Valerie Wilder came to The Australian Ballet in 2008 with an exceptional background of leading major performing arts organisations. A former dancer, artistic director and executive director in Canada and the USA, she brings to her role broad experience and insight into the international dance and arts world.
Valerie trained as a dancer at The Royal Ballet School and at the National Ballet School in Canada. She joined the National Ballet of Canada in 1970 and performed extensively both nationally and internationally over nearly ten years with the company.
After her retirement from the stage, Valerie joined the National Ballet of Canada’s executive team, holding key leadership roles as Artistic Director and Associate Director, before becoming Executive Director from 1996 to 2002. Under her leadership at the National Ballet, numerous new works were pre-funded and produced, the company built and moved into a new facility, a $4 million deficit was retired and endowment funds tripled.
Between 2002 and 2008, Valerie was Executive Director of Boston Ballet and the Boston Ballet Center for Dance Education, the fourth largest ballet company and largest dance school in North America. At Boston Ballet, she led a dramatic increase in contributed funds, launched and completed a three-year $35 million campaign and negotiated a move to a new home, the Boston Opera House.
Valerie has served on many non-profit boards including the Toronto Arts Council, the Canadian association of Professional Dance Organizations, and Dance USA, and is currently on the Advisory Board of the Victorian College of Arts and Music. In Canada she frequently participated in public policy development at various levels of government, including at the Canada Council for the Arts. Valerie continues to be a regular panellist and speaker at conferences and seminars in Canada, the USA and internationally. She has been an invited guest lecturer at Yale School of Drama, Simons College, MIT’s Sloan School of Management and on non-profit finance at the graduate program in arts administration at Boston College. She holds a Master’s degree in management from McGill University in Montreal and completed a program in non-profit strategy at Harvard Business School.