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2024 BPAC Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Award Winners Announced

Burlington has a rich history of arts and culture that has played a key role in the city’s success. For years, Burlington artists and community leaders have upheld this tradition while laying the groundwork for the next generation of cultural innovators.

While Burlington’s artistic excellence has been around long before The Burlington Performing Arts Centre (‘BPAC’) was established in 2011, BPAC has strived to foster and celebrate Burlington’s ongoing cultural vitality. These efforts aim to ensure the performing arts are recognized as an essential component of everyday life in Burlington. In keeping with this goal, BPAC established its Hall of Fame in 2013. Every year since then, the Hall of Fame has recognized individual and group artists who have made significant contributions to the performing arts in Burlington.

Past Hall of Fame Inductees include Gordie Tapp, legendary Canadian comedian and broadcaster, Rainer Noack, the founder and Program Director of Burlington Student Theatre, Charles Cozens, highly acclaimed arranger, composer, and orchestrator, as well as several others.

The latest addition to this list is Burlington-based singer-songwriter Chris McKhool.

McKhool is a 7-time winner of the Canadian Folk Music Awards and a 4-time JUNO Award nominee for both his music for young people and his involvement in the band Sultans of String. He is a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient, and has received numerous awards from Folk Music Ontario, Canadian Independent Music Association and SiriusXM. McKhool’s music hit Billboard music charts, and he has been touring the world with both adult and children’s concerts for two decades, reaching over 1 million children live in concert, and has appeared on Mr. Dressup, YTV’s Treehouse, and the CBC. He is the bandleader for Sultans of String, who just won “Best Musical Film” at the Cannes World Film Festival for their documentary Sultans of String: The Refuge Project, that aired in The Burlington Performing Arts Centre’s Community Studio Theatre. Simply put, McKhool is an artistic leader that has strengthened Burlington’s cultural landscape.

McKhool’s induction was announced at the 2024-2025 ‘BPAC Presents’ Season Launch on May 30th. “This is such a tremendous honour and I am so grateful for support I have received here in Burlington to be able to grow as an artist,” McKhool said in a statement about his Award win. “My wife grew up in Burlington, and so we moved here to raise our daughter, and I discovered that there is an incredible camaraderie in Burlington among artists. I have to give special thanks to the Burlington Arts & Culture Fund, especially during the pandemic years, because with their support I have been able to host concerts featuring amazing indigenous artists, and new immigrant artists to schools in all six wards.” McKhool went on to discuss the importance of creating art for young people, noting “People sometimes say that kids are the audience of tomorrow, but actually they are an audience right now that needs great art, just like we do as adults, to make sense of the world and their lives.”

In addition to the Hall of Fame Award, The Burlington Performing Arts Centre recognizes individuals who have made contributions of outstanding significance throughout their lives to the performing arts in Burlington with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Past recipients include Kate Lowe, a fierce contributor in the Dance and Drama Community of Burlington, and Boris Brott, internationally recognized conductor and artistic leader.

At the 2024-2025 ‘BPAC Presents’ Season Launch, this Award was presented to Rick Burgess, who, throughout his legal career, has been actively involved in the Burlington community, serving as a director for various organizations related to arts, business, education, and philanthropy. He has received several awards and recognition for his contributions, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his contributions to Canada and a Five-Year Volunteer Service Award from the Government of Ontario in honor of his commitment to volunteerism. Burgess has also generously given his time to serve Burlington’s artistic and cultural scene. He served as member of the Board and Executive of the Burlington Museums Foundation and as the Board Co-Chair of the Burlington Holiday Market. He also served as Chair of the Burlington Community Foundation Board and of The Burlington Performing Arts Centre.

Reflecting on his new Lifetime Achievement Award, Burgess remarked, “I’ve had the privilege of being associated with BPAC since the start of the advocacy to make the Centre a reality, starting around 2000, and after far more ‘ups’ than ‘downs’ since, to be honoured with induction to the BAPC Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement is an unexpected gesture on BPAC’s part, and something I will treasure forever.”

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre
440 Locust Street, Burlington, Ontario

The full schedule of BPAC Presents events is available here:
https://burlingtonpac.ca/events/
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The Burlington Performing Arts Centre is a spectacular LEED (Leadership in Environmental Design) GOLD certified facility. The Centre is inclusive and respectful to all, combining accessibility with imaginative design and creativity, incorporating accessibility features wherever possible. The mission of The Burlington Performing Arts Centre is to provide the people of Burlington with a broad range of excellent performance opportunities that will both inspire and delight.

Media Contact: David Mason, Marketing & Development Coordinator
Phone: 905.681.2551 x 6318
Email: david.mason@burlington.ca