Karen Shelstad

Program Director
phone: 416.775.9458 x205

Lawson Team

Karen leads program development for four of the Lawson Foundation’s funding programs and was instrumental in developing a strategic approach to its grant making. Karen also provides leadership for the Foundation’s nascent Impact Investing program. She has over 20 years experience in the not-for-profit sector working with foundations and national arts organizations. Prior to joining the Lawson Foundation, she held senior management positions at the Canadian Opera Company and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. As Associate Director at the London Community Foundation, Karen contributed to its growth and community impact by developing and managing strategic granting programs, financial systems and an investment management program for local charities.

In addition to a Masters in Business Administration at the University of Toronto, Karen completed a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance at the University of Western Ontario and post-graduate studies at the internationally renowned Hochschule für Musik Detmold, Germany. An experienced collaborative pianist and vocal coach, she has performed in recitals, oratorio concerts and opera performances in Europe, the USA and Canada. She taught piano at the University of Bielefeld, Germany, and has coached privately and at festivals in Europe and North America.

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