Bill Millerd, Artistic Managing Director of the Arts Club Theatre Company.
Bill Millerd, Artistic Managing Director of the Arts Club Theatre Company.

In unveiling the Arts Club Theatre Company’s 2017–2018 season of programming, Bill Millerd also announced that the company’s 54th season will be his final as artistic managing director.

Millerd ends his 45 year career with the Arts Club, beginning with the company’s original location in downtown Vancouver.

“An incredible amount of growth has happened in our organization over these years, and I’m proud of each of our successes since our humble beginnings at the Seymour Street location,” said Millerd in a press release. “All three of our stages have been built or revived during my tenure, and our focus on premiering Canadian work and engaging new audiences remains a top priority. It’s the right time to welcome new artistic leadership to this thriving organization alongside Executive Director Peter Cathie White, who will provide continuity for our committed staff, board of directors, and artists.”

The search for an artistic director begins immediately. It will be led by Alexander Whitehead Executive Search, White and the Arts Club’s Board Chair Bruce Flexman.

“Bill Millerd has been the heart of the Arts Club for 45 years, and I have enjoyed immensely the time that I have had the privilege of working with him,” said White. “He stewarded this theatre company from being a 150-seat venue to what it is today, Canada’s largest not-for-profit urban theatre company.”

White went on to list Millerd’s many accomplishments, including year-round programming on three stages, an annual three-show tour, plus a wealth of community, education, training, and new-play development programs.

“The Arts Club is a vibrant company that contributes much to the culture of this community, and this country,” said White. “Although I will miss working with Bill, I look forward to our continuing the work of this amazing company with a new artistic director.”

Flexman acknowledged Millerd’s commitment to new works, highlighting 20% of the company’s productions over his 45 years were dedicated to new Canadian plays or musicals.

“He leaves a company that is artistically innovative, financially sustainable, with a growing endowment,” said Flexman.

Flexman concluded by emphasising the company’s commitment to soliciting feedback in recruiting Millerd’s successor.

“To do so, we are soliciting feedback on our website that can inform the process of finding the candidate best suited to the needs of our organization and the communities we serve,” he said.