Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Organizing Committee (TO2015)

Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Organizing Committee (TO2015)

October 11, 2011 07:15 ET

Leading Canadian Cultural Luminaries Applaud TO2015's Naming of Don Shipley as Creative Director of Pan/Parapan Am Arts and Cultural Festivals

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 11, 2011) - After a nationwide search, Ian Troop, Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) announced today the appointment of Don Shipley as Creative Director, Arts, Culture and Festivals.

"Enhancing the human connection among spectators, visitors and athletes alike is the core of our mission. I'm confident Don Shipley has the international experience and leadership qualities to create an all-encompassing festival for our Games," said Troop.

As a veteran leader of the international arts community, Shipley's career has spanned the roles of artistic director, producer, arts consultant, stage & television director, actor and writer. Prior to joining TO2015, Shipley held the position of artistic director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and was CEO of the Dublin International Theatre Festival. As an artistic director, Shipley was internationally known for his visionary work as managing director of the performing arts department at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre. He was also the artistic director of London's Grand Theatre Company, founding director of Victoria's Belfry Theatre and director of the touring division of Vancouver's Playhouse Theatre Company.

In support of Mr. Shipley's appointment some of Canada's key cultural figures commented on his new role. Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada said: "I congratulate TO2015 on the inspiring choice of Don Shipley as Creative Director. He is an experienced and creative visionary and his leadership for this important festival will ensure that the visitors from around the world will experience the extraordinary range of artistry that defines Canadian cultural life today. Peter Hernndorf, President and CEO of the National Arts Centre added: "Don Shipley's appointment as Creative Director is an inspired choice. He brings a world of experience to this new role."

In addition to producing the 2015 Games-time festival, Mr. Shipley will investigate and recommend ways to create signature events in the years leading up to 2015. He will also encourage Canada's arts and cultural organizations to seek out and form partnerships with organizations in the Americas and the Caribbean to reflect Toronto's diversity and emphasize the connections among Pan American peoples and nations.

Robert Lepage, one of Canada's most renowned theatre & opera visionaries, lauded Shipley's appointment: "I have enjoyed working with Don Shipley on numerous projects in the past and I am sure that Don's vast expertise with the presentation of both Canadian and international performing arts will be a huge asset to the organization of this prestigious event."

Upon accepting his appointment, Shipley announced the establishment of an official Arts and Culture Advisory Council comprised of creative leaders from Canada's Francophone, African-Canadian, Hispanic and Aboriginal communities. This select group will assist Shipley in defining the strategic vision and direction of all cultural events at the Games with a desired outcome to showcase a contemporary Canada in the Pan Am global community.

Members of the TO2015 Arts and Culture Advisory Council include:

  • Wende Cartwright – Producer, Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad/London 2012
  • Louise Dompierre – President and CEO, Art Gallery of Hamilton
  • Melanie Fernandez – Director of Community Programmes, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto
  • Clarence Ford – President, Ford Entertainment
  • Katherine Grainger – Coordinator, Franco-Fête de Toronto
  • Denise Herrera-Jackson – CEO, Festival Management Committee for Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto
  • Che Kothari – Executive Director, Manifesto Community Projects
  • Janis Monture – Executive Director, Woodland Cultural Centre
  • Jose Ortega – Artistic Director, Lula Lounge

Also commenting on his appointment to the Games, veteran broadcaster Shelagh Rogers said, "Don Shipley has a particular genius for bringing people together under a great tent. I think of him as the connective tissue for the arts! TO2015 is fortunate to have him as Creative Director. So is Canada, so is the world."

Mr. Shipley emphasized, "Our goal is to produce a major cultural event that is bold, creatively progressive, innovative and transformational. The Games also represent a rare opportunity for us to produce hybrid & legacy projects as well, to work collaboratively with competing performing arts institutions to promote the rich cultural pluralism of Toronto and the Golden Horseshoe region on an international level."

About the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

The Pan American Games are one of the world's largest international multi-sport events, held every four years for athletes of the 42 member nations of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO). The Games comprise all Olympic Summer Games' sports, as well as traditional Pan American sports. The Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games will draw 10,000 athletes and officials and feature 48 sports in 17 municipalities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe area. The Toronto 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10–26 and the Parapan American Games August 7–14.

For more information about the Games, please visit

Contact Information

  • To schedule interviews with Don Shipley, please contact:
    Tilla Seh, Publicist,
    905.486.9889 / 416.843.6540


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