The Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) presented the ninth annual Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award to Ivan Habel, and protégés Nadine Carew and Natalie Ackers, at the annual PACT Conference. Ivan was chosen from a list of 13 nominees from across Canada.
Currently the Executive Director for the Belfry Theatre, Ivan's career has spanned over 35 years in the performing arts. In addition to six years running his own Production Management consultant and services company, he has worked for both commercial and non-profit companies including Live Entertainment Co., Follows Latimer Productions, the O'Keefe Centre, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Opera Atelier, the National Arts Centre, the Stratford Festival, the Shaw Festival and Green Thumb Theatre.
In choosing the 2015 recipient, the selection panel highlighted Ivan's national impact and long history of mentoring arts administrators. Ivan is well-regarded for his selflessness in sharing his knowledge with the community, as well as his commitment to advancing the industry through repeated negotiations with Canadian Actor's Equity Association on the Canadian Theatre Agreement.
Says Ivan, on receiving the award: "I'm thrilled and a little shocked to have been selected as this year's MGLA recipient. There are so many others who deserve this award, so being selected is extremely humbling. My thanks to all those who believe I'm deserving of this award and my thanks especially to my nominator who was generous in their consideration of me, and to the two women I am very proud to be associated with in receiving this award."
The award includes the naming of a protégé chosen by the winner, underlining the importance of skill and knowledge transmission in leadership building. Habel chose two deserving protégés this year: Nadine Carew, General Manager of Green Thumb Theatre in Vancouver, BC, and Natalie Ackers, Managing Director of Roseneath Theatre in Toronto, ON.
Ivan was humbled by the task of selecting a protégé: "The difficulty I had in selecting my protégés was that I don't really consider any of the extremely talented people I've had the pleasure of working with as other than people I can both help grow and people who help me grow. I have selected two women I am proud to have had a small part in establishing themselves as outstanding leaders and administrators. I selected them because I believe they will grow into far better leaders than I can make claim to for myself."