Alumni Feature: Angelica Demetriou
Friday, February 22, 2019
Starting a business is demanding and high-risk, and it can be especially daunting in the years immediately following graduate school. But for one U of T alumna, building a thriving arts business came as a natural next step in an impressive, swift-moving career. Less than a decade ago, Angelica Demetriou joined U of T’s Department of Art as an MA student. Today, she is a powerhouse in the art world with a trail of accomplishments behind her.
Angelica is co-founder and Principal of K+D—the only company in Canada providing a full-range of cataloguing and art consulting services to private, corporate and institutional collectors. Angelica and her business partner, Megan Kalaman, began working together in 2017 to fill a gap in the market. Now, the duo manages teams in Toronto, Vancouver and Halifax, and works with some of Canada’s top private collectors and corporations, such as TELUS, Deloitte and Brookfield.
To grow the company from a small start-up to a pan-Canadian enterprise, Angelica and Megan relied on their unique talents, as well as their shared vision, rock-solid partnership, and exceptional team of staff. “We have an incredible pool of talent at K+D—arguably some of Canada’s best and brightest arts professionals,” says Angelica.
Strong relationships with auction houses, art dealers, curators, artists, conservators, and appraisers are also central to K+D’s success. “Learning how to establish meaningful relationships with people in my network started during my MA,” she explains. Not only did the program equip Angelica with a wealth of valuable knowledge and critical tools, but also it created avenues for connecting with artists, academics and other professionals working in the arts and adjacent fields. She remarks that “finding your footing in the cultural sector can require dogged determination, though more than anything I find that it calls for an adaptive skill set and rich relationships—both of which I cultivated during graduate school.”
U of T was the future entrepreneur’s launch pad. After graduation Angelica possessed meaningful connections and well-rounded skills, and depended on these and her existing business acumen as she moved into senior-level positions in communications, business development and corporate art. She played an integral role in founding the Art Canada Institute, where she helped to lead ground-breaking programs, including the Canadian Online Art Book Project and public lecture series. At the award-winning design firm PLANT Architect Inc., Angelica served as Communications Manager; she continues to draw inspiration from the firm’s approach to leadership: “I witnessed an innovative trio in action—three brilliant partners negotiating the business landscape and mentoring a dynamic team of professionals.”
Mentorship figures prominently in Angelica’s vision for K+D. Even with a full schedule—from leading her new company to participating on art panels, juries and committees—the ambitious U of T alumna is committed to helping others succeed within the arts: “We’re creating more jobs each year. As our business grows, we can become a real incubator for arts professionals to help bright talent get rooted across Canada.”