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NEWS – 08 Dec 2021

Aberdeen Performing Arts Chief Executive given Honorary degree for lifetime achievements

News – 08 Dec 2021

Aberdeen Performing Arts Chief Executive, Jane Spiers was presented with an honorary degree from Robert Gordons University today at a ceremony at the city’s Music Hall.

The award of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) was presented to Jane by the University’s Chancellor, Dame Evelyn Glennie CH, for her lifetime achievements in the creative and cultural sector.

Speaking at the ceremony, Director of Planning and Policy at Robert Gordon’s University and Aberdeen Performing Arts Board member Duncan Cockburn said: “In a career across the UK as a producer, programmer, events manager, festival director, arts policy advisor and ultimately Chief Executive, Jane is passionate about the role culture plays in transforming lives and regenerating communities.  She is a tireless advocate for the role of the artist within society and her legacy will enrich the cultural life of Scotland for many years to come.”

Jane said: ““It’s such a great privilege to receive this Honorary Doctorate from Robert Gordon University, a university with deep roots in the city and the North East, and a university that nurtures creative thinking and entrepreneurship.  I’ve spent my working life in the arts and so it was extra special to receive my honorary doctorate from Dame Evelyn Glennie in the Music Hall. It’s a moment I’ll treasure forever.”

Jane has been Chief Executive of Aberdeen Performing Arts since 2012, responsible for three city centre arts venues; His Majesty’s Theatre; the Music Hall and The Lemon Tree, for three innovative festivals; True North, Granite Noir and Light the Blue and for leading the restoration and renovation of the Music Hall which re-opened in 2018. The A-list building was beautifully restored and re-imagined, with the addition new performance and creative spaces fully fit for the twenty-first century.

Prior to this, Jane project managed the redevelopment of the Stirling Tolbooth Arts Centre which went on to win the Crown Estates award for the best work of conservation and adaptation in the UK. In Perth she oversaw the construction and the opening of the new Perth Concert Hall to critical acclaim and championed the redevelopment of Perth Theatre.

In 2017, Jane was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.   In 2019, Aberdeen Performing Arts was named Business of the Year in the North‐East at the Northern Star Awards and Jane was given a lifetime achievement award.

Jane was born in Perth and attended Perth Academy before going on to the University of Edinburgh.  She has served on many voluntary Boards, both locally and nationally, and is currently a non‐ executive director of Sage Gateshead, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, the Theatres Trust, Sound Festival, UK Touring Partnership and the Scottish Theatre Producing Consortium. Jane is a member of Culture Aberdeen, Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce Policy Council, and the Aberdeen City Adoption & Permanence Panel.

Jane Spiers at the Music Hall