving force behind a number of major projects. Notably, as Administrative Director and Director General of the National Theatre School of Canada, he coordinated the ambitious project of restoring Montréal’s historic Monument-National.

He has held key positions in national organizations and has participated actively in initiatives such as the Forum d’action des milieux culturels de la Métropole, the steering committee of the Chantier de l’économie sociale, the Montréal Summit, the Rendez-vous novembre 2007 Montréal Métropole culturelle and Agenda 21C de la culture au Québec. An initiator of Journées de la culture, he was also a founding member and Chair of Culture Montréal from 2002 to 2014.

A much sought-after speaker, Mr. Brault has given many speeches at national and international venues addressing the economic and social contributions of the arts and culture.

His first non-fiction book, Le facteur C : l’avenir passe par la culture (La Presse / Éditions Voix parallèles, 2009), explained the dramatic rise of cultural concerns in the public agenda. This lively, highly-acclaimed work was published in English as No Culture, No Future (Cormorant Books, 2010).

Simon Brault has received numerous distinctions for his commitment to the social recognition of the arts and culture. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, Officier de l’Ordre national du Québec, a Fellow of the CGA Order and the CPA Order, and is a recipient of the 2009 Keith Kelly Award for Cultural Leadership.

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Éric Théroux

photo Eric Theroux

Éric Théroux was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister for Policy, Francophone and Multilateral Affairs at the Quebec Department of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade in November 2012.

A public servant in the Government of Quebec since 1987, he has mainly worked as a legal advisor for the Quebec Department of Justice, the legal director for four departments (Economic Development, Innovation and Exportation; International Relations; Intergovernmental Affairs; and Tourism) and a director of public law. He was also Director General of Multilateral Affairs and International Commitments at the Quebec Department of International Relations from 2006 to 2010, and Assistant Director General for Planning, Policy and Intergovernmental Relations at the Quebec Department of Employment and Social Solidarity from 2010 to 2012.

With a bachelor’s degree in law from the Université de Montréal and a master’s in law from the London School of Economics and Political Science, he is also a member of the Quebec Bar.

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Jack Lohman

Of Polish origin, Jack Lohman is Chief Executive of the Royal British Columbia Museum and professor in museum design at the Bergen National Academy of the Arts, Norway. He was previously Director of the Museum of London, Chairman of the National Museum in Warsaw, Poland and Chief Executive of Iziko Museums of Cape Town, South Africa. He has acted as a strategic adviser to national museums in Bogota, Doha, Pristina and Rio de Janeiro. He is a former Chairman of ICOM (International Council of Museums) UK and a former board member of UNESCO UK Culture Committee.

He was educated at the University of East Anglia where he studied History of Art and at the Freien Universität in Berlin where he studied Architecture.

He has received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Westminster, London (PUNO) and East Anglia. He is Editor in Chief of UNESCO’s publication series Museums and Diversity. He is a board member of the National Institute for National Museums in Rwanda, the National Museum in Warsaw, Poland and is a member of the European Museum Academy. He received the Bene Merito Medal from the Republic of Poland in 2011 and a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2012 for his work with museums around the world.

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Jean-Marc Blais
Director General and Vice-President, Canadian Museum of History

Mr. Jean-Marc Blais was appointed Director General of the Canadian Museum of History in March 2013. He previously held the position of Vice-President, Research and Exhibitions, and Vice-President, Exhibitions and Programs since 2009. Mr. Blais brings an extensive experience with the federal public service, where he held many senior management positions, including Director, Associate Director General and Director General within the Canadian Heritage Portfolio, the Canada School of Public Service and Service Canada. His previous career experience includes 12 years with the Canadian Museum of Civilization where he worked from 1989 to 2001 in the areas of program planning, interpretation and exhibition planning. He has also actively contributed to the development of the Museum’s interpretation function and the implementation of the exhibition development process. As well as writing articles, Mr. Blais has contributed papers to several books for specialists, and lectured at national and international events. Early in his career, he held several teaching positions at different academic levels and in various parts of the country.

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Lenore Swystun

Lenore Swystun

Lenore Swystun is the founder and principal partner of Prairie Wild Consulting Co. She is a registered professional planner who brings a quality skillset and experience in the fields of: participatory-based comprehensive regional and community-based planning and development; mitigation and adaptive planning; cultural and heritage planning; Indigenous planning; municipal capacity development; local and regional governance: community and civic engagement; facilitation; international development; and, related social research. In 2012, she received the Dr. James Pooler Award for distinguished planning achievement through the University of Saskatchewan’s Regional and Urban Planning Program. She was recently appointed a Professional Associate by the Regional and Urban Planning Program for her work in advancing participatory based, trans-disciplinary regional and community planning practice.

