Piers Handling, past CEO of TIFF, to deliver 2019 John W. Holmes Memorial Lecture

Piers Handling will be the featured guest speaker on Feb. 7 for the annual John W. Holmes Memorial Lecture at York University’s Glendon Campus.

Piers Handling
Piers Handling

Handling, past director and CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), will deliver the lecture “Film Festivals and International Politics: From Mussolini to China via the Cold War” for the event hosted by Glendon’s International Studies program.

The lecture will be presented in English, and is free to attend.

Handling, held the position of director and CEO of TIFF since 1994 and stepped down in December 2018. He was responsible for leading both the operational and artistic growth of the organization. TIFF has a $44-million annual operating budget and employs more than 200 full-time staff and 500 seasonal employees. For the past eight years, TIFF has been named one of the Greater Toronto Area’s top 50 employers, and it was recently named one of Canada’s 150 iconic brands by Interbrand Canada. TIFF has become an internationally renowned cultural institution.

In 2015, Toronto Life named Handling one of Toronto’s 50 most influential people.

Handling has curated numerous film retrospectives and presented programs of Canadian cinema at the Sundance Film Festival, the British Film Institute and the Havana Film Festival, and has sat on festival juries including Cannes, Tokyo, Rotterdam, San Sebastian, Torino, Istanbul and Los Cabos.

He began his career at the Canadian Film Institute (CFI), ultimately becoming deputy director, and later teaching Canadian cinema at Carleton University and Queen’s University. He joined the Festival of Festivals in 1982, and became artistic director in 1987. He has published extensively on Canadian cinema and edited numerous books.

Handling is an officer of the Order of Canada, has been awarded the Order of Ontario and was named a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, France’s highest cultural insignia. He is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award, the Peter Herrndorf Arts Leadership Award by Business for the Arts in Canada and has been inducted into the Playback Hall of Fame. In 2003, he was named CEO of the Year by the Canadian Public Relations Society (Toronto).

He holds honorary doctorates from Queen’s University, the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, York University and OCAD University, and has sat on a number of boards and advisory councils, including FAME (Festivals and Major Events), the Canadian Film Centre, Tafelmusik, Luminato, Telefilm Canada’s Feature Film Advisory Committee, Ontario’s Minister of Culture’s Advisory Council for Arts & Culture and, most recently, the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation.

The lecture runs from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Room A100, Centre of Excellence, Glendon Campus.

The annual John W. Holmes Memorial Lecture at Glendon honours the late John W. Holmes, officer of the Order of Canada, Canadian diplomat, writer, administrator and professor of international relations at Glendon from 1971-81. Holmes was a tireless promoter of Canada at home and abroad, in political, diplomatic and educational circles. He also participated in the founding of the United Nations and attended its first General Assembly in 1945.

For more information on Holmes, visit this website; for more on the upcoming lecture, visit the event page.

To register for the event, visit the RSVP link.