To see a World in a Grain of Sand / And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand / And Eternity in an hour”

-William Blake

Douglas Campbell (1922-2009)

2003 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Theatre)

Since he first set foot on stage at the age of five, in Glasgow, Douglas Campbell has proved to be an artist of outstanding power, dedication and integrity. Throughout his long career, Douglas has never stopped working to make the theatre better. As a performer, as a teacher and as an innovator, he has never tired of exhorting those in charge of our theatres and our institutions to do more or think harder.

He arrived in Canada exactly 50 years ago to take a leading role in our country's most significant theatrical experiment, the inaugural season at Stratford. His career there is notable for more than 50 roles, including the celebrated 1954 production of Oedipus Rex and his later definitive impersonations of Falstaff and Lear.

Theatre in Canada owes much to Douglas Campbell. His determination and imagination created the Canadian Players, taking professional classical theatre to communities across the country, allowing many who were to become the great names in Canadian theatre to develop their craft - and build careers here.

In the late 1970s Douglas delighted CBC television audiences as The Great Detective and then took on a series of challenging stage roles, from Rick Salutin's Nathan Cohen at Theatre Passe Muraille to Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman at the Shaw Festival.

His voice and larger-than-life personality have reached to the back row - and beyond - of many theatres across Canada. In 1992, he began a long relationship with Vancouver's Bard on the Beach company, whose new studio theatre bears his name.

Throughout his long and varied career, Douglas has found time to teach at universities and theatre schools across Canada and the USA. He now makes his home in Montreal. At the age of 80 he shows no signs of slowing down. Where he goes next is anybody's guess.