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Toronto, ON –, the national association for opera in Canada, is proud to announce the 2013 recipient of the National Opera Directors Recognition Award – Arthur R.A. Scace, Q.C., a long-time volunteer leader and past President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Opera Company.  Now in its fifth year, the National Opera Directors Recognition Award, sponsored by BMO Financial Group, highlights the tenets of good governance, celebrates models of volunteer excellence, and raises the bar for board director commitment.

“ is delighted to not only honour Mr. Scace for his extraordinary contributions to the Canadian Opera Company, but to recognize him nationally as a volunteer board member who exemplifies the leadership ideal for excellence in opera governance.” commended Christina Loewen, Executive Director,

On behalf of BMO Financial Group, Nada Ristich Director, Corporate Donations stated “As a supporter of many opera companies in Canada, BMO understands the vital role governance plays in the health and success of an opera company, which is why are pleased to sponsor the National Opera Directors Recognition Award which this year recognizes Arthur Scace.”

For 15 years, Mr. Scace has served the COC in a variety of capacities including Past President and Chairman of the COC’s Board of Directors, Co-Chair of the COC’s Capital Campaign Cabinet – Four Seasons Centre, and President of the Canadian Opera House Corporation (COHC).  As President of the COHC and Co-Chair of the Capital Campaign Cabinet – Four Seasons Centre, Mr. Scace helped the COC realize a dream 30 years in the making with the building of its performance home and Canada’s first purpose-built opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, which opened in 2006. 


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He worked tirelessly to ensure that the opera house was built on time and on budget, and it was the first of all Toronto cultural capital building projects running concurrently at the time to do so.  Mr. Scace was also an inspiring champion of the new opera house, leading numerous personal tours of the building site to potential donors and advocating for the investment required for the project to succeed.  Selflessly, remaining anonymous for much of the campaign, Mr. Scace made his personal leadership gift of $2,500,000 early on in the fundraising effort, and came forward with an additional gift of $500,000 to close the campaign.

In his numerous years of dedicated service to the COC, he has co-chaired countless board and committee meetings, attended dozens of cultivation events and considerably expanded the COC’s donation prospects.  As a current member of the COC’s Board of Directors and President of the COHC, the company continues to rely on Mr. Scace’s expert leadership and guidance to develop initiatives and strategies that ensure its sustained viability as an opera company and as a performing arts institution within the larger cultural community in Canada and abroad. 

“The Canadian Opera Company’s successes artistically and materially can all be traced back to the unwavering commitment and dedication shown to the operatic art form and the company by visionaries like Arthur Scace,” says Canadian Opera Company General Director Alexander Neef.  “Arthur has been a driving force in building a great opera company and one of the finest opera houses in the world.  His level of commitment to the company is rivaled only by his generosity.”  

“It has been, and continues to be, a great privilege to work with the Canadian Opera Company.  To have played a role in giving this great company a dedicated home where it can now fully realize its artistic ambitions will always be one of my proudest achievements.  The COC’s former general director, the late Richard Bradshaw, and the Four Seasons Centre’s architect Jack Diamond, had a brilliant vision for what the opera house could be.  It is my deep honour to have worked alongside them to realize that vision and create one of the finest opera houses in the world,” says Arthur Scace.  “None of the COC’s successes can be attributed to just one person.  This award is a testament to what a company can attain through the efforts of people like Richard and Jack, and now Alexander Neef at the COC’s helm, as well as an accomplished staff, exceptional artistic talent and generous volunteers, including my fellow directors.”

The Adjudication Committee oversees the annual selection process. This year’s committee was chaired by Peter George, past Chair of Manitoba Opera. Other committee members were Nada Ristich, Senior Manager, Corporate Donations, BMO Financial Group; Wendy Reid, Faculty of Business, HEC Montreal and Gabe Shelley, past Chair, Edmonton Opera.

3.  /4 National Directors Recognition Award Announcement’s commitment to recognizing excellence in governance is shared with sister association OPERA America through their Annual National Opera Trustee Recognition Award, in which a single honouree is chosen from each of the four OPERA America budget categories. In 2013, OPERA America is pleased to honour Ms. Lisa Erdberg, San Francisco Opera Association, Ms. Patricia A. Richards, Utah Symphony|Utah Opera, Ms. Cherie Shreck, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Mr. Timothy J. Wagg, Opera North.

About is the national association for opera companies and professionals in Canada. It seeks to create and sustain an environment that makes opera central to Canadian life. It works with members across the country to advance the interests of Canada’s opera community and create greater opportunity for opera audiences and professionals alike.

About the COC

Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America.  The COC enjoys a loyal audience support-base and one of the highest attendance and subscription rates in North America.  Under its leadership team of General Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Johannes Debus, the COC is increasingly capturing the opera world’s attention.  The COC maintains its international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation by creating new productions within its diverse repertoire, collaborating with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracting the world’s foremost Canadian and international artists.  The COC performs in its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world. Designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, the Four Seasons Centre opened in 2006, and is also the performance venue for The National Ballet of Canada.  For more information on the COC, visit its award-winning website,


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Arthur Scace                        

Arthur R.A. Scace is a retired lawyer with a national reputation in the field of income tax law.  He is the former Partner and Chair of McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Barristers and Solicitors, and he is the author of The Income Tax Law of Canada.  He is also Past Chairman of The Bank of Nova Scotia, and has served on the boards of numerous public companies, including The Canada Life Assurance Company, Gerdau Ameristeel, Lallemand Inc., N.M. Davis Corporation Limited, Fiera Capital Inc., Nexen Inc., and WestJet Airlines Inc.


Respected for his leadership and wisdom, he has given generously of his time and talents to many educational and cultural organizations. He has served as Canadian Secretary of the Rhodes Scholarship Trust, Chair of the Henry White Kinnear Foundation, President and Director of the Harold Fox Education Fund, and Director of the AWB and Heaslip foundations.  In addition, for 15 years, Mr. Scace has served the Canadian Opera Company in a variety of capacities including Past President and Chairman, Co-Chair of the Capital Campaign Cabinet – Four Seasons Centre, and President of the Canadian Opera House Corporation.


Mr. Scace received Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Toronto and Oxford University and his Bachelor of Laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. He has received Honorary Doctorates from The Law Society of Upper Canada, York University, the University of Toronto and Trinity College. 


In 2004, Mr. Scace was invested with the Order of Canada, the country’s highest honour and bestowed in recognition of a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.



For More Information:

Christina Loewen                                           or                    Claudine Domingue                                                                             Canadian Opera Company

416) 591-7222                                                                     (416) 306-2387                                                                                                                


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