After more than 20 years of service to the City of Vancouver and the arts community, Director of Civic Theatres, Rae Ackerman, will retire from his position as of August 3, 2012. A retirement celebration will be held in late September, with details to be announced by the City.
"One of Rae's most substantial achievements has been overseeing and managing the renewal of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver Playhouse and the Orpheum in time for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games," says Richard Newirth, Managing Director of Cultural Services for the City of Vancouver. "The budget for these projects totalled more than $60 million and provided the City with premier venues for the Cultural Olympiad and other games-related events. In addition, he has overseen the development of a new facility at the site of the old Capitol 6 cinema. This facility is now home to the VSO School of Music as well as the Orpheum Annex, a new addition to the Civic Theatres roster of venues.
Mr. Ackerman is a member of the Executive of the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame and is on advisory committees for theatre programs at Langara College Studio 58 and Capilano University's Arts & Entertainment Management program, the latter of which he was recently a member of the faculty.
Upon Mr. Ackerman's retirement, Deputy Director Todd Ayotte will be the interim Director of Civic Theatres.
"His history of experience in Canadian Theatre dates back to 1965 when he graduated from the Theatre department of UBC. From 1965 through 1989 he worked in theatre production across Canada at the Vancouver Playhouse, Theatre Calgary and Alberta Theatre projects, Manitoba Theatre Centre and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, St. Lawrence Centre, National Arts Centre, Expo '67, Neptune Theatre and Charlottetown Festival. He then segued into theatre management first as General Manager of the Pantages (now Ed Mirvish) Theatre in Toronto before assuming his current position with the City in 1990.
"In 1999, he was awarded the Performing Arts Executive of the Year by the Canadian Session & Tour Guide. He has also worked on design, construction supervision, renovation and/or start-up of 13 theatres across the country, beginning with the Frederic Wood Theatre at UBC in 1964 and, subsequently, the Place des Arts, National Arts Centre, Shaw Festival Theatre and the Epcor Centre.
"We all join in wishing Rae the best as he moves on to the next stage of his life and look forward to celebrating his retirement with him in September."