TORONTO, Feb. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - David Mirvish, a Canadian theatre producer, art collector and lifelong supporter of the arts, has been named as the next chancellor of the University of Guelph.
His appointment was endorsed by a vote of the University's Senate Monday. He will be installed during a ceremony in June.
"David is a cultural icon and leader," said U of G president Alastair Summerlee. "He has been a dominant force in Canada's artistic community for decades and possesses great vision, ingenuity, imagination and enthusiasm.
"He is known nationally and internationally for his productions and artistic contributions. His experience, wealth of ideas and endless creativity will be an asset in these times of great challenges. He will also add lustre to our reputation as a place that inspires creativity and engaged inquiry."
As chancellor, Mirvish will preside at convocations, confer all University degrees and act as an ambassador. As the University's senior volunteer, he will represent its interests to all government levels.
"It's an honour and privilege to be asked to serve as chancellor of the University of Guelph," Mirvish said.
"I am proud to become a member of a university community that is making a difference around the world. Whether it be the food on our tables, the quality of the environment, our health, and the critical aspects of our communities and culture, the University of Guelph is having an impact. I look forward to getting to know the students, faculty, staff and alumni, and to being an ambassador for Guelph's people, ideas and innovations."
As a longtime arts patron, Mirvish is an internationally renowned collector of modern art and a supporter and developer of Canadian theatre productions and emerging visual artists.
He owns and operates Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre, Princess of Wales Theatre, Ed Mirvish Theatre (formerly the Canon Theatre) and Panasonic Theatre. He also operated the renowned Old Vic theatre in London, England.
Mirvish Productions has produced plays and musicals for these and other venues throughout Canada, on Broadway and in London's West End, and presented more than 500 touring productions in Toronto.
Mirvish ran David Mirvish Gallery, which supported contemporary art and Canadian artists, and operated an art bookstore for 38 years.
He has been named to the Order of Ontario and to the Order of Canada, the country's highest honour for lifetime achievement, and has received honorary degrees from several universities. He has served as a trustee of the National Gallery of Canada and the Royal Ontario Museum.
He is the son of the late Ed Mirvish, a Toronto businessman and arts patron, and artist Anne Lazare Macklin.
Mirvish is the eighth chancellor since the University's founding in 1964. He succeeds Pamela Wallin, who served from 2007 to 2011. Guelph's former chancellors and their years of service are: Lincoln Alexander, 1991-2007; Edmund Bovey, 1989 to 1990; William Stewart, 1983 to 1989; Pauline McGibbon, 1977 to 1983; Emmett Hall, 1971 to 1977; and George Drew, 1965 to 1971.
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