Our Founder & Board Members

John Van Burek

Founder of Pleiades Theatre

Photo:Cylla von Tiedemann


John has been a professional theatre artist for over forty years. He has directed well over 100 productions, including plays, operas and special events, and he has translated over 50 plays. He was the founding Artistic Director of Théâtre français de Toronto, which he ran for close to twenty years and through his translations, many in partnership with the late Bill Glassco, he introduced the work of Michel Tremblay, one of Canada’s preeminent playwrights, to the English-speaking world. In addition, he has translated works by Gratien Gélinas, Carlo Goldoni, Suzanne Lebeau, Marivaux, Molière and Carl Sternheim. He is currently working on a translation of Les Justes (The Just Assassins), Albert Camus’ powerful play about terrorists, and on one of the great classics of Spanish literature, Los Empeños de una Casa (The Trials of a Noble House), a delightful comedy written in Mexico City in 1683 by a nun, Sor Juana Ignés de la Cruz.




John has taught at the National Theatre School of Canada, York University, Ryerson Theatre School, the Nottingham School of the Performing Arts (U.K.), University of Victoria and at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. For four years, he was a member of the Canadian Artists and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal and he is a member of l’Ordre de la Pléïade (Paris). He has received many awards and distinctions, including the Toronto Drama Bench Award for Distinguished Contribution to Canadian Theatre, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and most recently, he was given the prestigious Silver Ticket Award by the Toronto Association of Performing Arts. For six years, John sat on the Board of the Toronto Arts Council and is currently an Associate Board member of the Fondation Michaëlle Jean Foundation.

Honorary Patrons, The Rt. Hon. Michaëlle Jean and M. Jean-Daniel Lafond 

Founding Board Members, Retired

Dr. Harry Arthurs

Billie Bridgman

Jennifer Duchesne

Gerry Eldred

David Silcox (Former Chair)


Board of Directors

Alexis Akerfeldt

Manager, Chief Accountant's Department, TD Bank Group

Jules Bloch


Michael Bourassa
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

Carla Flamer
President, Ipsos Marketing  Canada 

Maryam Khoshyomn (Treasurer)
Risk & Reporting Analyst for RBC Dominion Securities

Marnie McGarry (Past Chair)
Real Estate Agent  and Volunteer Fundraiser

Geoffrey Miller (Chair)
Partner, PAR-Med Properties Services Inc.

Helen Findlay

Co-Founder, Kisoji Research Inc.

Tannie Ng
Senior Underwriter, Fine Arts, Chubb Insurance

Elizabeth Onwudiwe

Area Controller, Can&Latin America

Abbott Pharmaceuticals