CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Steve Bellamy had been wondering how he might find a suitable means to once again live on P.E.I.
Landing the role as the new CEO of the Confederation Centre of the Arts, he says, fits the bill perfectly.
“I’m definitely hoping to settle the family here,’’ says Bellamy, who inked a five-year contract but believes he will be keen to serve much longer.
“I’m looking at it as a permanent move.’’
Bellamy spent many of his younger years attending school here, including completing his bachelor of music degree at the University of Prince Edward Island.
He is vacationing on P.E.I. this week with his wife, Sarah, and the couple’s children Liliane, 7, and Alexandre, 4, just a couple of months before they make the Island their home.
Bellamy, who is the current dean of the Humber School of Creative and Performing Arts in Toronto and a recording engineer and music producer, learned last week that he will become the 12th CEO (four people also served in an acting capacity) of the Confederation Centre since it opened in 1964 to commemorate the historic 1864 Charlottetown Conference.
The 46-year-old Bellamy begins his new role on Oct. 1., overseeing an annual operating budget of roughly $12 million and replacing Jesse Inman, who has been at the helm since 2011.
Bellamy says the centre plays a vital role in the national dialogue about diverse voices and what it means to be Canadian.
The aim of the Confederation Centre of the Arts, according to its website, is to “inspire Canadians to consider our country’s past, present and future through musical theatre, visual arts and interactive experiences – truly the Centre for all Canadians.’’
Inman, reflecting on her impact over eight years at the helm, told The Guardian earlier this year she credits her entire team with helping make the centre more relevant and accessible to all Canadians while also working to inject greater vibrancy into the place.
“I think that Jessie has done great work and I would like to continue to build on that work,’’ says Bellamy.
“I'm honoured to support the continued success of this cherished institution and the artists who continue to move, teach, and inspire us with their work.’’
Bellamy says he is interested in engaging new technology to better connect with the rest of the country. He also plans to focus on growing musical streams, like the Confederation Centre has done with Holland College School of Performing Arts.
At Humber, Bellamy has been responsible for the delivery of degree, diploma and certificate programs in music, creative writing, comedy, acting, production, publishing, music business and arts administration and cultural management. He previously served as associate dean of creative and performing arts and professor of music production in Humber’s music degree program.
As a recording engineer and music producer, he has worked with many leading jazz and classical musicians. Before joining Humber College in 2007, he served on the faculties of McGill University, the University of Hartford and The Banff Centre for the Arts.
“Steve brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the arts and culture sector, and we are very fortunate to have a person of this caliber lead Confederation Centre into the future,” said Wayne Hambly, outgoing chairman of the Fathers of Confederation Buildings Trust.