There will be a new face at the helm of the Lester Centre this fall.
Orator, master of ceremonies and resident lover-of-the-arts Michael Gurney has been selected by the Prince Rupert Performing Arts Centre Society (PRPACS), to administer the Lester Centre and lead its artistic programming, marketing and infrastructure development.
“The Lester Centre is a focal point for the manifold expressions of creativity that flourish in Prince Rupert and our region,” said Gurney in a press release. “As such, it invites collaboration and inspires shared identity.
“It will be a privilege to champion the artists, audiences and volunteers whose passions converge in that place.”
Gurney is stepping into the role previously filled by long-time manager Crystal Lorette, who stewarded the Lester Centre for 12 years. Lorette, who announced that she would be stepping down from that position earlier this year, said she is very happy that Gurney was chosen to replace her.
“He definitely has a passion for the arts, which is a plus,” she said. “He likes to work with people, and he’s excellent in a team environment.
“I’ve seen his leadership skills, and I think he has what it takes to take the building to the next stage.”
“Michael will be building on the strong foundation established by Crystal, whose commitment and vision have transformed the Lester Centre during her tenure,” said Kristy Tillman, president of the PRPACS.
Gurney has lived and worked in Prince Rupert since 2011, when he moved from the Lower Mainland to work as manager of corporate communications at the Prince Rupert Port Authority. Over those years, he has been a fixture in the city’s music and theatre scene, was a past president of the BC Heritage Fairs Society and is currently a director of the BC Historical Federation.
Gurney will be installed as the Lester Centre’s general manager on Wednesday, August 15.