Senator Patricia Bovey, FRSA, FCMA

Senator Patricia Bovey, the first gallery director and art historian ever appointed to the Senate of Canada, is also the first to install artworks in the Senate by Black Canadian artists.

Bovey, Winnipeg Art Gallery Director Emerita, is a founder of St Boniface Hospital’s Buhler Gallery; the University of Winnipeg’s Manitoba Arts and Culture Management Program, and MA in Curatorial Practice; the British Columbia Government House Foundation; and the National Fundraising Society Vancouver Island Chapter. From 1980 until her return to Winnipeg in 1999, she was director of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. She has been adjunct professor at both the University of Victoria and the University of Winnipeg.

Former chair of the University of Manitoba Board of Governors, she was a board member of the National Gallery of Canada (2005–2009) and the Canada Council for the Arts (1990-1993); member of the 1986 Withrow/Richard Federal Task Force on National and Regional Museums; the national board for the University of Waterloo’s Canadian Center for Cultural Management (2002-2010); is a past chair of Emily Carr University’s board of governors, and the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization. Member of Winnipeg’s Public Art Committee (2003-2007), the Mayor’s Task Force on Public Art (2002-2003), and past member of the University of Manitoba Press Board, she presently serves on the Eckhardt-Gramatté Foundation. She was board chair of the Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art; member of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, the Manitoba Rhodes Scholarship and Loran Scholarship Selection committees; and board member of Manitoba Artists in Healthcare and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.

Recipient of the 2015 Winnipeg Arts Council Investors Making a Difference Award, Bovey’s honours include election as Fellow of the UK’s Royal Society for the Arts; Fellow of the Canadian Museums Association; the Canada 125 Medal; the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal; Winnipeg’s 2002 Woman of Distinction for the Arts; the Canadian Museums Association Distinguished Service Award; the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts Medal; the 2013 Association of Manitoba Museum’s inaugural Award of Merit, and awards for her books on western Canadian art.

Involved in international touring exhibitions and artist exchanges and official guest of the Japan Foundation, British Council and the government of France, she lectures widely and has been involved in special initiatives in Finland, Iceland, Norway and China. Her consulting practice focused on governance and policy, strategic and business planning for multi-disciplinary community arts organizations.

Member of the Senate Foreign Affairs and International Trade committee, she initiated the Cultural Diplomacy at the Front Stage of Canada’s Foreign Policy study. Deputy chair of the Transportation and Communications Committee, and the Special Committee on the Arctic which produced the first Senate report to include Canadian artwork, she chairs the Senate’s Artwork and Heritage Advisory Working Group. Executive member of the Social Affairs, Science and Technology Committee, she is a member of the Senate Official Languages and Rules Committees. As acting senate speaker, she represented the speaker at international meetings. She is currently the Progressive Senate Group Liaison.

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