In Memoriam

Robert (Bob) Johnston

Robert Johnston

The National Ballet of Canada mourns the passing of former Administrative Director Robert (Bob) Johnston on November 17, 2022. Johnston was the longest serving director in the company’s history, holding the position from 1979 to 1996. Steadfast in creating a secure foundation for the organization’s creative growth, Johnston was a compassionate and visionary leader and remained committed to the National Ballet throughout his life, giving generously as a donor and Celia Franca Society member.

Johnston brought a wealth of experience from the private and public sectors to the National Ballet and he served Canadian arts and culture throughout his career. He was the former Deputy Minister of Culture and Recreation for the Province of Ontario, President of the International Society of Performing Arts Administrators and Executive Director of Cultural Careers Council Ontario. Johnston was also a Board Member at Dance Collection Danse and CSARN, the voice of Canada’s vibrant community of senior professional artists.

In 2019, CSARN recognized Johnston’s contribution to the sector with an award in his name, The Robert Johnston Visionary Artist Award, given annually to an artist whose work “away from the spotlight” has been an inspiration to others in the arts. His legacy will live on with this award and in the qualities of excellence and care within the communities he served.

Bob Johnston was 93 when he passed and we were thrilled that he could join us at the dress rehearsal of The Collective Agreement & Crepuscular & Concerto on November 8, demonstrating his care and affection for the company as always. He will be missed.