After serving as the company's executive director for the past 14 years, Howard Jang will bid farewell to the Arts Club Theatre on June 30.
Simon Fraser University has appointed Jang as the new director of SFU Woodward’s Cultural Unit. In addition to this new role, Jang will also serve as professor of professional practice within SFU's School for the Contemporary Arts.
Jang has had a significant impact on the growth and development of the Arts Club, which is currently celebrating its 50th season. Under his leadership, the company has achieved the largest subscription base of any professional theatre in the country, has successfully renovated the Granville Island Stage, and re-opened the Revue Stage as a venue for new play development.
The company’s financial performance has enabled the Arts Club to eliminate the mortgage on the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage and to form its own foundation.
“Howard’s major accomplishment was ensuring that the company became stable financially. He was instrumental in setting up our foundation, which has grown our endowment,” said managing artistic director Bill Millerd. “He constantly looked for ways to improve the company through rigorous strategic planning.”
At SFU, Jang will direct the unit responsible for cultural and artistic programming at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, and collaborate with SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement, which produces public talks, community partnerships, accessible education opportunities, and student placements in community organizations.
“I am inspired and motivated by SFU’s core value of ‘Engagement’ and the University’s commitment to strengthen and connect communities,” he said. “The unique opportunity to teach at the School for the Contemporary Arts and lead the SFU Woodward’s Cultural Unit will allow me to use my expertise and experience to position arts and culture as a catalyst for innovative thinking and practice that builds partnerships and community.”
“Howard’s background as an administrator and an artist, his extensive community connections, his passion, and his artistic vision will enhance the Cultural Unit as it works to support SFU’s vision of becoming Canada’s leading engaged university,” said SFU’s Vice-President, External Relations Philip Steenkamp.
An Arts Club board-led search will be conducted to permanently fill the executive director position. Jang will start at the university in August.