Our Story

The Arts Club Theatre Company is the largest theatre company in Western Canada. Each year, over a quarter of a million people experience the best in professional theatre at its three venues: the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, Granville Island Stage, and Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre, as well as on tour throughout the province. Its popular productions range from musicals and contemporary comedies to new works and classics. The Arts Club also expands its audiences outside Vancouver through a three-show mini-season tour presented at venues around British Columbia. The 2018/2019 Arts Club season features six productions at the historic 650-seat Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage; five productions at the vibrant 440-seat Granville Island Stage; and four productions at the intimate 250-seat Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre.

The Arts Club of Vancouver was founded in 1958 as a private club for artists, musicians, and actors, and officially became the Arts Club Theatre in 1964 when the company opened its first stage, a converted gospel hall at Seymour Street and Davie. The company's twenty-seven years at Seymour Street are an important part of Vancouver and Canadian theatre history. The 250-seat stage helped launch the careers of Canadian talents such as Michael J. Fox, Bruce Greenwood, Ruth Nichol, Janet Wright, Winston Rekert, Lally Cadeau, Ann Mortifee, and Brent Carver, while introducing Vancouver to works by Canadian playwrights such as Michel Tremblay, David Freedman, and Carol Bolt. Productions by newcomers Sherman Snukal (Talking Dirty), Nicola Cavendish (It's Snowing on Saltspring), Morris Panych (7 Stories), and John Lazarus (The Late Blumer) also premiered there. The original Arts Club Seymour Street Stage was closed for demolition in 1991.

The company added the current Granville Island Stage in 1979, and the smaller Revue Stage next door in 1983. Innovative versions of classics such as Comedy of Errors; colourful Canadian hits such as Billy Bishop Goes to War; dramas like Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune and comedies including Lend Me a Tenor, have brought the Granville Island Stage numerous awards and an excellent community following. The Revue Stage was home to some of Vancouver's all-time favourite musicals, revues, and comedies, including Ain't Misbehavin', before it was leased to the Vancouver Theatre Sports League in 1997. After an extensive renovation, the Revue Stage re-opened as an Arts Club venue in 2010 with the world premiere of Anosh Irani’s My Granny the Goldfish. After five more seasons there, the Arts Club moved the Revue Stage programming to the new Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre in Olympic Village. This innovative stage offers multiple seating configurations, such as thrust, proscenium, alley, and more. The Goldcorp Stage opened in November 2015 with Peter and the Starcatcher, and also housed the premiere production of Onegin in March 2016.

The Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, in the South Granville neighbourhood, opened to the public with Dean Regan's record-setting production of Swing in October 1998, and it is now considered the company's flagship venue. An intimate version of a Broadway or London classic theatre, this elegant stage has permitted the company to move into the exciting arena of producing larger musicals, 20th-century classics, and acclaimed productions from around the world.

No history of the Arts Club would be complete without a mention of Bill Millerd. A graduate of the University of British Columbia and the National Theatre School, Bill first joined the Arts Club in 1969 as a stage manager and remained in the role of Artistic Managing Director from 1972 until his retirement in 2018. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1994 for his contribution to Canadian theatre.

Artistic Director Emeritus
Bill Millerd

No history of the Arts Club would be complete without a mention of Bill Millerd, Artistic Director Emeritus. A graduate of the University of British Columbia and the National Theatre School, Bill first joined the Arts Club in 1969 as a stage manager and remained in the role of Artistic Managing Director from 1972 until his retirement in 2018. During his tenure, Bill expanded the company’s operations to include year-round programming and regional and national tours. Bill oversaw the construction of two theatres on Granville Island—the Granville Island Stage, in the fall of 1979, and the Revue Stage, in 1983—and the reopening of the historic Stanley Theatre, now the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, in 1998. Under Bill’s leadership, the company produced 500 plays, including more than 120 Canadian works. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1994 for his contribution to Canadian theatre.

Annual Report

Read the Arts Club Theatre Company's 2016/17 Annual Report for insights on the 2016/17 season, including: production stats, financials, awards, and information on our youth education and new play development programs.

You can also read the Audited Financials from Grant Thornton LLP, here.

Artistic Director
Ashlie Corcoran

Ashlie Corcoran was born in White Rock, British Columbia, and attended Queen’s University, graduating in 2001 with an honours degree in Drama. She then earned a Master of Arts in Directing from Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2004. Corcoran returned to Canada and founded Theatre Smash in Toronto in 2005, and launched a successful freelance directing career in both theatre and opera. Ashlie completed the Urjo Kareda Residency for emerging theatre artists at Tarragon Theatre in 2011 before joining the Thousand Islands Playhouse in 2012 as Artistic Director. In 2017, she moved back to B.C. to lead the Arts Club artistically as Artistic Director.

