Ben Benedict is a leading culture worker and advocate who continues to work with artist, arts organizations, and communities across Southwestern Ontario. As a visual artist, journalist, entrepreneur, and volunteer Ben Benedict has over twenty years of professional community development and outreach experience. If your organization is in need of a seasoned, insightful and experienced consultant, look no further.
Beginning with his time at Western University, Ben Benedict was a member of the University Students’ Council representing the arts faculty for three years where he was also a member of the John Labatt Visual Arts Building Committee, overseeing building design specifications and space allocations as part of the team responsible for oversight including budget management.
During his time in Sarnia Ontario he was an engaged member of the Lambton County Culture & Communications Committee between 1994 and 1999, where he oversaw library operations and the redevelopment of Gallery Lambton, facilitating the move to the Bayside Centre. Also during this period Ben Benedict acted on behalf of the Ontario Association of Career Colleges in lobbying for progressive change in Ontario’s education system. As Director of Sarnia’s Academy of Learning franchise his effort in creating 100 percent growth annually lead to a monthly column on technology, a speaking engagement during Sarnia-Lambton Business Week in October 1995, and a nomination as “Franchisee of the Year in 1998” for his vision in creating growth and overall contribution to the franchise organization nationally.
Before returning to London, Ben Benedict was contracted to create a Foundation Development Report for The Cultural Centre and other cultural resources in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent on behalf of the Community & Client Services Department. The report recommended resources for better communications flow as well as the development of funding resources including the development of a “Friends of” program.
Returning to London in 2000, Ben Benedict began leading change in London’s diverse Cultural and Nonprofit sectors, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Two-Spirited community as an active and engaged member.
Building upon experiences as an educator and lobbyist, in 2003 Ben Benedict on contract with Pillar – Voluntary Sector Network (renamed Pillar Nonprofit Network, 2005) as a Special Events Coordinator, assisted in the development of the first Pillar Innovation Awards. At this time, Pride London Events, a nonprofit he helped to co-found, joined as one of the founding members. Ben Benedict sat as a member of Pillar Nonprofit Network’s Education and Training Committee between 2005 – 2009, directing and developing training and networking opportunities for those working within London’s nonprofit sector. As a measure of influence, Ben Benedict was recognized as class Valedictorian for the Business Planning Workshop at London’s Small Business Centre in 2005.
As an Arts & Community Reporter for Sun Media’s The Londoner from 2005 – 2008, Ben Benedict extended his network and influence, working with London’s leading artists, administrators, business professionals, and volunteers while gaining further insights to the challenges and opportunities within London, the surrounding region, and even Ontario wide.
During this period Ben Benedict worked with a number of different organizations on strategic reorganization including The Brickenden Theatre Awards Organizing Committee, McIntosh Gallery Strategic Planning Committee, and the Forest City Gallery. In 2007 Ben Benedict joined the City of London’s Creative City Committee as a community representative and assisting in the development of London’s Cultural Prosperity Master Plan, and Public Art Policy, until the committee was wound down in 2013.
Ben Benedict’s efforts during this period on behalf of London’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Two-Spirited community also helped revolutionize social attitudes and expressions within London. As co-found of Pride London Events and the subsequent Pride London Festival, his efforts and leadership brought stability, visibility, and growth to the nonprofit organization. Milestones include incorporation, development of the 519 Community Directory and Pride Guide, development of the annual art exhibit into a provincially recognized juried exhibition, and stewardship of the Rainbow Youth Leadership Bursary, a fund held at the London Community Foundation. In 2008, Pride London Festival was recognized as a significant cultural event by the City of London. In July 2012, Ben Benedict was recognized as a community Trail Blazer for his commitment to London’s LGBT2 and Cultural communities.
In 2009, Ben Benedict returned to independent practice full time, starting the year by winning the Outstanding Feedback Show 2008/09 Award at CHRW Radio Western for Inside the Arts, a monthly hour long radio show featuring professionals who work behind the scenes for London’s leading cultural industries. During this period Ben Benedict worked with a number of different organizations including the Jack Richardson Music Awards, The Brush and Palette Club, Parents of Technologically Dependent Children, and the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.
With this growing expertise in culture as a visual artist, writer, and experienced entrepreneurial consultant, outside of London Ben Benedict continues to be recognized for his cultural expertise assisting with the Schulich School of Business, York University’s SIFE York program on the development of a Business of Art day long workshop in 2012 and would return as Keynote Speaker in 2013.
Ben Benedict’s experience and in-depth of knowledge, which combines experiences as a seasoned writer, visual artists, and public relations and corporate communications professional with years of practical experience in business and nonprofit development, event development and management, and community service to bring you a wide breadth of options and solutions to your current and future business challenges. As a seasoned, insightful and experienced consultant Ben Benedict can help guide you through your current business needs while developing policies and procedures to help your organization sustain itself for the future.
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