The Belfry Theatre announces the departure of Executive Director Ivan Habel in June 2022.

Date posted: November 29, 2021

Victoria, BC…The Belfry Theatre’s Board of Directors announced today that it has accepted the resignation of its long-serving and outstanding Executive Director

Monday, November 29, 2021 — In accepting the resignation Richard Brownsey, President of the Board says “Ivan has made a remarkable contribution to the success of the Belfry over the past decade. He leaves the Belfry financially, administratively, and organizationally strong. It is a legacy of which he can be proud and for which the Board is genuinely grateful.

Ivan has held the position since April 2011 and has been a key contributor in enhancing the Belfry’s national profile as one of the country’s leading theatres.  He will leave the Belfry in June 2022. 

During his tenure, the Belfry has maintained its healthy financial and artistic reputation and has undertaken a number of major building renovations. Ivan has guided the Belfry through strategic and operational plans addressing issues concerning governance, diversity, anti-racism, respectful workplaces, and digital futures. Ivan has played a key role in addressing inclusion projects at the theatre, was instrumental in adding an Indigenous Cultural Advisor to the permanent staff, and with Michael Shamata has engaged the staff at all levels in reconciliation and diversity issues.

Ivan has served several terms on the Board of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres and has also served on a number of other Boards, including International Performing Arts for Youth, the Canadian Conference of the Arts, and the ProArt Alliance of Greater Victoria, as well several advisories for the BC Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, the City of Vancouver, and the Vancouver Foundation. He is a skilled negotiator and, during his time at the Belfry, led an extended effort to renew and draft new, more inclusive clauses within the Canadian Theatre Agreement. Ivan has, and continues to, mentor emerging theatre administrators across the country.

The Belfry has been my home and passion for 11 years, and until recently I had presumed I would remain here for another 3 years. However, I have been offered an opportunity that presents new challenges that will require all my skills; an opportunity to be part of another great team, expanding the future of another excellent BC arts organization. It is, in short, an opportunity I could not resist at this stage in my career.

In leaving the Belfry, I am leaving one exceptional theatre for another. I thank this and previous Boards of the Belfry for the support they have given me and the faith they have placed in me. I will miss the extraordinary professional staff who have partnered with me throughout my time at the Belfry and who I will continue to rely on during the remainder of this season. I look forward to completing this season with Michael, a friend, partner, and great artist and will leave knowing that he will remain at the artistic helm of this wonderful organization

The Belfry’s Board of Directors will be posting for the job of Executive Director immediately. Interested applicants will have until January 24, 2022, to submit their applications.