B/A Spotlight: Robert Foster
As part of our ongoing spotlight of B/A staff, supporters, and volunteers, we are excited to profile our new Board Chair, Robert Foster.
A tireless champion of arts and culture in Toronto and across Canada, Robert’s many roles include: Chair of TO Live, which is responsible for overseeing the business affairs and operation management of the Toronto civic theatres; Board member of the Harbourfront Foundation; Former Co-Chair of The Mayor’s Task Force- Arts & Theatre, Chair; Toronto Artscape, Chair; Co-Chair; The National Arts Centre – Ontario Scene, Board; Luminato.
In 2011, Robert was Co-Chair for a year-long examination of Toronto’s cultural capacity and priorities, which resulted in the Creative Capital Report, a report embraced by City Council and used as a guiding document for the city’s cultural funding and growth. In 2013, Robert was co-recipient of the Rita Davies and Margo Bindhardt Cultural Leader Award, presented biennially to an individual demonstrating cultural leadership in the development of arts and culture in Toronto.
We are thrilled to have Robert as our Chair at Business/ Arts! And, what better way to get to know him than to have him complete our B/A Proust Questionnaire.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A glass of Chablis, a roaring fire, with Julia, all after a perfect day of skiing!
What is your most marked characteristic?
Always believing “This has been the busiest year of my life.”
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Sir Richard Bonnycastle, my great great great great grandfather.
Who are your heroes in real life?
The educators who mentored me.
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
To have gotten a PhD in economics from the London School of Economics
As you look back on your involvement with the arts, what are you most proud of? Why?
Securing $24-million of government funding for the Daniels Spectrum in the last 24 hours of available funding.
What element of arts and culture do you enjoy the most?
Being in the audience with the curtain rising.
What is your idea of the perfect arts and culture experience?
A new production by Crystal Pite and her dance troupe, Kidd Pivot.
Which talent would you most like to have?
To play the guitar and sing as well as my sons and daughters.
What is your most treasured arts possession?
My collection of Buddha figures.
If you could change one thing about the arts in Canada, what would it be?
Greater international exposure for our artists.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Who are your favourite artists?
Edward Burtynsky, Maria Hupfield, and Meryl McMaster
Why should Canadians invest in the arts?
Our minds, our hearts, our souls, are nourished by artistic creation.
What is your life motto?
Love culture, love life!