Skip to content

General manager, board in place for performing arts centre

A general manager has been selected and the members of the arm's length governance board have been named to oversee the running of the Dekker Centre for the Performing Arts.
A general manager for the Dekker Centre For the Peforming Arts arrives in the Battlefords this week.

A general manager has been selected and the members of the arm's length governance board have been named to oversee the running of the Dekker Centre for the Performing Arts.

The announcement was made last Wednesday that Anthony Edgington has been hired as the theatre's first general manager. He arrives in the city from Victoria, B.C.

Edgington comes with vast experience and contacts in the performing arts. He is CEO and executive producer of Ocean Entertainment Worldwide with a background in public relations, fundraising, production design management and artistic direction. He started that company in 1995 at the age of 19.

According to his website, Edgington's other experience has included work as a managing director of Ballet Victoria, artistic director of Intrigue Entertainment, managing director of the Canadian Pacific Ballet Company. He also has extensive experience in acting, producing, and talent management and representation.

Edgington was hired following an extensive search that took place over the last two months. He will report directly to the newly named governance board for the theatre.

Chairing the governance board will be Karen Ulmer, it was announced Wednesday. The vice-chair will be Bill Wells while Rob Rongve will serve as treasurer. Also sitting on the board will be David Dekker, Jim Walls. Councillor Grace Lang, Mayor Ian Hamilton, and Parks and Recreation Director Keith Anderson.

As well, a city administrator is also slated to sit on the board. That spot appears likely to be filled once a new finance director is in place.

The new governance board expects its first priorities to be developing its own rules, policies and best practices, according to its new chair.

"Our first task will be to set up our own rules of governance," said Ulmer, "and policies and procedures under which the centre will run."

As well, they plan to orientate and introduce Edgington to North Battleford. Ulmer said Edgington will start his new position in the Battlefords beginning Wednesday, working out of city hall.

Edgington's first priority will be to "supervise final construction of the theatre" and get the theatre up and running as soon as possible, said Ulmer. She also says the board will be relying on his expertise with respect to contracts.

Ulmer anticipates Edgington will be working closely with Anderson in the coming months.

The governance board was given the go-ahead last fall when city council accepted administration's recommendation for an arm's length structure to oversee the operations of the theatre.

Ulmer said the model was necessary because of the scope of activities the theatre will be hosting and the wider range of user groups that will be involved with that particular facility compared to the other components of the CUPlex. Among other things, the building has features that allow for many uses beyond the performing arts

"It's got an incredible lobby, it's got meeting rooms," said Ulmer of the facility, which she said will have the capacity to host different types of activities.

While things are coming together as far as composition of the new board and the hiring of a new general manager, recent construction issues have delayed completion of the Dekker Centre to late April. Ulmer is anxious to see the project completed as quickly as possible and for the theatre to finally open for business.

"The community has waited a long time," said Ulmer. "It'll be nice when it's finally open."