Kim Spencer-Nairn

Arts Enabler.


a person or thing that makes something possible.

For Kim, coming up with ideas is never an issue. It’s deciding which of the thousands of ideas and possibilities to pursue with only 24 hours in a day. Her passion is for connecting artists and their creativity with audiences in new and meaningful engagements.

Kim Spencer-Nairn is a CPA CA in Canada with ten years of experience in public practice, a profession she pursued after abandoning studies in classical ballet with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Mechanical engineering at McGill University. After leaving the corporate audit world in 2009 she turned her attention, and varied experience, to world of visual arts. She founded the Capture Photography Festival in Vancouver, BC in 2013 and served as the festival’s Executive Director until 2019. The annual month-long Festival is now a staple in the city’s cultural event calendar and features artists from around the world in traditional gallery settings as well as a diverse public art programs.

In addition to continuing to serve as the Board Chair for Capture, in 2018 she was appointed to the Board of Canada Council for the Arts, the country’s largest cultural funder. At a time when countries around the world are cutting funding to arts, Canada has doubled their support from $180M to a target of $360M in 2021. In 2019 Kim joined the board of the Audain Art Museum in Whistler, BC, an ambitious new museum with an impressive collection and mandate to showcase the art of British Columbia.

Kim also serves at the art consultant to the Canada Line (high speed public transport from downtown Vancouver to YVR Airport). This past year she installed works by Sonny Assu, David Shrigley, Fiona Ackerman, Forest Young and Jeremy Mickel.



For the completion of her MA Arts and Cultural Enterprise, Kim has taken on an entirely new cultural challenge. Her dissertation explored social, cultural, and economic entanglements of machine-made woven blankets of and by the Indigenous Peoples of the Coast Salish Territories. Through this research, she has established the foundation for an Indigenous-led cultural enterprise with an aim to simultaneously decolonize and Indigenize the machine production of their customary blankets. With her collaborator, Master Musqueam weaver, Debra Sparrow, they are embarking on this ambitious and important new endeavor, the Salish Blanket Co. Stay tuned!