The Port Theatre Society Announces New Executive Director — David Warburton
David Warburton is currently the Managing Director for the Company at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB). A leading cultural institution, the RWB has earned a national and international reputation for its impassioned artistry and technical virtuosity and has received widespread critical acclaim for extraordinary performances of diverse classical and contemporary repertoires.
Warburton joined the RWB in 2013 and has served an integral role in reshaping the ballet company. His work at the RWB has taken him around the world including China, Colombia, Argentina, Italy, Germany, and many other destinations. Since 2017, he led the organization in rebuilding its relationships with presenting partners, rapidly growing the company’s performance opportunities and presence abroad. In 2018, he led the RWB to join the Winnipeg Indigenous Accord, a multi-year commitment to answer the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. In response, the RWB Indigenous Advisory Circle was established as a promise to bring our communities closer together through inclusive, considerate, and accountable action. His work in government advocacy and cultural diplomacy has meaningfully contributed to federal support for the arts and cultural sector during the pandemic. This has included crucial direct consultations with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and the Prime Minister’s Office.
Warburton is the Vice President of the Canadian Dance Assembly, a national arts service organization, that provides a strong voice for Canadian dance and supports the development of resources for the dance sector through its various programs and advocacy efforts. He was appointed to the National Council in 2019 and currently serves as Chair of Ballet Companies Standing Council. In 2018, he was selected as one of nine emerging leaders for Dance/USA’s Institute for Leadership Training, a program supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, that focuses on shifting patterns of inequity in the dance. He is also an organizing member of the Korean Society of Manitoba.
David Warburton will be moving to Nanaimo with his family and taking over the role currently served by Bruce Halliday, General Manager & Director of Programming. The board of directors, on behalf of our community, thank Bruce for his dedication, exceptional leadership, and incredible commitment to the Arts. The Port Theatre Society will continue working with Bruce in an advisory role though the transition, to take advantage of his over 40 years of experience in the live performance industry and his founding knowledge of the Port Theatre and this community.
“We’re thrilled to welcome David Warburton to the Port Theatre! He brings incredible expertise and passion to our Nanaimo community; we’re extremely fortunate to attract this kind of talent to Vancouver Island,” says Brian Clemens, board president. “In addition, Bruce Halliday will remain an important part of our team and continue to assist in this exciting leadership transition process. The Port Theatre Society is in a very strong position moving forward, as we continue to champion arts and culture while recovering from the impacts of a global pandemic.”
The Port Theatre prides itself on developing a culture of creativity, diversity, inclusion, and community engagement. The team continues to grow in confidence and composure, as the Society focuses on its mission: showing leadership… building community. As the Society enters a new phase of recovery, the team realizes more than ever the importance of programming as the face of community engagement. “We will continue to explore uncharted waters, in constant search of new adventures for our artists, our community, and our world. The Arts have and will continue to be a critical segment of a healthy community, but during difficult times we have been reminded of how integral it is to share experiences with our friends and family; it renews our hope, love, and brings lightness into this world,” explains Bruce Halliday.
“The Port Theatre’s reach extends well beyond Vancouver Island and has earned an impressive reputation as a community leader and arts presenter. I am grateful for the opportunity to be joining the team at such an important and beloved cultural hub, and I look forward to welcoming artists and audiences back to the stage.” — David Warburton
This summer will be a time of planning, sharing, and inspiring each other as the Society moves forward with ideas for 2022 and beyond. The Port Theatre Society looks forward to collaborating with the entire community—from patrons to artists to funders, volunteers, and staff.
Please welcome David Warburton to our beautiful community.