Women take the helm at major arts groups

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      Tuesday (March 8) is International Women’s Day, and while there’s often a lot of attention paid to successful women in business and politics, rarely do we step back and marvel at women’s contribution to arts.

      The fact is a sea change is going on in the biggest cultural institutions in the city—almost all of which are, or are about to be, run by women.

      Kathleen Bartels already serves as director at the Vancouver Art Gallery and is spearheading its move to a new landmark. Emily Molnar is artistic director at Ballet B.C., and has steered the company toward growth—including tours to the U.S. and Europe. And the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra recently brought in Kelly Tweeddale, former executive director of Seattle Opera, as president.

      Meanwhile, Kim Gaynor, who currently runs Switzerland’s classical-music Verbier Festival, is getting ready to take the reins of Vancouver Opera on July 1 as it switches to a new spring-fest format.

      Those are the people shaping the future of the major players on our cultural scene. But the contributions don’t end there.

      Kelly Tweeddale is now president of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

      Here’s a list of 20 more achievers who are energizing and shaping the arts in this city:

      Leila Getz, founder and artistic director of the Vancouver Recital Society

      Heather Redfern, executive director at the Cultch (overseeing the Historic Theatre, the York Theatre, and the VanCity Culture Lab)

      Jocelyn Morlock, composer in residence at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

      Mary-Louise Albert, artistic managing director at the Chutzpah Festival

      Kathryn Shaw, director, actor, writer, and artistic director of Studio 58

      Roxanne Duncan, managing director at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

      Morna Edmundson, artistic director of the Elektra Women’s Choir

      Chan Hon Goh, director of the Goh Ballet Academy

      Katrina Dunn, director, dramaturge, producer, and artistic director of Touchstone Theatre

      Liz Magor, sculptor, photo artist, and public artist whose work has been exhibited at places like the Venice Biennale and the National Art Gallery

      Margo Kane, actor, interdisciplinary artist, founder of Full Circle: First Nations Performance, and artistic managing director of the Talking Stick Festival

      Heather Wallace, festival director of JFL NorthWest

      Crystal Pite, choreographer, artistic director of Kidd Pivot, associate choreographer at Nederlands Dans Theater, associate artist at London’s Sadler’s Wells, and associate dance artist at the National Arts Centre

      Rachel Ditor, dramaturge, director, and literary manager at the Arts Club Theatre

      Barbara Bourget, cofounder of Kokoro Dance and producer of the Vancouver International Dance Festival

      Dana Claxton, First Nations interdisciplinary artist whose work has been shown everywhere from the Vancouver Art Gallery to the Sydney Biennale

      Donna Spencer, founding director and artistic producer of the Firehall Arts Centre, who also helms the Dancing on the Edge festival

      Mirna Zagar, executive director of the Dance Centre

      Julie-anne Saroyan, artistic producer of Dances for a Small Stage

      Paula Kremer, artistic director of the Vancouver Cantata Singers and director of two youth choirs affiliated with the Vancouver Bach Choir.