Marianne McKenna recognized as one of Canada’s most powerful women for 2010

Marianne McKenna is a founding partner of Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, one of Canada’s leading architectural firms. She was educated at Swarthmore College (B.A.) and Yale University (M.Arch). Her commitment to culture and education is reflected in over 15 years of dedication to the realization of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s vision for world-class facilities. In 1991, McKenna developed the award-winning master plan, followed by strategic renovations to the historic buildings, culminating with the design of the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning. Described as the “last jewel in the crown of Toronto’s Cultural Renaissance,” the RCM has become one of Toronto’s most sought-out cultural and educational destinations. In 2010, it received a Governor General’s Medal for Architecture, Canada’s highest honour.

McKenna was also the partner in charge of the internationally acclaimed Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a precedent for contemporary sustainable design in the region, and the Engineering/Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex and John Molson School of Business at Concordia University (with Fichten Soiferman et Associés, architectes). She also led a multidisciplinary team to produce the master plan for Ryerson University, which received the prestigious American Institute of Architects Honour Award in 2009. In Toronto she has also designed innovative workspaces for some of the city’s business and media leaders, including Torys LLP, Woodbridge Co. and CTV.

Current projects include the University of Waterloo Quantum-Nanotechnology Centre, the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and the renewal of Minnesota Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.

McKenna has taught at McGill University, L’Université de Montréal and the University of Toronto, and is a frequent guest critic at schools of architecture across North America, including L’Université de Montréal, the University of Toronto, as well as Dalhousie, Carleton, McGill and Yale Universities.

“Every year, we honour the exceptional female leaders of Canada,” said Pamela Jeffery, Founder, Women’s Executive Network. “They each have remarkable achievements and Top 100 is a mark of their success and how they have supported their communities, companies, and organizations. Our Top 100 community is a powerful group of women who are at the top of their game, exemplify success and empower the next generation of women to take their careers to the next level.” 

Marianne McKenna will be celebrated November 29, 2010 at the Top 100 Awards Gala Dinner at the Allstream Centre in Toronto. The gala is the finale of a full-day celebration that offers Top 100 winners an exclusive morning of networking and professional development. The morning session will be followed by a summit which allows participants the opportunity to meet award recipients and enjoy an afternoon of professional development. The theme of this year’s summit is the Power of Collaboration and Connectivity. Details are available at

The Women’s Executive Network (WXN) is Canada’s most influential female audience and the country’s leading organization dedicated to advancement and recognition of executive-minded women in the workplace. Since 1997, WXN has expanded rapidly to meet the needs of the growing number of female managers and executives across Canada. In the fall of 2008, WXN launched in Ireland, a first step in creating an international community of women leaders. WXN now delivers innovative networking, mentoring and professional development to 16,000 members across Canada and Ireland. WXN is also a founding member of the Canadian Board Diversity Council, dedicated to increasing the diversity on corporate and federal public sector boards. More information is available at or