TORONTO, ON. – After twelve years with the company Theatre Passe Muraille Artistic Director Andy McKim will be stepping down effective June 1st, 2019.
The decision did not come easily for McKim, who views the theatre as a second home and an integral part of his life’s work. After bringing the company to a historic 50th season – which included sold out runs, a multi-city tour and extensions for original Theatre Passe Muraille company member Bob Nasmith and outgoing artistic producer Jiv Parasram – McKim felt the timing seemed right for the company to start its next chapter.
“It is a privilege to be an Artistic Director because one gets to engage with such a vast array of truly remarkable people – artists, arts workers, audience and supporters. I have treasured this privilege and have been blessed with the most wonderful community,” said McKim. “They have challenged and sustained me. I owe them so much. I can’t express it adequately. I can only say that it will be with me forever.”
During McKim’s tenure with Passe Muraille the company has presented over a hundred shows. The work that Andy has championed is a testament to the values that he, and by extension the theatre, has come to be known for. The shows at Passe Muraille put diversity at the forefront: in terms of content, form, and creation. Performances in the space have given opportunities to artists who may not have had the same opportunities elsewhere, and McKim has consistently made an effort to put the art and artists first, allowing the work to be at the forefront and advocating for those voices above a brand. There has also been a huge push for accessible programing at Passe Muraille, with an attempt to break down barriers for people who are differently abled. The fact that these practices have become more common within the Toronto theatre scene are a testament to McKim’s legacy.
For the last few years Andy has worked closely alongside general manager Régine Cadet to ensure the direction of Passe Muraille.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure to work alongside Andy. He is a true partner and mentor, as well as a model of generosity,” said Cadet. “Together we were able to create a welcoming environment for everyone including artists, patrons and team members. The TPM family will truly miss his leadership and forward thinking.
While in recent years McKim has been most noted for his time at Passe Muraille, he has a storied history within the Toronto theatre scene and beyond. His initial interest in theatre grew from a young age, but was cultivated during his time studying at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, and cemented in the UK where he studied as an apprentice director. Before joining Passe Muraille, Andy notably spent over twenty years with Tarragon Theatre, where he served as Associate Artistic Director. In 2016 he received the Silver Ticket Award, an honour presented by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), to an individual who has excelled in their career while also nurturing the development of Canadian theatre.
Andy’s departure from Passe Muraille comes with the full support of the board of directors, who are grateful for the dedication and leadership that McKim has shown over the years.
“On behalf of the entire board I would like to thank Andy for all he has contributed to Theatre Passe Muraille over his twelve years at the helm,” said Jim Roe, chair of the theatre’s board of directors. “We will dearly miss his artistic vision and leadership. I know this was not an easy decision for him. Before his June 1st departure Mr. McKim will be responsible for programming the 2019-2020 season. A search committee will be struck soon to identify his successor.”
In the upcoming months Theatre Passe Muraille’s board of directors and search committee will be accepting applications for McKim’s successor. Details on the application process will be released when available.