Star Walk

Deceased, Festivals, Pioneer, Inducted 2009
Biography
Not many others have done so much for this town's performing arts as Ernie. Born in Brooklyn in 1925, he served in the US Army in Europe. His first job led to a sales-promotion job with NBC, and then to his own ad agency. In 1971, he and his family moved to Vancouver. Ernie went to work in the new Social Planning department at Vancouver City Hall. He was the city's first cultural planner responsible for arts administration and development and he got the municipal government to buy and display artworks from Vancouver artists. He talked the city into celebrating its greatest resource at the first (and only) Vancouver Rain Festival. In 1976 Ernie was also in charge of organizing a performing-arts festival for Habitat and the former ad man became an impresario. He travelled the world looking for the best performers to bring to Vancouver's Vanier Park. In 1978 he founded the Vancouver International Children's Festival and Vancouver Folk Music Festival as an evolution from the Habitat Forum. In the early 1980s Ernie moved to CBC as head of regional communications while still running the festival. Then, in 1984, he finally became full-time executive director of the Vancouver International Children's Festival. Always the ad man, he knew his audience; he knew what we wanted, and he gave it to us - music and dance and theatre, in a city made happier and more beautiful by him....
Posted: Apr-9-2011