The Friday Lunch is a focus on the restaurant’s Lunch menu along with the Interview of a notable Business or Cultural leader who is joining me as my guest at restaurants in and around Vancouver. Each of the places I visit is unique for what is offered along with the type of service and selection of dishes.
For my third Friday Lunch in this series, I was joined by Arts Club Theatre Executive Director Howard Jang over lunch at Hy’s Steakhouse on Hornby.
Howard Jang Trained first as a musician, Howard has served as the Executive Director for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Ballet British Columbia and was the Orchestra Manager for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s (NYC).
In 2004 Howard completed the Stanford University Graduate School of Business/National Arts Strategies Executive Program for Non-profit Leaders in the Arts. In 2006 Howard completed the year long program of Leadership with the Shannon Institute in Minneapolis MN and has just completed the year long Executive Director Learning Circle and Mentorship program with Vantage Point (formerly known as Volunteer Vancouver). In 2011 Howard joined the faculty of Vantage Point’s Board Chair’s Academy.
Howard joined the Arts Club Theatre Company in 2000 and has lead the Arts Club through four multi-year Strategic Plans. He is thrilled to be partnered with Bill Millerd and the Arts Club Theatre Company as they produce their 49th season of exceptional theatre presentations in Vancouver and British Columbia.
Have you always had an interest in the arts?
Yes, my parents put all of us (3 kids) in to music classes. All of us went in to music, and I have a degree in music, double bass is my instrument.
How did you end up becoming the Executive Director of the Arts Club Theatre Company?
I was in Winnipeg prior as the Executive Director of the Winnipeg Symphony. I got a call from Bill Millerd asking me if I wanted to come back to Vancouver, I looked at the thermometer and it was – 26 C degrees, I ended up taking the job and started in 2000.
What drives you to succeed leading such an esteemed theatre company in Vancouver?
I am starting to understand the intrinsic opportunities of people’s lives. Theatre is about storytelling, our life, events of the past. A story told well can stay with you forever. Stories of our community is what we are able to feature.
What challenges a Theatre Company today in Vancouver?
Being relevant, the changing demographic. We are very box office driven, 60% of our revenues actually come from the box office, less reliant on government. A 1/3 is subscribers and 2/3 are single ticket sales, we have 15,000 subscribers. There are so many opportunities to building loyalty, but you have to maintain that loyalty.
How far in advance do you plan your productions?
18 months – we are always planning.
What is your favourite food?
I am a meat and potatoes kind of guy, though I do enjoy a good sushi meal.
What are your favourite restaurants in Vancouver ?
- La Quercia
Howard and Richard shared the Cheese Toast. Howard had the New England Clam Chowder and Richard had the Tossed Green Salad to start. Howard had the Veal Medallions wrapped in bacon and Richard had the Buttermilk Fried Chicken for their entrees. Howard had the Crème Brulee and Richard had the Apple Crumble for dessert.
What do you do in your off time?
- Play hockey
- Outdoor activities
- Fly to Toronto often to see my wife
Where is your favourite vacation spot?
Cottage in Ontario
If you weren’t working in the arts, what would you be doing?
Who is your mentor?
David YH Louie
What has inspired you lately?
Thinking what intrinsic impact really means. Clyborne Park was our opening production and it really started what community really means.
What is your favourite play that you have seen in the Arts Club repertoire ?
Timothy Findlay’s “Elizabeth Rex”
Has Social Media played a significant role for the Arts Club Theatre Company?
It is very important for us building anticipation and creating memory. Message can be immediate, helps us build profile and build the brand.
What is next on the horizon for the Arts Club Theatre Company?
- Our 50th Anniversary in 2013/14
- New production centre partnering with Bard on the Beach and Pacific Theatre that is 44,000 sq feet.
What do you want to accomplish with the Arts Club Theatre Co over the next few years?
- To eventually take the company through a leadership change when Bill Millerd retires.
- Build a production centre
Attire: Business Attire
Lunch Service: Monday to Friday 11:30am – 3pm.
637 Hornby Street, Vancouver
For Reservations call 604-683-7671
Stay tuned to my next guest Interview along with the next Friday Lunch in and around Vancouver.
By: Richard Wolak