Inman Takes a Bow

Confederation Centre of the Arts regrets to announce that CEO Jessie Inman is resigning to pursue educational opportunities and spend more time with family.

“It has been a real pleasure and honour to be CEO at the Centre and this has been a very difficult decision,” says Inman. She goes on to say, “We have such wonderful dedicated staff and I’ve enjoyed leading the organization and working with them over these years.”

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Born and raised in St. Catherines, Prince Edward Island, Inman began her career at the Centre in 1976 as an administrative assistant. After working in western Canada and abroad for over two decades, Inman returned home to become the Centre’s first female CEO in 2011.

“It is with great regret that I have accepted Ms. Inman’s resignation,” says Wayne Hambly, Chair of the Board of the Fathers of Confederation Buildings Trust. He goes on to say, “For over six years the Centre has made great strides with many successes under her leadership, not the least of which is the total rebuild of the theatre, the world premiere of a major Canadian musical, Evangeline, and a strategy to continue to create and produce original Canadian musicals. The very successful Dreamcatcher program with our Young Company just this past year allowed us to undertake an important response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Report. The Centre has also presented the works of many significant Canadian visual artists during this time and expanded and solidified our heritage programming under Ms. Inman’s leadership.”

The board will immediately begin the search for a new CEO to be in place upon Inman’s departure. Inman’s resignation takes effect on July 25, 2018.

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Have Lunch With Wayne Hambly

Circle Around the Centre is pleased to welcome Confederation Centre Board Chair Wayne Hambly for the first luncheon in its 2018 series, happening on January 24 at 12:00 p.m. in Studio 1 (located beside Mavor’s).

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From January through June, we are hosting the 2018 Circle Around the Centre Luncheon Series. Catherine Hennessey was the driving force behind Confederation Centre’s anniversary series in 2014, and she has some fantastic new ideas for this year. Circle Around the Centre attendees will enjoy a monthly luncheon of sandwich and salad or soup as well as a talk by some of the Island’s most interesting movers and shakers.

An incredibly active force in the Island community, Mr. Hambly is a recipient of both the Order of P.E.I. and of the Order of Canada. He is an Honorary Life Member of the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce, an inductee to the PEI Business Hall of Fame, and he has received countless other awards and accolades in recognition of his lifelong hard work and dedication to his community. Mr. Hambly will speak on his past 25 years as Chair of Confederation Centre’s Board, and his thoughts and hopes about moving into the future.

A portion of each ticket purchased to these events will be donated to The Circle Around the Centre Fund of the Confederation Centre of the Arts Foundation. This Fund was created by Ms. Hennessey with the purpose to commemorate and celebrate notable individuals and special occasions that have a significant importance or connection to the Centre and its rich history. For more information on the Fund visit http://www.confederationcentre.com/en/foundation.php

Please purchase tickets in person at the Box Office, by phone at 902-566-1267 (toll-free 1-800-565-0278), or online.

Confederation Centre Announces 2017 Symons Medal Winner

Confederation Centre of the Arts announced that the 2017 Symons Medal will be awarded to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Justin P.J. Trudeau. The Symons Medal is one of Canada’s most prestigious honours and recognizes a distinguished person who has made an exceptional contribution to Canadian life. The award will be presented to Mr. Trudeau at Confederation Centre on November 23, 2017.

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Previous recipients include His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales; His Excellency Governor General David Johnston; former Prime Minister Paul Martin; the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada; President of the national Inuit organization, Mary Simon; environmental leader, Dr. David Suzuki; and former Quebec Premier, Jean Charest.

On October 19, 2015, Mr. Trudeau led his party to a majority government winning 184 seats, and ridings in every province and territory. He was sworn in as Prime Minister on November 4, 2015. Two years into his mandate, Mr. Trudeau leads a government that works hard every day to build an economy that works for the middle class and people working hard to join it. His team is focused on creating good, middle class jobs, fostering strength out of Canada’s rich diversity, fighting climate change, and achieving reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. A proud feminist, Mr. Trudeau also appointed Canada’s first gender-balanced Cabinet in 2015.

“On behalf of CEO Jessie Inman and Professor Tom Symons, for whom this lecture is named, we are elated to announce the Right Honourable Prime Minister as the recipient of the 17th Symons Medal,” says Chair of the Fathers of Confederation Buildings Trust, Wayne Hambly.

