Media Release

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TORONTO, Wednesday, June 24, 2009 – Harbourfront Centre today announced that renowned Canadian actor Sonja Smits was elected President of the organization’s Board of Directors as part of its Annual General Meeting held in Toronto. She replaces outgoing President, Lionel F. Conacher as head of the 25 member volunteer board. Mr. Conacher will remain on the Board as Past President. Known to millions of Canadians as a star of stage, television and film, Ms. Smits is the first professional artist to be named as President of the celebrated Centre for contemporary culture which celebrates its 35th Anniversary in 2009/10.

“I am both thrilled and challenged to be working with such talented and dedicated Board colleagues who come from all sectors of business and the arts” said Ms. Smits. “Harbourfront Centre has a lustrous record of achievements and contributions in all art forms and continues to be a key supporter of both Canadian and international artists. As cultural organizations forge ahead during these challenging economic times, my colleagues and I are excited about helping to guide this amazing organization into the next decade.”

“Sonja Smits has been a dedicated and committed Board member for several years. As our first Board President from the arts sector, she is the ideal candidate to help lead us into a dynamic future,” said William J.S. Boyle, Chief Executive Officer of Harbourfront Centre. “She is very knowledgeable about the current cultural scene and we are all looking forward to Sonja’s leadership of our Board team.”

Sonja Smits has starred in several Canadian television series including The Eleventh Hour, Traders and Street Legal; films such as David Cronenberg’s Videodrome and the television film of Margaret Lawrence’s The Diviners and has garnered many career awards including a Gemini Award and the Women in Film and ACTRA Award of Excellence.

Harbourfront Centre is one of Canada’s largest and most dynamic centres for contemporary culture responsible for operating ten key acres of Toronto’s central waterfront, attracting more than 12.5 million visits each year to its 4000 plus cultural programmes.

For additional information concerning this announcement, please contact:
Bruce Hutchinson, Director, Marketing and Media Relations or 416-973-4677
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