A photo of Alex Sarian
Alex Sarian | Photo: Will Young

Alex Sarian

After a sudden realization, this CEO found his path through music and theatre

Cherie McMaster

Coming to Calgary via New York City, Alex Sarian moved here to take on the role of president and CEO of Arts Commons after seven years of holding senior and executive level positions at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

“I was born in Toronto and I feel like it’s important for me to say that out loud because my return to Canada, my coming to Calgary, was a very personal journey—almost like a homecoming of sorts,” he explains. “I am Canadian, even though that very quickly gets lost in the story.”

From Buenos Aires to Shanghai to New York City, Sarian has worked with artists and arts organizations in 15 countries spanning five continents.

“The reason I fell in love with the arts and the reason I have embarked on somewhat of an unconventional career path is because when I was in high school, I was not a very good student. I was not a traditional learner. It wasn’t until I was in high school where I discovered music and theatre and just all of a sudden found myself,” he explains. “And the reason that was so important is because it was the first time in my young life that I, all of a sudden, found success and found my community and found my peers.”

Tune into this week’s Storytelling Podcast to hear about his journey, how he believes arts organizations can embrace their civic responsibilities, and what is on the horizon for Arts Commons.


About The Storytelling Podcast

Sharing diverse stories of creativity in our city, The Storytelling Podcast shines a spotlight on artists and projects that connect Calgarians to the arts.

Part of The Storytelling Project, this series raises awareness about Calgarians who, by living creative lives, are making Calgary a better city, effecting positive change and enriching others’ lives.

Have a story to share? Email us at submissions@calgaryartsdevelopment.com.

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