“During this significant year commemorating the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, we are proud to be recognizing the Prime Minister of Canada here on Prince Edward Island — the recognized Birthplace of Confederation. We look forward to welcoming Mr. Trudeau to Charlottetown to share his unique perspective on the evolving State of Canada and its nationhood.”

The oldest of three boys, Mr. Trudeau grew up with the profound influence of his father, former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and his mother, Margaret Trudeau. He was raised speaking both French and English and has family roots in both eastern and western Canada.

Mr. Trudeau graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University in 1994. He went on to complete the University of British Columbia’s education program in 1998, and spent several years teaching French, math, and other subjects in Vancouver. Before entering politics, Mr. Trudeau also served as the National Chair of Katimavik, as a board member for the Canadian Avalanche Foundation, and as an advocate for young people and the environment.

Since 2004, Confederation Centre has honoured 16 distinguished Symons Medalists. Held each fall, the medal ceremony creates a national platform for a prominent Canadian to discuss the nation’s current state and future prospects.

The 2017 Symons Medal Ceremony will take place in the Homburg Theatre at Confederation Centre. For more information, please visit www.confederationcentre.com/symonsmedallecture and follow event updates on social media @confedcentre and via hashtag, #Symons2017.

Confederation Centre Remembers Michael Shurman

The staff and board of Confederation Centre of the Arts are mourning the loss of Michael S. Schurman, a beloved friend who served for 12 years on the board of directors, and for the past eight years as chair of the Major Gifts and Endowments Committee. He was also the Founding Chair of the Confederation Centre of the Arts Foundation Board, a position he held until his death on Saturday, October 15, 2016, at age 79.

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“Mike’s counsel to the board of directors and management, and his contributions, insights, and knowledge across both boards were greatly valued by his fellow directors as well as Centre staff,” said Wayne Hambly, chair of the board of directors, “His presence at Confederation Centre will be sorely missed. We offer our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

Mike was also a generous, long-time Centre donor, passionate about the value of arts education and the significance of Confederation Centre to Prince Edward Island. Mike spent Friday night at the Centre with his wife Pat, dining at Mavor’s before attending The Nylons concert in the Homburg Theatre.

His legacy at the Centre will continue through the Michael S. Schurman Family Foundation Endowment Fund, which supports programming in arts education. Through school collaborations, summer camps, and year-round classes and activities, this fund helps introduce children to the arts in a fun and professional setting. The Schurman Fund also provides individual youth scholarships, arts outreach to youth in Summerside, and allows the Centre to continue long-running programs, such as the Confederation Centre Youth Chorus and dance umbrella. Appropriately, the venue where a number of these activities take place is named The Michael S. Schurman Family Studio in honour of his dedication and kindness.

In 2009, Mike was honoured with the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Patron of the Arts, honouring an Islander who has made a significant financial contribution in any of the practices of visual arts, writing and publishing, music, dance, fine craft, theatre, film, or video. He donated the honourarium portion of the award back to dance umbrella.

“Besides being an exceptionally generous supporter, Mike’s experience, leadership, and commitment was extraordinarily valuable to the board, and he was hugely important in the creation and oversight of the Confederation Centre of the Arts Foundation,” said Centre CEO Jessie Inman. “This is a great loss for the Centre, and for our entire Island community.”

The Schurman family were well-known for their leadership in business and the local community, having owned and operated a construction, building supply, and related businesses throughout the Atlantic region for over 100 years. The Schurman family were Summerside residents for more than a century, with Mike having only recently relocated to Stratford. Mike led his family’s lifelong and very active involvement in many Island community causes through their charitable foundation, the Michael S. Schurman Family Foundation.

Mike built a great reputation as a talented business executive, a passionate community leader with an unparalleled commitment to his home province and devotion to his family. He was awarded an honourary degree from UPEI in 2009 in recognition of his many contributions to P.E.I. Generous gifts from the Michael S. Schurman Family Foundation span the entire Island, some of the highest profile being the re-launch of the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Change of Heart program; the dramatic entrance at UPEI’s School of Business Administration, The Schurman Market Square; and The Schurman Resource Centre located at Holland College’s Waterfront Campus in Summerside, encompassing both a library and a computer commons.

Resting at Belvedere Funeral Home, funeral service will be from the St. James Presbyterian Church ‘The Kirk’ this Thursday at 1:30 p.m. Visiting hours are Wednesday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Memorial donations may be made to the Prince County Hospital Foundation or the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation.