Max Wyman. Writer, critic, educator, administrator, actor, b Wellingborough, England, 14 May 1939, naturalized Canadian 1979; honorary D LITT (Simon Fraser) 2003. Max Wyman studied piano and theory as a youth and began his career in journalism with the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph at 14. After studies at The University of Nottingham he worked 1960-7 as an editor, arts critic, and feature writer for London newspapers and magazines. He moved to Canada in 1967 and has since become one of Canada's most respected arts commentators.
In 1968 Wyman began working for the Vancouver Sun; it was the beginning of a relationship that would span more than 20 years. He served 1968-79 as its music and dance critic, 1991-6 as editor of the "Saturday Review," 1996-8 as founding editor for the "Review of Books," and 1999-2003 as senior arts writer. He was also an arts columnist, dance and theatre critic, and books editor for the Vancouver Province 1980-91. Wyman became a contributing editor for Performing Arts in Canada in 1973 and wrote regular British Columbia columns 1968-76 for Opera Canada and 1970-5 for the Canada Music Book. He has also written for Canadian Composer, Maclean's, Musicanada, Music Scene; various dance periodicals; and international publications such as The New York Times and Chamber Music America. He has been a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, The New Grove Dictionary, and The Canadian Encyclopedia, and has written several books on the arts in Canada.
Lectures, Radio, and TV Appearances
In addition to his work as a critic, Wyman has lectured widely about arts policy, and has taught courses on dance or criticism at Simon Fraser University, at Vancouver Community College, at Capilano University (all beginning in 1979), and at The Banff Centre (1999). He has prepared reviews and commentaries for CBC radio and TV, and was the host of the TV series Contemporary Art in Canada for the Knowledge Network 1985-7. As an actor, Wyman has appeared in films and on the popular TV shows The X-Files and Millennium (both in 1998).
Arts Boards and Professional Memberships
A strong advocate for the arts, Wyman has served as a governor of the Canadian Conference of the Arts (1972-4), has sat on the board for the Canada Council for the Arts (1995-8 and 1998-2000), and was president of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO 2002-6. He has been a juror for the Ontario Arts Council, the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards, and for the Royal Society of Canada. He has also been active in municipal politics, serving as mayor of Lions Bay, BC, 2005-8 and as chair of several cultural committees in Vancouver.
Awards and Honours
In 1987 Max Wyman received an award of merit from the Community Arts Council of Vancouver. He received Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medals in 1977 and 2002 and was given the Cecilia Zhang Memorial Music Award by the Royal Conservatory of Music in 2004. He became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2001 and was made an honorary lifetime member of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO in 2010.
The Royal Winnipeg Ballet: The First Forty Years (Toronto 1978)
Dance Canada: An Illustrated History (Vancouver 1989)
Evelyn Hart: An Intimate Portrait (Toronto 1991)
Vancouver Forum: Old Powers, New Forces. ed. (Vancouver 1992)
Toni Cavelti: A Jeweller's Life (Vancouver 1996)
Revealing Dance: Selected Writings, 1970s-2001 (Toronto 2001)
The Defiant Imagination: Why Culture Matters (Vancouver 2004)