Nicholas Goldschmidt (1908-2004)

1997 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Classical Music)

Nicholas Goldschmidt's secret ingredient? Enthusiasm, combined with focus...and a wonderful supreme confidence that things will get done! Everything he has started has led to other people starting other things. Since coming to Canada in 1945 to be first director of the Royal Conservatory Opera School, he has helped launch and sustain national and local institutions ranging from the Canadian Opera Company to Canada's centennial celebrations, to innumerable music festivals from Vancouver to Guelph to Ottawa's renewed Festival Canada. A driving force behind all these events, he works "by the ripple effect", casting out an idea, knowing its radiating circles will have far-flung results.

A widely-travelled, deeply cultivated man, he has mastered the double-barrelled skill or raising consciousness and money at the same time. His interests in the arts are firmly international, as evidenced in the vast network of friends and colleagues he has all over the world. Yet, a self-styled patriot, he has been a dedicated and unceasing champion of Canadian artists and talent. Without question, his overall gift to his fellow Canadians is the constant proof he has given us that we can succeed. His simple "What's stopping you? You can do it!" is a dictum he sets for himself as he continues to plan new events and festivals into the millennium. Among many honours and awards are the Canada Music Council Medal, doctorate degrees from the Universities of Toronto and Guelph, and the Order of Ontario. He is a Companion of the Order of Canada.