Vancouver Theatre Icon Joy Coghill Dies at 90

"Because we are privileged to be artists, we do not measure time in the accepted way. We know that one can live a lifetime in the last five minutes before we 'go on' and that on the occasion when the play is 'blessed,' there is no time at all; the play is over even as it began."

- Joy Coghill

JOY COGHILL (1926-2017)

JOY COGHILL (1926-2017)

Performing arts legend Joy Coghill passed away on January 20, 2017, days after suffering massive heart failure in Vancouver. She was 90.

Coghill had an extensive career in theatre, film and television. In addition to her roles as an actor and playwright, she held the position of artistic director of Vancouver Playhouse from 1967-1969 (the first woman to take on the role). She also founded Canada's first professional children's theatre, Holiday Theatre, in 1953, and Western Gold Theatre, for senior Canadian actors, in 1994. Coghill was also devoted to improving the performing arts community through initiatives such as Performing Arts Lodges Vancouver, which she co-founded with Jane Heyman and which provides affordable housing and a vibrant network of support for veterans of the city’s performing arts communities.

Among her many awards, Coghill received lifetime achievement honours from the UBCP/ACTRA in November 2016, and the City of Vancouver at the 2015 Mayor's Arts Awards. She was inducted as a member of the Order of Canada in 1991 and was a recipient of the Governor General's Award for the Performing Arts in 2002. Joy received honourary doctorates from the University of British Columbia (1995) and Simon Fraser University (1994).

There will be a celebration of life service at Christ Church Cathedral (690 Burrard Street, Vancouver), on February 20 at 3:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, Coghill's family has requested that donations be made to Performing Arts Lodges Vancouver.

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