Meet Gillian Elias – our newest Board Member!

Artistri Sud is proud to introduce Gillian Elias – Senior Economist at BDC – as our new Chair of Strategy and Plans on Artistri Sud’s Board of Directors. Gillian’s diverse set of interests in economics, international development, empowerment, arts, and her desire to help women succeed in business brought her to join the the board of Artistri Sud. “I chose to join Artistri Sud’s Board because it fits well with my own values and endeavours. I found Jennifer’s TEDTalk very inspiring. Working for the BDC where we support entrepreneurship and innovation in Canada, I thought that Artistri Sud would be a great organisation to join and develop further.” she says.

Bringing her extensive knowledge and experience to the team!

Born and raised in Toronto, Gillian completed her Bachelor’s Degree in French Literature and Honours Economics at Queen’s University, and then pursued a Master’s Degree in Economics at the University of Victoria. She has since worked on a broad array of economic, financial, and environmental issues throughout her career in government including at Industry Canada, Transport Canada and Finance Canada. Gillian has also served as the Finance Counsellor for the Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London.

Philanthropy is key to her life

In terms of philanthropic work, she is deeply committed to empowering women and helping them transform their lives. “I strongly believe in helping women be self-sufficient. When you give women business skills and mentorship, you allow them to become independent and entrepreneurial” says Gillian. Apart from being on our Board of Directors, she also mentors a young woman from Senegal who is studying for her Master’s in Public Finance through a bursary programme for African Leaders of the Future.  

When asked about a successful woman that inspires Gillian, she said “Audrey Hepburn because she lived through an extremely difficult time in history and still managed to independently take control and succeed in life. She also gave back in an important way by being an advocate for children’s rights.”

In addition to her many outstanding accomplishments in business and passion for women’s empowerment, Gillian also enjoys playing tennis, alpine skiing, biking, and is a certified kundalini yoga instructor. She has a keen interest in art history, theatre and opera and works with the Opera de Montreal to encourage the next generation of opera goers.

Welcome aboard!

As a Board Member focused on Strategy and Planning, she says “with my skills as an organiser, and connector and my rigorous economics background, I aim to focus on developing further our evaluation methods and build on how we can communicate and connect with our stakeholders.” We believe that her unique and diverse professional and philanthropic work experience will make her a valuable asset to the Artistri Sud team. Welcome aboard Gillian! 

Want to join our board? Artisti Sud is a growing organization and we are now looking for new board members to help us achieve our goals. For further information and/or to send your resume, please contact Jennifer Lonergan, President and Executive Director, at Please note that positions on the Board of Directors are unpaid.

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