Message From Artistic Director John Miller

Happy New Year! Everyone I know, everyone I’ve spoken with over the past couple of weeks, everyone says the same thing: 2020 was a year unlike any other I’ve ever lived through. Personally, I’m finding it difficult to know exactly how to begin this message for a new year; in fact, this is my seventh attempt to strike the right tone about a future where I just don’t know is what I’m hearing all around me.

Seeking that exact note of inspiration, I’ve been keenly tuned to what friends and colleagues have been saying or what I’ve been reading and viewing. If 100% optimism is the right approach, then I should heed what Peter Ustinov said during a fascinating video summary of his life that I recently watched: “I am not a pessimist. I believe we have an obligation in life to be optimistic!”

But there was also that late-December Globe & Mail essay by the theatre critic, Kelly Nestruck, that  reminded us of the continuing challenges Canada’s artistic community is enduring and his urging governments not to forget artistic struggles and needs. That’s a tone I’ve met several times in my own annual tradition of replacing holiday cards with personal calls to colleagues and friends around the country whom I’ve seldom, if ever, seen in the past twelve months.