I was so caught up with extra-curricular activities in my two years at Nottingham (mainly editing Gongster, but also editing the rag week mag, plus Dramsoc) that the patience of my very indulgent department heads was finally exhausted and I was asked to leave at the end of my second year. My departure also put paid to my planned production of Tennessee Williams Camino Real for Dramsoc, though I still have the very detailed production schedule.
I went immediately into London journalism and spent most of the 1960s chronicling the emerging pop/rock music scene before emigrating to Canada in 1967. I spent 40 years as an arts critic (theatre, dance, classical music) and culture columnist for The Vancouver Sun and national CBC radio, and published a number of books on the arts. After six years on the board of the Canada Council for the Arts, the country’s principal arts funding body, I spent four years as president of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, with a special interest in arts in education. I have taught criticism across North America and in Europe, and have written arts policy papers for the federal and several provincial governments. Acting has also been a part-time interest (bit parts in The X-Files, Millennium, and a couple of films). I was eventually given a degree–an honorary D. Litt, from Simon Fraser University–and had the honour of being installed as an Officer of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour.
Bio last updated 2019-01-26, submit updates.