Stephen McHolm has been chief artistic and administrative officer of The Esther Honens International Piano Competition Foundation since 2004. He is described as a “rebel and revolutionary” by Calgary's Avenue Magazine—a testament to work in making a 'new Calgary' seen and heard around the world today. Under his leadership, Honens has become one of Canada’s farthest-reaching arts organizations, taking the city and the nation to the world's music capitals while launching the careers of deserving emerging concert artists.
Music has been central to McHolm’s life since taking up piano at age five. While studying at the University of Ottawa, he balanced research on arts funding with hosting and producing programs on campus radio. He started his career in the arts with the Canadian Arts Presenting Association (CAPACOA), for which he later served as a Board Director. He joined Honens as Artistic Administrator in 1998.
In 2012, McHolm was honoured with the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management—the only prize of its kind in Canada to recognize the development and implementation of outstanding administrative practices in the arts while encouraging artistic innovation. In 2013, he was named an Honorary Fellow of Canada's Royal Conservatory of Music for his contribution to classical music and arts education around the world, joining a distinguished group that includes Measha Brueggergosman, David Foster and Oscar Peterson.
McHolm has served as a Vice President of the Geneva-based World Federation of International Music Competitions—a member of the International Music Council of UNESCO—since 2009.