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Port Theatre announces its next executive director

David Warburton to take over from Bruce Halliday
David Warburton has been hired as the next executive director of the Port Theatre. (Photo submitted/News Bulletin file photo)

The Port Theatre will have a new executive director overseeing the arts and entertainment returning to the stage in Nanaimo.

The Port Theatre Society recently announced that it has hired David Warburton as executive director to take over for a retiring Bruce Halliday.

Warburton is currently the managing director of the Company at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and vice-president of the Canadian Dance Assembly.

Warburton said in a press release that he is grateful for the opportunity to join the team “at such an important and beloved cultural hub” and looks forward to welcoming artists and audiences to the venue.

“The Port Theatre’s reach extends well beyond Vancouver Island and has earned an impressive reputation as a community leader and arts presenter,” he said.

Warburton joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in 2013 and worked to rebuild relationships with presenting partners and expand performance opportunities abroad. He was also a leader in the ballet’s creation of an Indigenous advisory circle and advocated for federal support for the arts and culture sector during the pandemic.

Brian Clemens, board president, added in the release that the society is “thrilled” to welcome Warburton.

“He brings incredible expertise and passion to our Nanaimo community; we’re extremely fortunate to attract this kind of talent to Vancouver Island…” Clemens said. “The Port Theatre Society is in a very strong position moving forward, as we continue to champion arts and culture while recovering from the impacts of a global pandemic.”

The society, in the release, thanked Halliday for his “dedication, exceptional leadership, and incredible commitment to the arts” and noted that the theatre will continue to lean on him during the leadership transition.

The release suggested that this summer will be “a time of planning, sharing, and inspiring each other” and that the theatre looks forward to community collaboration.

“The arts have and will continue to be a critical segment of a healthy community, but during difficult times we have been reminded of how integral it is to share experiences with our friends and family; it renews our hope, love, and brings lightness into this world,” said Halliday in the release.

READ ALSO: Port Theatre general manager retiring after 23 years

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