The Royal Conservatory of Music Announces Former VP of Business for the Arts, Aida Aydinyan, as Incoming General Manager, Performing Arts


The Royal Conservatory of Music has officially announced Canadian-Armenian Aida Aydinyan as their incoming General Manager, Performing Arts. Ms. Aydinyan will be responsible for all aspects of the operations, including box office, production, facility rentals, front of house, food and beverages, and, in partnership with Mervon Mehta, will lead a team of about 150 full-time and part-time employees. Her portfolio will also include financial management, development, marketing the facilities, liaising with external patrons, and clients, as well as government relations for the Performing Arts. Said Mervon Mehta, Executive Director of Performing Arts: “I am thrilled to welcome Aida to The Royal Conservatory, especially as we prepare for the 10th anniversary of Koerner Hall next season. She brings a wealth of management experience to The Conservatory and, with her enthusiasm, is a tremendous addition to our team. We are eagerly anticipating the positive impact she is going to have here.”

Ms. Aydinyan’s professional experience spans more than 25 years and includes senior leadership roles with arts and arts education organizations across three countries (US, Armenia, and Canada). In all her positions, past and present, she has been tasked with envisioning and spearheading the growth and transformation of organizations and has successfully demonstrated the ability to lead such change.

Ms. Aydinyan joins The Royal Conservatory team after seven years with Business for the Arts (B/A), where she held most recently the title of Vice President. She joined as B/A was expanding their artsVest matching and sponsorship training program from Ontario to other provinces across the country and became the driving force behind the unprecedented growth and tremendous success of the program. Ms. Aydinyan was successful in engineering the infrastructure for national expansion, hiring a stellar team, stewarding local program managers, and helping to build and secure partnerships with our federal and provincial funding partners. She was also instrumental in securing $11M from federal, provincial, and municipal partners to continue the national expansion of the program since its original launch in 2011. The artsVest program is now running in AB, NB, SK, BC, NS, PEI, ON, and is soon to launch in Quebec.

One of Ms. Aydinyan’s greatest contributions during her tenure at Business for the Arts was her passionate work in the area of leadership talent development, in-job professional training, and mentorship in the cultural sector. In 2014, she conceived of a new mentorship program to bolster the capacity building component of the artsVest program to increase training support for arts administrators in the program and worked with the team to scale the program across the country. There are now 50 domain expert mentors volunteering their time with over 400 participating arts organizations. Ms. Aydinyan also conceived of a new program designed for established executive leaders from small to mid-sized organizations in Canada to be mentored by senior leaders from large cultural institutions in the art world, which the team will be working to implement beginning in the fall of 2018.   

“Aida was an incredible support and mentor for the team, and was a great partner to me, which I will always value and will greatly miss! I am thrilled however that she will be able to immerse herself in one of her great passions: the performing arts,” says Nichole Anderson Bergeron, President & CEO of Business for the Arts. “In true Aida fashion, she remains committed to the important work she was doing for the sector with us and will continue to spend some time with us during her personal time to stay on with us in a consulting capacity to help in the transition.”

Before moving to Canada permanently in 2011, Ms. Aydinyan served as the Executive Director of a nonprofit music school, The Barthelmes Conservatory in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she transformed an organization on the verge of collapse into a stellar and prestigious music conservatory of its kind in the region by instituting and implementing a new strategic vision and operational model of two distinct and vital divisions with over 860 students and 35 faculty members. Ms. Aydinyan is a 2016 Fellow of Toronto Arts Council’s Leaders Lab program and a 2018 Fellow of Banff’s Cultural Leadership program.

“My time at Business for the Arts has been more than rewarding. At the same time, as someone with unbound adoration for the performing arts in general and music and music education in particular, I find myself so incredibly fortunate to join and be part of the wonderful undertakings at Canada’s top conservatory and the exciting work ahead especially at this upcoming anniversary year when The Royal Conservatory celebrates Koerner Hall’s 10th anniversary. I would love to bring my passion and skills to complement the continued exceptional work of establishing Koerner Hall as one of the world’s best concert halls, committed to producing highest quality artistic programming and The Conservatory as a key cultural, artistic and educational anchor in the city of Toronto, in the nation and beyond,” said Aida Aydinyan.


Media Contacts

Business for the Arts: Claire Hefferon Payne, artsVest National Program Director
416.869.3016 ext. 225;

The Royal Conservatory of Music: Barbora Kršek, Concert Publicity Manager and Publications Editor
416.408.2824 ext.265;