Joy's Journal - Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Rae Ackerman is a graduate of the Theatre Department at U.B.C. and worked on theatre productions all across the country from 1965 to 1989. In 1990, he became the Director of Civic Theatres in Vancouver and was the prime spark plug, along with Professor Norman Young and the late impresario Hugh Pickett, for the renewal of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and the Orpheum. He is also a director on the board of the B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame. He recently resigned from his position as he was relocating to Montreal to be with love of his life, the attractive Giselle Cote.
Last Friday,September 21, Rob Haynes, the President of the Board, orchestrated a fantastic farewell party for Rae with about 120 guests in the Orpheum Annex on Seymour.
The show opened with a chorus singing an "Anthem to Rae Ackerman", followed by speeches by Norman Young of Rae's involvement with the theatrical and technical side of stage production, Claire Wardel, a VCT intern, spoke on Rae's dedication of being a mentor to young people and presented a $1000 gift in Rae's name to Capilano University, architect Thom Weeks spoke on Rae's part in the theatre renovations while City Hall councillor and past president of the B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame, Elizabeth Ball, raved about Rae's genius for getting things done. Also introduced was the interim director of Vancouver Civic Theatres, Todd Ayotte.
One of Rae's gifts was a permanent plaque from the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame honouring him which will be hung in Starwall in the Orpheum.
Jeffrey Victor sang a special version of Thanks for the Memory while Bill Munroe, gowned as The Queen, arrived with sword in hand and knighted the beaming guest of honour as Sir Rae.
Special guests included Councillor Heather Deal, Dep. City Manager David McLellan and Community Services' G.M. Brenda Proskin. Other guests included singer Diane Lines, Diana Lam, Bob Gatto, Wendy Soobis, Chris Davies, Red Robinson, Judy Jackson and the legendary Dal Richards.