THE SCOOP | Vancouver Opera General Director Kim Gaynor Abruptly Resigns

By Michael Vincent on October 30, 2019

Kim Gaynor
Kim Gaynor, (Photo courtesy of the Vancouver Opera)

After three years as General Director (GD) of the Vancouver Opera, Kim Gaynor, is stepping down on November 1, 2019.

Director of artistic planning, Tom Wright, will step in as interim general director until a replacement can be found.

Originally brought on to execute on the vision of former GD James Wright, to expand the company’s tradition season programming with summer festival events, Gaynor struggled with the challenge.

Struggling to expand revenue, the Vancouver Opera operated in what Gaynor told the Globe and Mail, was “…a tough place to run an arts organisation. “…The arts don’t occupy much space in public discourse … and therefore they become a bit invisible,” Gaynor said.

“The challenge is to get support (human and financial) in such an environment is really tough, and that creates a feeling of competition in the sector. … And the strain takes its toll inside organisations too. As leaders (perhaps women leaders more than men?), we need to be able to dream sometimes.”

Kim Gaynor
Kim Gaynor (Photo courtesy of Vancouver Opera)

In a press release statement, Gaynor said she had been in discussions with the board of directors over the past several months over the future of Vancouver Opera, which released a divergence of opinion.

“I am extremely proud of the work I have accomplished during my 3.5 years with the company,” Gaynor said. “The artistic quality on the stage and in the pit is remarkable. So, while the board and I came to the mutual decision that it was best to part ways at this time, I wanted to wish the Vancouver Opera and its donors, staff, artists and volunteers the very best into the future. They are a wonderfully dedicated and committed group of people, and they, along with everyone else in Vancouver, deserve a first-class opera company.”

Hailing from Hamilton Ontario, Gaynor came to Vancouver in the spring of 2016 and joined the company in September of that year. Prior to the appointment, she was managing Director at the Verbier Festival. She has also served as administrative director of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, marketing director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, and managing director of L’Opéra de Montréal.

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Michael Vincent
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