Annie Hillis is passionate about building and supporting vibrant and creative urban communities. For 25 years she has worked to make cities better through innovative place-making, bold ideas and collaborative leadership.
From 2008 to 2013, Annie was the founding Executive Director of the Wellington West Business Improvement Area, where she steered the growth of one of Ottawa’s largest commercial areas. During her tenure, WWBIA was awarded the Ontario BIAs Association marketing award, a City of Ottawa urban design award, and Causeway’s volunteer of the year award.
Previously, Annie played a key role in developing and launching several acclaimed creative space projects, notably the Centre for Social Innovation (Toronto), Artscape Wychwood Barns (Toronto), Centre Culturel Lézarts Loco (Val-David, Quebec) and the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre (Ottawa).
Born in Toronto and raised in Costa Rica, Annie received a degree from Trent University before heading west to work at The Banff Centre, where she spent 5 years. She later worked in Vancouver for several arts organizations, including the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Program, Presentation House Gallery and the North Vancouver Community Arts Council.
Annie has lived in Ottawa with her husband John and their two children since 2006. As the Chair of the Somerset West Community Health Centre, she has helped to build the organization’s second facility in Hintonburg, which will open in 2014.