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Hall of Fame

Significant Contributors

Hall of Fame

Significant Contributors

Established by The Burlington Performing Arts Centre in 2013, The Burlington Performing Arts Centre’s Hall of Fame recognizes persons, living or deceased, who have made significant contributions to the performing arts in Burlington.

Recipients of this award demonstrate the diversity of artistic accomplishment that comprises the rich cultural tapestry of the City of Burlington.

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre recognizes that the individual and group artists are paramount and fundamental to cultural development. These individuals and groups contribute to Burlington’s reputation as a city with a strong and sustained commitment toward the development of cultural excellence.

The Hall of Fame awards are designed by Teresa Seaton.

For further information please contact:
David Mason, Marketing and Development Coordinator 905-681-2551 ext. 6318.

Chris McKhool

chris mckhool2024 Hall of Fame Inductee

Chris 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.

Rick Burgess

Rick Burgess

Lifetime Achievement

Rick Burgess, 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.

Charles T. Cozens

charles cozens

2023 Hall of Fame Inductee

Charles Cozens is known locally as the Vice President of the Arts and Culture Council of Burlington, and as the founder of the Burlington New Millennium Orchestra. In addition to his countless contributions in the Burlington region and beyond, Charles is also recognized nationally and internationally as a highly acclaimed arranger, composer, conductor and orchestrator for major Canadian artists, ensembles, theatres, and orchestras.

Dedicated to excellence in the Canadian music industry, Charles Cozens has steadily contributed to classical and symphonic music by cultivating musical excellence and professionalism through a variety of Burlington communities. His tireless efforts resulting in the creation of a platform in which rising Canadian stars can make their mark in professional orchestras, the Burlington community and surrounding regions experience rich symphonic concerts, and arts and culture in Burlington as a whole see increasing development through his leadership and creativity.

It is because of Charles’ dedication to the development of musical excellence in Burlington, his contributions to the Canadian music industry across genres, and his deliverance of broad ranging musical experiences through community, that he has been nominated and chosen to be our 2023 Hall of fame Inductee.

Kaylynne “Kate” Lowe

kate lowe

Lifetime Achievement

We give thanks to a fierce contributor in the Dance and Drama community of Burlington by designating a Lifetime Achievement Award to teacher, performer, community organizer, and arts advocator Kaylynne “Kate” Lowe. Kate made her debut as a dancer at age four, dancing as a bunny in her studio’s year end recital. From that moment on, her passion for dance and the performing arts could be seen in everything she did. Throughout her life, Kate contributed to dance and drama in the Halton region, through dance education, teaching for 28 years, community engagement, dance networks and performing in various arts projects and groups, Burlington Footnotes being one of them.

As chair and founder of the Halton Dance Network, Kate brought dance to our community in a myriad of ways, collaborating on projects for Canada Culture Days, performance videos, HDSB dance shows, and other community based dance initiatives. Working with a variety of ages and skill levels, Kate truly reflected the Halton Dance Network’s mandate of “building community in and through dance”. When asked the question “how does dance move you?”, Kate responded with “when I dance, I am the person I most want to be”. Kate Lowe passed away suddenly on January 28th 2023. Her impact in the dance community continues to be felt by those near and far. We acknowledge and honor Kate’s immense contributions to dance in the Burlington community, Halton region, and beyond, by recognizing her accomplishments with this Lifetime Achievement Award. Thank you, Kate, your legacy will live on.

Don Allan

Don Allan

2022 Hall of Fame Inductee

The name Don Allan will ring a bell for many Burlington residents, especially those with ties to the Burlington Teen Tour Band (also inducted into the BPAC Hall of Fame in 2017). Many refer to Don as Burlington’s Music Man. After spending time in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a clarinetist, Don taught music here in the Halton District School Board and then became the Director of the Burlington Teen Tour Band and later the Burlington Concert Band. With over 40 years of bringing music to youth and taking them around the world to showcase the talent we have here in Burlington, we are pleased to announce that Don Allan is the recipient of the 2022, Hall of Fame Induction.

Boris Brott

Boris BrottLifetime Achievement

Boris Brott, OC OOnt (March 14, 1944 – April 5, 2022) was a Canadian conductor and motivational speaker. He was one of the most internationally recognized Canadian conductors, having conducted on stages around the world, including Carnegie Hall and Covent Garden. He was known for his innovative methods of introducing classical music to new audiences. Over his career, he commissioned, performed, and recorded a wide variety of Canadian works.

Brott was the founder and artistic director of the National Academy Orchestra of Canada and the Brott Music Festival, both based in Hamilton, Ontario. He was the founding music director and Conductor Laureate of the New West Symphony in Los Angeles, and artistic director and Conductor of the Orchestre classique de Montreal (formerly the McGill Chamber Orchestra. He was a former Principal Youth and Family conductor with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, where he conducted family and education concerts.

Gary W. DeGroote

Gary DeGroote2021 Inductee

Philanthropist, Gary DeGroote, will take a place in our Hall of Fame as our 2021 Inductee for his incredible contribution to the arts. BPAC’s existence was dependent on a lead gift, something to begin the campaign of raising the funds to build and establish a theatre for the entire community to enjoy. This lead gift was given by no other than Gary DeGroote. He also sat on the Campaign Cabinet as Co- Chair and used his leadership and passion for culture to drive the fundraising initiative which eventually culminated in the opening of Burlington’s world class theatre 11 years ago. Gary insisted the building not bear his or his family name and so it is with great pleasure that we induct him to our Hall of Fame to be recognized again for his contribution and commitment to the Arts.

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 Footnotes2019 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 Zdriluk2018 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 Missen2016 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 Noack2014 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 Tapp2013 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.