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The Adelaide Festival is delighted to announce the appointment of well-known cultural leader and Arts administrator Ian McRae AO to the Adelaide Festival Board.

Mr McRae has had an extensive career in Arts Management. He is currently Chair of the Australian National Academy of Music and Chair of the Australian Fronto-temporal Dementia Association.

He worked for the Australian Ballet for 16 years, including an 11 year term as General Manager from 1991 to 2002. Prior to that he was Administration Manager of the Victorian Arts Centre. His time at the Arts Centre in Melbourne covered the exciting period of establishing the organisation and its operating philosophies - and the opening of the theatres and concert hall.

He also completed a five and a half year term as a member of the Australia Council, where he was Chair of its Theatre Board and a member of its Audit and Finance Committee. At the same time he completed a four-year term as a member of the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board.

Mr McRae teamed with Leo Schofield to bring the renowned Paris Opera Ballet to Sydney for its first visit to Australia in 2007, bringing the company back to Brisbane in 2009 and again to Sydney in 2013 for further successful seasons. He has collaborated with Queensland Performing Arts Centre in bringing to Australia, as part of its International Series, the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, the Hamburg Philharmonic, Opera and Ballet; the Bolshoi Ballet; American Ballet Theatre; Ballet Preljocaj; the Royal Ballet from London and in 2018 La Scala Ballet from Italy.

In 2002 he was honoured as Cultural Leader of the Year by the Australian Business Arts Foundation and is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). Mr McRae has also sat on numerous Boards including the Heide Museum of Modern Art, the Malthouse Theatre, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Bell Shakespeare Company, Melbourne Recital Centre, Orchestra Victoria and the Victorian Council for the Arts.

A Chartered Accountant, he spent twelve years in that profession before accepting the role of Administration Manager with the Australian Conservation Foundation. He later moved into private enterprise where he held senior financial and management positions. 

Mr McRae said of his appointment: “I am delighted to be joining the Festival's Board. Adelaide has, once again, regained its position as Australia’s pre-eminent arts festival and it will be a pleasure to be working alongside its talented team.”

Adelaide Festival Chair Judy Potter said: "I am thrilled to welcome Ian to the board. His administrative and creative skill set, as well as his nation-wide perspective of the Arts landscape, will be an enormous asset for the Festival as we continue to cement our national reputation as the country’s leading arts festival, increasing our interstate visitation and national philanthropic support."

Mr McRae’s appointment is until December 2021.

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