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Hall of Fame

Significant Contributors

Hall of Fame

Significant Contributors

Established in 2013

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre’s Hall of Fame recognizes persons who have made significant contributions to the performing arts in Burlington (individual or group).

Recipients of this award demonstrate the diversity of artistic accomplishment that comprises the rich cultural tapestry of the City of Burlington. The Hall of Fame award is normally presented to the inductee at BPAC’s Season Launch events.

The Hall of Fame awards are designed by Teresa Seaton.

2022 Hall of Fame Nominations Now Open

Nominations must be submitted by noon on April 20, 2022.

All submissions will be reviewed by the Hall of Fame Awards Committee. Committee members represent a cross-section of the Burlington community. The 2022 Hall of Fame Inductee will be announced at the 22/23 BPAC Season Launch on May 31, 2022.

Nominee: The nominee must have provided an outstanding contribution to Burlington’s reputation as a city with a strong commitment to the development of cultural excellence. The nominee can be either a cultural worker, supporter of advancing performing arts in Burlington, or a performing artist. Staff and Board of Directors of The Burlington Performing Arts Centre may not nominate or be nominated for The Burlington Performing Arts Centre Hall of Fame.

Individual nominees must conduct the bulk of their work in Burlington and/or be a Burlington resident and/or achieved their artistic prominence in Burlington.

Group nominees must have a Burlington address and conduct the bulk of their work in Burlington and/or have achieved their artistic prominence in Burlington.

Gary W. DeGroote
Gary DeGroote

2021 Inductee

2021 marked the 10th Anniversary for The Burlington Performing Arts Centre. What a great opportunity to look back and recognize the efforts that went behind the vision and talents that make The Burlington Performing Arts Centre the success it is today.

Gary DeGroote’s commitment, vision, and generous donation not only sparked community enthusiasm, it helped turn a dream into reality. A passionate supporter of the arts, his Titanium Benefactor Gift helped to kick-start the fundraising campaign for the renowned Burlington Performing Arts Centre.

To quote Allan Pearson, Chair, of the Burlington Theatre Board, 2011: “For years, the City has dreamed of a performing arts centre and now we are here! Our new performing arts centre will come to signify the image of the whole community and its devotion to creativity, diversity and excellence.” Years later, this quote holds true.

Hayley Verrall
Hayley Verrall

2020 Inductee

Hayley Verrall is in a class all by herself. The Burlington country singer/songwriter was named the 2020 inductee to the Burlington Performing Arts Centre Hall of Fame.

Verrall has etched out a spot in the country music community and opening shows for well-known Canadian acts such as Burton Cummings, Dan Hill, Gil Grand, and Ryan Langdon.

A frequent performer here in Burlington, Verrall has made the BPAC home. She was part of the BPAC’s Live and Local Series in 2019 and has performed in the BPAC lobby at pre-show events.

When it comes to representing her hometown, Verrall wears her Burlington pride on her sleeve, having written a song called Burlington, which she performs often, especially close to home. She performs often at festivals in the community like Culture Days, One Burlington, Doors Open, and the Burlington Sound of Music Festival, as well as fundraisers small and large organizations alike. Her passion project is her Singing for Smiles program in which she sings classic country music at seniors’ residences and retirement homes.

The Burlington Footnotes
Senior Performing Troupe Inc.
The Burlington Footnotes

2019 Inductee

BPAC is thrilled to induct The Burlington Footnotes Senior Performing Troupe Inc into the BPAC Hall of Fame. This organization has become a cultural staple of Burlington and we know that they will continue to serve our community and contribute the cultural ecology of Burlington for years to come.

Since its inception in 1995, the organization has grown from 6 to more than 100 members. These swingin’ seasoned adults prove that it’s great to have life experience as they celebrate the art of staying young. They have danced their way into the hearts of countless audiences. Their annual show, Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance, is performed 3 times over 2 days each June, and always sells out becoming a fast-favourite with BPAC audiences and local tour operators who bring bus loads of visitors to Burlington annually. In addition to being audience favourites, The Burlington Footnotes Senior Performing Troupe Inc have been recognized and endorsed by many of Burlington’s elected officials over the years.