Executive Director
Peter Cathie White

Peter was born in Mackay, Australia (The Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef!), attended Edith Cowan University in Perth, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). Immigrating to Canada with the Flight Centre Group in 1997, Peter worked as Vice President, Marketing, until joining the Arts Club Theatre Company in 2003. Originally the Director of Sales and Marketing, Peter oversaw a subscription growth of 240% and, in conjunction with impressive production values and inspired programming, saw the Arts Club evolve into the largest urban not-for-profit theatre company in Canada. In November 2014, Peter became the Executive Director and has since overseen the opening of the BMO Theatre Centre (in collaboration with the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival); the construction of the Arts Club’s new 250-seat theatre, the Goldcorp Stage, to complement the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage and Granville Island Stage; and the development of Education and Community Outreach as integral roles within the company. He is still waiting to be cast in a production but believes that is just a matter of time....

Senior Management

Ashlie Corcoran
Artistic Director
Peter Cathie White
Executive Director
Stephan Baeuml
Director of Production
Bryan Woo
Director of Sales and Marketing
Valerie Prodanuk
Director of Finance and Systems
Kathy Mackenzie
Director of Development
Natasha Klein
Director of Education
Peter Chapek
Guest Services Manager
Jack Holmes
Facilities Manager
Teddy Forsyth
Manager of Administration

Board of Directors, Arts Club Theatre Company

Richard Bell
President, Bell Alliance, Lawyers & Notaries Public
Bruce Flexman, FCPA FCA
Immediate Past Chair
Retired, President, AdvantageBC
John Dawson, FCPA, FCA
Accountant/Business Advisor
Catherine Aczel Boivie
President & CEO, STLC-Strategic Technology Leadership Corporation
Mike Black
Vice President, Customer Service Delivery TELUS
Teo Dechev
CEO & President, Mundoro Capital
Anna Fung Q.C.
James Kitamura
Regional Vice President, BMO Financial Group BMO Bank of Montreal
Eugen Klein
Principal, Klein Group
Bryan Mabee
Vice President, Manager and Portfolio Manager National Bank Financial
Bonnie Mah
Senior Administrator, Bilsland Griffith Benefit Administrators
Heather McKay
HR Consultant
Dave Morton
Commissioner, BC Utilities Commission
Ross Paul, CM.,PhD
Adjunct Professor, Centre for Policy Studies in Higher Education and Training, UBC
Kerry Suffolk
Treasurer, B2Gold Corp.
Erika Tse
Chief Legal Officer and VP Human Resources
Shawn Williamson
President, Brightlight Pictures Inc.
Art Vertlieb Q.C.

Council of Governors

Roberta Beiser
President Edith Lando Charitable Foundation
Philip Bernard
President: StageFab
Director: Bernard & Associates
Director: Q1 Production Technologies
Donna Celle
Project Manager, Westcoast Agenda
Axel Conradi
Assistant Vice President: Canadian Pacific Railway (retired)
Jamie Corbett
President, Canadian Outback Adventure Company Ltd.
Chris Gimpel
Partner, Tax Deloitte LLP
Stanley Hamilton
Professor Emeritus, Urban Land Economics, Sauder School of Business, UBC
Catharine Herb-Kelly, Q.C.
Associate Counsel, Branch MacMaster
Bruce Milley
Grant Thornton (retired)
Morris Nord
Senior Vice President, Marketing & Client Development (retired)
Joan Pitman
Janet Rogers
Wine and Food Travel
Al C. Schultz
Lisa Seed
Premier Service and Sales Manager, HSBC Bank Canada
Jim Storie
President and CEO, Vancouver Trolley Company
John J. Sutherland
CFO and Vice President, Human Resources Canada Jetlines Ltd
Ian Waddell

Board of Directors, Arts Club of Vancouver Theatre Foundation

Jamie Corbett
Canadian Outback Adventure Company Ltd.
John J.Sutherland
CFO and Vice President, Human Resources
Canada Jetlines Ltd.
Lisa Seed
Branch Manager
HSBC Bank Canada
Eugen Klein
Klein Group, Royal LePage City Centre
Bonnie Mah
Senior Administrator
Bilsland Griffith Benefit Administrators
Morris Nord
Senior Vice President, Marketing & Client Development
Pacific Blue Cross