WAG Executive Director Dr. Stephen Borys to be Awarded Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

Winnipeg, MB, September 25, 2012: In recognition of his outstanding work with the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Stephen Borys, WAG Executive Director, has been named a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. The medal ceremony will take place at 12:30pm at the kick off to the WAG’s Centennial celebrations on Saturday, September 29, 2012 with Joyce Bateman, M. P., Winnipeg South Centre; Honourable Flor Marcelino, Manitoba Minister of Culture, Heritage and Tourism;  and His Worship Sam Katz, Mayor of the City of Winnipeg in attendance.

This new commemorative medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada. The medal recognizes Her Majesty for her service to this country, while serving to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Borys returned to the city after holding curatorial posts at the National Gallery of Canada; the Allen Art Museum at Oberlin College, Ohio; and the John & Mabel Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida; and academic appointments at Oberlin College, Florida State University, and New College, Sarasota. Borys became Executive Director of the WAG in the summer of 2008, and his positive influence in the arts and culture sectors can be felt throughout the Gallery and community.

From restoring the Rooftop Sculpture Garden and Penthouse level to its original modernist design to spearheading the WAG’s award-winning rebrand and website, Borys has breathed new life into Canada’s oldest civic art gallery. He has brought focus to the collection with the designation of several permanent collection galleries and the publication of the Guide to the Collections, the first book to provide a comprehensive overview of the WAG collections. As well as promoting local artists here and away, such as through the upcoming Winnipeg Now exhibition (opens September 29, 2012) and the NGC@WAG project (opens February 1, 2013), Borys also brings in blockbuster shows such as the recent Norman Rockwell retrospective and the upcoming Only in Canada: 100 Masterworks for the WAG Centennial (opens May 10, 2013).

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to present Stephen Borys with a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal in recognition of his outstanding contributions and proactive stewardship of the Winnipeg Art Gallery,” states Joyce Bateman, M. P., Winnipeg South Centre. “As Executive Director of the WAG, Dr. Borys has been instrumental in the development and creation of the new Inuit Art and Learning Centre which will be home to the world’s largest collection of contemporary Inuit art. As well, he has worked tirelessly in promoting the WAG’s 100th Birthday Celebration and in making it available and accessible to all Manitobans. It is truly an honour to present Dr. Borys with this award.

Whether it is with school divisions, local arts groups like the Winnipeg Fringe Festival and the Winnipeg Design Festival, or the many corporate and government sponsors that have come on board to fund the WAG’s Centennial celebrations, partnerships with the community at large continue to grow under Borys’ leadership.

“I am truly honoured to be awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and I accept it on behalf of the entire WAG staff who share this honour,” says Borys. “To celebrate Her Majesty’s special anniversary in this way is a strong motivation in the lead-up to the launch of our Centennial celebrations. At the WAG, we work hard to communicate and support the important role that art plays in our daily lives, work, and society. Now, with the development of the Inuit Art and Learning Centre on the horizon, we look forward to providing a forum for an expanded engagement with the Inuit collection and culture, and the many learning opportunities connected to this artform.”

Borys holds the posts of Adjunct Professor at the University of Winnipeg, and Scholar in Residence in the School of Art at the University of Manitoba. He has an Executive MBA, and received his PhD in Art History from McGill University, an MA from the University of Toronto, and a BA Honours from the University of Winnipeg. The recipient of several grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Samuel Kress Foundation, the Ohio Arts and Humanities Councils, Oberlin College, Florida State University, Canada Council for the Arts, and Canadian Heritage. Borys is a graduate of the Getty Leadership Institute, Los Angeles, and the Royal Collections Studies Program, London. He is a member of several national and international museum organizations, including CAMDO (Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization) and the CMA (Canadian Museum Association) where he serves on their Boards of Directors, and AAMD (Association of Art Museum Directors).

The medal will be presented to Borys at the WAG’s Centennial Birthday Party on September 29, 2012. To find out more about the WAG’s Centennial celebrations visit wag100.ca. For the latest updates, follow us on Twitter (wag_ca) and Facebook (Winnipeg-Art-Gallery).


The Winnipeg Art Gallery is celebrating its Centennial year with an unparalleled series of exhibitions, programs, and events promoting the power of art in life. As Manitoba's leading art museum, the WAG is home to over 26,000 works of art spanning ten centuries, including the world's preeminent collection of contemporary Inuit art.



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