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Jung-Suk (JS) Ryu is the founding President and CEO of the National accessArts Centre (NaAC), after successfully leading the merger of three Calgary-based disability arts organizations: Indefinite Arts Centre, Momo Movement, and Artistic Expressions. Under his leadership, the NaAC has grown to become Canada’s largest disability arts organization, more than doubling in size and actively showcasing Canadian artists with disabilities on the global stage.
In February 2021, he unveiled plans to construct North America’s first multidisciplinary accessible arts hub, beginning with the revitalization of the old Scouts Hall in central Calgary that will house the NaAC’s visual arts studios made possible by a multimillion dollar investment from the City of Calgary. In November 2022, the NaAC received the largest gift in its history, a $2.5 million property in Toronto, Ontario that will soon be developed into the Won Lee Community Arts Hub, in memory of the late Canadian sculptor Won Lee.
Prior to his appointment at the NaAC, JS held several senior-level roles across a variety of sectors including: Director, External and Community Relations at the Banff Centre; Director, Public Affairs at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind; Senior Consultant with the Alberta Medical Association; and Principal Speechwriter to His Excellency Kaoru Ishikawa, Ambassador of Japan.
In 2017, JS was named one of five fellows from Canada – one in 50 globally – to participate in the Salzburg Global Seminar’s Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. He was named one of Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 by Avenue Magazine in 2019. In 2022, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal. He is also the recipient of the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005.
JS has served on the boards of numerous organizations, including CCVO, the Rocky View County FCSS Board, Creative Calgary, the Health Coalition of Alberta, the Banff Heritage Corporation, the Korean Canadian Association of Ottawa, and the Canadian Mountain Arts Foundation.