Jennifer Mallard  

Jennifer Mallard
Jennifer Mallard (she/her/hers) is a Principal with Diamond Schmitt Architects in Toronto, Canada. The firm has been responsible the design of performing arts centres world-wide, including the Mariinsky II in St Petersburg, the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto, Marlborough College in the U.K., Harman Centre for the Arts in Washington, D.C., Detroit Symphony Hall, Buddy Holly Hall in Lubbock, Texas and David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Centre in New York.

Jennifer graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa and has worked with design firms in Ottawa, Vancouver, London and Toronto. Over the past three decades, she has been leading design teams and clients through the specific challenges of making  civic buildings, including public libraries, educational institutions, and her favorite – performing arts centres. She understands that successful design – particularly for the performing arts – is achieved though intense collaboration and attention to detail.

Jennifer will speak about two projects close to her heart: The National Arts Centre in Ottawa and the Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre in Toronto. Selected for their astounding impact on their communities, these two projects represent both ends of the spectrum—one a large-scale national institution and the other, a new home to small grassroots arts organizations. Through these examples, Jennifer will illustrate the opportunities and responsibilities we face in public architecture, citing collaboration and civic engagement to be the critical ingredient in their success for posterity.

Jennifer will donate her honorarium for this talk, equally divided to the National Art Centre’s National Creation Fund and to the Regent Park School of Music.

Formed in 2016, the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund invests up to $3 million annually in the development of 15 to 20 compelling and ambitious new Canadian works in theatre, dance, music and inter-disciplinary performing arts. Fuelled entirely by donors, the Fund provides Canadian artists with the additional time, space and resources they need to create great work. The Fund invests in both new work, and in promising productions that need additional development after their initial run to prepare to remount and tour across Canada and around the world.

Regent Park School of Music is a community music school that gives kids a rich and rewarding music education, by removing the financial obstacle. For over 20 years they have seen that the study of music allows young people to flourish creatively, personally and academically, enriching their lives and future prospects. With the passionate support of many donors, they are now reaching over 1,000 kids in the city, giving young people a great music education, and building their confidence and aspirations so that they not only graduate high school but also go on to university and college to pave the way for a bright, bold future. 

In Jennifer’s words, “seeing the spaces we help create being actively engaged with creative people – it’s why we do what we do”.