The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) announced that this year’s recipient is arts manager and theatre champion Nancy J. Webster. Ms Webster is currently the Executive Director at Young People’s Theatre (YPT), first serving there as Managing Director from 2004-2009, and returning as Executive Director in 2013 after four years as Managing Director, English Theatre at the National Arts Centre (NAC). Nancy’s ability to establish long-term advancement and stability and inspire innovation has allowed YPT to engender multiple years of budget surpluses (defying national trends), grow the annual budget, create a national model of integrated programming and much more. Importantly, Nancy’s expertise and unwavering commitment has allowed the company to pursue its 50th anniversary goals, namely, to address the long-needed revitalization of YPT’s facilities.
Nancy Webster also has held other key roles in Toronto’s theatre community. As Producer of the Toronto Fringe Festival, she helped establish it as one of the most innovative and successful Fringe Festivals in North America. During her tenure as Managing Director of Factory Theatre, she sustained resources for the company’s new play development throughout a period of serious financial challenges. During the ten years she spent as President and Past President of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT), Nancy made a significant, volunteer contribution to the Canadian theatre community including a complete restructuring of the bylaws and board structure, resulting in significant diversification of PACT’s membership.
The range of experience that Nancy has had leading the organizational vision at companies of vastly different sizes and mandates makes her a unique and special resource. She is one of the most sought after advisors and mentors in Canadian theatre. She currently has roles with the Metcalf Foundation’s Creative Strategic Incubator program and the Ontario Minister of Culture’s Advisory Panel devising Ontario’s new culture plan. She is a dearly loved and exceptional mentor, lending an ear and a helping hand with a generosity of spirit to other arts administrators as well as emerging and developing theatre managers.