FACILITYCalgary publisher Mark Kolke, in conversation with Colin Jackson
January 1, 2013
My recent conversation, with Colin Jackson (you may recall him as the distinguished and recently retired Executive Director of the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts) revealed he is not resting on laurels – among many ongoing involvements in the arts, he is Chair at imagiNation (Canada’s 150th anniversary coming very soon in 2017).
I wanted to catch up on things generally with Colin – get to know him better. Edinburgh born, moved to Winnipeg at age 9, BA from University of Winnipeg, MPA from Harvard, management and directing in a wide range of theatre situations in Manitoba, PEI and concluding his career in Calgary. But he kept bringing the discussion back to his passion for imagiNation – the adventure he co-conspired with the late Jack Perraton.
The discussion was easy and a lot of fun – I found myself engrossed in the discussion but came away is fewer notes than expected, but lots of laughs and things to think about including what I might do for our country’s 150th anniversary.
What is imagiNation?
… it is a framework organization to help Canadians create projects – large and small – to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada in 2017. It is not funded by or a creation of government. The organization’s purpose is to stimulate action. The 1150 Handbook is a free download from our website. My role is as a volunteer. Defining success is what people will define for themselves, their own gift to Canada, quality of celebration. Right now we are an early-warning, we want to set a culture to inspire a spirit of generosity.
How do you see the future of the arts in Calgary over the next 5 years?
… I would say, 5 to 10 years out, a much broader spectrum – lots of new, small but growing, performance groups in Calgary are innovating. Mayor Nenshi has raised the bar of interest in the arts and I expect that community support for the arts will grow better and faster than in the past.
How would you describe what impresses you in your suppliers, in people who pitch projects to you?
… In short, I am impressed and loyal to people who deliver on their promises who also bring something extra, something unexpected . . . some stretch.
What are you doing for fun?
. . . spending time in Arizona – we have a place there – with Arlene, men’s gourmet cooking club (Les Marmitons Calgary chapter), boards, mentorship, reading political books.
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