TORONTO–The Writers’ Trust of Canada today announced Charlie Foran as the organization’s new Executive Director. He will replace Mary Osborne, who will leave at the end of 2019 after seven years with the Writers’ Trust. Foran assumes the role in January 2020.

Charlie Foran

Foran is a Member of the Order of Canada, a senior fellow at Massey College in the University of Toronto, and an adjunct professor in the Department of English at the University of Toronto. He is the author of 11 books of fiction and nonfiction, and has won many awards and honours, including the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, Governor General’s Award, the Canadian Jewish Book Award, the Charles Taylor Prize, and the Writers’ Trust Fellowship.

He joins the Writers’ Trust after completing his term as CEO of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship in early 2019. Co-founded by the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul, the national charity realized a period of exceptional growth under his guidance.

“Charlie is that rare hybrid — both a respected administrator with experience leading some of the country’s most impactful arts and social justice organizations, and an accomplished writer working in both fiction and nonfiction,” said Kari Cullen, Chair, Writers’ Trust of Canada. “He is recognized for his contributions to Canadian literature, and as a champion for freedom of speech. We are tremendously excited to welcome him to the Writers’ Trust of Canada.

“We are truly grateful for the incredible contribution that Mary Osborne has made to the Writers’ Trust over the past seven years. She led the organization through a highly successful period of fundraising and program growth, enabling the Writers’ Trust to put more money directly into Canadian writers’ hands,” said Cullen. “Mary’s exceptional professionalism and wonderful good humour will be greatly missed.”

“The Writers’ Trust is essential to the cultural life of Canada,” said Charlie Foran. “The work it does impacts directly and forcefully. It isn’t only about rewarding literary excellence; the organization provides encouragement and community for authors, and increasingly models an inclusive vision of Canadian literature. Within the ecosystems of organizations that fund artists, it is unique. It is a voice for, and on behalf of, Canadian writers and writing. I am honoured to be asked to evolve the Writers’ Trust into the next decade. There is much more work still to be done.”

The appointment is the culmination of a national search managed by Janet Wright and Associates under the guidance of a committee of the Writers’ Trust of Canada Board of Directors.

About the Writers’ Trust of Canada
The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through ten national literary awards and a portfolio of programs that includes a fellowship, financial grants, and a writers’ retreat. Writers’ Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada’s writers receive more financial support from the Writers’ Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country. Additional information is available at

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