Jung-Suk (JS) Ryu joined the Indefinite Arts Centre as its third Executive Director on June 19, 2017. JS’s experience spans multiple sectors including health care, international relations, and political management, but his passion for the arts and advocating for people with disabilities saw a natural match with the Centre.
Over the course of a decade, JS’s career has been marked by some amazing opportunities. As a senior aide to a prominent national political figure, JS travelled across the country – visiting all 10 provinces – as part of a nationwide policy consultation process. Then, as the press attache and principal speechwriter to the Ambassador of Japan, he was front and centre as the Embassy’s spokesperson in the aftermath of the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
In 2013, JS joined the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) as the organization’s first Director, Public Affairs. Under his leadership, CNIB embarked on an ambitious strategy to use the power of social media in advocating for the needs of the visually-impaired – these efforts were hailed as the “north star of advocacy campaigns” by Cam Tait of the Edmonton Sun. He also created and produced BlindFest, a province-wide summer festival that generated national media attention.
Prior to joining the Indefinite Arts Centre, JS was Director, External and Community Relations at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, overseeing the growth of the institution’s public sector funding – including an unprecedented $750,000 increase from the Canada Arts Training Fund – during a time of political and economic uncertainty.
In 2005, JS was appointed one of Alberta’s 100 Centennial Ambassadors and was subsequently awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal. In 2008, JS founded and led the Ottawa Symphonic Ensemble, one of the largest classical orchestras in the nation’s capital. And in 2012, he was appointed by the President of the Republic of Korea to serve on the National Unification Advisory Council.
In September 2017, JS was named one of five Fellows from Canada – one in 50 globally – to participate in the Salzburg Global Seminar’s Forum for Young Cultural Innovators.
JS resides in the Bow Valley with his wife Grace. They recently welcomed the arrival of their son Da-Seul.