The Club’s is pleased to welcome —

This Year’s Honorary Members

Every year the Club’s five artistic disciplines each recognize a person who has made a significant contribution to the arts as its honorary member for the year. These memberships are named for a distinguished past Club member. The Club also presents its annual Arts & Letters Award to an individual who has made an important contribution to cultural life in Canada.

Keith Barker


Keith Barker is a distinguished arts administrator and playwright. A Métis artist from Northwestern Ontario, he is the Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts, Canada’s oldest professional Indigenous theatre company. He is a graduate of the George Brown Theatre School and worked as a Theatre Program Officer at the Canada Council for the Arts. He is the recipient of a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, the Playwrights Guild of Canada’s Carol Bolt Award, the SATAward for Excellence in Playwritingand the Yukon Arts Audience Award for Best Art for Social Change. His play This Is How We Got Here was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Drama. He is the Co-General Manager of his Arts League hockey team, “The Friendly Giants,” and admits to being a below-average player.

His work has been produced by New Harlem Productions, Saskatchewan Native Theatre, Gwaandak Theatre and Magnus Theatre. It has also been presented as part of the Fresh Ground New Works at Harbourfront’s World Stage Festival, the Weesageechak Begins to Dance Festival (Toronto), the Talking Stick Festival (Vancouver), Spring Works Festival (Stratford), Aboriginal Summer Play Readings Festival (Whitehorse) and the Matariki Festival (New Zealand).

Anne Michaels


Anne Michaels is a Toronto based novelist and poet. Her books are translated and published in 45 countries and have won numerous international awards. Her 1996 debut novel, Fugitive Pieces, won the Orange Prize and the Guardian Fiction Award. It was also adapted as a feature film in 2007. Her next novel, The Winter Vault, published in 2009, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Trillium Book Award, and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and was a nominee for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her book of poetry, Correspondences, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2014. In 2016 Anne was named Toronto’s fifth Poet Laureate. Her latest collection of poetry, All We Saw, explores the human question about “what love makes us capable of, and incapable of.” All We Saw was written to honour intimate friends of more than thirty years who died within a short span of time. The Guardian has described Anne Michaels as “a great poet of loss, and the challenges of memory in the face of it.” We heartily welcome Anne to the Arts & Letters Club!

John Lorinc


Added to his background as an independent journalist, researcher, writer, and editor who has written for many publications, John Lorinc has a deep understanding of Toronto’s history. An award-winning author and journalist, he is Senior Editor and urban affairs columnist at Spacing Magazine, non-fiction Toronto editor for Coach House Books, and a leading thinker in Toronto’s urbanist networks. He has authored two books that trace contemporary and historic ideas about urban affairs. Through two anthologies he co-edited, The Ward (2015), and The Ward Uncovered (2018), he has been involved in researching and presenting the story of the historic district whose handful of surviving buildings includes our own clubhouse at 14 Elm Street. He is also a co-executive producer — with club member Michael McClelland — of The Ward Cabaret, a musical exploration of the the Ward district. John is the co-editor of the anthology Housing Divided: How the Missing Middle Can Solve the Affordability Crisis. Published this past spring, Housing Divided explores new, affordable forms of housing that would be compatible with Toronto’s low-rise neighbourhoods of single-family homes.

Ann Cooper Gay


Ann Cooper Gay has been a presence in the Toronto vocal and operatic community for almost four decades. An unusually versatile musical career began with a focus on keyboard performance as a pianist and organist, then moved to voice. This was to determine the rest of her career.

After singing with several opera companies, in 1982 she became involved in choral music, specifically children’s choral music, where she has left her greatest legacy. She founded the High Park Choirs in 1986 and the Children’s Choir of the Royal Conservatory of Music in 1987. conducted both the University of Toronto Women’s Chorus and the Youth Orchestra of Toronto. In 2000, she bacame director of the Canadian Children’s Opera Company, where she elevated their standards to the highest levels, drawing admiration and praise from Canadian Opera Company music director Johannes Debus, COC chorus master Sandra Horst, and U of T’s opera program director Michael Albano.

Ann Cooper Gay has been instrumental in commissioning a number of well-received children’s operas that were premiered by the CCOC, and she has also mounted and managed countless other CCOC musical undertakings. Her passion and boundless energy, her vast musical knowledge and experience, have been coupled with a rare gift for attracting, inspiring, and maintaining a deep commitment to music in the young people that she has had the opportunity to educate through the CCOC. Former choristers acknowledge her intelligence, her insight, her warmth and absolute commitment to bringing out the very best in each and every one of them. In fact, in Ann Cooper Gay’s 15 years at the CCOC, more of her choristers have gone on to careers in music than in all other years of the CCOC (founded 1968) combined.

Terry O’Reilly


Terry O’Reilly is a well known presence on CBC radio where his long-running show about advertising and marketing, Under the Influence, is heard and enjoyed  by millions of listeners, with 30 million downloads of podcasts of the show. He has Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Marketing Association, the Advertising and Design Club of Canada, and the Television Advertising Bureau.  He has won national international awards for his writing and directing. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws, Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning and an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law, St. Mary’s University. He is the author of This I Know:  Marketing Lessons from Under the Influence, and co-author of The Age of Persuasion:  How Marketing Ate Our Culture. We welcome Terry to the Arts and Letters Club, and we look forward to his presence at the Club when it is open again.