Gateway Theatre Artistic & Executive Director Simon Johnston has announced his resignation, effective April 2012. Mr. Johnston has been at the helm of Richmond’s only professional theatre company since January 2000.
Johnston will leave Gateway to pursue other artistic projects.
Of his tenure at Gateway, he remarked, “It has been a privilege to lead this extraordinary creative voyage at a very special theatre that I have called home for over a decade. We have a new, energized Board, an excellent professional Staff and hundreds of fabulous volunteers. I am so proud of having been a part of this stimulating and rewarding journey.
"I have no doubt that the Gateway will continue its trajectory as a leading cultural institution.”
Mr. Johnston leaves a legacy of innovative theatrical programming in addition to the creation of numerous programs that moved the company from local player to regional theatre status.
These included the creation of the Studio Series of plays on Gateway’s second stage in Studio B, the SceneFirst play development program, premieres of 17 new Canadian plays, and several seasons of Sea of Stories, a playwrighting series pairing local writers with professional directors to help tell their stories of immigration and belonging.
These achievements most recently resulted in Mr. Johnston winning a Richmond Arts Award for Cultural Leadership on April 28.
Board Chair Paul Corcoran said, “Simon Johnston's contribution to the cultural identity of not only Richmond but also the entire Lower Mainland has been enormous. We wish Simon all the best in his future endeavours. There will always be a warm spot in our hearts for what his inspiration, leadership and vision has done for the Gateway Theatre. Bravo!"
Mr. Johnston’s departure in twelve months time allows the company ample time for planning a smooth transition. He will be an integral part of the succession planning process.