Lenore is a former municipal elected representative (Saskatoon City Council); an awarded community builder; and, recognized business leader - recently awarded for leading one of Saskatoon’s top small businesses in 2014. She was recently awarded as the one of Saskatoon’s favourite public servants by Planet S Magazine demonstrating her commitment to community service. Lenore is currently the Vice-President of the Saskatchewan Environmental Industry Managers Association (SEIMA) and sits as a member of the City of Saskatoon Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee. Lenore is passionate about serving through all aspects of work and play, a vision of a peaceful and sustainable world.

Lenore has co-authored and authored numerous plans, articles and reports. This includes research and writing in diverse fields of: rural development; land and infrastructure resiliency assessment; urban and regional studies; housing and homelessness; cultural and heritage planning; Indigenous programs, services, education and housing; community leadership; and, democratic engagement. Lenore has co-lead international projects in East Africa and in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago where the focus was on transferring skills to local professionals and citizens to develop and implement comprehensive community based planning frameworks and tools. She remains actively engaged in International work through professional association with organizations such as UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program, the Canadian Institute of Planners, and Project for Public Spaces.

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Marie-Josee Fortin

Ms. Fortin has a diploma in Education from Université du Québec à Montréal. Marie-Josée Fortin was nominated in 2009 ambassador of Université du Québec in Montreal, an honour owing to her exceptional career, her contribution to the education sector in her sphere of professional activities as well as her influence nationally and internationally.

Marie-Josée Fortin is currently the Association of Canadian Community colleges (ACCC) Director of International Partnerships. ACCC is the national voice of 132 publicly-funded colleges, cégeps, polytechnics and technology institutes in Canada that support more than 1.5 million learners every year in over 3,000 communities across Canada.

Ms. Fortin has more than 26 years of experience in the education (TVET) sector including 15 years at ACCC. She also carried out management duties in a college in Montreal for 11 years. She has always been actively involved, both professionally and voluntarily, in enabling access to education and preventing school dropout nationally and internationally. She sits on the Executive Committee of the Canadian Council of Africa and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. She manages the Pan-Canadian UNESCO-UNEVOC Center in addition to having been elected by her peers as leader for UNESCO-UNEVOC North America sub-cluster. She has developed a visibility strategy for what is happening in North-America.

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Nadia Duguay

Carol Couture

Nadia Duguay is the Co-founder and Co-director general of Exeko (2006), an organization that proposes innovative initiatives to promote education, prevention, culture and citizen participation at the heart of societies’ health and wellbeing. She is also currently the Director of the research group Comité de recherche en médiation intellectuelle (CRMI) and is chair of research at the University of Quebec in Montreal for the development of innovative practices in art, culture and wellbeing at the Centre interuniversitaire d’études en lettres, arts et traditions (CELAT). She is an active fellow in numerous communities and organizations, such as the community of Ashoka, the Réseau québécois en innovation sociale (RQIS), and many more; she works closely with many other intersectorial initiatives which place creativity at the heart of social transformation. Ms. Duguay is interested in creating a space and opportunity for equal conferring between all citizens and to promote social mingling to build a more inclusive, creative and reflective society by gathering all marginalized and non-marginalized citizens.

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Chantal C. Beaulieu

Chantal C. Beaulieu is Executive Director of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC). CMEC is composed of the 23 provincial and territorial ministers who have responsibility for education and postsecondary education in Canada. The Council provides the ministers with a forum to discuss policy issues, a mechanism through which to carry out education projects, and means through which to represent Canada’s education interests internationally.

Ms. Beaulieu was previously Assistant Deputy Minister, Services to Anglophones, Aboriginals, and Cultural Communities, of the Quebec Ministère de l’Éducation, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche. A lawyer by training, with a specialization in employment and education law, Ms. Beaulieu was in private practice until 1999, when she was appointed Director of Legal Services at the English Montreal School Board. She later moved to the Eastern Townships School Board, where she successively held the positions of Secretary General and Director of Labour Relations, Assistant Director General, and Director General. Ms. Beaulieu holds a Bachelor’s of Law (LL.B.) and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

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Jennifer Dorner

With a background in visual and media arts, Jennifer’s artistic practice has developed to reflect her strong passion for advocacy for the arts, culture and social justice on local and national levels.

Since 2014, Jennifer Dorner has been the Director of the FOFA Gallery at Concordia University where she is dedicated to developing programs that connect fine arts research and practice with broader communities. She received her MFA from the University of Western Ontario in 2001.

She was the National Director of the Independent Media Arts Alliance from 2005 to 2013, and also served on the steering committee of the Canadian Arts Coalition.

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