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is Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s Artistic Director, a position he has held since 1991. After completing his theatre studies training at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Jim began his professional theatre career in 1978 touring as a performer with Mermaid, throughout North America, the United Kingdom and Japan.
Click here to read Jim's full bio
In 1987, Jim attended the Institut International de la Marionnette
’s puppetry studies program in Charleville-Mezieres, France, where he learned the art of Muppet construction and manipulation for film and TV, with the late Jim Henson.
As well as serving as Artistic Director of Mermaid Theatre, his other duties include adapting many of the world’s best-known children’s storybooks into full stage productions that tour to major theatres around the world. Some of these stories include Stella, Queen of the Snow
by Marie-Louise Gay; Goodnight Moon
by Margaret Wise Brown, The Very Hungry Caterpillar
and Brown Bear, Brown Bear
by Eric Carle, Swimmy, Frederick
and Inch by Inch
by Leo Lionni; Guess How Much I Love You
by Sam McBratney; and When Dinosaurs Dine By Moonlight
by Sheree Fitch. He has directed and designed most of the company’s national and international touring productions, and nearly three and a half million spectators have attended his shows. His contributions to Mermaid have played a major role in earning Export Excellence awards from the Nova Scotia Government (2001) and the Government of Canada (2001, 2005) as well as the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia, Ambassador Award (2008).
Aside from his Mermaid duties, Jim has volunteered to sit on numerous provincial and national Councils and Boards including the Theatre Advisory Board with The Canada Council For the Arts, the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council and the QE II, Centre for Health Care of the Elderly, Artist in Residence Program in Halifax, NS. He has served as Director of Puppetry for Symphony Nova Scotia's production of The Nutcracker
, since its inception, and regularly teaches the art of puppetry in workshops throughout Canada, the United States and Asia.
His contributions to the community, both as artist and mentor, have earned him numerous awards and accolades including the Nova Scotia government’s highest award for artistic achievement, the Portia White Award, in 2004; a Doctor of Humanities from his Alma Mater, Acadia University in 2007; and in 2012 Jim was the recipient of the Mickey Miner Award, presented annually by the US-based International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) to distinguished artists who have made exemplary contributions to the lives of the children around the world.
Jim is a two-time winner of the annual Conqueral Bank Marble Mania Marble Tournament and two-time champion of the Port Williams Invitational Crokonole Tournament.
Jim was born in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, is an avid curler and rabid Toronto Maple Leaf fan. He is a father of four (Kaitlin, Jacob, Cael and Hannah) and lives in Avonport, Nova Scotia.
Sara Lee Lewis
co-founded the Theatre in 1972 with Tom Miller and the late Evelyn Garbary. She served as Managing Director until July 2015 when she took on the role of Public Affairs Consultant.
is Mermaid Theatre's General Manager. He has a diverse background in arts management and community initiatives. Upon completion of his studies (he received a BA in Music from the University of Tampa and a MFA in Producing for Theater & Film from the California Institute of the Arts), he has helmed artistic and development operations in both non-profit and corporate entertainment sectors. These include the Wooten Center in Los Angeles, Shriners Hospitals for Children, NBCUniversal, and American Cancer Society Special Projects. Prior to moving to Nova Scotia in 2014, Danny served as Event & Entertainment Manager for Holland America Line, leading an international creative team of 75 to engage artists and implement programming for worldwide sailings. He joined Mermaid in 2017.
is Mermaid Theatre's Artistic Advisor for Music and Sound Design. Steven has created the music for more than a dozen Mermaid shows, including all of our current touring productions. His many other professional activities
include contemporary electroacoustic and instrumental concert music; university teaching; and original film and television scores. Steven has been associated with Mermaid Theatre since 1982.
, Production Manager, started working part-time in Production in 1994 and joined the team full time in 2001.
plays an important role as Technical Director both for Mermaid's touring productions as well as MIPAC.
joined the Mermaid team as Administrator in 1992, and oversees the management of the Theatre's financial operations.
is Mermaid's Office & Tour Coordinator. In addition to creating and maintaining paperwork for our touring productions, responding to email and answering phones, he also makes posters and programs for MIPAC shows, maintains the website and other social media, and assists with a wide variety other odd jobs to keep the office humming smoothly, from changing the marquee sign to painting the floors.
Sarah Harvey Hart
began his career with Mermaid in 2006, first as a participant in our annual puppetry workshop for adults, then as a touring performer and production team member. Since 2011, he has been working in our production shop full time as a Production Associate. He is also much in demand as the senior workshop instructor for our Institute of Puppetry Arts.
, Production Associate, has been involved with Mermaid since 1996.
is the Box Office Manager at MIPAC.
is the Front of House Manager at MIPAC.
Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
Board of Directors, 2017-18