Twelve exceptional civic leaders were honoured this week at Government House in Victoria with the province’s highest form of recognition, the Order of British Columbia. Among the recipients, two—Christopher Gaze and Charles Jago—are recognized for their achievements and contributions to the arts. Gaze, a 2012 recipient, was invested on Monday having missed last year’s ceremony.
The announcement on the Province's website includes the biographies below. For a full list of this year's recipients and their biographies click here.
Mr. Christopher Gaze has elevated the cultural standard of Vancouver, the Lower Mainland and all of British Columbia. The founder and artistic director of Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival in Vancouver, Mr. Gaze is leading the Festival into its 25th season.
More than 90,000 people from Canada, the United States and beyond attend Bard on the Beach each season. The Festival is a four million dollar annual operation, contributing significantly to British Columbia’s arts sector employment and our economy.
Mr. Gaze has provided a strong focus on the actors and audiences of the future. He created Young Shakespearean Acting Program Workshops, allowing more than 275 young people to train each summer with seasoned professionals on the Bard stages. The Festival also developed its Student Matinee Series, which introduces more than ten thousand students each year to the magic of Shakespeare’s stories and language.
Mr. Gaze hosts over twenty concerts each year with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and sits on a variety of boards including Chor Leoni Men’s Choir and the Health Arts Society. He has received prestigious honours from the B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame, Canada’s Meritorious Service Medal, Honorary Doctorates from SFU and UBC, the B.C. Community Achievement Award, the Gold Medal Medallion from the Children’s Foundation of America, the Mayor’s Arts Award for Theatre and the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Dr. Charles Jago has contributed greatly to British Columbia in education, health care, economic development, the arts, community service and as an articulate and respected advocate for Northern British Columbia.
As President of the University of Northern British Columbia, Dr. Jago oversaw significant growth of the university, initiated partnerships with First Nations and initiated the Northern Sports Centre. He has actively promoted economic development in Northern BC as well as the Arts and has volunteered in many areas, such as the Fraser Basin Council, which he has chaired since 2006.
Dr. Jago’s most significant contributions have been the creation of the Northern Medical Program, developed in response to a critical shortage of physicians in Northern BC, and the creation of the BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North in Prince George.
Dr. Jago has served on the boards of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and the Association of Commonwealth Universities and is past-chair of the Council of Western Canadian University Presidents and the University Presidents’ Council of BC. He has served on the boards of Theatre Northwest, Two Rivers Art Gallery, Initiatives Prince George, Canada West Foundation, and Partnerships BC. He played an active role in the Nechako Environmental Enhancement Fund and the annual Northern BC United Way Campaign. He currently chairs the board of the Northern Health Authority.
Dr. Jago received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2005 for his contributions to education over a quarter century.
For more information about the Order of BC visit http://www.orderofbc.gov.bc.ca/.