Helen Zdriluk
Helen Zdriluk

2018 Inductee – In Memory

Helen Zdriluk inspired and moulded young minds during her time as a drama teacher at Burlington Central High School. While at Central, Helen founded Central Company, the school’s extracurricular theatre program, in 1972, and continued to lead and direct it until her retirement in 2004. Helen was the Founder, Owner, and Artistic Director of Centre Stage Theatre Productions, Burlington, Inc., an intergenerational community theatre and school. Helen also taught Dramatic Arts at Brock University, completing her master’s at the University in 2010. Peacefully, after a brief illness, Helen passed away on April 26, 2017. She is remembered by all who knew her as a driving force of theatre in Burlington.

Burlington Teen Tour Band
Burlington Teen Tour Band

2017 Inductee

Canada’s Musical Ambassadors and the pride of Burlington since 1947, the Burlington Teen Tour Band celebrates their 70th anniversary in 2017. Since its humble beginnings, the Burlington Teen Tour Band has grown into Canada’s oldest and largest youth marching band. They have had the honour and privilege to represent Burlington, Ontario and Canada around the world in such countries as: England, Republic of Ireland, France, Japan, The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. The band also participates in national and international competitions.

Bob Missen
Bob Missen

2016 Inductee

Tenor Robert Missen has a long and distinguished career in the Canadian music industry. Bob is a performer, artist manager, artistic director, producer and promoter. Starting his performing career at the University of Guelph under the guidance of Nicholas Goldschmidt, founder of the Canadian Opera, Bob went on to establish himself in the fields of opera, symphonic concerts, professional choral music and vocal chamber music. Bob was a founding member of Tapestry Singers, now Tapestry New Opera, which toured across Canada. He is featured on over twenty recordings and countless radio and television broadcasts. His current performing activities include solo concerts throughout Southern Ontario featuring the music of Gershwin and other American Songbook composers. Bob’s contribution to the arts scene in Burlington includes founding Director of the Board for the Arts and Culture Collective of Burlington and most recently, founding member of Burlington New Millennium Orchestra.

Lawrence Bonanno & Stuart Laughton
Lawrence Bonanno and Stuart Laughton

2015 Inductees

Lawrence Bonanno has been a member of Theatre Burlington since 1960, exposing thousands of Burlington citizens to live theatre. Lawrence first became involved in Burlington Little Theatre (now Theatre Burlington) when asked to help with sound recordings for a play. This morphed into directing and producing, building sets, running sound and special effects. As one of the recipients of the 2012 Michael Spence Award for Contribution to Community Theatre, Lawrence serves as an inspiration and role model to all. He also formed a technical committee along with Joe Henning and Ron Hebbard who spent countless hours planning and working with the architects to create the wonderful Performing Arts Centre we are so proud of.

Stuart Laughton By age 19, already the principle trumpet of the Hamilton Philharmonic, Stuart was asked to join a brand-new group, Canadian Brass. Spending a year with Canadian Brass he left to attend the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Starting Opening Day Recordings, Stuart released 18 discs of Canadian music and musicians, four of these releases were Juno-nominated, plus one Juno win. Stuart has performed as concerto soloist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Quebec’s Les Violins du Roy, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and the Winnipeg Symphony and was the principle trumpet for LaScala Opera. After a 35 year absence he rejoined Canadian Brass for a short time before founding root/rock band Porkbelly Futures, that released 3 CDs of original material.

Rainer Noack
Rainer Noack

2014 Inductee

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre is pleased to announce its 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee: Rainer Noack – Founder and Program Director of Burlington Student Theatre. Through Student Theatre, Mr. Noack has been providing training, camps, and arts opportunities for children and youth in the Burlington area since 1978. Having also taught for the Halton District Catholic School Board, it is clear that educating is close at heart for Noack. With his love of the arts and his incredible commitment and contribution to the city of Burlington, Rainer Noack was named Burlington’s Arts Person of the Year in both 1995 and 2009.

Gordie Tapp
Gordie Tapp

2013 Inductee

In recognition of his years of service as performer and storyteller on radio, TV and on stage, and for his years of charity work, we called Gordie Tapp to the stage to be honoured as the First inductee into The Burlington Performing Arts Centre’s Hall of Fame.

In 1998, Gordie Tapp was awarded the Order of Canada for his years of unpaid work for medical charities, and in 1999 he received the Order of Ontario. Mr. Tapp chaired the Canadian muscular dystrophy campaign for years and raised funds for Easter Seals, the U.S. Shriners’ hospitals for children and the Canadian Tim Horton Foundation for Children. He was also elected to the Canadian Country Music Association Hall of Fame.