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Harbourfront Centre Chief Executive Officer William J.S. Boyle named as Member of the Order of Canada

TORONTO, January 28, 2004 - Zanana Akande, President, and The Board of Directors of Harbourfront Centre extend congratulations to William J.S. Boyle, Chief Executive Officer. Yesterday Mr. Boyle was named a new Member of the Order of Canada by Her Excellency, Governor General Adrienne Clarkson in recognition of his tireless work to champion Canadian and international culture both at home and abroad. Mr. Boyle has positioned Harbourfront Centre as a leader in innovative contemporary cultural expression through such stellar international programmes as the World Stage international theatre festival, The Power Plant Art Gallery and World Leaders: A Festival of Creative Genius.

In nominating him for the honour, Norman M. Seagram, Past President of Harbourfront Centre, noted that William Boyle's inspired stewardship and sweeping vision have helped to create a Centre that is the envy of arts producers around the world. "Bill is relentlessly passionate and brilliant as a promoter of both emerging and mature artistic talent and innovation in Canada and throughout the world," said Mr. Seagram. "One of his great legacies will be his pioneering work embracing Canada's ethno-cultural communities, creating a unique model by bringing broad- based audiences to thousands of diverse cultural events every year."

William J.S. Boyle has had a distinguished career with Harbourfront Centre spanning 20 years. As Founding Director of The Power Plant contemporary art gallery at Harbourfront Centre from 1983-89, he presided over the physical transformation of the 1920s powerhouse building into the country's leading non-collecting public art institution devoted solely to contemporary art. Adding the role of Director of Public Programmes for Harbourfront Centre to his duties in 1986, he oversaw the transformation of the former icehouse into what was known as the du Maurier Theatre Centre, today called the Harbourfront Centre Theatre. The WOMAD (World of Music, Art and Dance) festival, an exceptionally popular highlight in the late 1980s with its diverse programme offerings, became the guide for the current model of multi-disciplinary festival at Harbourfront Centre, now emulated across the country and around the world.

In 1991 Mr. Boyle was appointed the founding General Manager and Chief Executive Officer when Harbourfront Centre was created as an independent non-profit charitable organization. Under William Boyle's astute leadership, Harbourfront Centre threaded its way through perilous funding challenges, growing into the thriving organization which today presides over what is arguably one of the world's most diverse cultural centres and the model on which numerous international cultural redevelopment projects have been patterned. Always a proponent of accessible ethno-cultural explorations, Mr. Boyle was instrumental in championing the talents of Canadian artists by insisting that they be presented within an international context to provide perspective and validity to their stature.

The World Stage international theatre festival, the Milk International Children's Festival of the Arts, the International Festival of Authors, the Contemporary Dance series of international offerings, the diverse and eclectic series of community and ethno-cultural Summer Festivals, the national and international exhibitions which fill The Power Plant and York Quay Galleries, and the international role the Craft Studio programme has played in establishing Canadian craft are only a few of many events now presented each year under William Boyle's direction. Add to this such unique monumental celebrations as Today's Japan (1995), the largest exposition of contemporary Japanese culture ever presented in North America; World Leaders: A Festival of Creative Genius (2001), which again propelled Harbourfront Centre into the world's spotlight for its celebration of the transformative legacy of 14 of the world's cultural icons; SUPERDANISH, Newfangled Danish Culture, the extensive investigation into contemporary Danish culture which has just been announced for the Fall of 2004.

As a member of many volunteer boards and committees, as a much-sought-after participant in international cultural forums and fact-gathering studies, William Boyle has lived his philosophy of integrating culture into the broader community. Currently he is playing a significant role in the Toronto waterfront redevelopment plans, working with the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government and the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation. He is also currently serving on the Canada Japan Forum, having been recently appointed to this federal initiative by the Prime Minister as one of six citizens assigned the task of strengthening the relationship between these two countries.


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