Piers Handling


Goin’ Down the Road and Down the Road Again

Piers Handling is the newly retired Director and Chief Executive Officer of TIFF. He held this position since 1994, responsible for leading both the operational and artistic growth of the organization. Under his direction, the organization has grown to become an internationally renowned cultural institution which has just successfully opened TIFF Bell Lightbox, a permanent home for all of TIFF’s year-round film programming: film screenings, an exhibitions gallery and a variety of educational and learning programmes. He led the $196 million fundraising campaign in support of this project. Prior to joining the Toronto International Film Festival in 1982, Mr. Handling began his career at the Canadian Film Institute (CFI), ultimately becoming Deputy Director. After leaving the CFI, he taught Canadian cinema at Carleton University in Ottawa and Queen’s University in Kingston. He has published extensively on Canadian cinema. Mr. Handling is currently Chair of FAME (Festivals and Major Events), sits on the Board of the Canadian Film Centre, and is a member of the Minister of Culture’s Advisory Council for Arts and Culture (MACAC). Previously he was on the Board of Tafelmusik and Luminato. He has been honoured with the “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres”, France’s highest cultural insignia. In 2003, Handling was named CEO of the Year by the Canadian Public Relations Society (Toronto), recognizing for the first time, a CEO from the cultural not-for-profit sector. In 2006 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Law from Ryerson University. In 2011 Mr. Handling was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from York University and an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from OCAD University.