Citation for Timothy Vernon

Timothy Vernon demonstrates a unique combination of strategic vision and leadership, balanced with artistic passion, creative talent and vibrant execution.

As founding artistic director of Pacific Opera Victoria, he has engaged the community and made the organization a nationally-recognized symbol of artistic excellence, creating a legacy for the citizens of Victoria. His keen eye for talent and understanding of his audience has enabled Pacific Opera Victoria to thrive in its small urban centre. The quality and diversity of performances on stage is a draw for locals and tourists alike, establishing Pacific Opera Victoria’s important role in the local economy.

A welcome presence on the podiums of Canada’s most important orchestras and opera companies, Timothy was a professor of music for 14 years at McGill University. He took its orchestra twice to Carnegie Hall, where a live recording garnered a Juno nomination.

Timothy has led most of Pacific Opera Victoria’s more than 100 productions since the company’s inception in 1980. This included a successful co-production of Puccini’s Tosca in 2005 as a co-production between Pacific Opera and Orchestra London in Ontario, where Timothy is Conductor Laureate.

His various performances have been broadcast on CBC, PBS and the Knowledge Network.

As a result of Timothy’s vision and commitment to emerging Canadian artists, Pacific Opera Victoria has offered first professional engagements for emerging singers and showcased some of Canada’s finest opera singers. Many directors made their main stage Canadian operatic debuts with Pacific Opera.

A recipient of the Order of Canada for his work in expanding professional opera in Canada, Timothy has also been celebrated for his commitment to young musicians. For 15 years he was involved in the Courtenay Youth Music Centre, a summer music school that draws students from around the world to learn and perform a variety of musical styles. He continues that commitment to youth through Pacific Opera Victoria, where the company has welcomed many emerging artists to the stage.

Timothy embodies the Royal Roads values of inspiring others through a commitment to excellence. For his leadership in the arts and his ability to challenge others to excel, Royal Roads is honoured to present Timothy Vernon for the honorary degree, Doctor of Laws.