Performing Arts Centre has worked through its governance issues, now reviewing Board applications and sitting on a $4 million surplus

By Pepper Parr

March 11th, 2024



The Performing Arts Centre building is owned by the City.

It is leased to the organization that puts on the events that take place at BPAC.

BPAC Executive Director Tammy Fox; eight years on the job during which she got the organization through the pandemic and to the point where it shows a small profit each year.

BPAC is run by Executive Director Tammy Fox who reports to a Board of Directors.

Late last year the wheels fell off and we saw Tammy Fox appearing before city Council explaining that she sort of didn’t really have a functioning Board of Directors.

Rick Burgess, once a candidate for Mayor of Burlington being presented a recognition award by Burlington MP Karina Gould with support from Mayor Meed Ward.

Rick Burgess, who has served as Chair of the Board on a number of occasions, appeared before Council at which all this was debated; it was difficult to get a direct answer from Burgess.

That resulted in the city single sourcing Dr. Richard Leblanc to conduct the independent governance review that was to a review of BPAC board documents, interviews with BPAC board members and BPAC management.

Things like this are always done in CLOSED sessions of Council

The BPAC Board of Directors has reviewed the governance report and accepted the recommendations. As a board, they are taking full responsibility for adopting the practices and protocols necessary to enhance the governance of BPAC; as can be expected, implementation of the recommendations will occur over a period of time.

A call for nominations to the BPAC Board went out – they closed February 16th.

Ken Smithard is the current BPAC Board Chair

Currently, Ken Smithard is Board Chair, Ed Rafih is Vice Chair, Peter W. Van Dyk – Interim Finance Chair, Deirdre A. Flynn – Secretary, Councillor Angelo Bentivegna represents the City on the Board, Kelly Gleeson, Cindy Palmer are Board members. Emilie Cote, Director of Recreation, Community and Culture is also on the Board representing Burlington’s City Manager.

Rick Burgess is not a member of the Board at this time.

Burlington Theatre Board Inc., commonly referred to as the Burlington Performing Arts Centre (“BPAC”), currently operates from the City owned facility located at 440 Locust Street The City has leased the site to the Theatre Board. There is also a Relationship Agreement between the parties.

Prior to the November Council meetings the City became aware of issues respecting the overall governance and oversight of BPAC generally and the ongoing stability of board of directors specifically inclusive of the turnover of volunteer board members.

Burlington Council representatives on the board was Councillor Bentivegna.  It was the Bentivegna Notice of Motion that brought the BPAC issues th Council.

The city brought on an external consultant to establish a comprehensive accountability framework for agencies, boards and commissions. That report, paid for by BPAC, was accepted and is being implemented.

The City’s immediate focus and purpose was to stabilize and enhance the overall board governance capacity.

The BPAC provides a vitally important community service to the residents of the City of Burlington The City provides significant tax supported funding annually to BPAC which in the 2024 budget is proposed in the amounts of $1,102,006 – operating grant and $63,200 – capital contribution.

BPAC turned a profit of about $800,000.00 and are sitting on a surplus of almost $4 million at the end of 2022.

The 2023 numbers are not yet available.


Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 comment to Performing Arts Centre has worked through its governance issues, now reviewing Board applications and sitting on a $4 million surplus

  • Joe Gaetan

    Kudos to Tammy Fox. Impressive outcomes. Sure hope the new and improved board does not mess with success.