Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum to step down after 11 seasons of excellence

Dennis in 2005, 2007, and 2015.

After 11 seasons, Theatre Calgary’s Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum will be stepping down from his post on September 9, 2016, to take over the role of Artistic Director at The Grand Theatre in London, ON.  

"The last decade has been an absolute thrill ride for me here at Theatre Calgary,” says Garnhum. “I am deeply grateful for the outstanding team who has always shown incredible support for my dreams and aspirations for the company. And what has made all this imagining possible has been our extraordinary audiences who have supported us, trusted us, and cheered for us. I leave with great sadness, however it is evident to me, and I trust all Calgarians, that the future for Theatre Calgary is oustanding."

During his tenure, the theatre has proudly presented seven world premieres, including Timothy Findley’s The Wars, Lost – A Memoir, Beyond Eden, and The Little Prince –The Musical, along with works by Canadian playwrights including Liberation Days, and Jake and the Kid. Dennis has also been committed to the cultivation and growth of emerging artists of Alberta through our new play development program, FUSE, and our summertime Shakespeare by the Bow program. These, along with an astonishing growth to 10,600 subscribers, a 58% increase in single ticket revenue, and 11 consecutive years of surpluses during his artistic leadership, speak volumes to the legacy he will leave behind.

Theatre Calgary Board Chair Chadwick Newcombe adds "I know I speak for the entire Board when I say how much we value Dennis’s contributions, vision, and leadership as Theatre Calgary's longest-serving Artistic Director. We express our utmost respect and gratitude for all the work that he has done in advancing the arts in Calgary, making us one of the nation's leading theatre companies, and garnering international attention. This opportunity for him to work at The Grand Theatre, in the city where he grew up, was one that he simply could not refuse. We wish Dennis all the very best in the next chapter of his amazing and inspiring career."

Theatre Calgary Executive Director, Colleen A. Smith, echoes those sentiments. “For more than a decade, Dennis has made a significant impact to the cultural fabric of our city. His genuine respect and appreciation for Calgary audiences will have lasting impact on so many audience members, artists and team members throughout our country and beyond. Theatre Calgary staff, our creative personnel and our Board are all grateful for his immense creative contributions and artistic leadership to our organization.” 

With our 2016-17 season set to start in September, Dennis remains committed to advancing the programming for our 50th Anniversary season in 2017-18. This benchmark season, which is over two years in the planning, will be an unforgettable celebration and exciting kick off of our next 50 years.

The Board of Directors will immediately begin the implementation of a succession and transition plan. With Theatre Calgary’s reputation for artistic excellence and strong fiscal management at the forefront, the search for a successor will be extensive.