Gateway Theatre Board Chair John Watson has announced that Artistic Director Jovanni Sy will be stepping down effective February 16, 2019 to pursue new artistic challenges and cultural leadership opportunities.
Jovanni was appointed Artistic Director of Gateway Theatre in April 2012 and has since played a key role in elevating Gateway’s national and local profile through inclusive and inspiring plays in both English and Chinese languages. Under Jovanni’s leadership, Gateway Theatre launched the Chinese-language Pacific Festival in 2014 to national acclaim.
“Jovanni has been a visionary leader for Gateway, bringing the wider community together and inviting more people to experience professional live theatre. The Board and I are extremely grateful for what he has accomplished,” states Board Chair John Watson. “We need only look at the diverse audiences attending our current production to see evidence of his achievement. Gateway’s invitation to reprise King of the Yees at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre last fall also speaks volumes to the success of his programming.”
Not only a stage director, Jovanni is also a noted playwright and actor. This season, his play Nine Dragons was produced in Calgary and Winnipeg before coming to Gateway this month, and his one-man show A Taste of Empire will see its Cantonese premiere in Toronto in May. Jovanni has appeared on stage several times at Gateway including in King of the Yees.
“It was tough decision to make – to leave a place I care about so deeply,” says Jovanni. “Yet I know the time has come for me to move on. When I look back at what Gateway has accomplished over the past six years, I’m filled with pride. We produced many memorable plays – shows that delighted and engaged audiences and that went on to garner awards and critical acclaim. I know that whoever follows me will continue to make Gateway a relevant creative hub for Richmond – a place where all voices are heard and where our community comes together for the love of art.”
Gateway Theatre’s Board will announce plans for a recruitment process in the coming months.
In his own words:
A Message from Artistic Director Jovanni Sy