Brian Kelcey (Founder, State of the City Inc.)



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Brian F. Kelcey is the founder of State of the City, Inc., based in Toronto, Ontario, with clients in Toronto and Winnipeg. Kelcey and State of the City's two contract research staff offer research, support and advice to civic officials and city-focused public affairs organizations.

After he gained his first political experience launching environmental negotiations between loggers and activists in British Columbia, and after work as a property tax reform advocate in Manitoba and Ontario, Kelcey served as a senior political advisor in the Ontario government from 1999-2003 in the Office of the Government House Leader, in Intergovernmental Affairs and in Ontario's Consumer & Business Services Ministry. Kelcey also served as Ontario's first-ever political advisor for transit policy in 2003 as the Ministry of Transportation took early steps to create a regional transit authority for Toronto (now Metrolinx).

In 2004, Kelcey returned to Manitoba as manager of the Mayor's Red Tape Commission in Winnipeg. He wrote the Commission's thirty-recommendation report. Kelcey then served as budget advisor in the Mayor's office from 2005 to 2008. In that role, he helped to deliver three consecutive property tax freezes and a business tax cut while reforming infrastructure procurement, increasing investments in infrastructure, housing and community services, and expanding Winnipeg's public safety budgets.

Kelcey has previously served as a director or shareholder representative with several non-profits and public enterprises, including the Winnipeg's Forks-North Portage Partnership (a downtown renewal agency owned by the federal, provincial and municipal governments) and the Winnipeg Convention Centre. In 2012, he was a guest instructor in city politics at the University of Winnipeg. In 2013, he returned to Toronto, and in 2014 managed David Soknacki's "think tank campaign" for the Toronto mayoralty.

A film lover with a passion for gritty 20th Century noir fiction, Kelcey is a voracious reader of history. After a life spent packing boxes, he has 'three hometowns' - Victoria, B.C; Toronto, Ontario and Winnipeg, Manitoba - and he has influenced public policy as an activist, a consultant or a government advisor in all three. He is frequently interviewed by local, national and international media on urban politics, he appears regularly as a city affairs panelist on Toronto's AM 640 Show, and his op-eds have been published in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Spacing magazine, the Winnipeg Free Press, the Hamilton Spectator, Torontoist,, Municipal World and in syndicated newspapers across Canada's Sun / QMI chain.