Association For Opera In Canada Announces Recipient Of The 2023/24 National Opera Directors Recognition Award







Toronto, ON – August 10, 2023 – Association for Opera in Canada is proud to honour an outstanding opera company board member, Francis Price, of Edmonton Opera’s Board of Directors, as the 2023/24 recipient of the Association for Opera in Canada National Opera Directors Recognition Award.

Now in its 14th year, the National Opera Directors Recognition Award highlights the tenets of good governance, celebrates models of volunteer excellence, and raises the bar for board director commitment.

“Good governance at opera companies is enabled through the generosity of time and resources, and thoughtful expertise of volunteer board members.  Through this award, we amplify the contributions of one board member annually who exemplifies volunteer excellence and extraordinary impact on their opera company. Francis Price of Edmonton Opera is such a board member, and we are proud to honour him with this much-deserved distinction.” commended Christina Loewen, Executive Director, Association for Opera in Canada.

Francis Price has been an esteemed member of the Edmonton Opera Board of Directors for over 20 years, and has made significant contributions to the company’s success, increasing sustainability, quality, and reach.

Francis leads the annual endowment campaign, raising millions of dollars over the last 10 years to support opera in Edmonton. He supports the company as a donor, season sponsor, and host to visiting artists. As an attorney, Francis also provides valuable insights to the management team.

Francis has been instrumental in supporting young artists and promoting diverse storytelling through the fostering of partnerships with other arts organizations, significantly with Edmonton International Fringe Festival (the oldest and largest fringe theatre festival in North America) where he has aided by supporting and promoting connections between Edmonton Opera and the festival’s Pop Goes The Opera program.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, he remained a dedicated supporter, assisting the management team and leading the endowment campaign. He played a role in the decision to suspend the season while ensuring artists received compensation.

In describing Price’s impact on Edmonton Opera, his nominator Sue Fitzsimmons, Executive Director said: “Francis is a remarkable individual. His contributions to Edmonton Opera, and to the broader arts community, have made all the difference. Because of Francis’ effort, wisdom, passion, and guidance, Edmonton Opera is positioned to thrive beyond its first 60 years and continue to do the important work of connecting with, inspiring, and delighting audiences.”

AOC’s commitment to recognizing excellence in governance is shared with sister association OPERA America through their National Opera Trustee Recognition Award, in which a single honouree is chosen from each of the five OPERA America budget categories. In 2023, OPERA America is pleased to honour Sarah Moulton Faux (The American Opera Project), Keith Geeslin (San Francisco Opera), Anne Kline (Wolf Trap Opera), Russell McColman (BARN OPERA), Nadege Souvenir (Minnesota Opera).

Francis Price will be recognized alongside the five U.S. recipients of the National Opera Trustee Recognition Award at a special dinner in New York, NY, in early 2024.

About Association for Opera in Canada

Association for Opera in Canada is the national association for opera companies and professionals in Canada.  It seeks to create and sustain an environment that makes opera central to Canadian life.  It works with members across the country to advance the interests of Canada’s opera community and create greater opportunities for opera audiences and professionals alike.

About Edmonton Opera

Edmonton Opera connects with communities through honouring the traditions, exploring the boundaries, and embracing the evolution of opera.

Founded in 1963, Edmonton Opera is dedicated to producing great performances that showcase the powerful emotions of opera to our community. Each season, we challenge ourselves to present familiar favourites in imaginative new productions and feature repertoire that audiences rarely get to experience live.


For More Information:

Christina Loewen, Executive Director, Association for Opera in Canada (

Sue Fitzsimmons, Executive Director, Edmonton Opera ( )


Bio: Francis Price

Francis Price, QC is a dedicated and influential member of the Board of Directors at Edmonton Opera; with over 20 years of service, Francis has played a crucial role in enhancing the sustainability, quality, profile and reach of the company. He has spearheaded the annual endowment campaign for more than a decade, raising millions of dollars to support the continuation of opera in Edmonton. Francis has also fostered partnerships with other arts organizations such as Pop Goes the Opera, expanding the presence of opera within the community.

Beyond his board responsibilities, Francis is a partner at Reynolds Mirth Richards & Farmer LPP, and acts as an arbitrator and mediator in various fields of labour and commercial disputes. He provides valuable insight and assistance to the leadership team of the Edmonton Opera, having been a member of the chorus since the 1970s and actively supporting the organization as a donor, season sponsor, and board member. Francis’ warm and positive nature shines through his interaction with staff, offering encouragement and support. As a member of the Board’s executive committee, he demonstrates effective leadership, promotes collaboration, and mobilizes board members to contribute their expertise and resources.

A true community builder, Francis has not only raised funds but also championed young artists and forged connections with the University of Alberta voice program. His dedication to evolving Edmonton Opera led to the successful hiring of the new Artistic Director, Joel Ivany, reflecting the board’s commitment to bringing fresh perspectives and attracting new audiences. Throughout the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Francis remained a steadfast supporter, making difficult decisions while ensuring the well-being of the artists and supporting the company’s recovery.