Carol KehoeDirector of Marketing & Communications
Photo credit: Daniel Banko
Carol Kehoe is an accomplished leader with more than 25 years of management experience at senior levels. A life-long learner, with a strong creative, artistic nature, Carol has demonstrated experience in relationship and operations management across the public and private sectors, having held senior marketing and development positions in several professional arts organizations, most recently as Executive Director of Tafelmusik, and previously, Executive Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra.
More than 15 years in the media sector culminated in Carol’s role as Director of Marketing for the London Free Press before she turned to a consulting practice offering strategic and communications planning. She spent eight years as an instructor in the Arts Management Diploma Program at Western University and has volunteered for many public and non-profit organizations including the Loran Scholars Foundation, London Symphonia, London Youth Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Hamilton Arts Council, Museum London, the London Arts Council, the Creative City Task Force, City of London, and the Music Strategy Task Force, City of Hamilton.
Carol has a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Arts in Journalism from Western University. She is the 2016 recipient of Work in Culture’s Robert Johnston Award, awarded to an individual who has demonstrated strength in nurturing and supporting people through their careers.
Q&A WITH CAROL
How long have you worked with Symphony Nova Scotia?
Just started, so not long at all. But I’ve been an admirer from afar for years.
Do you have any other jobs/volunteer jobs?
I’m a volunteer with the Loran Scholars Foundation and the Jill Wilcox Foundation, and I am Chair of the Learning Committee for Orchestras Canada.
Can you tell us a humorous anecdote about your experience with Symphony Nova Scotia?
Not yet, but I’m sure there will be plenty. I tend to find joy in whatever I’m doing, which generally leads to laughter and some funny situations.
What do you love about symphonic music?
Why is Symphony Nova Scotia important to our community?
Symphony Nova Scotia is a community asset that should be cherished and protected. Access to orchestral music is both healing and inspiring, and residents who embrace it will find joy, beauty, and hope in their own lives. This, consequently, leads to happier people – essential to thriving communities.
Do you play an instrument?
If you couldn’t be a Director of Marketing, what would you like to do?
I’d be a teacher. I spent eight years as an instructor at Western University’s arts management certificate program and took a year off in my early 50s to complete a Bachelor of Education degree. It is a privilege to help people achieve success, which is what good teachers accomplish.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Read, garden, walk. Watch movies. Listen to music. Write.
What are your outside interests?
Hmmm… so many to choose from. I love art galleries, artisan work, wine tours, garden walks, politics, heritage buildings, architecture, and car drives.
What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?
Too many to choose from. The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra partnered with Canadian legend Ian Thomas and produced orchestral versions of many of his best songs. Then Tafelmusik did a spectacular Messiah at Koerner Hall in Toronto. Barbara Hannigan conducting the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. I saw Liza Minelli in London England many, many years ago – and she could perform a show. Keith Urban, Jason Aldean, Diana Krall, Diana Panton, Liz Wright, Chris Botti, David Garrett, and Lady Gaga… she was amazing.
What’s your favourite piece?
Cliché, but Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
What’s your favourite music group(s)?
I don’t have one. I like too many artists to single anyone out. But if you make me choose, I’ve seen Chris Botti play the trumpet three times, and I’d go again.
What’s a fact that nobody would know about you?
I was interviewed by the RCMP for flying a plane too low over a city.
What’s your favourite indulgence?
Books and art. I buy too many of both.
What’s the best/worst thing that’s ever happened to you?
Being downsized by the London Free Press. I leveraged 25 years of media experience when I moved into the arts.
What was the best day of your life?
My daughter’s birthday.
Who is the person who most influenced you, and how/why?
It isn’t one person, it was two… my parents. My dad was creative, hard-working, and good with people. He had a sense of adventure that took him around the world with no more than a high school education. My mom. From her I learned resilience, acceptance and loyalty, and to keep family first even as a working professional.
What’s your favourite movie/book/TV show of all time?
My tastes tend toward too eclectic to have “favourites”. I mix artwork and furniture from my grandparents with contemporary pieces: same with books, movies, and TV shows. I’m one of those who loves the juxtaposition of great new short music beside the old favourites. There’s a continuity of time and creativity that spans generations that I appreciate.
What are you reading right now?
We Don’t Know Ourselves by Fintan O’Toole.
What’s your favourite food(s)?
What’s your favourite book(s)?
A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Who’s your favourite person in the world?
Easy one… my daughter.
What do you do to relax?
Walk, garden, and listen to music.
What are you listening to right now?
CBC. Wherever I go.
What’s your favourite quote?
Don’t have one. Although I did use “Leave no stone unturned” for a memorial plaque at the stadium built in the 1990s at Western University.
Which concert are you looking forward to most next season?
All of them!